Archive for web design

Typography is the art and technique of making language visible.  Most people don’t think twice about typography, yet it’s everywhere.  Anytime you are reading, someone has carefully chosen the way words appear to the reader.  The size, the spacing, the very forms of the letters.

It’s obviously not a very cut and dried subject.  Certain fonts can elicit feelings or emotions from the majority of readers, certain fonts don’t read easily but can sure catch someone’s attention.

Almost everyone who owns a computer has a little bit of knowledge about fonts/typography.  A font is basically a style of letters and it’s spacing.  All computers come installed with some fonts that are packaged with the operating system such as Windows or OSX.

It’s possible to acquire more fonts, through packages or software bonuses.  The point I am leading up to is that, just because you have a font on your computer, doesn’t mean any one else will be able to see it. If you were to print it directly from your computer, the paper would be in that font.  If you made an image with the font, the type would be in that font.

If you tried to use that font on the web, it wouldn’t work.  The web is a different animal.  Unless the person had the font on their computer, the font would default.  Considering the font was chosen for a particular reason, that information the font was trying to convey just disappears.

Enter Google, center stage.

Google does some very interesting work in the world.  From driving cars to a shared repository of fonts.  Yes, Google has created “Web Fonts” that people can use.  For us WordPress folks that aren’t afraid to use CSS, it’s as simple as installing a plugin and selecting one of the over 500 available Google Fonts.

Now that we have the possibility, let’s talk about whether or not you SHOULD.

For years we’ve had the ability to “define” a font.  And like I said, if it was on the computer it would show up.  This gave us some limitations, but also gave us a little control over how information displayed.  The fast and hard rules were you used a sans serif (without flags) since it was easier to read and “serif” type worked well as a large headline or with printed material.  These rules still apply.  If you want something that reads well, you stick with the basic sans serifs: Helvetica, Arial.  I would really only recommend “fancy” fonts/typography for headlines.  And then, I would also say to use them sparingly.  For every font you enable through your plugin, there is a “call” to the Google repository.  Some people have said that this slows their site down (since this call goes out before the page displays, and the page won’t load until it gets the information it asks for.)

When you are thinking about fonts:

Size matters.  The large the font, the easier it will be to read, and more likely it is to catch the eye.  Unless of course it’s all the same size, then obviously, that doesn’t work.

Weight Matters. A bold font will draw more attention than a regular weight font.  It’s thicker and has more “mass” to it.  Unless of course all the type on the page is bold.

Italics should be avoided.  Italics don’t display well at smaller sizes and become hard to read. If you must use italics, use them at larger sizes.

Decorative fonts will all have “emotive” information to them.  Scary, cheap, professional, funny, zany, etc.  Use these infrequently and never as the “body” or main part of the content.  When it’s small it will be difficult to read and a lot of it will lose it’s impact.

So that it’s!  Some tips and advice about fonts on your WordPress Site.  Just remember the tips above and use your favorite “Google Fonts” plugin.  Of course you can also use Google Fonts on regular websites, you just have a few other hoops to jump through.

To learn more about growing your “web” or “marketing” skillset, check out what we have to offer, just click here.

Categories : web design
Comments (0)

http://www.imtcva.org

Writing copy for websites is a lucrative and in demand skill. Learn how you can discover the hottest and most in demand jobs available today. At the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia, you can get a dedicated certificate in as little as six months and be on your way to a great job. Visit the site to download your free career guide.

Certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Categories : web design
Comments (0)

Pop Up Boxes

These can be used to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Some people get annoyed at pop up boxes, but if used judiciously, they can be an effective way to increase your number of subscribers. Do you know why every major company and smart small company continue to use pop up boxes? Because they work.

The reason most people get annoyed with pop up boxes is that the pop up box keeps coming back and hitting them in the face. This would annoy anyone, but especially busy and savvy Internet surfers. To take advantage of pop up boxes and minimize the annoyance factor you can make the pop up box only show when someone visits for the first time. After that, it recognizes the visitor and does not display.

This method has its pros and cons too. Some people will object to the placing of a “cookie” on their computer (file used to recognize them when they return), or they have their browser set so it doesn’t allow cookies which will render your one time pop up box idea useless.

Unblockable Pop Up Boxes

New technology allows one type of pop up box that can’t be blocked by conventional pop up blockers and another type that gets blocked some of the time, but not all of the time. You can use both types.

The first is called a “Hover Ad”. This is a box that uses “dynamic HTML scripting language. This language makes a box appear on a page, but the box isn’t really a separate page. It is an appendage to the page it’s on so conventional pop up blockers don’t recognize it as a pop up box.

Hover ads can be quite interesting. Some of them can be programmed to drop in from the top of your web page and bounce several times. It really gets the attention of your visitors. In fact, it doubled the subscription rate the very same day the IMTC founder put it on one of his sites. You can see examples at: http://www.antion.com and http://www.Public-Speaking.org.

Hover ads can only be used on entry to a page. They can be delayed before they appear, but you can’t use them as an exit pop like you would use when someone leaves a page without buying. There are inexpensive generators that help you make these unblockable entry pop up boxes. Here’s a source for these kinds of pop ups:

http://www.instantpopover.com/?private-access=6112

 

Categories : web design
Comments (0)
Mar
14

Purchasing a Domain Name

Posted by: | Comments (0)

How Much Should It Cost?

When you do get your domain name, it should cost less than $10.00. You can easily find places where you can get a domain name for $10.00 per year or less. New top level domains like .co are coming out and they come with a premium price tag. We are not recommending them at the present time unless you have an important reason to use one.

People who are paying $200.00 or more it’s because they don’t know how to fill out the form. If you pay anything above $10.00, you’re paying the company to fill out the form for you and submit it.

You can think up a domain name you want and get a techie friend to check it out for you. It only takes about 3-5 minutes to fill out the form yourself.

Tip: You can easily check to see if a domain name you want is available. Visit http://www.KickStartDomains.com and type in the domain name. If the name you want isn’t available, you can see who owns it by visiting Whois.org  and then making the owner an offer.

Our founder once bought http://www.dynamicspeaking.com for only $119.00. So, don’t feel that all is lost just because the domain name you want is not available. Make an offer and see what happens.

BIG WARNING: Make sure your name, or your company name is listed as the “Administrative Contact” AND the “Registrant” for your website.

Some people will trick you into doing everything for you including listing “themselves” as the administrative contact and registrant.

This gives THEM total control of your website. You’ll be stuck dealing with them every step of the way and if you want to move to a different host, they may make it very difficult or even impossible for you to do so. In effect, they own your website. And it will be even worse if they go out of business and disappear.

SECOND BIG WARNING: Don’t check out domain names unless you are ready to purchase right at that moment. Nobody can explain it for sure, but some underworld force seems to be watching you check out domain names and if you don’t buy the names immediately, they are no longer available when you come back.

You might wonder, “Once I have the domain does that name automatically go up on the Web?”

The answer is no. You can find places that “park it.” This means if you just get the name and you’re not ready to go live with it, you can store it somewhere for almost nothing. When you’re ready to go live with it, you have to pick a Web Hosting Service. There are thousands of those around. Therefore, you can park it for almost nothing if you buy it now.

One last thing about domains. You aren’t actually “buying” a domain name. You are leasing it for a period of time.

Get more info on how domains can grow your business.

 

 

 

Categories : web design
Comments (0)
Mar
05

WordPress Plugins

Posted by: | Comments (0)

http://www.imtcva.org
What kinds of WordPress plugins work best? Learning the latest blog techniques can help you find a job. The Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia is an Internet marketing school designed to teach you everything you would need to know about selling your products online. No only can you sell your products and services, you can also get hired by companies looking for the same thing. Check out http://www.imtcva.org  for more information.

Categories : web design
Comments (0)
Jan
27

Where is Your Focal Point?

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Is Your Content Working For You?

Local is a big catch phrase recently.  Local grown food. Local search.  Support your community, buy local! The Internet is taking notice.  Most likely because we all live, play and shop locally. While it’s incredibly easy to go online, purchase something and have it shipped, there are something you want to see and feel before you buy.  There are something you can’t do online, like theater, sports, etc.  It’s only logical that local search is going to be more important than regional or global.  (Except in the case of hard to find items or services, in which case, these are special cases and not the norm.)

There are 4 Billion local searches on Google per month and 61% of all local searches result in purchases (according to National Positions).  That’s a lot of local activity.  Perhaps

This could be an amazing focal point of your site.  If you start to include LOCAL news and local events in in your articles on your site—in a relevant way of course—this could break you into your local market—or into OTHER local markets.

Are Your Keywords Focused?

Your articles should not include everything—including the kitchen sink.  Articles—and keywords—should be tightly focused on your subject matter. If in a 500 page article you mention “hamburger” once, it’s probably not a keyword. Read your article back.  The the keywords and phrases should naturally “pop” out.

Your article should not wander all over the place.  It should have a couple key points and support of those points.  The key points should translate well to “keywords” or “key phrases”.  If you are using WordPress or something else with tagging capabilities, don’t forget to use those as tags as well so you can link like articles together on your site.

Does your Site Do TOO Much?

If your site does too much, it can be hard to find any singular value in it, from the point-of-view of the search engine. It’s possible that if you niche your products or services a little bit you will have a better response.  Amazon sells everything under the sun, but you don’t have the resources or connections to do that.  Stick with what you can control, focus on and excel with.

Are you having trouble with your business?  Unable to generate traffic or sales?  Learn quickly how to get on the right path and focus on the important details to improve your internet marketing.

Categories : web design
Comments (0)

When I started doing “web design” by in 1997, you had HTML.  It was fairly easy to learn. If you used any graphics, you were pushing the envelope.  There really was not very much to learn. Since my friend and I had started a web design company—Web Age Services, Inc.—I learned a little bit about HTML/Web Design and learned a bit about running a dedicated web server, web server, and DNS server/Nameserver. We had a few clients, learned a bit about business as well as the Internet, and quietly folded after a year and a half of losing money.  We were young, the Internet was young and no one wanted to do business with “kids”.  My point is, back then, you didn’t have to learn very much.

Times have changed.  We’re getting ready to move into HTML5—which is a far cry from early versions, heck we even get NATIVE video tags in this one—and it’s starting to get tricky. You could feasibly build a website using just HTML, but it’s so easy to do so much more with a little bit of guidance these days.  That’s where IMTC comes in.  IMTC will let you know what you need to know, what you need to focus on and avoid all the fluff.  Cut to the chase.

A LOT goes into making a website these days.  I mentioned HTML5, but this is just the structure of a webpage.  This is saying, “this is a graphic.”, “this is a paragraph”.  To format and position elements, you should be using styles—Cascading Style Sheets or CSS. Styles interact with elements individually or in groups.  CSS starts to get a little confusing, but not nearly as confusing as a scripting language.  Javascript, PHP, ASP…. these are languages that start to do complex functions. In all likelihood, you won’t be working directly with any scripting languages, but you should know how to interact with things that do.

Search Engine Optimization?  When I started, there were a handful of directories. Now, not only has the search game changed completely but there’s a whole “science” behind it all. You want your site to be found if people are looking for your product or service. Let IMTC teach you.

IMTC covers basics to get your started, and then focuses on the aspects you will need that will help you create successful websites and bring traffic to those sites. Marketing has always been a challenge, and the Internet is no different. IMTC helps you define the tools to help conquer that challenge.

The Internet is always evolving.  In the past 15 years it’s seen some enormous changes.  Don’t get left behind and don’t try to tackle this monster on your own.  There’s lots of places to get lost.  Visit IMTC today and talk to an advisor to see if could take advantage of the Internet.

Categories : web design
Comments (0)

“If you build it, they will come.”

Unfortunately, these words are SO far from the truth.  You cannot expect to put up a website these days and people will just magically show up.

One thing people may not realize is, a search engine goes through your website, cataloging valuable words, phrases and content. When someone searches for a term in Google, what is actually going on?  Well, the person is saying, “Hey Google, what do you know about XYZ?”

Google, of course, knows very little about xyz, but he’s been to LOTS of websites.  Some of them, about XYZ.  In fact, Google has cataloged all the sites it knows of about XYZ and when you ask about it, it tells about the ones it found.  From the most valuable, to the least valuable. Google has it’s own artbitrary way of determining value, but they are always striving to make sure it’s fair and valuable.  For instance, let’s say you wanted to do a site about boats.  Well, let’s say you used only one word.  Boats.  Over and over again.  This does not make you the most valuable authority on boats. It makes you a spammer!  The content saturation of the page is such that there is nothing but boats.  That cannot be valuable to anyone.

So, you should start to realize that a small amount of content does not a website make.  You’ll have to increase the amount of valuable information you have on the site.

Another thing to consider is to “narrow” your field.  If your topic is too broad, you will run the risk of direct competition with businesses have have more longevity, more resources and brand recognition already set up to work against you. Ingraining yourself to a smaller audience can actually allow you to capture a larger market share than if you had tried to cover a broader topic. I always like to use “running” as a very broad topic, and “barefoot” or “minimalist” running as the niche.

This is a “nice start” but isn’t going to have internet traffic bursting down your door.  You have to get out and “drive traffic”. A website is a nice repository of information and a great sales counter and interface, but it is NOT the salesman in your workforce. You need to get your information out to where people are already talking about your topic.  Is your topic barefoot running? At a minimum you need to get into a discussion with runners.  All the better if you can find people already talking about BAREFOOT running.

Even if you get out there and let people know about your website, you still have to entice them to come.  Either you are directly giving away information in your discussion that incites people to see what else you have to say, or you offer something of value they want.  This is a tricky technique—essentially you are bribing people to come to your site. Make sure that it’s an appropriate time and forum to offer someone something.  Just popping into a discussion and and saying, “Hey guys!  I’m giving away free marshmallow people at my site!  ‘Kay thanks BYE!” is NOT the right way to make friends. You need to develop relationships in the community, contribute to discussions and then let people know that you have a wealth of resources back at your site.  Typically, this is done either through a signature file in back-and-forth types of discussions, article or comment.

Don’t neglect local connections!  They can prove easier to reach than a national audience.

Making money on the Internet is not extremely difficult, but it’s not instant and there is some consistent effort involved.  Prevent mistakes by getting certified in Internet Marketing at IMTC.

Categories : web design
Comments (0)
Dec
27

Building a Better Website

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Let’s dive into a little “theory” today.

I’m not talking about websites that sell. There are whole courses on that. I’m talking about the basic concepts you need on a website so that people aren’t going to think you’re a fly-by-night crook.

“Let’s See Some ID please…..”

I’m talking branding. When you do business with people, you don’t want to do business from the shadows, or from behind a mask, so put your “business face” forward. If you aren’t in the market for a logo, you should at the very least get a designed header on your website. This will be the main graphic at the top of each page as people navigate through your pages. Why? Well, first of all, it let’s them know “who” you are or what you are selling—or talking about. And having a header across all your pages allows them to be grouped together and identified as being together. This is important if you use a shopping cart “service”.  A shopping cart that is “linked” to your pages but actually secured on a different site.  (Kickstartcart.com, oneshoppingcart.com) You can customize these pages so that they have a similar look at feel—you don’t want anyone to bolt because the look of the site suddenly changed.  They might feel like they have left your site, or something fishy happened. We definitely don’t want to scare off a sale.

“Can You Tell Me How to Get…….”

Navigation.  People will be literally LOST on your website without an easily identifiable navigation area.  Try not to re-invent the wheel here.  A basic text menu is great for getting people around.  Try to stick to one or two words.  If you are trying to get a “phrase” up in the navigation menu, you really need to rethink what you are trying to do with the page.  And make sure people can find the important stuff if it’s not ALL up in the navigation bar.  It has become customary to find vital information down at the bottom of the site.  Typically, on each page.  Sometimes this is the main navigation bar with some additional navigation to disclaimer information, privacy policies, contact information, refund info, etc.  We as a culture have grown to expect a “disclaim” near the bottom of the page.  Think of any car ad.  Furniture sales.  Electronics. Special sales.  All of them have it.

Your main navigation should consist of “Home”, “Contact”, “Products / Catalog”, “About”.  This is really where you get to structure the site.  Freebies?  You want them at least near the navigation if not IN the navigation. (And it should stand apart…. you want people to notice this section.) Do you have articles?  Members only login?  These need to be accessible in the navigation portion of your site/page.

“Headlines and Subheads”

Make sure page is “skim” friendly.  If you are breaking any sort of information down, it should be structured so that people know exactly when they are hitting a new block of information. Headlines should be large blocks of information subheads should be larger than the body copy and distinctly informative, short, and to the point.  They really shouldn’t break on another line.  You can use subheads to break a timeline or to change topics.

“Promotion and Standout Information”

Sidebars serve several functions.  One is to break the ledge of the legible copy.  If the copy were too wide, it would be difficult to focus on making reading difficult. It creates a logical break and some interest in the shape of the site.

It also provides a very strong area to callout information or promote and market your information and products, or someone ELSE’S information and products—ad space.  Typically, you won’t be having revenue generating space until you have a decent amount of specific traffic, then you can start to solicit advertisers.  But don’t let that stop YOU from using that space.  It is prime real estate.  You can use it to draw attention to specific information.  You can change the information PER PAGE if you want.  This sidebar—near the top—has been an important position for opt-in boxes and freebies.  A perfect way to capture interest and build your potential customer database.

“Keep It Simple, Keep It Clean”

These aren’t difficult ideas to put in place.  They will keep your site looking clean and easy to get around.  Image goes a long way in business.  Think about the places you shop.  They are all organized (the mall has a directory), with products neatly and visibly on shelves.  Information is king, but people have to be able to find it.  Now…. to tackle my desk….

Don’t know how to build a website? Check out the Internet Marketing Training Center to start a career on the Internet. Build websites, market and promote products all over the Internet.  Create your own products so that you can create your own income!

Categories : web design
Comments (0)

Setting Up Your Website With WordPress

Setting Up a WordPress Website

Setting Up Your WordPress Website

If you are new to WordPress you may find it to be a bit overwhelming to understand. This article will help you get started with setting up your WordPress website.

First off, WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that enables you to create a static website or blog. The WordPress software is free and can either be downloaded from WordPress.org and manually installed on your server, or you can install it directly from within your hosting account.

Setting up your WordPress site is fairly easy and should only take several minutes to complete. Here are the simple steps to take:

  1. Register your domain name.
  2. Set up a website hosting account.
  3. Install the latest version of WordPress.

Register Your Domain Name

There are two places you can register your domain name. One place would be a domain registration company, and the other would be your hosting provider. It would be much simpler to purchase your domain from your hosting provider versus a registration company simply because you eliminate the extra steps of having to change the Nameservers. And most new website owners don’t have a clue of what a Nameserver is.

At the moment you can find a domain name for under $10 per year.

Sign Up With Website Hosting

Next you will need to purchase a web hosting account. You can find reliable and cheap web hosting for under $7 per month. An excellent place to start is by visiting GreatInternetMarketing.com. The majority of web host support WordPress, but be sure to check before signing up for their service.

Installing WordPress

You have two choices when installing WordPress to your host, an automatic install or manual install. The easiest and quickest way is by using the automatic installation wizard your host provides. If you choose to install manually you will have to download the WordPress software, manually setup your database, then upload all the files for installation.

Upon completion of the installation you receive a link to your WordPress administration login page. Here you will be able to login, access and manage your website or blog. You will be able to change your websites design layout, theme and add content to your pages.

For more complete information on setting up a WordPress website, I encourage you to visit the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginiahttp://imtcva.org , and please don’t forget to download the FREE career brochure!

Categories : blogging, web design
Comments (1)