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You Too Can Have an Amazing Website

how to build a websiteHow to Build a WebsiteIt is a well-known fact that a successful business depends greatly on how it is marketed. With an ever increasing dependence on the web, the use of a professional website is not only a necessity, but a priority. Although it is a common thought that only large businesses can have top-notch websites, with the tools available today, what seemed impractical, can now be a reality. Best of all, designing an extraordinary website can be done, without hiring expensive web developers to create your site from scratch. Usually the first comment I get from my customers is, “I have the idea, but not the tools.” In this article, I will recommend which tools are the most helpful, and where to find these tools, so that you too can have an amazing website.

So you say, “I have the idea, but not the tools. What are these tools, and where do I get them?” Let me answer that question with a question. Have you ever heard of web site templates? If not, they’re your answer to a professional website, at a very reasonable price, usually around R420.00 to R600.00. A website template is a ready-made website design, created for you to use as the foundation for quick and high-quality web development. There are thousands of templates available online, so you are virtually guaranteed to find something that suits your design, and format needs. It can be as easy as simply adding your text to the template, or rearranging photos along with your text, to produce the outcome you have been searching for.

Finding web site templates is easy, but be aware of the differences in template providers you will come across. Performing a Google or Yahoo search with the phrase “web site templates” will yield several vendor choices and not all of them offer the quality you demand. They all promise the best templates around, but that is obviously not the case. So, how do you find the right template vendor? First, visit some of the sites you come across and examine their templates. You will know you are on the right track if you answer “Yes” to the question, “Am I impressed with these templates?” Always trust your taste.

website templateswebsite templatesNext, explore how many templates the vendor offers and how often their database is updated. As a rule of thumb, the more they have the better they are. This helps assure you that your choice will be more unique than otherwise. If you choose a template from a vendor who only offers a few select quality templates then the chances are that a great deal of other customers have chosen that same template. You certainly don’t want a website that is practically identical to dozens of others online. You will also want a vendor who updates their site on a regular basis. Weekly updates are good, but daily updates are even better. This guarantees that they will have fresh templates on a regular basis for you to choose from.

Finally, you want to make sure that your template is editable. This means that your template will come with the appropriate files (PSD, HTML, SWF, and FLA) that will allow you to make the necessary changes to your template. Ask you vendor before making your selection. Most templates come with these files, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You should be able to download your selection immediately or your vendor will provide a link to do so.

web development technologyWeb Development TechnologyGreat! Now you have a really impressive template and can’t wait to make the changes that will get you a completed website that blows away your competition. Well, you’re halfway there. You have one more important choice to make. Who will do the editing? You will either have someone internally run with the project or you can hire someone and outsource the job. If you decide to handle things internally make sure you have the necessary software to edit your files and someone who is somewhat familiar with how to do the editing. This is what your template vendor probably didn’t tell you. Certainly it isn’t as easy as purchasing a template and plugging in text. If it were then there wouldn’t be a market for web design and development companies. If you’re confident about handling it yourself then great, but be careful. You might find yourself investing a lot of time and money trying to get your desired results.

Your alternate choice, hiring a development firm, will almost certainly get your site looking and functioning the way you want it, but for a fee, of course. It is easy to find a development firm to handle your needs and you can find several online. Simply search with the key phrase “web site design”. Call, or email a few of them, explaining your situation and needs, and ask for a quote to perform the editing for you. Depending on the amount of editing you will require, you should receive price quotes in the R4000.00 - R15 000.00 range. This is a very reasonable price to pay for a professional website design. Most likely, you will be glad you did.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ' to request a free quotation..

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Why You Need A Web Site

Small Business1Small Business"I have a small business with just a couple of employees and I don’t think my product can really be sold online. Do I need a web site?"

In this day and time, there is very little that can’t be sold over the Internet. There are over 20 million people shopping online, buying everything from movies to cars to real estate property. Research predicts that revenues will be over $200 billion in 2004 and will grow at a rate of 30 to 50 percent over the next few years. These numbers alone should be enough to persuade you that you and your business should be online.  This is especially true due to this lockdown.    You NEED to be online to be seen.

Regardless of whether you sell your product online, you should at the very least have an online presence so that customers, potential employees, partners and even potential investors, can easily and quickly find more information about your company, the products and services you have to offer, as well as how to contact you.

website requirementsWebsite RequirementsBut Can I Afford a Web Site?

Given the competition and current market trends, you can’t afford NOT to. Think of your web site as your new marketing tool, which, when applied correctly, will generate a return on investment. Your competition is probably already online, and you need to use every possible avenue just to keep up. You should look at having a web site as an investment, in you and your company’s future.So whatever time or money you currently spend on marketing, supplementing it with a web site is probably a good idea. Your site will help you expand geographically, and compete on a much larger scale.

Leveling the Playing Field

One of the most wonderful things about the Internet is that it has helped to level the playing field when it comes to competition with the bigger companies. With a professional looking web site, your small business can project the image, and professionalism of a much larger company. It’s also a good signal to potential customers that you take things seriously.

breaking iceBreaking the Ice into e-CommerceBreaking the Ice into e-Commerce

Taking credit card orders over the Internet is quite an investment, especially if you don’t already have a merchant account. There are several e-Commerce solutions that can be custom-built for you that use payment gateways such as PayPal, which only requires a bank account, and an email address. Customers can pay you through their credit card, or even their checking account, and it’s a great solution if you’re looking to test the waters.

your business needs a websiteYour Business Needs a WebsiteThe Bottom Line

To be taken seriously, it’s not enough that you simply have a web site, but you must have a professional looking web site. Many customers now search for information online before making a purchase; your web site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by Uncle Bob, your chance of making that good first impression will be lost.

No matter what size your business is, and even if you're not planning on selling online, a well designed web site is essential for any business. If you don’t have a web site, you’re already losing business to companies that do.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ' to request a free quotation..

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What Is RSS And How Can It Benefit You?

RSS feedRSS FeedRSS is short for Really Simple Syndication. It is part of the XML family that is used for syndicating information. Put simply RSS allows one web site to share information with another web site.

As a web site publisher, RSS offers a way for them to publish their information on many web sites, which in turns increases their reach on the Internet and the amount of traffic they receive to their web site. They also receive more one way links back to their web site. These benefits result in an increase in their search engine ranking.

As a web site owner, RSS allows them to receive up to date links to information on a regular basis that runs on auto pilot. When the publishing site is updated, their web site is also updated.

The result of this is that their web site is updated more regularly which also increases their search engine ranking.

The other benefit the web site owner receives from using RSS is that their information remains "fresh" which encourages their visitors to return on a regular basis.

However, the web site owner does not receive the complete articles, instead, they receive a feed that contains a title, a brief description and a link to the article that resides on the publishers web site.

RSS submission sites listRSS Submission Sites ListThe main disadvantage to the web site owner is that they trade off traffic for content, as their visitors need to visit the publishers web site to read the complete article.

But, this is a minor disadvantage considering all the benefits that RSS offers the web site owner.

The web site owner will need to install some software in order for them to receive RSS Feeds.

This software ranges from commercial packages the web site owner can purchase all the way down to freeware. Before purchasing any software you should research the different software packages that are available to ensure you get the software that is most suited to your requirements.

Fortunately, setting up an RSS feed is relatively straightforward and should only take a couple of hours at the most, and, once RSS is set up their is very little maintenance (if any) required.

If you are a web site owner, you should consider the power of RSS and what it can offer you and your web site.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' to request a free quotation.

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Guide to choosing the right web design company

judge the book by its coverThis Time DO Judge The Book By It's CoverChoosing a web design company can be a little tricky, and many times it's a gamble, but if you know what to look for, you can save yourself a lot of stress and frustration. If you don't, however, you could be stuck with poor service and empty promises, as well as being faced with ridiculous bills. Take time to empower yourself with the following knowledge, and learn to spot a bad choice in web design companies from a mile...

LOOKS

This is one of those times, that judging a book by it's cover is in your best interests. A web design company's website is it's book cover, so naturally, if their website is not stimulating...chances are that they will create an unstimulating design for your website...which in turn, is YOUR book cover. If your book cover is amateurish, your potential client may very well pass you by, imagining that your service, or product, would be as exciting as the site they've just seen...

LOOKS vs PRICE

If the client liaison of the web design company drives a Ferrari, there's a very good chance that they are overcharging their customers. Web design prices vary greatly. There are no set guidelines for quality ,nor are there any recommended pricing structures, so one must use one's own discretion here. I can't tell you that R 4000 is a good price for a small website, because it depends on the web design itself. If I may use a fine art analogy here. R 1 million is a ridiculous price to pay for a Trechikoff, but an incredible bargain for a Van Gogh.

EXAMPLES

If the web design company does not supply examples of their work or some form of portfolio, it can mean one of two things. Either the company is just starting out and has no work to showcase yet, or they are not confident enough to display their work because it is not very good. The other problem I've come across here is when a web design agency has a long list of clients that they have allegedly done work for, but no links to the work itself. In cases like these, you can rest assured that at least half of their clientele are made up and the other half of their clientele are upset by their shoddy workmanship. Bottom line is: If the company is any good, they will proudly display examples of their work. If the company just doesn't have any work to display, you're taking a gamble. It's your call.

lazy and unreliable manLazy and Unreliable ManSERVICE

There are three kinds of service you will come across in the web design industry. The first kind are lazy and unreliable, the second kind are very enthusiastic and will promise you the world, but won't deliver, and the last kind (which is the kind you are looking for) will get back to you promptly, and meet, or even exceed your expectations. The latter is very difficult to come by. Here's how you can spot the different kinds...Should you ask for a quote from a web design company or get in touch with them via email and they do not get back to you within twelve hours, then you can expect this kind of service for the entirety of the job. They are lazy and do not feel that you are important enough for them to reply promptly. The second kind is more difficult to spot. This kind are skilled in promotional talking but lack the technical skill/knowledge to deliver, so asking a few technical questions should do the trick. Instead of listening to the words they use to reply, watch their body language to see if they look uncomfortable with the question.

LOCATION

A good internet connection for both parties, in most cases, rules out the significance of where the designers offices are located. In fact, if you have a tight deadline, it is probably better to have an online relationship because when you send an email with instructions, the web designer is already at his/her computer to make the changes, as opposed to having to drive back to their premises and prepare themselves for work mode again. Even material for the job can be emailed because unlike their graphic designer counterparts, the files are low resolution, therefore small in size. One thing to keep in mind though, is that if their offices are in a very exclusive area/office park, you can probably expect to pay "exclusive" prices.

SEO

A good web design company will design your website with search engine optimization in mind. It is no good to have a beautiful website that no one is ever going to see because search engines can't read the format in which it was designed. Ask your designer about their website marketing options. A lot of companies say they offer this but really don't know much about it. If a designer can't tell you exactly how they have optimized your site for search engines, then they probably have not.

meeting a deadlineMeeting a DeadlineDEADLINES

The last factor to take into consideration is the web designers ability to work within given deadlines. In a deadline situation it is almost always better to deal directly with the person/s who are going to be doing the work. In many large corporations, they will send a client liaison to receive instruction from the client, but in many cases the client liaison is only trained to appease the client, by saying "yes we can do that", "sure, you will have it tomorrow", but does not have an inkling of what the work entails, and then will go back to the designer only to be told that there are problems with what was promised. This back-and-forth liaising lends itself to miscommunication and is ultimately a waste of valuable time. The best way to see if a web design company can meet your deadline is to give them a smaller job first, with its own deadline. The Bible says "Those who can be trusted with little, can also be trusted with much".

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' to request a free quotation

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The Importance of a website for any business

world wide webWorld Wide WebIn today's society, individuals and businesses utilize the World Wide Web as a means to locate, discuss, and distribute information. With tools such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo, businesses are able to not only optimize their websites' search engine results, but also increase the exposure to their products and services. The competitive edge between businesses is defined by more than just low prices, superior customer service, and results. In this day and age, consumers have more on their plate, and less patience to wait for tasks to be completed. They would rather have the ease, and speed of utilizing the internet for service of their needs, than wait in a phone queue for a representative to service that same need. As a result, many businesses have provided additional quality options, and incentives to their members for conducting business transactions online.

A mobile website allows a travelling businessman to take care of his accounts while in the midst of meetings, conferences, and flights. Your company's user-friendly and self-explanatory website design showed the stay-at-home mom how easy it was to manager her business with you, while watching the baby, paying the bills, and getting dinner ready for the family. Consumers don't have time to wait for pages to load. They want websites that are informational, effective, and provide a variety of options to quickly log in and out, while still taking care of their business needs. Consumers utilize search bars and sitemaps to quickly locate what they're looking for, to preserve what precious time they have during the day. They want shopping carts that can save their selections for a later time and date when they have the time to update the products and services they wish to purchase, without having to start all over. With the growing need for consumers to self-service, businesses have awarded incentives to those who prefer to order, service, and cancel their products online.

website redesigningWebsite RedesigningBusinesses are held to higher standards for the level of quality and for their efficiency in servicing the needs of consumers. Consumers want better, faster, easier methods of conducting account transactions worldwide, and expect businesses to progress alongside technological advances. Businesses have been impacted by the rising demand for the need to provide more cost-effective and streamlined servicing. They have found an increased need to constantly accommodate the exponential growth by frequently redesigning websites and performing site maintenances. Despite increasing consumer demands, business owners need to remember not to let quality be overshadowed by the quantity of available methods of accessibility. Though the world is accustomed to technological conveniences, consumers have not forgotten the old-fashioned backbone of quality service and products.

Business owners utilize various tactics to encompass as many consumers in as many ways possible, thereby ensuring their marketing potential is maximized. By incorporating outbound email capabilities, businesses have found email marketing to be highly effective. Options for email marketing range from the "refer a friend" method to clients requesting additional information directly from their websites. By utilizing marketing mailing, businesses gain the advantage of reaching consumers and marketing their products, at the convenience of consumers. Many businesses take full advantage of how easy and powerful online marketing really is. They offer rebates and discounts for conducting business online, which optimizes both their productivity and business results

Business OwnerBusiness OwnerBusiness owners need to get creative when it comes to consumer demands. They need to create a website that is not only effective, but interactive, and also encourages self-servicing. A growing number of websites now offer technical support in multiple forms, and have maintained the sites so as to not slow down with increased access and usage. Websites also have "frequently asked questions" that list questions and answers for common scenarios, to eliminate a certain volume of assistance needed. Companies are therefore able to allocate time and resources elsewhere, to allow for more efficient operation. Business owners in today's society recognize the importance of redesigning websites, and systems, to provide worldwide around the clock access to an easy and efficient website.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' to request a free quotation

 

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