Archive for the ‘Website Design’ Category

Beauty does not always sell. A large number of clients are keen on having more Flash on their web pages, because these graphic animations make the website look more attractive and eye-catching. There are web design companies that try to convince you that a Flash site sells. Unfortunately, the irony is that a flash site may make the site look cool, but it will work against you if you want your website to make money.

Flash is a software program that creates cool and jazzy special effects and animation to make your website attractive. There are some websites that have Flash elements included in the website, or at times you may see some websites that are totally done in Flash. However, common business sense advises you to stay clear of Flash on your website for the following reasons:

1. Flash makes your website slow: If your website is Flash oriented, it will take time for the website to be downloaded. Though there are broadband and DSL users, you cannot negate the fact that there are way too many consumers who are still using the dial-up connection. You can imagine how annoying it will be for prospects and people in general when the site takes way too long to appear, purely because of the Flash animation.

Please do not be swayed by the talk of designers who may say that they can fix the slow download speed problem by making chunks of Flash animation appear instead of one big file. This will actually worsen the problem, because you will have to wait for a big file to appear each time you click on an appropriate button or go to another part of the website. You will find it worthwhile to leave all this trouble and go to another less jazzy and flashy site.

2. No Flash intro please! The Flash designed intros are like a curtain-raiser to the main website. However, these intros are quite annoying for most people and they try to hit the skip intro button in a bid to get to the content of the website. Sometimes there is no skip intro button, which makes people skip the website instead. The Flash intro is good only if your business is making a huge amount of money and you do not mind making the website look extra glamorous.

3. What happened to the content? If your website depends on Flash design, then there is a fair chance that there will be less content. The truth is that the content is the driving point of web-business. The cool design and the Flash animations are the peripherals – you can do without it. However, the core or the essence of your web business is the content; you simply cannot do without it.

4.
Search engines do not favor Flash: If you have chosen to skim through the first three points, you have to really get this into your system- search engines that bring the business to you avoid Flash sites. To program your HTML file, you write a code that makes the Flash file play. The tragic part is that search engines cannot deduce or read this file or its contents, and that is the reason they do not index your site.

In other words, search engines have no alternative but to ignore your well-made Flash website. The only way you can survive in the sea of search engine rankings is if you have content-rich text with appropriate keywords and phrases. Only this will help you find yourself in the top four or five pages of search engines.

Search engine optimization is the art of building web pages with appropriate content that are both amiable to search engines and user-friendly to the general public as well. You may use Flash animation and graphics in appropriate places on a web page if desired, but they should be minimal, with adequate HTML content.

The spiders or search engine programs are capable of doing only two things: reading the HTML code and searching for text. They simply ignore the non-HTML code. The Search engines always try to categorize pages by text, and not by images. The first thing any SEO professional will do before researching keywords or reworking your copy is study your web site code. If the web page is full of Flash animation, graphics, JavaScript and other razzmatazz, then the chances of ranking in search engines is next to nothing. The spiders will never be able to find your site, let alone add the pages to the search results pages.

You should also be aware of the fact that some Internet users do not have the Flash plug-in installed on their computers, and are thus not able to view the fruits of your labor. There are some who are averse to downloading software, or there are some who have no knowledge of Flash, so stay clear of investing money in a Flash site and losing out on business. The text and content is the way toward your goldmine.

Build a plain and simple HTML website. Keep your links in text form without having any drop-down menus or JavaScript buttons. Please be aware that in a bid to stop unnecessary blocking of traffic and breaking accessibility laws, the mighty search engines have also started to impose fines. Do not manipulate the search engines. Instead, strive to build a website that goes well with the search engines rather than going against them. A picture is definitely not worth a thousand words as far as a search engine is concerned.

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The widespread availability of high-speed Internet access has resulted in ever-greater numbers of consumers making online purchases. This means that business owners of all stripes – from individuals working from home to big box mass merchandisers – can reach more buyers and can generate exponentially greater revenue than ever before.

There are many theories about and tips for marketing and advertising your online store, and marketing and advertising is certainly a consideration. But in focusing so much attention on marketing, many business owners neglect a fundamental aspect of successful e-commerce: web page design.

If you don’t have a professional webpage design, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you generate to your site because those visitors won’t convert to customers. It’s crucial to have a website that is compelling and that makes visitors want to stay long enough to buy. Here, then, are six tips to help your web design transform visitors into customers:

1. Keep it Clean
A professional web page designer will tell you that to keep your virtual storefront clean and free of clutter. It should be immediately clear to the visitor the types of items you sell without overwhelming them with dozens of hyperlinks, fonts, and flashing buttons and words. You can certainly incorporate a flash introduction in your web design, but if you do, give the visitor control. He or she should be able to bypass or pause the flash so that the annoyance factor is kept to a minimum.

2. Intuitive Navigation
Your website designer should think like your customer and design a navigation system that easily takes your customer from your home page to the product or products of interest. The fewer number of clicks it takes to get from point A to point B, the more likely it is that your visitor will make a purchase.

3. Search Functionality
Customers need to be able to find what they need quickly and easily. Allowing customers to search by keyword or product number is a great start. Going one step further and allowing “fuzzy” searches that will also return matches for common misspellings is even better.

4. Seamless Shopping Cart
Many e-commerce sites lose customers at the critical juncture between selecting items and committing to buy them. An intuitive and easy-to-use shopping cart is essential to the online shopping experience. Again, your web page designer should think like your customer and utilize a shopping cart that makes checkout a breeze.

5. SSL Certificate
If you’re an online merchant, there’s simply no getting around the need for an SSL certificate. With the problems associated with identity theft, your customers need to have confidence that your website is secure.

6. Leave it to the Professionals
When it comes to web page design, don’t succumb to the temptation to do it yourself. Even if you have a web design program, you should hire a business web page designer to create your web site. Professionals have a variety of tools that will help your business succeed online, and will act as your partner in developing e-commerce solutions that will encourage visitors to stick around and purchase your products.

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Many new online business owners ( and old pros) have misconceptions about custom web design. It’s not only about getting your website up and running. It’s about designing every aspect of your website – every “nook and cranny” – to lead your visitors to the ultimate end, a sale. Whether you plan to build a service-oriented website or offer many products, your site’s design must have all the ingredients for success from the very start. Be sure the web designer you choose has an understanding of promotion as well as custom web design. Here are some features your site must have to survive among the Internet masses.

An Easily Recognized USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

When a visitor arrives at any of your web pages (not only the homepage), he/she should understand what your site is all about immediately. You only have a split second to grab their attention. Make sure each web page has a powerful keyword-rich headline that will keep the visitor reading.

Graphics that Complement without Dominating the Web Pages

Every website needs a few graphics here and there to make the web design pleasing to the eye, but be sure your graphic design and logo design do not dominate your pages. You want visitors to read your page, not look at your graphics. So, keep graphics to a minimum, and use them only when they help to create an even reading flow on the page. Many sites use a pleasant “newsletter” style when there is much to read on a page, sprinkling graphics or photos throughout the text in a wrap-around sense. For logo design, keep it small and simple. There’s nothing more annoying than waiting on a page to load because its logo is too big!

Keyword Rich Content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Be sure your designer understands about SEO and keywords. Every page of your site should be designed with search engine promotion in mind. This means gearing your meta tags, link text for pages or in menus, headlines, image “alt text” contents, etc. to attract search engine traffic for the long haul.

Easy-to-Use Navigation

Be sure the navigation on your web pages is easy to use. Many visitors will not take the time to “search” for hidden links or to browse through a confusing menu. If ordering custom web design from a professional, write out on paper how you would like your link system to flow from page to page. If you have content, place visible, colored links within the text to give visitors a chance to click while reading. Have menu bars or links in the usual places – sidebars and top/bottom of the web page.

Promote your Website

Some design firms will offer promotion bonuses with a custom web design package. This benefits you because it helps you to get a head start on building traffic. You can take advantage of the design firm’s skills and knowledge about Web promotion and search engine optimization. Don’t forget to promote your website in every way possible. Print your site address on business cards, newspaper ads, letterhead, etc. Also, promote your site online using only targeted advertising.

Custom web design techniques and promotion are so tightly knit together that it’s impossible to separate the two. Be sure to include both in your custom web design plans so you can see positive results from the start!

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The McQueen Organization

825 N.Tower Rd.
Fergus Falls, MN. 56537
Phone: (218) 332-0162
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