Website Tutorial #10: How to Make Your Site Look Good

Your website is one of the most important parts of your business.  In many cases, your website will serve as the first impression you make upon your customers. In order to make the best impression possible, you will want your website to look professional and visually appealing. If your website is not visually appealing, your visitors will not stay on your site for long. The following are some tips to make your website more appealing.

 

The color scheme of your website should be kept to complementary color tones that are easy on the eyes. If the colors you choose are too bright or garish, people may have a hard time looking at your site. Likewise, if the colors you choose clash with

each other, it could give your visitors a headache.

 

The fonts that you choose should be easy to read. You can certainly find some very decorative fonts, but if they have too many curly cues or other flourishes, it will be difficult to decipher some of the letters.

 

Another thing to consider is the font size. You will want to vary the size of your headings as well as the body of your content. Having various font sizes on your page will stimulate your visitors’ eyes. If everything was the same, your page would look rather boring. However, you don’t want to take it too far and make every single line a different font size, as that would be too distracting.

 

Many people simply scan the websites that they visit, rather than read every sentence. Using bulleted lists helps your visitors see the important information right away. This also creates space around the text. When people see space around text, they are more attracted to it.

 

Adding some graphics to your site will greatly increase your site’s appeal. At the very least, you will want to have a heading graphic at the top of your website. If you are not artistically gifted, you can outsource this to a graphic designer. In addition to your heading, ask them to create a banner and a button logo. This way, if someone asks you for a link exchange, or if you choose to advertise on someone else’s site, you will have the graphics available.

 

You can also use graphics on various places on your site. This will help break up the content and increase the space around the text. You will want to make sure that the graphics you use on your site are not copyrighted. You can sign up for an account at www.istockphoto.com and find photos, illustrations, videos, and more to use on your site for as little as $1 each.

 

Making these small changes to your website can entice your visitors to stay on your website and explore the various pages and links. As you know, the longer someone stays on your website, the more likely it is that they will become your customer.

Website Tutorial #9: Features of the Website Builder

Website Builder Try it out FREE for 10 days

Product Description: Easy to use website builder which includes just about everything you need to get your business online.  This site builder makes it easy for someone just getting started online or someone who has very little technical or website experience.  I built my first website using this site builder and if I can do it, anyone can.  I can’t stress enough how easy this site builder is to use.

 

The plus of using a site builder like this one is that you don’t need to worry about any of the added extras such as buying and setting up a hosting account.  The only thing you need to do is register your domain name, sign up for your easy site builder account, build your site and you’ll be online in no time.

 

Here are some Extras Included:

No HTML Skills Required: This is a very simple point and click site builder that creates professional websites quickly. For those with advanced skills, HTML is allowed and easy-to-apply to your website.

Free 10-Day Trial: Try out the site builder for free for 10 days before you decide.

$50 Credit with Google Adwords: Once you sign up for the paid version of the site builder, you can claim a $50 advertising credit with Google.

$50 Credit with Yahoo! Search Marketing: Once you sign up for the paid version of the site builder, you can claim a $50 advertising credit with Yahoo! Search Marketing.

Just Some of the Features Included:

Photo Albums: Showcase your photos in our preformatted albums. Your photos are shown in thumbnail form and when clicked on show the photo in full size with optional title and description. Thumbnails are created automatically for you; Change the order of your photos anytime.

Multimedia: You can upload music, video, flash or any other files to your site with just a few clicks. Upload any file format; Have video or flash play right on your page; Create a page of links to download songs or video; Good for upload of ebooks, pdf forms and manuals; Store songs here so you can play background music on other pages. 

Custom Feedback Form: Collecting visitor feedback can help you enhance your site, products and services. You can also collect testimonials privately or generate ideas for your company, club or organization. Submissions can be emailed to you automatically when received. A personalized email can be automatically sent when a submission is received. Submissions are stored on your site for easy access. Field types include: text boxes for written out answers, multiple choice, drop-down menus and
checkmark boxes.

Contacts Page: You can list important people with their name, position/department, email and any other info you think is important. Use this page to direct people to the correct person or department
Contacts are automatically formatted for you.

Message Board: Message boards are great for discussing different topics, gathering info and fostering a sense of community among your members. Login available for your regular members; Members have their own profiles and autosignature; Give Moderator status to a member to help you manage the page; Add, edit and delete posts or message threads; Lock messages to prevent further posts on the topic.

Mailing List/Newsletter: You can post several newsletters and then have them batch emailed to your subscribers. Manage your subscribers right on your site; Your subscriber emails can be exported as a list; Newsletters are displayed by date.

Questions and Answers Page: Often you can answer your visitors’ questions with an FAQ page on your site. Use this page to organize them. Questions appear at the top and link to answers below. You can separate questions with headings.

Autoresponder Page: You can use this page to send out instruction guides and other material immediately after collecting an email. Emails are stored on your site so you can send promotional material to your visitors later.

Coupons: To help draw customers to your physical store, you can create coupons that your visitors can print out and bring to your store. Add your own images and text to each coupon.Polling Booth: Adds interactivity to your website. To collect votes on various issues, you can add a poll that displays results in a bar graph. Old polls are archived. Up to 10 options per poll.

Press Releases: Press releases are a great way to get extra publicity and drive traffic to your website. You can publish several press releases that will be automatically formatted on the page.

Shopping Cart: 3 Catalog Layouts to choose from. Sell products and services right from your site. Your products are listed as thumbnails and/or links that can be clicked on to show more details and your cart buttons. Add up to 3 images per product; Add up to 3 drop-down menus and 1 comment box per product; No coding required. Space for 500 products; $1 for each 50 products upgraded.

Integrated Shopping Cart: You can customize your cart to accept PayPal or credit card processing. You can also add taxes and shipping and handling to your order subtotals.

PayPal integration
Authorize.net integration
Cart buttons can be turned on or off

 

Template Builder
You can change your template anytime to any of our pre-formatted templates. Or, you can customize your template with your own images, color choices and more.Choose from over 1200 pre-formatted templates
You just have to click on different options to change your template, there’s no coding
Click here to see a video on how easy it is to change your template anytime

Email: Your site comes with 5 emails that reflect your web address.

Add emails for just $1 more for each one
Staff can each get their own email

Stock Photos: You get free access to over 2000 stock photos licensed from Hemera Images.

 

Thoughts & Criticisms:  This website builder is ideal for a first website or if you’re just getting started online.  If you’re building a network of sites, this probably wouldn’t be the right tool for that as you’d have to pay a  monthly fee for each site.  However, if you want to quickly get your website online without hassels or worrying about the technical side of things this is a great website builder to use.

System Requirements:  Online Website Builder, so a high speed internet connection is important.  

 

Money-back guarantee: 7 Day Free Trial before You Buy.

 

Rating: 10 

Website Tutorial #8: Use Website Builder Software

Using a website builder, rather than design software, can make the website process quicker and easier to tackle.  If you are contemplating your choices, here are a few reasons why you should consider using a site builder.

 

Using a site builder can save you money in the beginning.  Design software can easily run upwards of $200 or more.  Many website builders will cost less than $20 per month, and that will usually include your hosting.  And, since your website builder and web host are connected, publishing your site will be as easy as pushing a button.

 

Website builders are designed to be easy to use.  They will feature a “what you see is what you get” editor (known as WYSIWYG). This allows you to see exactly what your website will look like while you create it.  You will not need to know HTML at all.  When you look at the editor, you will see something similar to a word processing screen.  You simply type away and are able to apply text formatting, insert pictures, and more.  What you see on your screen is what your website visitors will see when they pull your website up into their browser.

 

Most website builders will come loaded with various templates and graphics that you can use.  While web design software programs will usually have some templates or themes installed, they do not usually come packaged with any graphics.  If you want to include pictures on your website, you can use stock images found online.

 

A stock image is an image that has been submitted to a website by the photographer or illustrator who created the image.  There are some very affordable stock image websites, but there are also some expensive ones.  If you plan on using lots of graphics, using a website builder could potentially save you some money.

 

As mentioned above, the monthly fee you pay for your website builder will include your web hosting service.  Other features, such as message boards, online photo albums, shopping carts and more may also be included.

 

Website builders will also include some type of technical support.  This may include phone and email support, or just one of the two.  Either way, it will be much easier to get in touch with them for help, rather than calling Microsoft for help with FrontPage.

 

This Website Builder will have you up and on the web tonight. No HTML needed. Complete with a hosting set-up, shopping cart, autoresponder, and web site submission software. 10-day free trial. http://snipurl.com/o1mz.  If you want to get started online almost immediately and have no web building skills, this is an expedient way to get started.

 

NACWIB is a site that was built using this website builder.

 

You don’t have to use just this web builder.  In fact, you can do a search online and find various web builders.  Just enter “web builder” into your search engine and look at the various options, pricing, services. Be sure to select a site builder with good support services. 

Website Tutorial #7: Three Methods to Build a Website

On the technical side, you can choose from three methods to create your own web pages:* Do it yourself (D.I.Y.) – if you are well versed in using web page tools such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage to create your web pages then this option is probably the best for you.

 

 

W3 Schools provides free web building courses.   You can learn everything you need to know to put up a site from scratch using HTML language and al of the other protocols needed to build a website. Here’s my two sense on this; even if you plan to let someone else build you site, or you select one of the easier, quicker web site builders to use, learn a bit of HTML language.

 

 

As with any new language, once you learn the basic you can see where It’s going. I was totally pleased with how often I can now “read” HTML language and make minor changes on my websites as a result.  With a free class, you can’t lose..  http://www.w3schools.com/

 


* Hire A Free Lancer, Professional or Internal IT Team – if you don’t know how to create web pages, you may want to consider hiring professional help as learning how to create your own web pages can be time-consuming. While it can incur high professional fee, this option can be your best value for money in the long run. However, this option should be filtered out if you’re on a strict budget.* Use a Site Builder instead of web Design Software and do it yourself. If you are new to the world of online businesses, building your first website can be an intimidating thought.  Of course, you know that having a website is important and can greatly increase your business.

 

 

Website Tutorial #6: How to Build a Site with FrontPage

Let me just say that I love FrontPage and have built most of my sites with that software.  The unfortunate thing is that FrontPage is no longer being produced. You’d have to find a copy of the software on eBay or somewhere else.  So if you don’t already have it, these instructions may not work for you.  If you do have it, here’s how to get a site up. 

 

Building a website in FrontPage is quite easy, and you do not need any prior HTML experience. Here are some basic instructions for creating a simple website.

 

Create site: Click the icon on the top of your toolbar that looks like a blank piece of paper. From there, click site. This will create a new, blank website.

 

Add tables: Adding tables to your site will make the design process easy. To insert a table, go to “Table”, then “insert table”. A dialog box will open and you can determine the number of columns and rows you want your table to contain.

 

I like to use a table that is 1 column x 1 row on top (for my heading). Under that, I insert a table that is 3 columns x 1 row. This is for the “body” of my site. The column that is further to the left will contain my navigation, the middle column will contain articles and the far right column can contain ads. At the bottom of my site, I create another 1 column x 1 row table for my footer.

 

When I create tables, I use the following specs: width is 750 pixels, cell padding is 3, cell spacing is 2, and the background color is white.

 

Set Theme: The “theme” is the color scheme of your text, hyperlinks, background color, etc. FrontPage has several pre-installed themes. To set the theme, click on Format, then Theme. A box will open on your right, and it will display the pre-installed selections. Under the selections will be a link titled “create new theme”. Click on it to customize your own color scheme.

 

Add Content: Now you can start adding content to your site. If you have prior experience with Microsoft Word or Publisher, you will feel right at home in FrontPage. You can type, add pictures, and everything else you would do in a normal word processing software.

 

Add More Pages: When you are ready to add new pages to your site, you simply click on “new page” under “File”.