Who Owns Your Domain?

Joe ComoWebsite Tools0 Comments

Domain registration can be an overwhelming task since there are so many different registration companies. A Google search alone brings up 5,740,000 results! Each company seems to offer the same service so what should you look for, and which company do you choose?

The most important thing is to make sure that when you register a domain, YOU are the owner. It is a common mistake to allow the person or company who registers it for you to be the owner. If you do not own the domain, it can be difficult if you ever want to move to a new hosting company. The good news is that there is a resource online called “whois” that can identify the domain owner. If you discover that you don’t own your domain, you should work to get that fixed right away.

If you are not 100% sure if you own the domain, go to www.whois.com right now.  When you get to the site, click on the words that say “WhoIsLookUp” located in blue above the search bar.  You will be able to see all of the contact information related to the registrant.  By the way, did you know all that information is public?  Be careful of what personal information you type in because if you’re not, anyone could start emailing or calling your personal information.  The good news is there is a way to hide this information.  Tell your registration company that you are interested in privacy and they can hide it for an additional fee.

SEO Defined

Joe ComoWebsite Tools0 Comments

What do people think about your company when they can’t find your website?  With 4.9 billion internet searches being conducted every month, you need to make sure that your website is being found by prospective customers.  Search Engine Optimization is just one program available to assist with your search engine ranking.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization also known as SEO is a long-term solution for your website.  This type of program will improve your ranking organically in search results by modifying your website’s text to include top keywords.  The text modification means the most appropriate keywords will be placed in the most important areas of the page.  This type of program is ideal for businesses that already have a good flow of search engine traffic and just wish to maintain or improve over time.  Typically the program manager would analyze and tweak the site throughout the year as needed.  It is important that this program be ongoing because search engines periodically change their rules of ranking to try to produce more accurate results so it is important to keep up with the changes.

Read more about Search Optimization now.

Tip: Optimize Those Photos!

Joe ComoWebsite Tips0 Comments

An important design element that can give life to your site is photos.  Photos can add a lot of character to the site, put visitors in the correct frame of mind to view your site, as well as help someone determine in the first five seconds if they should even bother looking at any other pages.

The most important thing regarding photos on your site is to make sure that they are optimized.  This means making sure the photos are clear, properly sized, and grab attention.  If photos have to be a small size to fit on your page, add on the ability for a visitor to increase the size of the photo to get a closer look if they wish.  Also, do not leave blurry or unclear photos on your site.  Visitors may equate your inability to take care of that small detail with the inability to accurately take care of their detailed order.

Writing for the Web vs Print

Joe ComoWebsite Tools0 Comments

How did you decide what content was going to go on your website?  Did you just take the text from your sell sheets and other materials and retype it onto your site?  If so, you need to know that the content on printed materials may not be effective for the web.  Print media does not always translate well to the website because there are certain techniques for online writing that you need to follow.

Why would the print media not translate well?  The answer is that visitors to your website have a different reading style than say those reading a printed document.  When visitors come to a site, they quickly scan the page for relevant information that jumps out at them.  Chances are they will not sit in front of a computer screen and read word for word.  Therefore your content needs to be presented effectively, have the ability to be read quickly, and be easy to understand.

Stay tuned – web writing tips will be posted soon!

Tip: Navigation Font

Joe ComoWebsite Tips0 Comments

One of the easiest ways to tell if a site is useful or not is to check out the navigation.   The navigation has several important elements that must be followed to make it something that is useful.  The font size is one of the important elements of navigation.

All of the navigation choices should be the same size font.  The font should be large enough to be read without having to squint or guess at what it says.  If there is more than one word per button, try having the second word line up underneath the first word.  This way the second element, button size will be followed.  All of the navigation buttons should be the same size no matter how many words are inside of it.

Take a look at your navigation and see if it follows these rules.  If not, fix it as soon as possible and you will be surprised at how much more organized the homepage will appear.

Tools for Website Planning

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As you are putting together your 2009 website plan you need to consider how you are going to make your website even more useful to visitors.  Here are some questions to ask and some tips to help you plan.

First, write a plan for how you are going to have visitors move through your site.  Actually map it out or walk through it yourself and see how effective your current site really is.  Next, determine what the navigation buttons should say and where they should lead to.

The most important element of making a website useful is to figure out how you are going to get someone to take an action on your site.  You need to make it as easy as possible.

2009 websites must be interactive!  How are you going to communicate with your visitors?

For more details and ideas, we recommend the book Call to Action by Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg.  They give real examples that you can use for your site.

As always, if you find this type of thing technically overwhelming, just give us a call and we will be happy to meet with you and help you plan.

Happy Planning!

Wisconsin Web Design – Everything you need to know

Joe ComoWebsite Tools0 Comments

Type “Wisconsin Web Design” into Google and you will get a huge list of results.  What makes one design company different from the other?   For starters, not all businesses have the customer’s best interests in mind!  But how do you know if they do or do not?  Simple.

Have you ever called up a design company and asked “how much do websites cost?”  Did you get an answer in about three seconds?  Do you think that company seriously cares more about your business or making a sale?

The fact is that some web design companies are so hungry for sales that they will actually give you a quote on a project without even knowing anything about your business or your goals.

I hope a company like this has not approached you yet.  Think about it – with their “quick estimate” approach, is the initial cost of the project even relevant if the project later fails because proper planning with them never took place?

One of the best ways to ensure success is to invest in planning.

Your people can sit down with our people and hash out your business needs.  When the right people are in the room together it usually takes about two hours to uncover the issues.  Your business and your goals are thoroughly examined to ensure success.  Then we can put together a strategy that will serve your business best.

Learn more about Comstar now!