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Website Guide

Tips to help ensure your site is a success

 
Follow our simple guide to get your site up and running successfully
Choose a good Domain Name
 
Choose a suitable domain name before anything else. Ideally the name should be close to the name of your company. Try to avoid long names, or names using hyphens, as these can be easily mistyped. Consider registering .com and .co.uk versions of your name to protect yourself. For more information on domain names click here
Design Software
 

Unless you are an experienced HTML programmer, you will need to use an HTML editor program. There are many on the market, but many of the free downloads offer very little in features and are really only suited to those wishing to design very plain and basic single-page sites, or those with a working knowledge of HTML.

It is worth spending the money on the fully featured products which are powerful, yet easy to use, allowing you to quickly create a site that looks clean and professional. Highly recommended programs are: Adobe Dreamweaver, Netobjects Fusion, and CoffeeCup

 

 
How will your customers find you!
 

Before designing a single page of your site you must think about how your customers will find you. If your site is simply going to act as a showcase and add-on for your existing customers, then go ahead and design. If your site is aimed at attracting new customers then this stage is critical. You need to consider what keywords accurately describe your business, and what search string your potential customers might enter into Google to find your site. For example, if your company were selling childrens' wooden toys you would consider "wooden toys", "childrens toys" "baby toys" "toys" "infant toys" etc. Try to focus on a small number of keywords. It is these keywords which will form the basis of your google ranking. You want to attain a page one ranking when anyone types your chosen keywords into the Google search engine. I stress Google because, although there are many other search engines, Google accounts for over 74% of all UK internet searches, and so is critical to your success.

These keywords now form the basis of your web-site design for your index page; the very first page your customers will visit. The keywords or phrases need to appear in the HTML META tags at the beginning of your web page. If you are proficient in HTML programming this will pose no problems. If you are not, our search engine submission software will do all this for you.

 

Keywords
 

These keywords now form the basis of your web-site design for your index page; the very first page your customers will visit. The keywords or phrases need to appear in the HTML META tags at the beginning of your web page. If you are proficient in HTML programming this will pose no problems. If you are not, our search engine submission software will do all this for you. For more details click here, and for a more in-depth discussion on search engine optimisation (SEO) click here
Now you can begin designing your site

Who are your customers?
 

Consider who will be using your site. If they are advanced users then they should need little guidance in accessing the site but if they are going to be less familiar with the internet then this should be a consideration in the design and function of your site. It should be clear, simple in design, and easy to navigate.

Structure
 
Before getting stuck in on the page design you should consider the structure of your site. It may be helpful to sketch out a plan of the main pages you wish to include on your site, as this will help you in designing navigation panels for your index page.

Start with the basic layout of the page, the content can come later. Use CSS (cascading style sheets) as much as possible to control the look of your site. Without these rules, browsers will use their own default settings to display your pages, and the results may be far from what you intended!

 
Design
 

In designing the site every effort should be made to keep the site visually attractive, simple and intuitive to navigate, and bug-free.

As mentioned earlier, working with Cascading Style Sheets allows you to develop a theme for the appearance of your whole site, ensuring a palette of colours, and a consistency of fonts that will give your site a strong brand image.

Keep pages uncluttered. If in any doubt, move items to another page. Once the site is complete, then ask colleagues and friends to view it, as they may pick up bugs that you have not seen. It is also advisable to test the site on a selection of browser types; Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox may all display your site differently, and some may encounter problems with your coding, where others do not. The answer is to test, test, and test again, until you are completely happy that the site is robust and consistent in appearance across all browser platforms.

 
Launch Time!
 

You can upload your site to our server at any time, but take care if there are automated payment options or ordering facilities on your site. Until you are able to process these orders, you should blank out any sections of web page that would allow such actions. This can be easily done by simply editing the section of the page with comment remarks /// around the offending section. Simply remove these when you are ready to do business.

It is also suggested that you make it clear on your index page that the site is under construction, thereby avoiding customers navigating through your site, only to be frustrated when they try and order your products. remember, as soon as your site is uploaded to our server, it may be examined by the search engine robots, thus generating customers even when you have not begun marketing the site.

 

 
 
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