Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

Surprising Tips of What Not to Include in Your Site

October 30, 2012 in Websites | Comments (0)

The following items are not good ideas to include on a website. Avoid them if you can when designing your site.

1. Animated GIFs, scrolling text and autoloading sounds.

The idea to include them is, of course, to attract the visitor’s attention. What they tend to do instead is distract and aggravate the visitor. Those with slow connections will resent the time spent loading the animations and sound files. And those wanting to read your content will find the blinking and scrolling items a challenge to their concentration.

2. Pages with little or no useful information.

If a page isn’t interesting or useful, it’s a waste of time. Visitors will tend to move on to another site rather than explore your site’s other pages in hopes of finding something worthwhile.

3. Pop-up windows.

They are an annoyance and a distraction. The only reason they are used are because they fulfill the web designer’s purpose without considering the visitor’s purpose.

4. Text over background images.

Anything that makes your content difficult to read should be avoided at all costs. If you have to use background images, make sure they are quick to upload. Compress your image files.

5. Text in ALL CAPS.

A few words in ALL CAPS draw your readers’ attention, which is what you may want. But all text in ALL CAPS loses the effect your are hoping to achieve, i.e. emphasis.

6. Spelling mistakes.

Please use a spelling checker. Typos and misspellings do count, and not in your favour. Your aim should be to present yourself as a trusted authority in your area of expertise. Misspellings make you look sloppy at best, illiterate at worst.

7. Dead links.

Please test your links every now and then. Links to external sites sometimes become extinct and are hence a waste of your readers’ time.


Benefits of Incorporating a Shopping Cart

October 18, 2012 in Websites | Comments (0)

As you start or update your online business, you will want to consider using shopping cart software. There are a number of benefits to be had from incorporating a shopping cart solution.

1. Potential customers expect it.

Online shopping is very common and customers are used to ordering online and using their credit cards online. Customers are not nearly as inclined to phone in an order.

2. Open for business 24/7.

Since the Internet is open 24/7, your online business is open 24/7. With a shopping cart  you can take orders when your customers are ready to buy, regardless of their time zone.

3. Fraud protection.

Each credit card purchase is verified by a certified company, which protects your business from fraud.

4. Simple sales report creation.

Sales reports can be easily generated that show precisely what and how much was sold each day, week or month.

There are far more benefits to be had from incorporating a shopping cart on your site. There are as well many e-commerce software packages from which you can choose. You will likely find that an online shopping cart is an essential tool for the future success of your business.


Top Level Domains

October 17, 2012 in Websites | Comments (0)

A top-level domain (TLD) is the part of your domain name that’s behind the last dot. .com .net & .org are the most well known, but there are many more, and there is the potential for there to be literally thousands more in the next little while.

In the early days, .com was reserved for a unique purpose:

  • .com  was used for commercial, for-profit websites/email
  • .net was for network related domains
  • .org was form not-for-profit organizations

Not many people distinguish between the first two anymore, although for some reason .org has retained it’s original purpose to a large extent. .com is the most popular TLD by a large margin, accounting for about 50% of the websites indexed by Google. As a domain registrar, I can tell you anecdotally that .com is requested about 90% of the time. It’s the easiest to remember, the TLD that most people refer to most commonly.

There are some other TLDs that harken back to the old days too, but registration was regulated (closed) to preserve their integrity. You can be sure if you land on a website with one of the TLDs, you’re on a legitimate site:

  • .gov is for American government websites
  • .edu  is for American educational institutions
  • .mil is for the American military

In addition to these, there are hundreds of country-specific TLDs, the most familiar to us being .ca (Canada) and .uk (Great Britain), as well as more generic ones like .biz and .net

The most recent development from ICANN* (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is that they’re going to allow big corporations to pay large sums of money to create their own TLD. This means you can look forward to .mcdonalds, .walmart, .apple, etc. as well as more generic domains ending in .pizza, .coffee, etc.

It’s strange to think that less than 20 years ago, most of us had no idea what the internet even was. Now, one of the first things any new business does is buy it’s domain name.

Click here to see a list of all current TLDs

- Iain

* – ICANN is the organization that administers all these TLDs