Monthly Archives: July 2017

Ways To Design Your Own Website

Creating and designing your own web site may sound like a tedious task, but it is actually easy to do, once you learn a few basic things. If you want to start your own web site in order to promote your firm, a line of products or a service, it makes sense to ask a professional to create a site for you as it could greatly impact your business. On the other hand, if you just want some space on the Internet to call your own, creating a web site by yourself will be a fun learning experience. Here’s what you need to do.

The first step is to get your own domain name or in other words to decide what name you want to give your site. You need to think carefully about the kind of domain name you want, because your web site will be known by that name for life. So make a list of unique site names that you like; you might also pick based on keywords you want your site to rank for in the search engines. In order to get the rights to the domain name of your choice, you also need to pay an annual fee to a registrar. If you feel you need a bit of guidance in deciding a good domain name, simply surf the net for inspiration!

Next, you need to decide which web host you want to choose. Think of a web host as a company with plenty of computers that are always connected to the Internet. When you decide to sign up with a specific web host, all the pages of your site will be ‘hosted’ by them, making your site accessible to others. Remember to carefully analyze various clauses before actually registering with a web host. A few points to keep in mind is looking at the actual amount of web space you will get, the reliability and access speed, bandwidth allotment and also if your web site is required to display any advertisements on the host’s behalf.

Now comes the important part of web site content. The kind of content you display on your site will play a crucial role in determining web traffic, which in turn will decide your site ranking on search engines. Let’s be honest. Do you really want to take the trouble to create your own web site, only to find that nobody even knows it exists? So, in order to avoid that kind of a scenario, it makes sense to visit other sites that are in the same industry as yours and get a general idea of the kind of surfing experience they impart. Doing a bit of keyword research will help you understand popular search terms that could lead people directly to your site. Using the right Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques such as embedded links and title tags can make your site more search engine friendly.

Assuming that you will be doing the entire designing of the site yourself, it’s important to first visualize it in your mind. How do you want your web site to look? What should be the colors of the fonts used? Should there be graphics, flash based animations or videos in your site? Once you have the basic outline of your web site in mind, it becomes easier to get started and improvise as you go along. If you prefer to invest in a good commercial web editor, then Dreamweaver is one of the best options to consider. If you prefer to use free software such as free HTML editors, then there are many highly regarded names available which even come with a complete guide on how to use them. It’s easy to get carried away whole designing your site and letting your creativity run wild, but don’t over look a few basic points which can help you get noticed on search engines faster. Adding original text and flash videos, adding title tags, including active links, error free HTML and registering your web site with a commercial web host are a few tried and tested ways to make your web site search engine friendly.

Now it’s time to test your web site on individual browsers. Since you can’t really tell which browser your guest will be using, it makes sense to test your web site on the most frequently used Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari. Just ensure that you test your web site on browsers which are the latest released version. Doing so, will help you figure out if your site has any broken links, errors in code or needs to be tweaked further.

If you feel that the basic version of your web site is ready, now is the time to submit it individually to search engines such as Google or Bing. This ensures that your site shows up when specific relevant keywords are used and also simultaneously increases web site traffic. You may even want to consider promoting your web site in other ways and if you have the moolah to spend, a spot of advertising or internet marketing will only help get the right attention. You can make more changes to your site when and as needed, depending upon other features that you may want to add later.

Now all you need to do is spread the word about your new web site to friends and family and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you put in!

S. George writes about several topics, including site design. She does work for different companies including a company that does professional Tulsa web design work and Tulsa search engine optimization and internet marketing.

Top 10 Website Launch Tips

There are close to 130 million web sites on line at the moment and every day, 6,000 new web sites launch, creating entrepreneurs by the thousands. The world wide web is a great way to take control of your professional life (you’re the boss) or to add a few bucks to your household income each month while you keep your day job.

A web site launch is exciting and cause for celebration – if you do it right. If you don’t do it right, your pixel-based dream biz will end up on the trash heap along with millions of other sites built on a dream but launched on a prayer.

Even well-optimized, well-designed and -built web sites take time to get a little recognition from search engines like Google, Bing, Ask, Yahoo and the other 4K search engines crawling the web at any one time. But there are some things you can and should do before launch date to improve your chances for web-based business success. Here are a few tips that’ll tip the scales of success in your favor.

1. Don’t do any SEO…yet.

Search engine optimization is tricky business but one thing is etched in stone. A search engine is based on the relevance and utility of its search engine results pages or SERPs.

So, no search engine is going to send its users to a web site that is “Under Construction.” Until you have all of your pages in place, your navigation bar hooked up and your opt-in module in place, stay off-line. If your half-built site is inadvertently spidered by Google, you’ll get slammed for delivering a half-built site and lots of blank pages.

And it can take years to recover, Search engines aren’t very forgiving.

2. Create an off-site blog.

Now that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise your upcoming launch. Create an off-site blog using WordPress, Blogger, Typepad or another blogging platform and start posting articles of interest to your target demographic – your market.

Don’t link these blog posts to your web site until you actually launch. Search engine bots and people follow links and, again, if a bot or a human discovers a half empty web site, chances are they won’t be back.

Instead, provide blog visitors with useful, helpful, FREE information. Announce the launch date of your web site but don’t send your blog fans to your web site until it’s locked down tight.

3. Develop your list of keywords.

Keywords are the search terms that people use when trying to find your web site. Start by taking a look at Google’s Keyword Generator, a great tool for first-time web biz owners. The keyword generator provides actual search terms that have been entered by Google users in the past 30 days.

Choose keywords that are specific to the topicality of your web site. For example, if you sell alternative medical cures and supplements, you’ll discover that the search term “self help” is used over one million times each month. But “self-help” can include everything from career coaching to weight loss to strength training. It’s too broad a term for your web business that sells tinctures and alternative medical treatments.

Developing a good list of 15-20 key words and keyword phrases is one of the most important pre-launch steps you’ll take. And, you’ll, no doubt, tweak your keywords over time. Some keywords will drive more traffic than others. The ones that drive traffic are keepers. The ones that don’t drive traffic are dropped and replaced with stronger keywords.

4. Open and finance an AdWords account.

Google’s AdWords is a pay-per-click advertising program. It’s a little complicated for first-time users so some practice and some study will improve your AdWords results.

With AdWords, advertisers bid for certain keywords – the words that search engine users enter into the search box when they conduct a web search. Some keywords are used more frequently. Others not so much.

You can open an AdWords account, set the parameters for where you want your blue cubes to appear (and not to appear) and even tell Google when to begin your AdWords campaign for just $5.00.

You may pay $3, $4 or $5 for the most popular keywords. The highest bidder gets the best position in the skyscrapers that appear on the right hand side of each Google search engine result page (SERP). Take your time, here. Sure, you can start for as little as $5.00 but you can quickly find yourself spending hundreds of dollars on AdWords and not seeing the results you expected.

That’s why a pre-launch practice session or two will pay off long-term. Understand how PPC programs work and you’ll make the best use of this advertising channel.

5. Create payment gateways.

How will prospects pay for your products or services? There are several options, here. PayPal has a commercial account option. Google Checkout is growing in popularity. The problem with these payment gateways is that they take visitors off your web site and they may never return.

Not all visitors have PayPal accounts so that’s a dead end. Consider adding a merchant account to your web site. These payment gateways enable buyers to pay securely with their credit cards, though the merchant account company will take a big bite out of your profit margins, often collecting 3%-4% of the total purchase each customer makes.

That slows down web site growth to profitability but it keeps buyers on your site and provides a payment gateway that anyone can use – as long as they have a credit card.

The more ways buyers can pay, the more buyers your site will attract. Make it simple and secure to buy from you and, in no time, you’ll start to see repeat buyers – the best friends a new web site owner has.

6. Create a compelling headline.

Why should your first-time site visitors stay on site?

You have less than 10 seconds to capture the attention of new site visitors. So, create a headline for your home page that clearly and simply explains what your new web-based business is all about.

The headline should indicate that your site delivers solutions to visitors’ problems. Low prices, free give-aways, free shipping – all attract attention and keep visitors on site longer. And the longer a visitor stays on site, the more likely she is to buy something, or pick up the telephone and give you a call. Consider your headline the most important piece of site copy you develop.

It is.

7. Refine your web site text.

Add your strongest keywords to strong text – headlines, sub-heads or text that’s bolded, italicized or underlined. This tells search engine spiders that this is important information.

Also, your site text should focus on the objectives of the site visitors, NOT your objectives. Your objective might be to generate sales of your products, so you might be tempted to load your text with sales hype. Remember, your objectives and the objectives of site visitors are not necessarily the same. Attend to the needs of visitors and success will follow organically.

8. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Everything about your web site should be simple.

The text should be simple to read or scan. Use bullet points and avoid using jargon or industry-specific words that might be unfamiliar to some visitors. If the site visitor doesn’t get it, he isn’t going to buy from you. Write text in simple, short sentences at an 8th grade reading level to ensure that visitors understand what your site is about and why it’s worth exploring further.

9. Stress test before launch.

Your pre-launch web site resides on a web host’s server. It might be the server your programmer uses or it might be your own server with your own domain. In either case, you can ask friends and family to put your site to the test – the stress test.

Send the link of your site-in-progress to friends and family and ask your testers to try to make the site crash or mis-perform. Are all links connected? Does the color motif shift depending on the browser the tester is using? Ask testers to do everything wrong – to intentionally crash the site. Why? Because if testers can find the dead-end link, a lot of your site visitors will find it, too.

10. Just before launch, submit a site map to Google, Yahoo and other search engines.

Invite search engines to visit and crawl your site the day before you do a hard launch. A soft launch is just for friends and family who will provide their input on how to make the site better. A hard launch occurs when you “go live.”

The day before you undertake a hard launch, submit a site map to the major search engines. This is an invitation to Google and the others to crawl your site and index it within the taxonomy of the search engine index.

Some web sites are never found by spiders. For other site owners, it could be months before a Googlebot finds your site. By submitting a site map to the most popular search engines, you provide a map that spiders can crawl to insure that all pages of your site are indexed the first time through. You also tell the search engine what your site is about, how to navigate the site and which pages to crawl and which pages should not be crawled -pages, like your back office or your data base.

One final thought: be patient. Expect to see some growth in visitor traffic in the first few weeks but typically, it takes 60 to 90 days before you start to see organic search engine results – your link on Google’s SERPs based on the keywords you’ve chosen.

So, even as your programmer in Bangalore or Bangor is creating the HTML code to create your site, there’s still plenty you can do to ensure a successful launch and, in a couple of months, a growing web business.

Even if you haven’t hired a programmer yet, it’s time to get to work. Success on the world wide web is not a given and the more preparation you do before the hard launch, the more likely you are to see successful results.

Ms. Rosendahl has over 19 years experience in systems analysis, hosted applications, and management as well as 13 years experience in web hosting and Internet marketing. Ms. Rosendahl has a Bachelors from Houston Baptist University with a double major in Computer Information Systems and Business Management. Stephanie is the founder and CEO of Austin, Texas firm – GreenHostIt.com green web hosting.

Most Recommended Web Hosting Services

Having the right kind of hosting account for your website is crucial to the success and sustenance of your online business. Making the wrong choice could result in loss of traffic, and several other server mishaps which ultimately decrease the value and reputability of your eCommerce efforts. Poor server management and resource allocation can cause anything from slow page loads to server crashes, and even decreased search engine ranking. Without the right kind of hosting, it is nearly impossible to have your website or blog perform optimally, especially as you begin to receive more daily visitors and update your site with content. If you want to make your website as successful as possible, then you’ll need to have access to the right kind of webhost services.

Most Recommended Web Hosting Services

Below are some of our best and recommended web hosting services according to our own experience on web development:

HostGator

HostGator is a world leading provider of web hosting. Since 2002, company is privately owned and based in Houston, Texas. Since then, HostGator has grown from a small hosting company with just three servers into a world leading and industry recognized hosting provider with more than 12,000 servers under management. The over five million domains hosted by HostGator make up approximately 1% of the world’s Internet traffic. As a technology and product innovator, HostGator is able to provide its more than 400,000 customers with innovative products and services designed to complement their existing businesses. HostGator serves customers ranging from individual freelancers to Fortune 500 companies in more than 200 countries. The company is constantly working to improve and refine their service and support. HostGator has earned a great number of web hosting awards. Their customers range from large sized businesses down to personal bloggers and HostGator supports each of them with care and professionalism. If you are searching for a place to start or grow your own website, Hostgator is what you are looking for. Competitive pricing plans, countless accolades, best technology, and top-notch support are the reasons why go with HostGator. If not ready to settle you can try a month with HostGator just for a penny. All of HostGator’s shared and reseller servers are powered and cooled by wind power generated in state of Texas.

BlueHost

BlueHost has been has been providing quality hosting solutions to thousands of business and personal web sites since 1996. Today, BlueHost has become one of the most recognizable names in the web hosting industry with over 1,000,000 domain names hosted. BlueHost has become well known for providing some excellent features and benefits at the low cost. Their technical support is ranked as one of the best on the market. BlueHost has placed themselves among the leaders of the web hosting world by offering unlimited disk space and monthly transfer on top of package that includes a free domain and site builder. Their professional Web Hosting plan includes all the features you are looking for at the best possible price. Great customer service and excellent products is what really sets BlueHost apart from other web hosting companies. Let’s not forget their latest technologies that help businesses and individuals get high-powered service at a fraction of the cost. If you look around you might be able to find cheaper web hosting companies but with BlueHost you will get the best value for money. All of their packages are backed up by a 30-Day Money Back guarantee, so you can give BlueHost a try without losing a dime. At last, BlueHost is highly recommended and reliable when it comes in choosing a web host.

JustHost

JustHost are dedicated to providing their customers with the most reliable web hosting service possible at the best possible price. Only $3.50 per month! JustHost is number one when it comes to web hosting, and it’s no surprise that it has grown into one of the most recognizable brands today. When it comes to the extra features that you get when you sign up, JustHost is unbeatable. Each plan comes with unlimited monthly transfer (bandwidth) and unlimited disk space, and you can host as many domains as you like with a single account. There are many additional benefits, such as a fantastic site builder, Fantastico and Google advertising credits. JustHost focus heavily on customer service and the quality and level of technical support is top-notch. On top of this, the pricing and value for money is excellent, which make JustHost the number one choice for many people. Affordable price plans, secure servers, first class 24/7 technical support and a wide range of extra features make hosting your website with JustHost the logic choice. JustHost offers top quality product at great price. In terms of reliability, the load-balancing technology means that downtime is almost eliminated. The cpanel is easy to use and contains some great features which will keep all customers happy, whether they are new to web designing or an experienced professional. Customer support is excellent, and really sets the mark for other companies to aim for, and overall value for money is fantastic. By having unlimited amounts of bandwidth and disk space, you do not have to worry about changing your package every few months as your site expands. At last, JustHost offers 30-Day money back guarantee demonstrating the confidence in its products.

InMotion

Inmotion Hosting is one of the best web hosts around and is the most popular among businesses for a secure and reliable experience. Established in 2001, Inmotion Hosting can be considered a veteran in the web hosting industry. Backed by a team of experts with diverse technical backgrounds, Inmotion Hosting focuses on the latest technology to provide the best reliability for a smooth experience.

HostMonster

HostMonster has been providing reliable hosting solutions to thousands of businesses and individuals since 1996. Their web hosting plan helps businesses and individuals get high-powered service at an extremely affordable price with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space and an unlimited number of add-on domains. All of the above makes your website ready to use as soon as you have signed up. HostMonster offers a great web hosting product that is second to none. Their web hosting is reliable and secure. When it comes to the control panel it is easy to use and contains some great features. Nevertheless, their customer support and value for money are some of the best in the industry. HostMonster makes customer satisfaction a big deal. Therefore, they offer a 24/7 technical support with average hold times less than 3 minutes. Choosing HostMonster as your web hosting company means you will be making a good decision.

Choosing a web host requires that you take an appraisal of your website, the technology used to create it, your web page elements and your future growth. You will also have to make room for emerging technologies and web trends. All of these scenarios require that you choose a web hosting provider with utmost care.

You will have to first compile all the above lists of hosts that meet your need and then sift them down to the one that best meets your need at the least price. In determining your ultimate choice, you are considering several factors, such as customer response time, reputation, server uptime guarantee, security and reliability. You are going to choose a host that will give you value for money and at the same time make you retain your hard won customers.

How to Benefit From Your Web Hosting

Choosing a good Web Hosting service should take priority when you set out on developing a website for your business. The task is not easy, considering that there are so many web hosting companies out there. Many companies tend to leave the task to their web designers to provide their own hosting or recommend a web host. Whatever the case may be there are a few facts you should consider before making a decision to ensure you get a reliable, secure and efficient web hosting service that is affordable and worthwhile.

If you are conscious about efficiency and reliability when it comes to providing services to your customers then you should consider reading through this article, as it is meant to give you basic insight into the most important facts you should look out for when purchasing a web hosting service.

There are many Web Hosting Companies in Kenya today and choosing the right company might be difficult but the following facts remain the same across the board.

1. Reliability

A reliable server means your website will be up and running at all times and you will be able to access and send emails to your customers without interruptions. However, since technology can only be reliable up to a certain extent you want to look out for the best managed servers in terms of up time, security and customer service. The best providers offer up to 99.9% uptime guarantee and a 24/7 support that ensures any issues you have are taken care of immediately. There are also server software that enables better management, monitoring and control. Some technologies such as CloudLinux enable better management of servers running on shared Linux servers and ensure that malicious programs that consume and interrupt server resources for other users on the same server are controlled.

2. Efficiency

Servers consume a lot of energy and the lesser the energy they consume the better for our environment and overall energy costs. Most certainly there are significant financial and social benefits for companies to undertake green initiatives and this can be accomplished by implementing energy efficient servers, better server architecture and power supply systems. If the Web Hosting Company has taken the initiatives to implement green technology the better.

3. Features

Web Hosting plans usually consist of a combination of features that make it easy and efficient to manage your website. This is the part where many web hosting companies differ as they want to provide different packages for a variety of target markets depending on needs. This enables you to make a choice based on your individual needs enabling you to pay for only what you need, but if you expect your business to grow and expect to have a lot of visitors on your website then it would be wise to choose an unlimited web hosting plan which is a popular and a fast growing trend. The most important web hosting features to consider before making your choice include:

3. a) Disk space

 Disk space is the amount of storage allocated to a website by a web hosting provider. The storage can be used to store HTML files, videos, photos and anything that is used by the website. Normally the disk space allocated is not only for the website but is also used for email storage, databases and web log files. The amount of storage required depends on the size of your website and volume of emails. If you’re not sure then consult your web designer or you can opt for Unlimited Web Hosting which is quite affordable and includes unlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Databases and Unlimited Email accounts.

3. b) Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to data or information transmission rates when communicating over certain media such as hosting server. Bandwidth allocated by a web hosting company refers to the amount of allowable data transfer per month for a website. When an online user visits your website, a webpage is transferred from the server to the user’s web browser. The higher the number of visitors to your website the more data is transferred to the website therefore, observe the bandwidth allocation as you compare the various packages offered by the web host.

3. c) Server Side Technology

Server side technology refers to the applications that execute on the server. These technologies include, ASP, JSP, CGI, PHP, SSI, which when executed will generate the HTML content dynamically. These applications provide flexibility to generate dynamic web content for various users using different browsers such as Firefox and Microsoft IE. Consult you provider and find out what scripts are included with your service.

3. d) Email Features

On shared web hosting every package makes provisions for a certain amount of email accounts, except for unlimited web hosting plans which allows unlimited email accounts. This can be quite useful for medium and large organizations that require a lot of email accounts for various employees. The system uses POP3 access where emails can be downloaded directly to your email processor such as MS Outlook. You can also access emails via the browser through the webmail application. Other emails features that should be included are email forwarding and auto responders.

3. e) Security

Web hosting security can be a real nightmare especially when you don’t know what is wrong and what you don’t know about your web hosting can really hurt your business especially for those who are running e-commerce websites. Shared hosting servers can be vulnerable to attacks by hackers who upload malware or other malicious programs or code onto a server. Once this content is uploaded then it becomes an imminent danger to other users whose data is hosted on the server. The malware can be used for anything from launching a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, stealing credit card information to hijacking an entire hosting server. Web hosting companies implement a raft of measures to ensure that their security is up to par and data is regularly backed up to a remote server in the event that their servers are compromised. While it is the responsibility of web hosting company to provide the highest level of security on behalf of their clients it is the prudent for clients to ensure they take precautions to ensure they do not inadvertently misuse their accounts. Higher a professional web designer to make sure that your website is safe and secure for users and to avoid unnecessary interruptions.

4. Technical Support

Consider technical support before you sign up with a web hosting company because server interruptions may occur at anytime and if you provider is not available then this may result serious problems even loss of revenue for your business. Many companies offer 24/7/365 customer support through telephone and live chat from where you can speak directly to an agent. If the problem is serious then the problem can be escalated to technical support and the problem solved within a short period of time.

Usasi Media Ltd [http://usasimedia.co.ke/web-hosting/] is a web design company that provides interactive web design services that add value. We like to combine a good websites with reliable and secure web hosting services that will ensure productivity and value to your customers.