Monday, March 31, 2008

6 Web Design Tips to Grab Attention

by Moe Tamani

As every good website design specialist knows, a well designed web page is able to draw the focus of readers to the content, news and events that the client you are designing the page for specifies. Of the many methods that can be used to accomplish this, often the easiest and simplest method is to simply modify the size of headline font. Using a moderately larger font to highlight headlines is very useful for attracting the attention of readers. Newspaper and media companies understand this concept well, and a great web design company should too.

Using Typography to Capture Attention Most website design specialists should be familiar with the idea of changing different aspects of the font used on a website in order to capture the attention of readers. It is important to note, however, that this does not mean making headlines as large as possible. There are some general guidelines concerning typography that every web design company should know and adhere to. Some of the more important ones are as follows:

Web Design Tip #1

Only emphasize the most important content. Having large fonts throughout the site makes it unattractive and will not successfully engage readers. A good web design company understands that only headlines that are of particular interest to customers should be highlighted. You should only highlight headlines that will make readers read the rest of the text because they really want to know more. You should also keep the font size at an acceptable level. Ridiculously huge font sizes are not attractive to readers at all.

Web Design Tip #2

Larger is a relative term. Having a headline with larger font means making the font larger than that used for the rest of the text. Make sure the headline font is not too much bigger than the normal text, because that would look ridiculous. Having a huge headline but text that a reader has to squint at to read is not likely to attract any positive attention.

Web Design Tip #3

Determine beforehand what font sizes to use and when. A good web design specialist gets the client to decide which headlines and titles should be highlighted through an increase in font size and also exactly what font size to use. You can then follow this standard throughout the duration of the project. Your web design company will benefit from this agreement, because it will allow you to properly refuse any last-minute requests from clients to change the font size of particular headlines or titles.

Font size is not the only aspect of fonts that can be varied in order to increase readership of the web page that you are designing. Changing other aspects of the font you use can also be effective. You can switch between fonts from the same family in order to highlight certain points or content. For example, using the font Sans-Serif for most of the page and using Serif, which is more striking, to highlight more important content. Other properties of fonts that can be varied are color, weight and style. Bold or italicized font is also attention-grabbing.

Fonts are not the only option to consider when trying to make parts of your website stand out and capture the attention of online readers. Modifying other aspects of the site can also prove useful in attempting to improve readership. Some of them are listed here:

Web Design Tip #4

One word - pictures. Pictures are a universal form of communication and they are very effective at making your web page more interesting, holding the attention of readers longer.

Web Design Tip #5

Use different templates. Changing the way content, links and menus are arranged is a good way to keep readers interested in your site, instead of letting them become bored with a repetitive design.

Web Design Tip #6

Make use of animations. If a picture says a thousand words, then a moving picture says a million of them. Your web design company or your client may request that the site you make contain animations, which are even better than pictures at grabbing the attention of visitors to the site. Remember that animations take longer to load than normal web pages, however, and heavily animated web sites may take longer to load than the reader is willing to spend waiting.

By using the techniques that have been laid out in this article, capturing the attention of readers may seem like a relatively easy task. A good web design specialist must remember, however, not to overdo it. While it is all too easy to fill your website with all manner of colourful, oversized text, you must remember that the aim is to make certain points stand out. Also, you must learn to use your judgement in deciding the magnitude of emphasis awarded to different types of content. A sale definitely does not merit as much emphasis as a global conflict. Therefore it is in your best interests, and those of your web design company,to ensure that emphasis is given in proportion to the importance of the content.

About the Author

Moe Tamani is a SEO web design consultant Dallas Web Design.

Friday, March 28, 2008

How Much Bandwidth Do You Need For Your Web Hosting Plan?

by Kenny Tan

Hosting bandwidth is determined as the intensity of data transferred across an internet connection. But you have to know how much bandwidth do you need while choosing your web hosting plans.

Just be aware when someone claims that they can provide unlimited bandwidth or monthly transfer on their plans. Actually anyone claiming "Unlimited Bandwidth" is simply lying to you only because there's no such thing as "Unlimited Bandwidth" for any web server available on the market.

I have never seen any data center or broadband company offering an internet connection that can provide "Unlimited Megabytes per Second." So, how could a web hosting company do it, which they normally doesn't even own the network access lines, and yet they still claims to the customers that it will provide them "Unlimited Bandwidth"?

Very often, high bandwidth websites hosted on these "Unlimited" plans will get disconnected, and no refund would be given for the customers because the web hosting company will always say that their website is violated their Acceptable Use Policy or Terms of Service. But if the web hosting company is providing unmetered bandwidth then this is acceptable just because unmetered is different from unlimited and this mean the customer can use up as much bandwidth as they can and the hosting company will pay for the additional bandwidth. Of course, all of us know, most of the websites will never use up all the bandwidth on a server.

So, whenever you are visiting a site that is promoting "Unlimited Bandwidth" as one of the account features, be sure to read their Acceptable Use Policy, or the Terms of Service on the site. Read the text carefully and look for the clause that stated what is the "Unlimited" disclaimer for the plans being offered on the site.

Always remember, when you are going to look for web hosting services (those who stated clearly the hosting bandwidth their offered), you have to make your best estimation and monitor your account usage carefully within the first few months. Apply these factors into consideration while doing your estimation:

*How many visitors will access to your website?

*How many pages you are planning to create for access?

*How large are the graphics and HTML files size you will be uploading?

Large audio/video files, programs, and file downloads will usually required more bandwidth. Flash websites use plenty of bandwidth too. Virtual Reality (VR) and full-length three-dimensional audio/visual presentations will required the most bandwidth of all.

Though your estimation may not that accurate, but at least it still gives you something to work with until your site has been going online for a while and actual getting the generated traffic statistics for your website.

So, in conclusion, do not fall into the unlimited bandwidth trap that some companies are throwing at you.

About the Author

Are you looking for an affordable, cheap and reliable shared web hosting, reseller web hosting or master reseller web hosting? Please visit http://www.hosting4wealth.net now to read more details or you can also visit the author hosting blog at http://www.hosting4wealth.com/blog for new educative articles on web hosting.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Web Design Stance on Back Button and How to Use it

by Moe Tamani

Any experienced web designer should know without having to be told that the Back Button is an extremely part of any web page. Your web design company certainly expects you to understand this fundamental concept of web design. You should realize the truth of this claim after having surfed the internet and visited various web sites for some time. All too often, however, web designers take this important button for granted. "Back" or "Back to Home/Start" links that are sometimes built into web pages are frequently poorly designed, and do not lead users to the page that they were previously on. Directing a user to the exact page that they were on before they were linked to the current page requires more than a little programming knowledge. When they do not function properly, these "Back" links reflect poorly upon you site and often discourage visitors from exploring more of your site.

How People Browse the Web

A large number of people online visit web sites with no specific purpose in mind other than to gain a general idea of what that web site contains. If what they see in the first few seconds on the site does not interest them, then their cursor immediately moves to the Back button in the upper left hand corner of the screen to bring them back to their previous page. Some people use this button so often that they fail to realize how much they rely on the Back button for their convenience. They visit one site after another, scrolling up and down each one, and after determining that the site contains nothing of interest to them, head straight for the back button and away from the site.

Do Not Try To Impact This Negatively

Web designers all over the world have a common reaction to this phenomenon - they do their best to prevent it. Regardless of which web design company you work for, or what programs and tools you use to create your web sites, you do not want visitors to simply skim your web page before leaving. No, you want them to stay. And some web page designers take extreme measures to try to prevent visitors from leaving their sites. Some program the page to open in a window that does not have a back button, others make their page open in a new window and cause the old window to close. It is not difficult to see that web users will quickly become annoyed with this, and it definitely does not present you or the web design company you represent in a good light. By doing this, web designers cripple their own web sites because they have deprived visitors of the standard controls used to navigate websites and they have also ensured that the visitors will leave the web site as soon as possible and not return. This is hardly ideal for either web designers or their customers. So, instead of fighting the back button, try using its presence to your advantage.

How to Take Advantage

Taking advantage of the back button does not entail giving your users instructions on how to use the button. They already know this. Instead, you want to take advantage of the fact that the visitors to your web site are thoroughly predictable in that they will inevitably head for the back button after some time. Try to take advantage of this constant attention paid to the back button. Here are some ways that you do this:

* Any advertisements or branding elements that you put on your web site could be placed in the upper left hand corner of the site, near the back button. They are likely to receive more attention here from visitors using the back button than anywhere else on the page.

* Make your branding elements or advertisements links to other pages. By doing that, you create the chance that visitors might just link themselves to another one of your pages if they miss the back button of if you are branding elements catch their attention.

* Make use of the server logs to obtain information about the pages that visitors to your site were on before they were linked over. This will provide your web design company and clients with important information that they can make use of. If you know what sites visitors to your site usually return to, you could provide a direct address to those sites from yours. If, for example, visitors are coming from a search engine, then you could provide visitors from there with an object that will connect them with that search engine and also help them search your site. It is important to remember that one of the most helpful things designers can do for visitors is to include details on how to search your site. This is likely to earn you the appreciation of not only your visitors, but also of clients and your web design company.

About the Author

Moe Tamani is a Dallas SEO consultant for a leading Dallas Web Design company.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Bit About Unlimited Domain Web Hosting

by Matt R

Unlimited domain web hosting is perfect for you if you are planning to build multiple web sites. This is because you can keep multiple domains on one hosting account. Most hosting services that offer unlimited domains will also give you access to the other services that they offer, as well as the ability to create sub-domains, databases, and email accounts for each of your domains.

However, you must bear in mind that although there are many hosting companies out there that boast of unlimited domains, most companies only offer up to 5 domain names per account. Nobody really needs an unlimited number of websites, but if you are expecting to build more and more domains in the future, signing up for unlimited domain names won't hurt you in the least. In fact, it will save you the hassle and costs of singing up for a new account once you have reached your domain limit, or moving all the contents from your sites to another provider.

Now that you have decided to go with unlimited domain hosting you can turn your attention on the next important step: finding a reliable web hosting company. Just like choosing typical web hosting companies, you can get a headache just by looking at all the web hosting services out there who say that they have the perfect unlimited domain hosting plan for you. This might not be too attractive an advice, but try visiting a few dozen web hosting sites first and see what they offer. This activity might hold the beginnings of a terrific migraine, but it will all be worth it, especially if you finally find the site that caters to your specific needs.

A reliable web hosting site should be credible, and you can see this good evidence if this in the site's address and phone number. A good web hosting site should also offer you the right kind of web space and bandwidth, which for personal or small business purposes can be fairly small. Small business domains usually take up at most 50 gigabytes of bandwidth but if you are planning to hold a large amount of information on your site or domain choose a host that can provide you with the right size that you need.

A good unlimited domain host should also have a good uptime guarantee, preferably 99.5% of higher, especially if you are doing business online.

Speaking of online business, you should give your customers the security that they deserve by ensuring that your site has a Secure Sockets Layer certificate. Most customers look for this every time they conduct financial transactions with online businesses, and it is one way for web-savvy customers to determine if your web site or domain can be trusted or not. Also, when it comes to security choose a host that will provide you protection from spammers.

As you have finally realized by now, choosing the right unlimited domain hosting service is no walk in the park. However, all that effort will be worth it once you find the service that you can rely on.

About the Author

Visit The Top 10 Web Hosts today to find out more about the most Reliable Web Hosting companies in the business and learn a bit more about Shared Web Hosting.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why every business needs a website!

by Carlos Martinez

Some of today's business owners, i regret to say, still don't see the benefits or needless to say, the use, in getting a website for their business. This article is dedicated to you, the people that don't realize is that the e-business market is now the leading market. Be it in general sales, community growth, publicity capabilities, or anything else that's possible to translate onto the web, the internet is the place to grow yourself, your business, or your ideas. Just by doing daily searches anyone can easily see that new businesses are flourishing every day by easily promoting themselves on the web at minimal costs. It's said that the internet market has grown over 400% in sales in the last 4-5 years. What does this tell us?, it seems that your competitors may have already discovered the secrets of internet marketing. Your next goal should be to make that obviously necessary merger and get yourself online.

One of the main and obvious benefits of opening a web based business or extending your business onto the World Wide Web, is that it will give your business instant credibility with your new or already existing customers. I mean, not only are you providing your existing clientbase with a new and more convenient storefront, you're also giving these same people that "warm & fuzzy" feeling of knowing that you're store's presence is there and available whenever they need it. Now, once you're online, those people that may have never even stepped foot in your store, seem to become your top consumers. All in all, you open another doorway; a doorway that in it's most literal terms, "is always open."

Another great benefit of owning an online business, is what I believe to be the main reason for the 60% increase in "Baby Boomers" in the last few years, the ability to fake a bigger presence. What many small business owners and new entrepreneurs don't quite grasp right off the start, is that you're business can be as large as you want it to be online. Here's an example; Maybe you have a small "Mom & Pop" store that gets no more than just over a few hundred unique customers per year/month, well, start to prepare yourself because once your business presence hits online, your audience has potential of growing intercontinental. Let me be more specific, the well known Google was founded by a couple of college students doing a research project. How about Craig's List ?, well, read for yourself

(as posted on his site http://www.craigslist.org/about/press/craigsonlinelistofstuff.html): "I saw a lot of people helping each other out on The Well (a pioneering online community in the Bay Area). I said, "Hey, I can do that." I saw the San Francisco housing shortage and asked people to send in housing notices. People asked for more categories, things kept getting better." "

In Short, even a online business that is run from your home while you conduct your daily work in your pajamas, can make a corporate impression in today's market. Just like many others before you have had the dream of walking on the profit path of the WWW, you to, have the ability to grow your presence at an amazing rate, all, if you want, at your leisure from the comfort of your home computer.

In addition to this new, and unlimited publicity, when online, you have the tools to reinforce and upgrade your existing sales force and better than that, your customer service and company contact methods grow a whole new front. With all of the possibilities for you in obtaining tools and resources to aid you in achieving your businesses goals, you almost become overwhelmed with what prosperous ventures are to come, after all, now you even have tools that will have consistent tracking of your market with no extra work for you. Other than the already mentioned tools though, capabilities such as the obvious availability of 24/7 on-line purchases, reduction in stocking / restocking labor, reduction in costs involved in having to hire so much people, the possibilities are truely endless...

In all honesty though, you as a business owner, need to realize this one thing, buyers are now expecting their favorite stores to have websites. That is the main point, you should make it a point as an entrepreneur to promote your business in all ways possible, and more recently than ever, buyers are becoming strict web buyers. This means that many of the people that might have been an addition to your walk in clientbase in the long run, may now never find you and your location in the economic jungle that we're all dealing with today, without you having a web presence.

In the business world of today, we have to please our client crowd and general audience, this can be achieved in one main way....... E-Commerece. Give your customer the ability to purchase at their convenience and from the comfort of their own home, help yourself to the profits of the proven to be successful internet market, otherwise, miss a large portion of possible prospective customers. "Those who mainly buy online.". If you don't take this article to heart as a business owner, at least keep in mind that online sales, within the last 3 years, have proven to have higher net dollar / sale amount than in-store purchases. That it itself should show you, the economy is merging to a new economic style, a style that has endless capabilities. Join in and flourish.

About the Author

Have you, as a business owner been thinking lately that you're business has been falling behind the competition? Have you ever though of the reason why? Maybe you are missing a part of the growing economy, or to be more specific, maybe you need the essential part of a growing business. For more articles, or to inquire about web design sevices please visit our http://www.web-designer1.com

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Basics About PHP Web Hosting

by Matt R

Most of us use turn on our PCs everyday to chat, email, play, and surf. Seldom do we wonder how these pages that we are staring at are formed, or how they came to be available to us. The ultimate computer techie may know the answer to these questions by heart, but the world is not populated by computer techies alone, and so some of us are doomed never to know how these pages and pages of information on the net are available to us with just one click of the mouse, and most of us don't care. This is fine, but for those whose curiosity cannot be satisfied or are considering a web business, here is what it is all about.

Web hosting is a type of internet hosting service that provides private individuals or organizations their own websites through which they can do business or simply announce their presence to the rest of the world. Web hosts provide other companies or individuals a space on their servers, which is also a way for the customers to get access to the Internet.

The most basic type of web hosting is the webpage and small-scale file hosting; these support the small web pages that almost everyone on the planet now has. Internet service providers usually offer small web pages or home pages for free. Practically anyone with a pc who knows how to type can create his own webpage. Data uploaded to these pages usually do not need a lot of processing and usually is free or very cheap. Web pages for commercial uses usually cost more. Complex sites also need a complex set of software or services and application development platforms, and PHP is one of these.

What exactly does PHP mean and what does it do?

PHP: hypertext preprocessor is a widely used computer scripting language that is used for web development or creating web pages. It runs on web servers and works by taking in web inputs in PHP and generating web pages as a result. Essentially, PHP filters in streams of data and processes it so that it can be displayed to the user. As of now half a million domains are running this language since you can download it for free from www.php.net.

PHP is used by developers to create pages quickly with the use of simple scripts into HTML. Large websites can be managed easier since web page components can now be placed in one HTML file allowing easier access and easier maintenance. With PHP you only need to use one application to generate all the pages of information from a database.

PHP was created by Danish programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in1994 initially as a way to manage his own home page and to display his resume. It was official released on June 8, 1995, under the name PHP (personal Homepage) Tools, which is the first name of the PHP Version 1.0. As of 2006 the PHP has been modified eleven times with new additions and improvements along the way. The latest version, PHP version 5.2.0 was released November 2, 2006.

PHP is the fourth most popular computer programming languages, next to Java, C, and Visual Basic.

About the Author

Visit The Top 10 Web Hosts today to find out more about the most Reliable Web Hosting companies in the business and learn a bit more about SQL Web Hosting too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Choosing the Right Content Management System

by Ricardo d Argence

Building and maintaining a web site is a lot of work; one of the tools that can make it significantly easier is a dedicated content management system.

In a nutshell, a content management system is a set of server side utilities that let you manage your site's cascading style sheets in an easy to use, centralized interface.

More sophisticated systems include the ability to upload content, allow visitor creation of contents, and even manage libraries of graphics, affiliate program links and more.

While there is a technical layer to using a manager, the essence of one is that you can buy something "off the shelf" to get your web site up and running rather than paying for a custom developer to write one for you.

Your need for a CMS will grow as the number of pages (or linked sites) you run increases.

The most common installation strategy for a content management system is when upgrading an existing web site to be more interactive, most often when the client is asking you to replace a sporadically updated company web site with blog-style software.

If you're maintaining web sites for clients, the point of a management system is that now your client can do the mind numbingly tedious bits of posting new content; it no longer comes to your inbox to be sorted, formatted and posted, when those operations can take longer for the applications to load than it does to do the operation in question.

If you're maintaining your own web site, it does you more good the more you intend to update a site. Lots of sites are still holding to the 1996 model of company web sites four pages that never ever change.

The key to getting good traffic (and good responses) on your web site is all about fresh, regularly updated content, and the CMS makes that easier for you to do less overhead and less work, and more time spent doing the kinds of things you went into business to do.

Choosing the right system means looking at what you intend to do with your web site. In a nutshell, your choices come down to the following:

Hire someone to write one for you. This can get expensive, fast. If all you're looking for is a front page blog, avoid this one WordPress or Movable Type do it better and are free.

If you're looking for something more specific, like on site whiteboards or version tracking of submitted articles, or deadline management for freelance contributors, then a custom content management system is worth looking into.

Buy (or license) a commercial package. If you're doing enterprise grade IT work, a commercial package with support might be your best bet.

If you're running your own business, there are good odds that your hosting provider provides a couple of content management packages that you can use.

Install an open source package. These have the advantage of the right price (free), but may require more technical expertise to set up and run.

If you're running on a hosting server with shared hosting environments, you may have to get your hosting provider to install it and set it up for you.

With this knowledge in hand, choosing the right management system should be a straightforward decision.

About the Author

Alojate.com is the premier web hosting company in Mexico, offering a range or services for all business needs.
http://www.alojateextra.com http://www.car-videos.us

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Some Basics about E-commerce Web Hosting

by Matt R

E-commerce is has grown to unseen proportions these past years, and this is seen in the amount of buying and selling of products and services over the internet and other computer networks. E-commerce is starting to turn into a way of life for most people, since more and more people are now starting to do their buying or selling online. If you are planning to jump into the e-commerce bandwagon you need to have a reliable e-commerce web hosting service, as well as other important things.

First things first. You obviously would not be thinking about putting up an online business if you have nothing to sell. Most people who think about going into e-commerce usually already have some selling experience off-line, and want to do the same thing with their products online. The amount of products that you expect to sell on day-to-day basis will have some say on the type of web hosting package that you should get.

If you are expecting to sell a maximum of 20 items online, you can do well with a small hosting account. If you are expecting to sell hundreds of items per day you will definitely need a larger account, with a larger disk space, bandwidth, and a secure connection for financial transactions.

Doing e-commerce necessitates a web site with a secure connection so that you can send and receive important data like PIN numbers, account numbers, passwords, etc. across the Internet without the fear that it can be intercepted and read by anyone on the net. A secure connection means that your website address has an https before it. If your website address does not have this, web-savvy potential customers will surely stay clear of you and your business, since they know that important information like credit card or bank account numbers won't be safe on your site.

To get a secure site you need to get an SSL, or a Secure Sockets Layer certificate, which will be installed on your website for a small fee once you have complied with the requirements for the certificate.

If you find conducting and managing financial transactions on your web site too much of a hassle you can opt for third party gateways. They can manage your financial transactions for you and you can direct your customers to them for payments. A popular third party gateway like PayPal is free to set up although it takes a small fee from each sale that you make a small price to pay if you want people to trust you and your business.

Shopping carts is also another important feature that any e-commerce venture cannot do without. These are scripts which are installed in your hosting account that will basically provide a structure to your site and will allow your customers to navigate your site easily.

Shopping carts organize your products into categories, which makes it easier for the customer to find the product that he wants. Shopping carts also keeps you posted on returning customers and the products that they have bought, allowing you to make suggestions about other items that they may need.

About the Author

Visit The Top 10 Web Hosts today to find out more about the most Reliable Web Hosting companies in the business and learn a bit more about e-Commerce Web Hosting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why Do You Need a Content Management System

by Ricardo d Argence

Content management systems are a suite of tools that handle a lot of the technical aspects of website management for web developers.

While you can make a simple static web page with just raw HTML, the sophistication of how web sites are built and maintained mean that this can be a Sisyphean task over the long haul, with Cascading Style Sheets, Dynamic HTML and embedded RSS feeds.

Good managers can not only make your life easier, but it can save you time, money, and above all save you from the headache of manually updating your site or outsourcing changes.

Here are seven ways it can benefit your business, no matter level of technical knowledge you possess.

What used to take legions of programmers weeks to do is now packaged in a set of server side applications that you can install (or may already be installed) on your web server.

What a CMS does is provide you with an easy (well, easier) to use interface on the fiddly details of managing the cascading style sheets, and cascading elements of your web site.

Instead of having to dig deep into the code, you're presented with a style editor, and can change font selections, point sizes, background colors recurring graphical elements, all without having to dig into the coding yourself.

Furthermore, good content management systems also provide you with an interface to upload new content, new graphics, blog posts, controlled posting areas, the ability to add graphics to a library without doing a lot of hand coding.

Now, there is a time investment in learning a content management system. Getting the hang of a content management system early on will give you an advantage in maintaining your sight in the long run.

As a matter of fact, the time spent in running a content management system can pay for itself in under a month. Even so, the time to go to a content management system may be after you've done your first few pages on the site, rather than from ground zero; certainly by the time you put three pages up, a content management system is probably a better choice.

If you want to publish a newspaper, managing articles or looking for a consistent look and feel you should use a CMS, using which you or your associate can easily maintain and extend yourself without having much knowledge of programming or designing.

This way you can always greet your website visitors with fresh contents and your current information's. I can foresee that if you want to extend your net presence content wise strongly you should be adopting a content management system which can be easily customized as per your needs.

One of the other major benefits of a content management system is preventing link rot, where old links tend to get outdated; a content management system is critical to making your web site easy to update and easy to maintain.

To summarize, a CMS consists of an easy-to-use administration area that allows for fast, simple updating of a website's content, while hiding the technical details of how a database stores and retrieves that content.

About the Author

Alojate.com is the premier web hosting company in Mexico, offering a range or services for all business needs.
http://www.actitudpublicitaria.com http://www.Virtual5.com.mx

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Databases and Web Hosting

by Matt R

Even though "Database" is a term that web site owners and beginners encounter every other day, very few grasp the real meaning of it and how it transforms from concept to materiality.

A database can be defined as a structured format that helps in organizing and maintaining large amount of data for easy retrieval. This easily retrieved information thus forms the basis of decision-making.

Please keep in mind that no matter how necessary it may seem, a database is not always required. A database solution has to be justified based on the magnitude of information that your business activities may be generating and the need to organize that information. If all what you have is a few names and numbers in your contact list, database is work overdone. At the same time if your data is not interrelated, keeping a database would not be very productive.

When designing a database it is very important to keep the maintenance consideration in mind and that right from the beginning. Otherwise letting the database go jumbled is not a hard task and in fact, this exactly is the path of self destruction followed by many that failed to properly implement their database systems.

For today's web site designers and owners, the task of setting up a database system is quite straightforward, thanks to the three popular database platforms that are MySQL, MS Access and MS SQL Server. These database products are user friendly and even those with little technical expertise can start building their databases right away. However, this ease of setting up should not let you stop thinking about the basics of right database structure.

Let's take the example of an online store that sells books and stationery. You are the owner and for each customer you have a record of their names, postal addresses, email addresses, items purchased, value of transaction and the order date. The first question that arises here is whether you need a database or not and the answer very well depends on the total number of sales. If you say there aren't much but a few sales each month, forget about the database, but if your internet marketing is bearing fruits and you are seeing exponential growth in sales, by all means go for a database system that will not only speed up information retrieval for you but also make it possible to tackle issues like adding more attributes and dimensions (e.g. books category) in each record etc.

Given the user friendliness of today's database tools, all you need at your end is the logical thinking process. And if you are willing to dedicate some time towards this effort, an effective database is not very far from reality. Basically we are talking about working out the peculiar details of how database tables should be organized, what items these tables should contain etc. To be more precise, whether records like name, postal address and product details be part of the same table or should we break our database into separate tables for personal info and different one for product and pricing details.

You won't get it right the first time and it's very important to test your database before fully implementing it. Start populating trial data and very soon you'll discover the instability issues that arise. Clearing these issues from the beginning would help your database achieve a speedy retrieval as well as productive storage functionality.

Needless to say that once a database gets into the picture, things change drastically at the web hosting side. Your web server administrator has new issues to handle, including backing up your database on a more frequent basis. This backup task is pretty important as restoring a database is much more complex than restoring a static html page. Ask your web host if they really have the technical expertise and if they have done it before for their customers. You'll be surprised to know that many have never tested their database backup tools and are simply complacent with the never-needed scenario.

In the end, let's re-emphasize that even though complexities arise the moment you start thinking about developing a database for organizing your information, the benefits majority of times outweigh the associated cost and effort. Be it a small business or large, the management ultimately realizes the need for having a database and you would be lucky if that's the case for your company now.

About the Author

Visit The Top Ten Web Hosts today to find out more about the most Reliable Web Hosting companies in the business and learn a bit more about Affordable Web Hosting.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Making Your Website Load Faster - A Few Tips

by Kenneth Scott

Your web pages have great content, a nice design. So why aren't people clicking through to other parts of the site? In many cases, the problem is the load time. People are abandoning your site for the simple reason that it just takes too long for the thing to load!

How Fast Does It Need to Be?

Fast load times are extremely important: usability studies say users rate them as one of the most important things about a website. Users would much rather use a quick-loading site of average quality than a great site that loads slowly. You've no doubt done this yourself at some point.

What's the limit? Ten seconds according to certain studies. These studies say that over a third of users will leave a website that doesn't load within that time. You're probably thinking that in the age of broadband, download speeds don't matter. But remember that in the US, over half of all Internet users are still using slow dial-up connections (if you are, you have my sympathy). Other countries don't have quite as many dial-up connections left, but broadband is certainly nowhere near universal.

So, you need to pay attention to the size and download speed of your site. Those 10 seconds on a 56k dial-up connection correspond to about 70KB in page size. That means that your HTML and graphics should add up to 70KB as an absolute limit. That's quite a stringent requirement, and makes every byte count.

Reduce Graphics.

The first thing you need to do is keep the number of graphics to a minimum. Don't have graphics for things where text or CSS would do, or where they don't enhance your information or design significantly. You should consider the web to be a text medium, and justify every graphic.

Compress Your Graphics.

Once you've removed the unnecessary graphics, you might consider compressing the ones that remain. Try turning up the JPEG compression higher, or reducing the number of colors. You might try using a GIF, if your graphics don't have very many different colors.

If you can't compress the graphics any smaller, you could always resize your graphics to make them smaller!

Clean Up Your HTML.

You'd be surprised just how bloated HTML code can get with unnecessary tags, especially if you use a WYSIWYG editor, or design your site using tables. Design your site using CSS as much as you can, and use HTML Tidy (or another HTML cleaning program) to clean up your HTML. Don't ignore the extra bandwidth taken by CSS, though, and try to keep that as small as possible too.

In many cases, a simple cleaning-up process can reduce the download size by as much as half - it's especially effective for pages that contain long articles because of the number of unnecessary tags many editors insert at the start of new paragraphs.

Switch Web Hosts.

Sometimes, despite all your efforts, your site still loads slowly. In these cases, your web host may be to blame. Test from a few different connections and computers to make sure. Try testing the speeds by putting up a completely different page. If it's consistently bad, then it may be time to move hosts. First email your host about the problem and give them a week or so to fix it, as they may just be having short-term problems.

When you're switching hosts for speed, look around at sites that are already fast. Find out who they're hosted by and do a search for "hosted by "host's name" (with the quote marks).Then, you can check out several sites hosted by that particular host to check out speed.

About the Author

To find more information about the internet and websites visit http://communication-tips.com

Friday, March 14, 2008

How Your Web Site Design Plays a Role in the Web Host You Go With

by Colin S. Wood

Sometimes a web site design plays a role in which web host you choose to go with. The service of web hosting is tremendous and varies from one host to another. For example if your web design on your web page is to be very basic and include a small amount of file hosting (which means "files can be uploaded via FTP or a web interface") then you could go with a web hosting service that offers a very basic amateur or beginner value package. In this case files are uploaded to the net basically "as is" and little designing or modifications are needed.

Keep in mind when it comes to web site design that you want to keep your costs as low as possible but yet you want the web page to be as professional as possible. Think affordable web site design and custom web site design.

For a complex business oriented website look for an intensive web hosting package. When web page design is to be complex, one needs to find a web host that allows for database support as well as application development platforms. Some examples of these include ASP.NET, Java and PHP. This type of web hosting services makes it possible for customers to do such things as "to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management." If e-commerce is on your agenda then a secure socket layer (SSL) is an absolute necessity and 128-bit encryption is the best way to go.

If you choose to get a hosted shopping cart (or online storefront) you will also require a supported gateway because gateways make it possible for shopping carts to link up with credit cards in real offline time. This is what you need. The most reliable shopping carts will be able to process payments from the larger payment processing companies that exist online and therefore you need a web host that will adequately provide you with the e-commerce services you need to run your site.

If yours is to be a "database driven website" then the database accommodation of the web host could play a big role in which one you go with. For example, if your web page design includes SQL scripting language then it will be necessary that it can read whatever you choose to use in the HTML of your web pages in order to gain access to the particular database, for example if you choose to use PHP.

How much space you need on your website makes a difference when choosing a web host for your professional web page design. Keep in mind that a web host basically means that you are renting or purchasing space on someone else's hard drive. As a general rule, a disk space of 50MB is sufficient room for twenty plus web pages and this is approximately the size of a medium to small business website. The more images, sounds, applets or animation you decide to include on your web page, the more disk space you will require. These things are all important aspects of your web page design.

About the Author

Take your Web site to the next level with RT Design Group. Our experienced design, technical, and marketing team offers professional Web site design and development, internet marketing and search engine optimization all at affordable prices.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Marketing Tips For Realtors

by JD Freedom

Starting a career in Real Estate? Need to Generate leads? Although unexperienced, entering the market with the right tools and knowledge will jump-start your career and take you to the next level.

Did you know that 90% of all Buyers and Sellers start their search online? This is why it is mandatory to have an online marketing strategy in place and ready to implement!

These 4 Tips For Realtors should help you along your way to a successful career in Real Estate:

Knowing Your product - this better be an easy task if you are a Realtor. However, you must come up with a way to differentiate your product from the competition. The Real Estate industry is grossly overly saturated, and you will be "the norm" if you don't stand out. Realtors now specialize in areas, sub-areas, ocean-view etc. Example: To survive in the Seattle, you have to brand yourself. If you are creative, you may brand yourself in ocean view property, and even more you might be a specialist with condos. When any Buyer or Seller is thinking of ocean view condos in Seattle, you want to be the first person they think of. - You are the expert on the subject. Therefore, you need to come up with key phrases that will target this niche. So when a Buyer or Seller (90% of them) is searching online, your website will top the list!

Product Development - you need a product that will lead to traffic coming to your site, and ultimately converting that traffic into a lead, then a deal. Of course many Realtors have blogs and personal websites which are great for personal branding and web presence, but is your name or your company's name usually typed into a search engine? Most of the time the answer is no. For example, if I want to buy a loft condo in Greenwich Village unless I already have a Realtor (we are not looking for these people) I would type in "Greenwich Village Lofts" or something like this. So to capture the potential clients we are looking for, we need to have that key phrase (our niche) to be a prominent result in search engines. It is the phrase not your name, or your companies name that will produce results.

Traffic - Now for your marketing skills. Being a Realtor, you MUST have lots of traffic or you are doomed. Niche marketing is the most effective and efficient tool for Realtors marketing online. Having niche targeted websites is becoming the future of online marketing for Realtors! Personal branded sites are important but you also need a website that gets top page rankings for Buyers, and another website that gets top page ranking for Sellers. To get this, you need websites that are Search Engine Optimized (SEO) and tailored to your target market.

Conversion - this is what REALLY matters. Lots of traffic won't mean anything unless you can convert it into sales! Some Realtors, after obtaining an online lead, will offer a free Buyer's or Seller's eBook as a way to 'break the ice'. When you reach this point, it's now time to do your job as a Real Estate Professional and provide them with your specialized expertise.

I hope you found this article helpful and wish you all the best in your Real Estate Career.

About the Author

Want to generate real estate leads?. For more information on how Agent Stealth Lead Systems work, please take a moment to watch a free video on lead systems for Realtors

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Webmaster Tools and Resources: How to Find Super Lucrative Tools and Resources that Will Run Your Online Business Profitably

by Soon Chai Lim

One major key factor to online success is to run your online business with the aid of quality web tools and resources.

I'm sure most of you already knew about this long ago but the sad thing is many webmasters or website owners till today still do not know the exact way to find themselves good tools and resources to help their online businesses soar.

Ended up they wasted tons of hours and massive amount of money in finding their best "weapons" and hopped from one company (or service provider) to another until they found the right one.

This is not efficient and not cost-effective.

Now here I'm going to reveal to you my secrets of how I got myself quality tools and resources to work for me and run my online business profitably so that you can follow suit and increase your online sales as well.

Take note before we proceed: You may find this 5-step solution a common sense to you but the thing is, how many people actually use their common sense to do things effectively?

So here we go and follow these guidelines and you'll be 5 steps closer to increasing your online profits than those who do not follow.

Step 1: Recommendation From Trusted Sources

First thing first, look for tool or resource that are ONLY recommended by trusted figures like some well-known gurus/experts or reputable companies.

The reason is simple. Well-known gurus/experts or reputable companies need to uphold their reputation so as to gain a stronger foothold on the Internet.

If they recommend something lousy to people, guess what will happen to their credibility and reputation?

Nobody will believe what they say anymore and their reputation could be razed to the ground overnight just by a stupid and unworthy recommendation they had made. Agree?

But you don't just stop here and buy though you're reasonably safe at this point until you move on to the next few steps.

Step 2: Money Back Guarantee or Free Trial

Yes, the second step is to check whether the company that sells the tool or resource you need offers any free trial or money back guarantee for you to try out their product/service at zero risk.

Usually, if a company has great confidence in the quality of their products or services, they would offer you free trial or refund to help you get off the fence.

And if after testing their product/service, you like it then you can go on to make a long-term deal with them.

This is a very good insurance against you losing money as you won't have to waste money on something you don't feel good with.

Step 3: Pre-Sale Check

Here you'll have to block out a little time because you need to get in touch with their customer support service to find out if they treasure you as a potential long-term user of their product/service or not.

When companies are poor in this, do you think they will be good at providing after-sale service especially when you encounter some technical issues during using their product/service?

Serious companies that run serious business will do their utmost to satisfy their prospects in their pre-sale customer service.

They will be responsive to your queries and answer your every question according to what you want to know.

Then from their response time and answers to your queries, you can roughly gauge whether that particular company is treating you like a dirt or gem.

If they treat you like a gem, then of course your next move is to test out their product/service.

Otherwise, there isn't a need to go to the next step, just hop to the next better player.

Step 4: Test the Product/Service

Now, in this step you may have to make a payment upfront if the company of the tool or resource you need does not offer a free trial but money back guarantee.

Not to worry though since you've come all the way here and it should be pretty safe to you that the company will honor their refund promise should you need to back out within their money back guarantee period.

Be sure to make full use of the free trial or money back guarantee period to test out the tool or resource thoroughly.

Step 5: Post-Sale Check

This is basically to check again their customer service after you pay the money but which you're still eligible for the refund or you have signed up for their free trial.

The reason for doing this is to check for the consistency of their customer service.

Some companies provide great pre-sale but poor post-sale support. You would want to have a company (or service provider) that provides you with superior support from the time you were their prospect to the time you become their customer, wouldn't you?

But what to check on? While using their product/service you're bound to have some doubts, get them to clear your doubts then. This way not only you can get your doubts cleared but at the same time can test out their customer support service again.

If they're good in this aspect also, then you can safely deduce that this company (or service provider) of the tool or resource you're testing now is one that you can do a long-term business with.

My Last Word

If you apply this 5-step solution, you may find that it takes you some time to sort out the quality tools and resources for your online business use. But nothing can be further from the fact that if you don't apply, you'll waste even more time in trying to look for a deal that you can hold on for life.

If however, you really don't have the time or simply don't wish to spend so much time in researching the quality tools and resources, then you can find some websites (like iOneMoney.com) that already have the quality stuff sorted out. All you need to do is just pick and use. Period.

About the Author

Soon Chai Lim, the 'Quality Guy' that many webmasters love to go to, specializes in helping webmasters to get ONLY quality web tools and resources that will run their online businesses more profitably than ever.

For more useful tips on webmaster tools and resources and to receive powerful money making secrets for free, visit http://www.iOneMoney.com now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

10 Tips for Planning an Outstanding Website

by Ivana Katz

When faced with the daunting task of planning what to include on your website and how to write the copy, here are a few tips that will make the task easier for you.

1. Visitor Friendly

The main thing to keep in mind is that your website needs to be visitor friendly. What this means is that your customer must be able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. And that means great navigational system. Most websites either display their navigation bar on the left or at the top. And since most people are used to this type of navigation, it's best to stick with it. It also helps to include your navigation bar at the bottom of each page to save your visitors from having to scroll back to the top.

2. Search Engine Friendly

Search engines try to list sites that contain good content, so you need keywords and phrases on your pages that best describe your service and products. For example, if you are a florist, use the words such as florist, online florist, virtual florist, wedding florist, florist in Sydney, florist on line, flowers, floral, bouquets, floral arrangements etc as many times as possible to ensure high search engine ranking. To find out what keywords your customers may be searching check out:

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

http://www.wordtracker.com

Once you decide on the keywords, use them in:

(a) Your website's domain name

(b) The title of your page - This is displayed in the top bar of your browser window

(c) The heading of your home page

(d) The first paragraph of your home page

(e) Meta tags - Keywords, page title, description

(f) Titles of your graphics

Whilst it is important to use keywords as much as possible, it is also important you use them only if they are relevant and do not sound awkward. If you spam your keywords you may be penalised or even banned by some search engines.

3. Informational vs On-line Store

One of the first decisions you need to make is what type of website to have. Will it be informational only or will it be an on-line store or a combination of both? An informational website is like having an on-line brochure. It does not sell products directly to customers, but rather provides details of your business, its products and services and occasionally features a printable order form.

The other type of website is an on-line store. It is a virtual salesperson who potentially never stops providing presales information to your prospects - and then making sales to them.

4. Create a Plan

Before you start thinking about what to write on each page of your website, it is important that you create a plan, which lists all the pages you wish to include. Below is a list of the most commonly used pages:

(a) Home Page (First Page)

(b) Products / Services

(c) Contact Us

(d) Pricing

(e) Testimonials / Product Reviews / Before & After

(f) Frequently Asked Questions

(g) Response form such as "Subscribe" or "Enquiry" form

(h) On-line Magazine or Newsletter

(i) Resources/Articles

(j) About Us

(k) Guarantee

(l) Survey

(m) Events Calendar

(n) Search My Website Feature

(o) Return/Refund Policy

(p) Privacy Policy

(q) Site Map

(r) Copyright Information

(s) Links

(t) Media Information

(u) News

(v) On-line store


5. Cross-sell / Up-sell as part of your content

If a customer is looking for a particular product, offer them details of related products. By recommending other products, your customers will learn what else is available and in many cases it will translate to additional sales for you.

A company that does this exceptionally well is Amazon - www.amazon.com. Search for a particular book and you will find information on what other people who ordered this book also bought.

Make it as easy as possible for customers to complete an order by providing clear instructions. Ensure delivery costs are outlined before a customer begins the ordering process.

6. Focus on the customer and their needs

Rather than trying to "sell your business", let your prospects know how your product/service is going to benefit them. Emphasize the benefits and solve problems. Make this the focus of everything you write on every page of your site. Don't try to sell visitors your products or service, help them.

7. Remind your visitors

Remind your visitors they can print out your content. They may browse around your website while it's printing.

8. Use headlines and sub-headlines to grab visitor's attention

9. Offer value

Offer bonuses, free trials, discounts and prizes. List the dollar value beside each bonus. People will feel they're getting a good deal and it will increase the value of your product.

10. Spell check and grammar check your website

Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Check that all links are working and graphics displaying correctly.

If you are still struggling with where to start, visit your supplier's or competitor's websites. Be careful that if you use copy from their site that you do not infringe copyright laws. If in doubt, contact the author or copyright owner and ask for permission.

Your ultimate goal is to turn a visitor into a customer. On your website, this is done by providing premium content. Each page should be its own mini site. As you have no control over how a visitor enters your website, it is important they are able to easily work out what your business offers and navigate to other pages within your site.

About the Author

Ivana Katz, owner of Websites 4 Small Business will get your business on the internet really fast. Don't know where to start? Download a step-by-step website plan and sign up for a free newsletter at Websites 4 Small Business

Monday, March 10, 2008

How to Increase Link Popularity with Ethical and Unethical Link Building

by Cliff Posey


To increase link popularity, you need solid link building techniques. Link building allows you to establish relevant inbound links to your website, which in turn increases search engine rankings and helps you get traffic.

If you aren't familiar with the different methods people use to increase link popularity and get traffic, the first thing you need to know is that not every link building method is considered acceptable. In fact, some of the methods used to build link popularity are considered so unethical that they can actually get you in trouble with the various search engines.

To help you differentiate between what is ethical and what is not, here is a list of the most common link building methods used to get traffic:

Social Bookmarking

There has been a lot of discussion lately in regards to using social bookmarking as a way to get traffic and increase link popularity. Some people think that this link building technique borders on unethical.

The truth is that it depends on how you utilize social bookmarking sites. If you are an active member of a social bookmarking community who posts links to a personal website and other relevant sites to improve link popularity for everyone, you are doing nothing wrong. If, on the other hand, you create an account and repeatedly submit your own links and nothing else to get traffic, you are participating in spam-like behavior.

Spamming

Spamming can sometimes get traffic to your website, but it is not the best way to build link popularity. Most of the search engines frown upon spamming and have the ability to catch inexperienced spammers within a month or two.

The following link building techniques are considered unethical spamming by the major search engines: participation in unrelated and centralized link farms, automatically generated doorway pages, and false redirects.

Article Submission

Manual and automated article submission is another link building technique that has garnered proven results over the years. Article submission is widely thought to be an ethical way to build link popularity and get traffic. Nevertheless, there are exceptions to the rule.

For example, article submission that is fully automated but not targeted is usually considered spam. It is also a huge waste of time when compared to other link building strategies. If you want to get traffic and increase link popularity, you must submit articles to the right directories.

Buying Links

Search engines often advise against buying backlinks as a way to improve link popularity and get traffic. The reason is because it cheats their ranking system and is therefore considered unethical. Even so, there are plenty of website owners who employ this link building technique and reap great rewards.

If you want to give this link building strategy a try, the key is to start slowly by buying only a few backlinks. Buying 1,000 links in one day looks suspicious. You will also want to be careful as to where you buy your links from. Ten quality backlinks will help you increase link popularity and get traffic; 100 poorly regarded backlinks will not.

About the Author

Cliff Posey, owner of CRP Marketing, owns and operates http://webbusinesstoolsonline.com/ Cliff has also operated several other successful web businesses including Love Song Cards and Radio Career Consultants.

http://www.webbusinesstoolsonline.com/web-site-designer-tools.html

http://www.webbusinesstoolsonline.com/affiliate-marketing-program.html

http://www.webbusinesstoolsonline.com/free-web-site-tools.html

Friday, March 7, 2008

How To Choose The Right Web Hosting Plan For Your Business

by Jeremy Gislason

Any business, whether they're brick and mortar establishment or an online business, needs a website. A website needs a host. A web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. Like most internet services, there are a lot of options. Web hosting is no different. When it comes to choosing a web host, you have two basic options, do it yourself or choose a hosting plan.

For the small to medium-sized business, hosting your own website quite likely has too many hurdles to be worth the effort. The initial costs for purchasing, setting up and organizing all the necessary hardware, licensing the software can be overwhelming and time consuming. Not to mention the recurring costs of a stable and reliable Internet connection. For most companies, except the very largest of firms, hosting your own website just doesn't make sense. That leaves the second alternative, finding a hosting company and choosing a plan. Let's begin by taking a look at choosing a hosting company.

Choosing Your Hosting Company

There are literally thousands of web hosting companies to choose from and evaluating them can be difficult. The first question you will want to ask a potential hosting company is what types of hosting plans they offer. There are likely to be several choices from starter type packages to the platinum version with all the bells and whistles.

Here are a few basic criteria to examine:

Service and Support: Money Back Guarantee. Finding a web host is an investment but you don't want it to be a risky one. Look for a host that offers a guarantee.

24/7 Technical Support: This is important. What happens to your business if your web host crashes? If you have an online business, you're dead in the water. Know that not all technical support is created equal and just because someone offers 24/7 customer service doesn't mean they're actively available. It may mean that you get to leave a voicemail or stay on hold for hours and they'll get to you when they can. Testimonials and references can be extremely useful. Find out if other customers are happy with the hosting service; and

Ease of use: A Control Panel is your central hub of information. It is where you find all of your statistics and are able to manage all of your account features. If your host's control panel is too difficult to navigate or doesn't offer the tools your business needs, then it is best to look elsewhere. Your website is your business and your control panel needs to be easy for you to use. You don't have time to spend searching for the information and tools you need. You will probably want to upload scripts for message boards, email forums, set cookies, and the like. . If this is the case, you will want a web host that allows you to install and run scripts. Most hosting companies offer CGI, Common Gateway Interface, a protocol that allows web pages to interact with scripts on a server. You will want to have email accounts for your website. For example, admin@ yourcompany.com and sales@yourcompany.com, etc…A POP (Post Office Protocol) Email Account is an email account hosted on your site and you will probably want more than one. Most hosting companies offer packages with different levels. For example, a beginner or starter package will have 1-5 email accounts, a middle of the road type account may offer up to 50 and a full business package may have unlimited email accounts available. Website construction tools and/or Microsoft FrontPage extensions. You need to be able to design and develop your website. Many hosting companies offer templates and design tools. In addition they may offer FrontPage Extensions. FrontPage is a website design software program that is fairly easy to use and if your host allows you to upload your website onto the server.

Features: Do you want to know who is visiting your website? What about what pages they visit or how long they stay online? What about click through rates? Any effective marketing plan or website plan needs to evaluate these statistics. This means you must find a hosting company that not only tracks this information for you but makes it easy for you to access and understand.

Marketing features like autoresponders and mailing list management are a fantastic feature but not all web hosting companies offer them. Take a good look at what your business needs before you sign on with a company. Sometimes a hosting company includes marketing features in your package and sometimes they are offered ala carte.

Security is important too. Look for a SSL, Secure Socket Layer, Secure Server. SSL is a protocol that allows for encrypted transmissions online. If you are collecting private information from your visitors, you will want this and you can include it in your privacy policy.

Some hosting plans offer shopping cart software integrated right into your account. This isn't a must but it will save you a step if you offer products for purchase on your website Members only areas require passwords but not all hosting companies offer this feature.

Choosing Your Hosting Plan

Nearly all hosting companies offer different types of hosting plans, including "shared" hosting and "dedicated" hosting. In addition, some hosts also offer a "virtual private" hosting option. Here are the details and benefits of each.

Shared Hosting: Shared hosting or "virtual" hosting (which is different from "virtual private" hosting described below) is when the hosting company hosts your website on its own physical servers for a monthly fee. In this type of arrangement, the hosting company will also be serving other companies' websites from the same physical server. The hosting company is responsible for the technical details relating to keeping your site up and running, including server setup, bandwidth management, backups, and security.

Price is perhaps the primary advantage of shared hosting. Since you're only using a portion of a single server, your costs are less than those for dedicated hosting. Also, since you are not directly responsible for management of the servers, you don't need to commit as many resources to routine maintenance of your website. This also means your hosting company will handle many of the security matters for your website; you don't need to make any direct investment in the software and hardware needed to secure the site.

However, because your website is on the same server as other clients, you have no direct control over the server as a whole, and certain site administration tasks may be more time consuming as compared to a site that is on a dedicated server.

Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting means your Web server is sitting on its own box, owned and managed by the service provider. Dedicated hosting means you will have more direct access to make different types of changes to your site compared to a shared hosting plan. The degree of host management depends on what exactly is offered by the service provider. Most providers offer special managed dedicated server programs that ensure continuous monitoring of server performance as well as routine tasks like data backups.

When you have a dedicated hosting solution, your website resides on its own server. This means that your company can directly control the machine and determine which Web applications are running on it. This also means that it is less likely that activities of other websites on the same physical server will negatively impact yours.

In addition, because the server only responds to client requests for information from your own website, there is likely to be a faster response time for the same amount of traffic across the server. If your server has a dedicated IP address, it will likely be easier to handle certain anonymous FTP and SSL encryption activities. Dedicated hosting arrangements are generally favored for high-traffic businesses. Because your website is the only one on the server, however, dedicated hosting costs are generally higher than with a shared hosting plan.

Virtual Private Hosting: Virtual private hosting means that the server software is "virtualized" to permit the hosting of multiple websites on a single physical server (as with shared hosting), but each has its own copy of the operating system and permits greater customer access to the server (as with dedicated hosting). Virtual Private Hosting is generally available at a lower overall cost than traditional dedicated hosting, but provides the customer with much greater control and access to the website.

About the Author

Need Reliable and Powerful Hosting? - Host your MemberSpeed based site (or any site) with our new powerful hosting solution specifically created for our members...*FREE* domain name with each account at: http://www.MemberSpeedHost.com

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Targeted Traffic and How To Get It

by Mike Devoran

If you have a website, you know that traffic is essential, especially if you have something to sell. Not just any old traffic, though - you need targeted traffic.

How is targeted traffic defined? It means website visitors who have a specific interest in the topic of the website. For example, someone who is planning to buy a wedding ring would be interested in jewelry websites

How do I get targeted traffic? Here are some effective techniques:

Forums: Whatever your topic, there's sure to be at least one forum about it. Subscribe to a couple of forums. Join in the discussions, answer questions, and ask pertinant questions yourself. Become known as an expert in the field. Then with each article reply you write, have a discreet link to your website in the signature file. What can be placed in your signature is often determined by the forum moderators. Do not spam the forum or you will be stopped from posting. You should be able to get a fair amount of traffic from a popular forum, and the people who click your link will already be familiar with your writing style.

Linking from/to other websites: Look for websites which are similar to yours (but which do not compete directly). Ask the website owner for a reciprocal link. Be sure to pick link partners who match your customer profile. Try using a software program like Arelis to help you find link partners.

E-Zines: Buy adverts in ezines that target your market. Perform a test to ensure that the return on your investment is enough to cover the cost of the adverts. You may save a considerable amount.

Newsletters: Offer your visitors something of value, such as an eBook, in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. Write your newsletter so that it's tightly focussed on your subject. You should publish your newsletter regularly, preferably once a week.

E-Books: Write (or have written) a free informational eBook which you can give away to your clients and others. You can place links back to your website in the eBook.

Joint Ventures: Online marketers are always looking for products to sell. They may have large mailing lists with eager to buy customers. Usually they will be willing to send an email to their list for a cut of the sale price. This works particularly well with informational products. It has several advantages. It can give a large boost to both your mailing list and sales in a short time.

Buy Expired Domain Traffic: This may be the most expensive in terms of money, but also the cheapest in terms of time. You will usually get a traffic boost within a month. What is it that you're buying? You are buying traffic from a company which has invested in expired domain names. They are domain names which are still registered on the search engines which get a certain amount of traffic. The previous domain name owners have not renewed the registration for whatever reason. The traffic from the expired domain name is redirected to your website. This is usually high quality traffic as only expired domains with relevant traffic is redirected to you. As always, you should undertake a test run to see if this traffic is suitable.

When you combine these techniques and apply them consistently over time you will find a rich source of targeted traffic coming to your website. This, combined with quality products will ensure the success of your online business.

About the Author

Mike Devoran is the publisher of DJTraffic.com, a website devoted to improving your website traffic.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Church Websites-Why Use a Blog for Your Church Website

by David Butler

Most church websites are lame. Why? While 65% of Churches now have church websites, most of these church websites drive little to no visitors to their churches. This is a missed opportunity, since the vast majority of people under 35 go to the internet not the Yellow Pages FIRST when looking for a church. So what good is having a church website if only the pastor and the board surfs to it? I think you no the answer to that one.

The problem is that most church websites are not search engine friendly. And if your church website is not listed high in places like Google and Yahoo, you will get no traffic. And no traffic means no guests checking out your church website, let alone your church.

Church Websites Solutions

The solution to the "church website blues" is to get your website search engine optimized (SEO) so that seekers can actually find your church web site when do a search for a place of worship in your area. How do you do this? The answer is simple. Use a blog like Wordpress to run your church website. Based on our own own personal experiences as a Christian webmaster and church planter, I have had several blogging websites using blogging tools like Wordpress that have had tremendous success attracting and keeping guests. Isn't that what a church website should be all about?

Below we list several great reasons (I could have listed more) why a church should use a blog format for its church website .

Top Reasons to Run Wordpress for Your Church WebSite

Wordpress Comes Free with Many Inexpensive Affordable Web Hosting Packages

Why spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on Church Website designs when you have at your fingertip a blogging platform like this? Most all of the cheap web hosting providers (average cost between $4 and $8 dollars per month) give you access to Wordpress through Fantastico in their control panels. Please think twice before signing a web hosting contract with a Christian web hosting company.

It's Easy to Build a Church WebSite with NO HTML or PHP knowledge Needed

Not a techie? No problem because it's a one click installation. Writing content and putting in images is just like using your old fashioned word processor. If you need help with your blogging church website, there are tons of Wordpress tutorials and an amazing support forum as well.

The really cool thing about WP is that it functions as a content management system (CMS), which simply means that you can give it the appearance of a regular Church website, while reaping all the benefits a blog (see below) brings to the table.

Wordpress has hundreds and hundreds of free templates (they call them themes) to choose from for making your church website have the exact look and feel you want. Think of the church website possibilities

Wordpress Makes Your Church Website Search Engine Optimized Out of the Box

That's right, that means way better search engine rankings...which means...you got it more visitors coming to your church website...which means more guests at your services. You don't need to know ANYTHING about how search engines work because Wordpress "pings" the search engines automatically for you, letting them know you have new content and RSS feeds for them to index. Furthermore, instead of waiting weeks and even months for the search engines spiders from Yahoo and Google to index your static church website pages, your blog will get indexed in a matter of a few days.

A Church Website Blog will bring Your Church Into the 21st Century

Most church websites out there just ooze old...and irrelevant. Blogs are the here and now, and using one as a church website will convey newness, hipness and relevancy to the young families, the Gen X and Gen Y types you should be targeting if you want to reach people for Jesus AND see your church to grow. OK, I promised I wouldn't preach.

Easily Put Podcasts and Video on Your Church Website

Wordpress plugins like PodPress make it a snap to put all kinds of multi-media on your church website without any added costs and very little knowledge needed. Imagine having all your messages neatly indexed, categorized and online for all to enjoy. I actually have a few podcasts right here on my site. Believe me, it's not rocket science. If I can do it...a monkey can as well :) Using multimedia like a podcasts you will geometrically grow your ministry reach. On my other Christian outreach site (see our about page) that's less than 2 years old, I already reach 90,000 people a month. Are we excited yet? How to Get the Blogging Your Church Website

Actually all you need to do is shop around for and affordable and reliable web hosting company that has blogging tools like Wordpress. Good luck!

About the Author

David Butler, the author of this article, is a Christian businessman, and has several web hosting sites, Affordable Web Hosting 4U, HostGator Reviews and IX Web Hosting Reviews.