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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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Web Templates: Replacing Designers?

web designer equipmentWeb Designer EcquipmentI’ve seen articles (and websites) that suggest you can buy a website template and skip the expense of hiring a professional website designer. Recently, I read several testimonials from the very satisfied customers of a website template vendor that mentioned how quickly they were able to get their sites done. The template vendor commented that he/she had known people to complete their websites in around two hours.

With experiences and statements like these, it not surprising that more and more people are attempting to build websites themselves. I think that’s great in a way. For those of us who are concerned about the trends in the web industry and community, it’s great to see more people becoming web oriented and involved.

However, I think there is a misunderstanding by many of these people about what a website template really is – and is not. At this point, I think it only fair that I should mention that I am a professional website designer (the person you supposedly don’t need anymore). I should also mention that this is not my sole motivation for questioning this idea of templates replacing web designers. As a matter of fact, I think website templates are extremely useful. I recommend using them to my clients as a way of getting a great graphical look for their site. What I hope to convey is that template consumers need to know what they are and what they aren’t getting with a template.

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What is Fantastico?

fantastico deluxe cpanelFantastico Deluxe C-PanelFantastico is a program that comes with most hosting packages, integrated with the popular online control panel- Cpanel to offer web hosting useres the ability to install popular programs and scripts. The installation of these programs and scripts are significantly simplified, all with the ease of a click of a button. Web-hosting users are able to install multiple instances of popular open source programs for their web design needs. For users who intend to get their sites up and running in minimal time, Fantastico is the perfect solution.

Also referred to as Fantastico Deluxe, the popularity of this program seems to just keep on growing, and with good reasons. An interesting feature of Fantastico is that it is updated on a regular basis to ensure that users will always get the latest software patches and upgrades. Users will have that peace of mind of knowing that their scripts are kept up-to-date with security updates and functionality improvements.

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When You Should Consider Using a Site Template or Wizard to Build Your Own Website

design and artDesign and ArtI'm a web designer letting you know when it's important not to use a web designer. I feel this is very important to discuss, because many customers spend a lot of money when a much simpler solution is available for them. HTML and other web technologies are easy to learn, but very difficult to master. There are many automated template and site wizards which can walk you through developing a simple site without any prior web design or programming knowledge. For the right customer this is a great solution to their web design needs.

The Look:

Although wizards and template machines have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, they still have a somewhat "generic" look and feel. If setup perfectly a website audience may not know specifically they are looking at a template site, although almost unavoidably they will feel uninspired by the look and at least subconsciously know they've seen a ton of websites with the same idea. The designs are usually engineered to be able to be conformed to any business so they lack any cohesion or emotional link to your specific company or individual site. There are some exceptions to this. Extremely large e-stores may have a VERY extensive library of templates even ones catered to specific professions. If the success of your website depends on an "expensive", ultra professional, or creative look then definitely rule out this possibility.


 

Time Frame limitedTime Frame LimitedTime Frame:

Templates and wizard sites are usually advertised with tag lines like build your website in 5 minutes. Regardless of the simplicity of the interface, if you're going to build a good website even with a wizard or template expect to spend hours and hours of your time on it. Without the help of a professional who can guide you through the trial and error discovery and content refinement process, expect to do a lot of research on your own. In addition if you have problems or make mistakes you won't have an ability to get instant help and tech support is painfully slow. If you have strict time schedule requirements, rule this possibility out.

Ideal Candidates:

Websites that represent industries where the website itself is not meant to be profitable (IE no e-commerce sites)

Personal home pages.

Situation where the website's goal is only to reinforce the product or service and not to provide new customers but as an information source. Industries or services were extremely good automated web solutions exist and are easily available. One example is real-estate agents, although elite agents may want a fancy website, a normal agent can find very satisfactory template website solutions that are complete with industry specific functions and features like mortgage and interest calculators and live up link with their firm's properties. In addition all the web competition has kept the price of these services VERY low.

When only the product has significance. If your setting up a website to sell a used car, and want your local ads in the paper to point there, people could care less if the graphic design looks professional. PLEASE use a template.

If you're testing an idea or concept and don't want to spend a lot of money.

out of business diy website designOut of Business DIY WebsiteWhat not to do:

Here is what I don't recommend. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT try to build your own site by learning a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you editor like front page or Dreamweaver, unless you already know these programs well and have a lot of web experience. These programs are not intuitive and will allow you to completely mess up your layout and code.

time on your handsTime on Your HandsAlthough extremely limiting, the online wizard and template machines have a certain degree of fail safeness to them. You simply supply the information and they setup the pages for you. You can upload pictures and adjust them quickly and easily following simply directions. In a WYSIWYG editor there are many non intuitive things you have to know WELL in order to create a website that's functional. I've have A LOT of website customers come to me after practically pulling their hair out with all the problems they encountered trying to fix problems in their self created website.

I've also met very few non tech people who were successful at building a good looking website with front page or dream weaver. If you're a computer power user, that's of course a different story, but even for you, good web design is a very difficult thing to grasp. Use an online wizard, builder or template instead of a WYSIWYG editor, unless you have a LOT of time on your hands.

Contact us today for a free quotation or more information.

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