Tag Archives: Website

Streamline Your Website Pages

Squeezing the most efficient performance from your web pages is important. The benefits are universal, whether the site is personal or large and professional. Reducing page weight can speed up the browsing experience, especially if your visitors are using dial-up internet access. Though broadband access is the future, the present still contains a great deal of dial-up users. Many sites, ecommerce sites especially, cannot afford to ignore this large section of the market. Sites with a large amount of unique traffic may also save on their total monthly traffic by slimming down their web pages. This article will cover the basics of on-page optimization in both text/code and graphics.

Graphics

Graphics are the usual suspect on heavy pages. Either as a result of a highly graphic design, or a few poorly optimized images, graphics can significantly extend the load-time of a web page. The first step in graphics optimization is very basic. Decide if the graphics are absolutely necessary and simply eliminate or move the ones that aren’t. Removing large graphics from the homepage to a separate gallery will likely increase the number of visitors who “hang around” to let the homepage load. Separating larger photos or art to a gallery also provides the opportunity to provide fair warning to users clicking on the gallery that it may take longer to load. In the case of graphical buttons, consider the use of text based, CSS-styled buttons instead. Sites that use a highly graphic design, a common theme in website “templates”, need to optimize their graphics as best as possible.

Graphics optimization first involves selecting the appropriate file type for your image. Though this topic alone is fodder for far more in depth analysis, I will touch on it briefly. Images come in 2 basic varieties, those that are photographic in nature, and those that are graphic in nature. Photographs have a large array of colors all jumbled together in what’s referred to as continuous tone. Graphics, such as business logos, are generally smooth, crisp and have large areas of the same color. Photographs are best compressed into “JPEGs”. The “Joint Photographic Expert Group” format can successfully compress large photos down to very manageable sizes. It is usually applied on a sliding “quality” scale between 1-100, 1 being the most compressed and lowest quality, 100 the least and highest quality. JPEG is a “lossy” compression algorithm, meaning it “destroys” image information when applied, so always keep a copy of the original file. Graphics and logos generally work best in the “GIF”, or more recently, the “PNG” format. These formats are more efficient than JPEGs at reducing the size of images with large areas of similar color, such as logos or graphical text.

A few general notes on other media are appropriate. Other types of media such as Flash or sound files also slow down a page. The first rule is always the same, consider whether they are absolutely necessary. If you are choosing to build the site entirely in Flash, then make sure the individual sections and elements are as well compressed as possible. In the case of music, I will admit to personal bias here and paraphrase a brilliant old saying, “Websites should be seen and not heard.” Simply, music playing in the background will not “enhance” any browsing experience.

Text and Code

The most weight to be trimmed on a page will come from graphical and media elements, but it is possible to shed a few extra bytes by looking at the text and code of a web page. In terms of actual text content, there may not be much to do here. A page’s content is key not only to the user’s understanding but also search engine ranking. Removing or better organizing content is only necessary in extreme situations, where more than page weight is an issue. An example might be a long, text heavy web page requiring a lengthy vertical scrolling to finish. Such a page is common on “infomercial” sites, and violates basic design tenants beyond those related to page weight.

Code is a different story. A website’s code can be made more efficient in a variety of fashions. First, via the use of CSS, all style elements of a web page can now be called via an external file. This same file can be called on all a site’s pages, providing for a uniform look and feel. Not only is this more efficient; it is also the official recommendation from the W3C. The same may be said of XHTML and the abandonment of “table” based layout. Tables, though effective for layout, produce more code than equivalent XHTML layouts using “div” tags. Where a minimum of 3 tags are required to create a “box” with content in a table, only 1 is needed using divisions. Using XHTML and CSS in combination can significantly reduce the amount of “on page” code required by a web page. A final, relatively insignificant trick is the removal of all “white space” from your code. Browsers don’t require it; it is primarily so authors can readily read and interpret the code. The savings are minimal at best, but for sites that receive an extreme amount of traffic, even a few saved bytes will add up over time.

Conclusions

Target images and media files first when seeking to reduce the weight of a page. They are the largest components of overall page weight and simply removing them can significantly reduce total weight. The images that remain should be optimally compressed into a format appropriate for their type, photos or graphics. Avoid huge blocks of text that cause unnecessary vertical scrolling. Organize the site more efficiently to spread the information across multiple pages. Adopt XHTML and CSS to reduce the size of the on-page code, and call the CSS externally. These tips should help reduce the size of your pages and speed their delivery to your viewers.

How To Generate Web Site Traffic For Free?

Traffic is essential for every ecommerce entrepreneur and website owner. The best way of getting traffic is by achieving a top 10 or top 20 position in a famous search engine as Google. There are billions of websites indexed by Google. Only a small fraction of them get a high ranking.

It is not difficult to generate a lot of internet traffic with a high advertising budget. Big companies can afford millions of Dollars for advertising. Some brands only get traffic because of their famous name.

Most of the website owners have to calculate with a few Dollars. How can they succeed in generating traffic?

Some tips how to generate web site traffic for free:

1. Display your URL on everything

The public has to know about your website. The first step is to spread out your websites URL everywhere: on your business cards, on your online and offline letters, on your mailbox, in the telephone directory etc.

2. Submission to search engines and directories

You can submit your URL in most of the cases free of charge to search engines and directories. Important are directories that relate to the topic of your website. If your website deals with golf, submission to golf related directories or golf related pages in general directories might bring some traffic to your website.

3. Free classified ads

Classified ads are free of charge. You can place as many ads as you want. You can get a better exposure through featured ads to moderate costs. If you decide to pay for featured ads, it’s recommendable to give priority to classified ad websites with a high Alexa traffic rank. You find out the Alexa traffic rank of a website by typing in it’s URL at the alexa.com website.
4. Ads in ezines

It is also worthwhile to place ads in ezines that are related to the topic of a website. This can be done with moderate expenses.

5. Expose your website in newsgroups, forums

You may sign up in newsgroups and forums that relate to the topic of your website. You can give your advice to the audience and show solutions by your website. A lot of people surf on this kind of websites in order to find a solution for their problems.

6. Traffic Exchange

You may sign up at the different traffic exchange websites. You earn credits by surfing on these websites. The more you surf, the more credits you earn. Your website receives traffic according to the credits that you achieve. Of course, you cannot sit surfing all the time. This programs offer you the opportunity to refer other surfers to their website. Your website can gain credit from all the surfers in your down-line in this MLM-like system. Traffic to your website could explode, at least theoretically.

Finding The Right Log Analyzer

A log analyzer is an essential part of many websites. It basically tells you what is happening on your website. Do you want to know where your website’s visitors go and what they do? If you are an ecommerce merchant it can be quite important to know which ads and which set ups the public likes and more importantly what they react to. But how can you find this information when you do not have a log analyzer? You can. So, take some time to purchase one!

Here is one of the reports that many log analyzers provide. They normally provide a report that tells you what paths visitors to your websites have taken. That means that it will tell you which page they arrived at and where they went form there. While that doesn’t seem all that important, it will give you a good amount of information about your website that you can later use to expand or recreate it to be even more powerful. For example, if your log analyzer told you that nine out of ten people that visited your website saw your ad for bubble gum and clicked on it, then that ad was either very powerful in its message, located in the right location, or had the design and style to attract their attention enough to get them to click through. This is how you make money.

The good news is that these log analyzers can do much more than that as well. They can provide you with invaluable reports far more important than just that. In fact you can choose the log analyzers that fit your needs the best and purchase those. This will help you to incorporate the marketing tactics as well as the maintenance and effectiveness of your website so that you can make it just that much better. Log analyzers are powerful tools to count on.

Use Your Hobby To Launch A Successful Website

When you study the really successful websites, you will quickly notice that many are based on seemingly strange subjects, many of which may not easily pass for a serious business.

This clearly underlines the fact that when it comes to online enterprises and ecommerce, the possibilities are endless and you can actually succeed at virtually anything. There seems to be just one condition. You need to be passionate about whatever it is your website is about.

Jeff Bezos had a passion for books and that is one of the reasons why he borrowed money from his parents and launched Amazon.com. The rest is history and today Amazon earns Bezos and his associates millions of dollars.

This is precisely the reason why the first place you should look for an idea for your online enterprise and website, is your hobby. What are you passionate about? Or what do you really care about?

Establishing a successful online venture is hard work and it helps a lot if the subject matter that you are dealing with is close to your heart. It helps transform your chores from work to having fun. The facts are that people usually become wildly successful doing things that they enjoy doing. The more fun you have at your business, the higher the chances of success.

Having selected the hobby you want to turn into a business, It will help tremendously if you carefully analyze the potential online demand for the various businesses related to your hobby. This is easily done by studying popular keywords statistics and is a very important thing to do before launching any online business or website.

For example your hobby could be golf. By studying keywords, you may find that Golf stretch exercises are a very popular subject. This would be a pointer that the right business to start would be something to do with golf exercises. You can, for example, sell golf exercise equipment at your website.

This is the way to cash in on your hobby or passion and birth a hugely successful website or online enterprise.

Web Ecommerce: Where To Begin?

In web ecommerce, you are going to find a wealth of information about what it is and what it can do for you within minutes of looking on the web. The problem with this is, it is hard to sort out the good from the bad and the worthless from the maybe-worth-something options. Relying on the bad stuff will leave you broke and everyone is in search of the best options to make them a ton. So, where do you begin when it comes to web ecommerce?

In order to help you get started with web ecommerce, here are some of the things that anyone on the web selling can do to make their business more profitable and more potentially interesting to their buyers.

• Provide quality and something that is user friendly to the client. If you want to sell, you need to convince them that you have something that is better than what is out there or something that isn’t out there at all. You need to provide for them a good experience as well.

• Sales and promotions work as they would in the retail setting of a store. To get people in and buying, offering incentives can definitely help.

• Provide a great looking website for them to visit. Make sure that it is user friendly and that it is easy to navigate as well. Things like photos and graphics that are exciting and appealing are great tools to use as well.

• You can also do well by offering things like chat rooms and blogs that keep up the readership to your website. Allow them to play a role like this and they will likely book mark you and come back for more web ecommerce action!

Web Ecommerce can be a remarkable tool when you use it well. So, as your first step, take the time to explore what ways you can create a great place for your customers and how you can make sure that they come and come back.

Installing A Link Directory

If you have a website and want more people to link to you, installing a link directory is the right means for you to generate targeted Internet traffic. Indeed installing a link directory is a great way to get the trade links noticed on the Internet .

For a basic rendezvous with the concept of link directory and its installation, read on the article till the end. I am sure, once you finish reading this web page you would not ask any questions as you would be busy installing a link directory. So read on.

What is a Link Directory?
Link Directory is a platform on the Internet where various webmasters submit their links for free. The other webmasters can also exchange or trade links between them on a link directory. It is an effective and easy way to increase your search engine rankings. And that too for free!

In other words, you can also say that a link directory is a systematic record of resource links on a website. The links on a website are categorized according to their purpose. A website may support hundreds of links on its link page.

Why do people install a link directory?
Every webmaster wishes to get the target audience on their websites. installing a link directory is appropriate way to get the desired traffic and attention to the link sites. A number of people make use of web directories to find out the related links for their websites. This makes the job of online searching quite easy for them. Each and every link directory has categories and sub categories links.

How to go about installing a link directory?
You need to meet certain requirements for installing a link directory.

First of all you have to categorize your link directory. Your computer should have the definite script to run your link directory on a web server. The PHP scripting language is the best one to run your script on the Windows operating system. Other scripts like CGI are also used extensively for installing a link directory. The script can be purchased from any software store. The right script will make your installation easier. Some PHP scripts in the market are very powerful. They allow you to add as many categories in the link directory as possible. For installing such a link directory you must have a Linux operating system.

Also there are some scripts in the market that allow you to install the link directory on any of the operating system like Windows, UNIX and Linux. For installing any link directory, you should have a free space on your computer system. You may require 250 MB or more free space to install link directory software. Also you need to have a particular type of IP address for installation. If you do not have the right IP address, the Domain Name Server registrations may be lost and may result in the failure of the installation process.

Make one thing absolutely sure that the installation of your directory may be interrupted if the network is not properly connected. If you receive the connection errors such as “the link directory installation failed” or “error in installation”, check the network cable connection.

The domain name is the most important part of your link directory. Your link directory is installed with a particular domain name. Remember that the domain name should not be single. Create a domain name that suggests that the directory is a part of your organization. If your website domain name is “xyz.com”, the domain name of your directory must be some what like “ab.xyz.com”.

Keeping these things in your mind, installing a link directory would not have remained a task for you. Isn’t?

The Domain Name Game

You probably know that a domain name is a name given to a website or email account. Because IP addresses mark individual computers, the domain name is usually much easier to remember as it can be a catchy phrase or an on target description of what the website has to offer. In this day and age, the game of domain name selection is heated and often times a demanding field.

What does an effective domain name get you, anyway?

You may ask yourself why is it so very important to have a good domain name for your website. Besides being the best way to attract your customers, it is one of the best ways to have customers remember you. The returning customer is after all the best one to have. Yet, many websites fail at this point simply because there are so many other, just as good if not better, websites out there. Having a good, on target domain name is necessary for name recognition.

Finding Your Domain Name

Just like writing a jingle for a commercial, having an effective domain name should be something that people will remember. Catchy phrases or very targeted phrases can be the best way to get the attention of the user. More than likely, the first time they find you will be through advertisements or through a web search. But, once they are there, getting that domain name into their heads for next time is necessary.

But, its not really that easy. There is huge competition of domain names and many times you will find that the ‘good ones’ are already taken. But, when you get creative and think outside of the box you can really find the right niche and make your domain name the next one to be remembered.

There are also many information portals now devoted to the subject and we recommend reading about it at one of these. Try googling for “domain names” and you will be surprised by the abundance of information on the subject. Alternatively you may try looking on Yahoo, MSN or even a decent directory site; all are good sources of this information.

Do It Yourself Website

If you are just starting out in your new business and you decide that a website could be a valuable addition to this business how do you go about getting one up and running? You have two basic options really. Do it yourself or employ an individual or company to do it for you. Which option you take depends upon your own confidence in acquiring the skills necessary and the amount of funds you can divert to hiring in a company. If you have sufficient funds then hire in a company as this will enable you to devout all your time to developing your core business. If you don’t then you will have to do it yourself. So how do you go about it?

You will require no or little knowledge of HTML as you can purchase a whole package from a web hosting company which should include some form of website developing software and your domain name plus the hosting of your website. Give some thought to your domain name. It should be easy for people to type in and remember. Not too long, succinct and preferably no hyphens. So you have chosen your domain name and your hosting service now you must develop your site. Again give some thought to this. How many pages you are likely to produce, how many links you will need. What sort of information is going on each page. If you are completely new to this then I would suggest that using your site editor software you produce a first draft and publish it. You can always modify everything later as you go along. This will give you your first website which you can then submit to the search engines albeit not exactly what you want or one that is going to attract visitors.

Now you need to do quite a lot of research on the internet as to how to make your site visitor friendly and search engine friendly. Here you will discover the importance of good content, changing content, appropriate keywords, backward links, article writing and good copy on the website. Taking this information on board will enable you to restructure and rewrite your site over a period of time, probably many times. However all the time this learning process is going on your site is actually published on the Web so is likely to start being trawled by search engines and getting indexed even if it doesn’t sky rocket through the rankings. The most important thing to do from the outset is to write good content that will be of interest to your visitors. If it holds the attention of your visitors and gets them to contact you then it will likely be of equal interest to the search engines. Do not produce a site that is written with the search engines in mind. It is your visitors who are important and by following a few simple rules that are published all over the Web your site can become very attractive to visitors and to search engines also. Keep the site textually based, there is no point in having very flashy graphics as these are not noticed by the search engines and often annoy visitors who want to get at the information they are after as quickly as possible and not have to wait for some animated introduction to finish before they can enter the actual site.

Having put into practice all the advice that is out there you should have put together a pleasing and appealing website that visitors and search engines like. Each day or week you add more content and develop more links and you will gradually climb up the rankings. The last piece of advice I would give is start writing and submitting articles. One or two a week would be excellent over a year or two. Once your articles start being published you will see an immediate leap in the number of links back to your site and a subsequent rise in the rankings if your content is also good. Aim to produce over time several hundred articles if possible. The more you write the more links back to your site you will develop and the more visitors you will get as well as boost your rankings in the search engines.

Dot com or dot net, which is the best domain name to settle for?

When seeking domain names most people get confused over whether to settle for a dot com address or a dot net one. More so in recent times when dot net addresses have risen in popularity and usage on the net.

There are a few important facts that one needs to realize before they opt for a dot net address. Quite often when people need to commit the address of a website to memory, they will not remember the dot net and the first place they will check is the given address with a dot com ending. Many times when they do not find it there, they will hardly ever think of using dot net to repeat the search. That is a lost visitor and maybe even potential client.

What is even more worrying is that there is increasing evidence to suggest that an increasing number of people end up at a website after hearing about it either from a friend or acquaintance, or by seeing an advertisement on Television or hearing about it on radio or reading something about the site. When committing the website address to memory very few will distinctly remember the dot net address if that is the domain name that you have chosen.

Having said that, let us also appreciate the fact it is becoming increasingly difficult for anybody to land a decent dot com address. After years of use, there is hardly any short catchy name that you can think of that will not have been already taken up. Do not even mention search-engine key word friendly domain names which will be virtually impossible to get. This is the reason why folks often settle for a dot net address. Others do not even bother to start their search with dot com domains. This is a big mistake despite the unavailability of good dot com domains, which we have already acknowledged.

Exhaustive efforts should be made to try and secure a dot com domain before you give up and move to dot net. For example you can try and search for abandoned domain names. In fact by making an effort to be really creative and not hurrying the process, it is quite possible to secure a reasonably good dot com domain. You can be sure that it will be well worth the extra effort and time you put into it which will result in better success when you begin to seek traffic. Of course if you just cannot get a dot com domain, a dot net one is a good second choice.

Register now to avoid disappointment

Any successfully business person will tell you that one of the keys to a successful business is to plan ahead. With all the work and planing that has to be done, it can be easy to overlook some of the smaller points. Registering domain names is not something that traditionally has a high priority when you’re planning the future of your business. It has however become more important to reserve your on-line real estate as soon as you possibly can.

There are two good reasons to register domain names now even if you have no immediate plans to develop a website.

Every single day thousands of domain names are registered by people all around the world. The effect this has on you is an ever shrinking pool of suitable domain names to choose from. It is likely that several other companies around the world share your business name so even that is not safe.

The second less obvious reason relates to a recent change in the way search engines decide what order web pages should appear in their results. Search engines have started to look at the age of the domain name and if it was only registered recently (within a year) the site will be penalized. The result of this is your new website will fail to appear for any of the competitive search results for a considerable amount of time.

A simple solution to both these problems is to sit down and spend some time brain storming what your domain name requirements for the next year or two are likely to be then register the domains now. With the low cost of domain name registrations you only have to make a very small investment to secure the on-line future of your business. Most domain registrars also provide a free holding page service so there is no need to have a website.

Remember to register domains relating your business name and area of business. You should also look at registering domain names for your products. If you’re going to be launching a new product or service then register a domain for it now.