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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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Why Dot-Coms Fail - a Webmaster's Perspective

Everyday we hear that another company goes out of business.

dotbombDot BombWhen and why does a dot-com become a dot-bomb?

After checking a few dozen defunct companies, I think the main reasons for dot-com failure are:

  • Poor business plan. In the last years, a lot of investment capital was spent on poorly planned companies that clearly couldn't reach profitability.
  • Poor company promotion. This applies both offline and online. Two newspaper ads and word of mouth are not enough.
  • Poor financial management. Fancy offices, free food, does it ring a bell?
  • Poor Human Resources management. With lots of cash in their hands, many start-up companies hired too many people or, even worse, hired unqualified staff. The hiring of friends and relatives often returned no value on investments.
  • Errors in the company's Web site. Sometimes hundreds of errors could be found in one Web page. Yes, those Web site builders should go back to school, if they ever went to school for HTML at all.

    I'll focus my comments on the last reason:

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Why HTML Is Better For Web Design

green flashGreen FlashFlash and heavy image websites may look good, they often do. But how effective are they? Not as effective as you may think. Most people think once a website is created it is going to be found by everyone on the internet. They couldn’t be more wrong. This article will talk about why HTML is a key to a website and its success.

HTML is the only language search engines can understand, anything else is like a foreign language. Search engines cannot read flash. They cannot read JavaScript. They cannot read images. That is why you are going to want to find a web designer who is going to be able to create a strong based HTML website.

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Why Stock Photography is a Great Resource for Web Business

a picture is worth a thousand wordsA Picture is Worth a Thousand Words A picture is worth a thousand words.

And it still is today. With the media changing everyday, photography has changed along with it, and as a result is still a valuable resource for web business.

1. Photos enhance the look of a website.

2. Communicate so much more than words, they communicate emotions.

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Wordpress Themes: Selecting an Effective Theme

WordPress blogWordpress BlogIf you're blogging on the Wordpress platform, I'll bet my entire life savings that the first thing you ever did was try to install a new Wordpress theme. I'll bet my future earnings that even today, you're still occasionally changing themes and wasting a lot of time doing minor modifications, that when summed up merely distracts you from blogging itself.

It's actually easy to see why this single aspect of running a blog demands so much attention. With the correct theme, you can accommodate all the nifty little widgets and codes, and may also mean better search engine rankings, and tons of fresh traffic every day.

So what are the factors you need to consider to make theme-hunting easier? Here are five important ingredients:

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