ALL the traditional offline media such as the YELLOW PAGES, Newspapers and TV are dying a slow and painful death!
Quality Web Designresearch shows that Tens of Thousands of Local Businesses are pulling out of these impotent and ineffective offline marketing channels… everyday. The Internet is taking over, like an all conquering army swarming over the enemy and devouring everything in its path.
You are not on your own; 14 Million Local Businesses in the U.S. and 2 Million Local Businesses in the UK DO NOT even have a Website!
WARNING!! Here are some Amazing Facts that you should pay attention to: 1. 73% of activity online is “related to Local Search activity” (Google 5/07)
2. For every one dollar or pound UK or US. consumers spend online, another five or six go offline with their purchases that are influenced by online research.
3. 97% of Internet users in the US and UK, gather shopping information online, and of those consumers 51% explicitly characterize their behaviour as “Shop Online, Purchase Offline”
4. 43% of search engine users are seeking a local merchant to buy something offline.
5. 54% of search users have substituted Internet/search for the phone book (Source: comScore Networks)
A website builder gives any person the possibility to construct a website from scratch without manual code editing. Some web hosting companies offer free website builder tools as part of their marketing strategy. You get the hosting with the company, and they offer a free program that helps you build a private website in no time. You should also make the distinction between website builder and website design software. The former is an online tool, while the latter is a software that is installed on your PC, creating pages offline. With a web design software, you can then choose any host to publish these pages.
Among the companies that offer free website builder access to customers that subscribe to web hosting we can mention Yola, Wix, networksolutions.com or webs.com. You can check what a fully functional website created with their builder looks like. There are lots of website galleries to take a look at as well as a variety of services to choose from. There are no limitations for the type of web pages created with the website builder. They range from basic personal sites to social network content and fully-operational business and e-commerce websites.
You don’t need any technical knowledge or experience when you use a website builder because the tool is designed to do almost everything for you. In case you’re wondering about technical support, it is offered by the host provider in the form of video and text tutorials. Most websites are designed using Adobe Flash and HTML, which are standards supported by all browsers. Although growing in popularity Flash is still not that great to work with.
I’ve come across incredible sites designed with Flash, and there are website builder tools for this purpose. Yet, experts do not warmly recommend Flash just yet because it prevents indexation from Google and Yahoo crawlers. You may have the best-looking website, and still have no visitors because the search engine does not find it. Check the pros and cons of Flash before using a website builder that relies on it.
We should also mention the professional category of website builder that is extensively used by off-line web masters who work for more than just one web host and one client. Yet, only someone with good understanding of CSS (cascading style sheets) and HTML can actually use such tools. With such a program, you can enjoy more program flexibility, yet in comparison with a regular online website builder, such a tool is so much more expensive.
Anybody can now build a website for personal use or for business. Online tutorials, guides and free tools are laid at the disposal of the interested web user who wants to create a site. However, before you start work, you need to do a bit of reading and learn about the steps necessary for web design.
Begin by putting all your ideas on paper. What’s the specificity of the website? Point out every objective you have in mind. Don’t forget about what you want the page to look like: simple or complex, brightly colored or not? Do you intend to include pics and videos? What about interactive features for the visitors?
You cannot build a website without a domain name and a web host. You have to register and pay for both prior to actually owning your website. Make sure you read about the types of web hosting available. Experts recommend to avoid shared hosting for instance, because every time another website using the same server has problems, inconveniences may appear on your website as well.
Even non-technical people can build a website. If you don’t know anything about HTML code writing and text editing, and still you’re committed to making your own page, you can use a website builder for the job. Such tools are offered for free by numerous web hosting companies when you sign up with them. All the tasks are very simple; you just point and click or drag and drop. The websites created by this method behave well with search engines and don’t have compatibility problems (Flash makes an exception).
You build the site using the HTML editor, then when the pages are ready you find a web server to publish the website. Copy the pages on the server and then start promoting the website track. These would be the major steps that follow web design as such. You ought to do serious reading about each of these so that you know your way.
The other viable option to build a website is to hire a pro. Lots of web design companies have excellent services. What’s left for you to determine is whether you can afford to pay for them and whether they are reliable. Web design is not exactly what we’d call cheap, which makes the number one reason why website builders are popular. Yet, for very complex projects it’s a lot better to have an expert on board!
The features of the website builder software can tell a potential user whether the tool is worth buying or not. Go for the features first and foremost, and then read reviews, testimonials, FAQ and support. The graphics creation comes first on the list. A good website builder software allows you to create not only graphics but shapes and backgrounds as well. The image editing comes next in terms of importance. In traditional manual web design, this part of any project is performed using an image editing software. Normally, a quality website builder incorporates this feature and makes usage a lot easier as it does not require any technical knowledge from its operator.
Through image editing, you can enhance transparency or shading, you can make colors more vivid or less bright. These tasks go hand in hand with the positioning and sizing of the objects on the page so that you can give a certain page exactly the appearance you want. A website building software should also include a drag-and-drop feature so that you can insert information or tables a lot more easily. The text editing supports the drag-and-drop feature as it performs the spell checking, the link management and editing.
Make sure you start the web page design based on a clear structure of the website. Don’t take up work until you’ve created a sketch to work on so that you have a pretty good idea about what you want the site to look like. You have to make the pages user-friendly and create all sorts of tools and website features that encourage traffic to the page. Drop-down menus, objects importing and visitor feedback forms become necessary to give a final touch to the web design project. A good website builder software should enable the creation of such website features too.
Read reviews and users’ opinions before buying a website builder software. Even if it’s not expensive, you should not spend the money lightly either. The demo versions pretty much give you an idea about what the program can do for you. Evaluate your needs carefully, because you may gain more with a website builder rather than with a web design software program. There are lots of hosting companies that offer an online website builder in support of the customers who sign up with them. The latter is for the pros and for those with technical understanding of how web design works.
A website builder is often confused for a website building software and vice-versa. The tool variety is pretty large, and any professional or non-technical user can download or use such a program online. The website builder is usually offered by a web host company or other software business as a marketing strategy to attract customers. Let’s say that you want to create a website, but don’t want to pay a fortune on it, this could be your chance. Sign up for web hosting with the company, and in exchange you get free access to an online website builder that does most of the job for you. Such a tool does not require technical knowledge on the user’s part.
The website building software on the other hand can be used off line, and it does not require the user to buy something in order to get access to it. The pages created with the program can be use with any host, without any limitation whatsoever. In fact, website building software always costs, yet, it comes with trial versions for the prospect to check and evaluate before making a purchase. Lots of professional web designers use a website building software particularly when they have to design pages for different customers and different web hosts.
Yet, mention must be made that the use of a website building software requires at least basic knowledge and understanding of HTML and CSS (cascading style sheets). The simplest tools available allow you to do all the work with in a short period of time and without any effort whatsoever. Make sure that the program does not also need an image editing software. The easiest tools allow the user to change the picture size or properties right within the work window.
With a website building software you solve the problem of creating shapes and backgrounds, altering transparency or shade. This means, that while with manual web design, a paint program is a must, with a web page building tool, the designing processes loses its complexity and becomes accessible to the layman.
Last but not least we ought to mention the templates and their availability. Some people prefer to start from scratch with web design, while others want to keep things simple and get going with a ready-made template. A website building software should normally include a category of templates for the user to select the one that best corresponds to his/her business needs.
Web designs vary so much depending on the designer’s vision, on the site owner’s intention and on the nature of the business that the site promotes. Web technologies allow for such great approaches and unlimited expressions of creativity. That’s why, from a certain point of view, a good website is a piece of artwork. The attention that the web designer pays to details sometimes enhances the value of the pages. But what details do indeed have an impact on the Internet user? Which are more effective?
Sometimes just a few pixels change the impact. This is the reason why web designers need to have an excellent understanding of color, shape, negative space, contrast and other visual elements that people are more likely to perceive in website designs. A certain design trick could give a specific area on the page a great visual distinction. Such a strategy becomes a powerful marketing tool, because it makes it possible to enhance the precise page section that you want website visitors to notice first.
Navigation within the website further deserves mentioning when it comes to exploring the differences between website designs. The user’s ability to navigate to another page represents the most important part of the page, and therefore should receive extra attention during the web design process. A whole team of people sometimes have to collaborate in order to create a great looking homepage. Experts point out that prior to actually creating the design and writing the code, designers ought to put everything on paper.
Modifications can be made to website designs a lot earlier in the creation process if the sketches and the website structure and architecture are decided upon and discussed in advance. Every creative stage has its own progress, but everything can be thought through in the early development stages. Planning remains essential for successful online activity, regardless if you choose to do the website design yourself, or you entrust the task to a pro.
Websites designs vary a lot, but the site ‘creation’ process does not finish with look and functionality. There is also content, maintenance, search engine optimization, advertising and interactive support to be covered. All the tasks performed online require an ongoing involvement on the part of the web master or on that of the business owner, if he/she manages everything on the website. All sorts of tools are necessary both for the design part as well as for maintenance and Internet marketing. The success of a business can sometimes depend on the efficiency of the software the web manager relies on.
Website creation appears easy and doable if you read some forum posts or articles that promote website builders and other similar software tools. Now, it very much depends on what you understand by ‘simple’ and what expectations you have in terms of web design. There are several things that need to be done in order to begin your website. First you have to register the domain name which basically creates the website address. You pay a fee when you register, and then you are charged on a yearly basis.
With some free web hosts you pay nothing for the domain name. Yet, you don’t really own the domain name and the services are pretty unstable. Experts advise those interested in website creation to find a reliable web host. All your files will be housed with the web host that provides the environment to create and save Internet pages. While some web hosts require monthly payment, some charge on an annual basis as well. Such details are for the user to check.
Now for the actual website creation, you have two options: to use the website building tools offered by the web host, or turn to a professional web designer for the job. It’s also possible to use a web editing software program to create the website yourself, but the task usually requires basic knowledge and understanding of CSS (cascading style sheets) and HTML. There are free editors as well, and even if they have some limitations, they work fine in general. Without a piece of software, the HTML has to be coded from scratch.
Decide on the website features prior to actually starting website creation. Know your goals, make a sketch and build the website architecture on it. Online guest-books, chat room for site visitors to communicate, message forum, feedback forms and many more can be added to the website, to strengthen the relationship with site visitors. You should be aware that user interactive features require special scripts, which makes website creation a bit more complex.
Some such scripts are free, others require payment. Have a look at both categories, ask around and then decide on the right option for you. The problem with these scripts is that you have to install them on your own. Get the setup with the web host, then follow the instructions to complete this part of website creation. It’s important to check with the web host whether they support the kind of script you’re planning to use.
All the programming tasks required to construct the back end of a website are known as web development. The code writing is something that visitors neither see nor suspect, but lots of work need to be done in order to provide the right information in the correct format on the world wide web. With web development, the website is made ready to comply with the search engine and browser conditions and limitations. Dynamic scripting language used for web design and web development include ColdFusion, ASP.NET, PHP and ASP. Web development may sometimes refer to JavaScrip and Java scripting.
Depending on the magnitude of a web development project, hundreds of people can work together for the multiple tasks required. While web design is all about artistic work and creativity, web development covers all the forms and scrips. As a professional, the web developer deals with hosting websites, securing and protecting private information and coding various features required for business (such as the shopping cart). The web development work may begin after the design part is complete, as the web developer writes the code navigating through the pages put together by the designer.
There are lots of experts who have knowledge of both: design and coding, handling all tasks successfully. Yet, everybody agrees that web development is the most technical and difficult process of website creation, but it cannot work without the design part. Web design and development are like the two sides of the coin, that actually make the coin. In case you were planning to take up your own web design project for business or personal use, you’d better know what you are up against.
The website builder programs that have been launched in recent years, help you most of the job, yet, it doesn’t hurt to ask for an expert’s opinion to see what extras there may be required for efficient web development. Does the software tool do the full job or not? Such a question becomes problematic if you’ve already started work and reached a dead end. Hence everybody who intends to create a website should give a bit of thought to web development.
Simply knowing that web development is required for every web page makes one begin from the right place. It won’t make things any simpler, but at least you become aware of the challenges ahead and you can plan more efficiently for the design and promotion of your website.
With the help of a free website builder any non-technical user can create website easily and nearly professionally. The design of the website is kept separately from the content, so that you can edit the text without causing any problem for the format or the design of the page. You don’t have to know anything about HTML or web technologies in order to keep the website up to date. With a web design software tool you just insert images, edit text and drag-and-drop. You can’t get easier!
Depending on the tool format, you may have to download the software or get a full package with the necessary features. The drag and drop editor is the key functional principle of such website builders whether or not for Flash websites. It is nevertheless more difficult to find a free website builder, particularly, one that does all the job for you professionally. Not only page design is important, but set up and maintenance pose great challenges for the inexperienced as well. That’s why the tool you choose ought to help you manage these tasks as well, without any problem whatsoever.
How search engine friendly is a website designed with a free website builder? That’s the main question you need to get answered? Most tool presentations and online reviews indicate that the designed pages perform really well in search engines, allowing for efficient SEO. Yet, not everything depends on the free website builder. You have to keep things well organized and come up with a good website architecture that is relevant for your market niche.
The majority of websites are built as a homepage connected with a number of inner pages. Before you begin the design process with the free website builder, you should map out what the navigation should look like on your site. Don’t get stuck in style or technical details, because the builder enables for advanced customization at any time during the design process. Adjustments can be made accordingly, when it is the case.
Depending on the free website builder, you can create the website from scratch or start with a free web template as the foundation for the homepage. Then, you customize it and build on it. There should be a template category in the builder’s ‘Create’ section, and the user can browse through them and select the one template the suits personal preferences and reflects business vision at its best.
By webpage design experts refer to the way content is delivered to web surfers through the www space. The homepage for every website is displayed through web browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox. The design is performed by professional web designers and programmers; the former create the layout, choose or make the templates while the latter write the code. Mention must be made that the same person can take care of both web design and web programming, because there are lots of skilled experts with knowledge of both.
Webpage design is incredibly important for a business because it is at this primary project level that the optimization level begins. It’s possible that you may have come across the term of ‘bad website’. By such a ‘label’ connoisseurs refer to websites that have too many internal pages and hundreds of ramifications that makes it difficult for search engines to index. Thus, it’s possible that the viewer may see just the homepage from the hundreds of pages designed for a website.
Then, a poor user interface discourages visitors from staying for too long on the page. Moreover, too intricate Flash applications could make it impossible for some web surfers to access the site. This usually happens when the visitor doesn’t have the latest computer model, and a slower operating system on the PC. If you perform the webpage design yourself, you have to be really careful to actually do a good job. It’s preferable to invest in web design than ruin the business chances for success from the very start.
With the increasing importance of information technology, webpage design has become more and more distinctly separated from web development. Web design now touches more on visual arts and graphics, which separates it clearly from web programming, that is all about code writing. The process of webpage design remains one of the most complex, and it rules the actual programming steps that follow it. A professional web designer now operates not only with graphic design, but also with information technology, search engine optimization, photography, typography, animation and more.
The purpose of webpage design needs to be clear from the very start in order for the website to function according to the set business goals. You must know what you want. In today’s world, we can clearly say that web design is the most sophisticated and complex method that supports business development and communications. Don’t allow the potential of the Internet to remain underused for your business!