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Indexing Your Website

Index is a website which contains details and links to millions of websites divided to categories and topics. Indexes can have multiple purposes.

Local Business Index – like Yellow pages. This kind of indexes apply to people who are searching for services in their town or area. It is a good idea to sign your company into few such indexes in case your business is locally oriented like flower shop or electrician. Inclusion in these indexes , at least the most popular of them , is usually quite expensive but also useful from the point of view of customers seeking local service and search engines, since you can include your site URL and earn a strong incoming link .

Global Business Index – like Hoovers.com or business.com. These indexes usually contain data about large companies with turnover of few millions of dollars a year. Not everyone is able to enter such index, although some of them allow small companies listing in exchange for reciprocal link or inclusion fee . Inclusion in these indexes is important to large companies who apply to customers worldwide , and they also give a good incoming link in terms of SEO.

The third type of indexes is Internet indexes which main purpose is to provide incoming links to websites. Usually these indexes are manually edited which means it can take months before the editor approves your link. Some indexes like yahoo require inclusion fee , some are free, like DMOZ and some require fee or reciprocal link. Website promoters largely use indexes to provide the new built websites with incoming links, although , not all indexes are usefull and important in terms of link strength and website promotion. Therefore I suggest to submit your website to as much as possible free indexes but be careful before paying for listing or exchanging links with nameless indexes.

In this article I will list some of the most important indexes to be included in.

General Guidelines to submitting your website to index:

Make sure your website has no pages “Under construction” or “Not exist” (Error 404) , since some indexes might disqualify your website because of that.

Wright down a short profile of your website which includes:

Site Name , Full URL, 10-15 key words and phrases, short description (200-500) characters. Site name should not include many keywords, it might cause rejection by the editor.

Open an excel file dedicated to indexes and directories where you keep all the passwords and usernames since you will probably need to come back to these websites few times to follow up your registration.

Place your website in the most suitable category, in order to improve your chances to be indexed and later to improve the impact of the indexing on your page listing in search engines.

Indexing takes a lot of time because index editors are volunteers and the demand is huge, so be patient and do not submit your website more than once , since it makes you look dummy and may cause your website be rejected .

DMOZ Open Directory Project

This is the most important and appreciated index on the web. It is edited by volunteers , and has more than half million categories and around five million websites.

The main importance of DMOZ is its influence on major search engines like Google , Yahoo and etc. which derive information from DMOZ and ascribe large importance to links incoming from there to your website.

To include your website in DMOZ go to http://www.dmoz.org , find the most appropriate category to your website, press Add URL and follow the orders. Take few minutes to read DMOZ terms of submission in order not to mess up your application.

DMOZ will reject your website If it is placed under wrong category, mainly under construction, has no value to public or is poorly described. Description must be objective otherwise most chances it will be excluded.

DMOZ will not notify you about reception or rejection. If you can’t find your website, don’t hurry to submit it again , try asking at DMOZ forums what is the status of your application.

Entering DMOZ index is the only way to enter Google website directory.

Yahoo Directory

Yahoo is the most popular website in the world and US. Inclusion in its index might be worth the huge fee of 299$. Wright a short description (10-25 words ) , make it objective and fluent , include 2-3 keywords but do not exaggerate.

Make sure your website is in a good condition (no 404 pages and under construction pages) Yahoo is not condemned to include your website even if you pay the fee , but they are supposed to review your listing in about 7 workdays. In yahoo index you don’t need to pick a category , one of the editors does it. Must say, most of the websites are included. Business sites must pay the fee every year while non-profit sites must pay only once.

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Design Your Own Website- It Is Simple

Before you embark upon the process involved when you design your own website, you must select and register a domain name. That is your site’s brand name and contact name. In order to be given a domain name of your very own, you must make a yearly payment to the appropriate registering entity to obtain the exclusive right to it.

Obtaining a domain name doesn’t mean you have a web site or anything close. All you have is a name. It is similar to getting yourself set up with a name for your business is the “real” world – just obtaining exclusive rights to a name doesn’t mean you are totally in business. You just have a name.

A web host commonly implements numerous computers that are all linked to the Internet to allow a very large number of web pages to be broadcast all over the world. The first step in making your new web page visible is to use a reputable web host that will give your personalized website a virtual home.

Thinking of a domain name is very much like thinking of a name for your company in the physical world. Similarly, a web hosting account is the equivalent of renting an office for your company. After you have come up with a domain name and signed on with a web host, you will then need to design your own website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/) to attract visitors.

As a beginning web designer, you first need to design your own website in a attractive, and appealing manner. After you have got your basic web page posted you will be able to make any adjustments that you feel are needed. There are free web editors and commercial versions that are widely available.

When you choose to use free software, you can also learn more from a complete tutorial on the web. The step-by-step tutorial will guide you in the process of making your own web page, site map, and comment forms. It will also give you tips on the basic aspects of the software so you can continue to update and improve the site in the future.

A crucial aspect of web development is optimizing your site for search engines. This should be undertaken from the very start of the design process. In addition, there are a number of other concerns involved in developing web pages.

Remote Blog or Self Hosted Blog?

So you’ve decided to blog (like me..! 🙂 ), but aren’t sure whether you should host the blog yourself or sign up for a free service like wordpress.com. It’s a dilemma that many bloggers face. There are pros and cons to both, which makes the decision difficult for many. Neither is perfect, and neither is for everyone. Fortunately, you should be able to make the best decision for you if you are armed with adequate knowledge of both. We’ll go over services like wordpress.com and others, plus software that allows you to host your own blog. We’ll also go over the pros and cons of each. After reading this, you will know which is best for you.

Who offers free blog hosting?

Many sites offer free blog hosting. Among them are Forumer, Blogger, BlogEasy, Aeonity, BlogThing and Blogates. A quick search for “free blog” on Google reveals many possibilities.

What software can I use to host my own blog?

Like free blog hosting, there are many possibilities for software that makes hosting your own blog easy. Most of them are free to use. These include:

WordPress(the most popular software)
Apache Roller
Blosxom
Geeklog
Textpattern
LifeType

There is also blog software which you can purchase for use on your site. These include:

Community Server
Movable Type
Radio UserLand

One negative about using software and hosting your own blog is that the process can often times be complicated. You have to download the software and install it to your server, which doesn’t always go easily. It’s particularly hard for those who don’t have a lot of experience installing things on servers.

Why should I remotely host my blog at a place like Blogger?

Places like Blogger allow you to host your blog there. It’s a good option for many people.

The Pros

• It’s easy to set up and maintain a blog. You don’t have to go through the trouble of installing software and configuring it to work on your server. All you have to do is sign up for an account and start posting.

• It’s friendly for beginning bloggers. Sites that host blogs offer good tutorials on how to make your blog postings, so that even someone who is completely new to the concept of blogging can do it easily.

• Most blog hosting sites are completely free to use. There is no need to pay for things like a domain name and hosting.

• Monetizing your blog is easy. Rather than having to manually put HTML/Javascript codes on your blog to manually set up things like AdSense and Pay Per Click advertising, you can select an option on most blog hosting sites that does much of the work for you.

The Cons

• You don’t have as many options to customize your blog. Remotely hosted blogs are admittedly somewhat limited in terms of what you can actually do on them. You have to stick with what is provided to you in terms of look and features.

• The URL you get is always yourname.BLOGSITE.com. You don’t get to have a custom domain name like YOURNAME.com. This can possibly hurt traffic to your blog.

• Blogs hosted on free blog sites don’t look as professional as self hosted blogs.

Why should I self-host my blog?

The Pros

• You have more options and more flexibility. You are able to tweak the blog to your liking.

• Your URL is your address for your blog. Rather than having go to where your blog is hosted to read it, they can read it right from your site.

• The ability to make your blog look professional. Blogs that are hosted on sites of their own tend to look a lot better than those hosted on free sites.

• More space for your blog. Free blog sites usually place a restriction on how much space you have for things like photos and music. By hosting your own blog, you are able to use as much space as you need.

The Cons

• There are sometimes problems with setting up blog software to run on your site and server. If you aren’t experienced when it comes to working with mySQL, the process will be hard.

• Updates aren’t as easy to post.

• You have to manually set up programs to monetize your blog. However, if you are good with HTML/Javascript, this shouldn’t be too hard.

• You have to pay for your own hosting and domain

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both. Which should you choose? Well, it depends on who you are and what you intend to use your blog for. If you intend to use it for business, then a self-hosted blog is the best idea. If it’s a personal blog, then a free hosted blog will probably be fine for you.

Closely examine all of the pros and cons mentioned above. That way, you’ll be able to make the best decision for you!

Website Designing – Looks vs. Works

Web developers with extensive graphic arts background often pay more attention to how a page looks than considering how visitors are going to find the page. The consideration on Usability and Business gets sidelined. On the other side of this issue, SEO consultants obsess about how much traffic it generates and how well a web site works. Sales and Business gets a front seat for them.

Designers want more ‘pretty’ graphics, but SEOs want lots of ‘ugly’ keyword-rich text, bullet lists, and text links. The more graphically complex the website the longer it will take to load.

To balance those Looks vs. Works, currently a web design company is in demand, which have an advanced knowledge on marketing, designing, programming as well as aesthetics. Designers having absolute control over the size and dimensions of all aspects with an eye on marketing are pitching to success. Today, fixed browser-friendly designs are more frequently chosen over the liquid designs.

There is a usability reason for why a designer may choose a more fixed layout. There is usually an optimal line width in terms of readability. There is a rule which tells that lines should be between 40-60 characters long, or approximately 11 words per line, though users can choose their windows size and font selection to optimize the factors which are important to them.

It becomes difficult sometimes to create a fixed layout which looks well and sells. Well, if the content is agreed upon, there is always a little difficulty in developing.

Storyboarding

To maintain an adorable balance between LOOKS and WORKS, the modern web gurus emphasize on storyboarding. Storyboarding covers the business, audience, purpose and the content. So the web designing is going to be more and more of calculative engineering than liberal art.

Storyboarding records description, purpose and title of each page in a given website. Then those elements are linked together according to the most effective and logical diagram patterns. It is like a prototype where there are options for feature enhancements and future improvements.

Audience Research

The key step in web designing/planning is defining the audience. They are the group of people who will visit your website – the market being targeted. Those people have a certain reason for visiting your site. And it is important for you to know what they are looking for. Technology and Eye-Candy designs come much later.

A clearly defined goal of the site and an understanding of what visitors want to do when they come to your site helps to pitch your message to identify the target audience. Upon considering who is most likely to use the content. There are some common factors a webmaster should take care. They are:

Audience Characteristics – Age, Language, Education

Information Preferences – Techies, Naive

Computer Skills – Beginners, Masters

Web Experience – Web builders, Web surfers, Lay-users

Advantages of a Custom Website versus using a Website Builder Tool

The internet has revolutionized business all around the globe. Almost every competent new or existing business wishes to exploit the incredible potential of the internet, and the first step is to have a web site designed done and maintained by a professional web site design service or build and maintain it yourself. One of the first things to consider is your computer ability. If you despise computers and software and find them confusing and frustrating then building your own website can be quite a task. One that you may not want to undertake. However, if you enjoy working with computers and learning new things or if you just have the patience to stick with it, then building a website is within your grasp. You may also decide to do it yourself to save cost. If you still feel that you want to build your own site you should choose software that is easy to use and user friendly.

Your website should be as unique as you and your business. You should select the website that is specialized in what will meet all your needs, both now and in the future. Custom based websites are for those who already have a website but are looking for those special finishing touches that quality custom graphics can provide. Designer graphics can make your website stand out above the rest and a custom website specializes in taking your original graphic or photo and turning it into a unique work of art. Quality graphics make an incredible difference in the visual appeal of your website.

Actual site “content” continues to be essential to the success of a website. More often than not though, visual appeal is the determining factor as to whether or not a client or customer will remain on a website long enough, to actually see the product or service the business is providing. Custom websites are for those who don’t have the time to design or create, but want to get things mush better and fast with a nice graphics.

Web site builders are online tools which anyone can use to build a professional looking Web site without programming and have it hosted instantly. No software to buy, no code to learn, all you need is to be a little Internet savvy and know how to click your mouse.

Most business owners today know that having a web site is an essential component of marketing. In the past, the choices were to hire a professional web designer, hire a local teenager to create a site for mall money, or learn to do it yourself. The last two options, are the least expensive, and were the preferred method for small businesses. The results are often not what businesses need to grow, reach, and impress new potential customers, however. They seem good at the start but quickly become limiting.

If you operate or manage a business, you surely must realize the increase in e-commerce taking place today. Many businesses find themselves searching for the best way to increase their exposure on the internet, and for most a website is the first course of action. As most businesses operate on firm budgets, finding cost effective solutions are usually one of the first thoughts when looking to make new purchases. When it comes to creating a website there are many affordable software programs that can produce professional results. Business software should be capable of handling your needs today and in the future. Business are always changing, adding new products, changing or removing old products, offering specials, having sales, etc. By choosing a business website builder over a professional web designer you will be able to make changes to your website whenever you want to. Another benefit is that you will be avoiding the high costs associated with developing the website and costs for making any necessary changes.

Website Builder tools advantages to you are increased revenue, cost control, caters to the large demand existing for web designing in the SME sector and can increase the client base without adding to your overhead. The advantage that your customers gets is a professional quality website, up and running in minutes and a User friendly and easily customizable interfaces that gives a complete website with all its frills and features and a nice attractive design. The downside is that you are limited to the look and functions of the tool and the templates or designs they provide.

On of the advantage of a custom website design is that the web site will look and function exactly as you want. A custom made web site can promote your brand and increase sales. The functionality and design of your website is important, because the images and text on the screen can make an indifferent visitor turn into a keen client, and the goal is to optimize your site to evolve maximum traffic conversion.

As more and more people are starting their own small home business many are finding that having a website is an important factor to consider. When one starts to consider building a website, especially the novice, many questions arise including…. can I create a website myself or should I hire a professional?

Hiring a professional is a great way to go if you can afford it. Although there are several things to keep in mind: how much will it cost? How much will ongoing maintenance cost? What will changes cost? How long will changes take? etc. As a result, many people opt to build their own website and begin searching for software that can easily help them.

As you start searching for an easy web site builder, there are some factors that you should take into consideration so that your new software will serve you now and the future.

There is quite a variety of easy web site building software and content management(CMS) based websites on the market today. In addition, some of the software available today is very expensive, geared more for the professional web designer, and come with a huge learning curve.

The options for small businesses to get a site developed have changed from the past. There are now sophisticated “site builder” tools available to small business owners, bundled with many web hosting packages. By using templates, and a content management system to manage updates to the site, it became easier to set up and maintain a web site, and many development companies have canned this functionality, for a fee. Hosting providers are increasingly offering tools to automate the web site building process, and with good reason. This new option has many benefits, as long as the business owner recognizes that there are trade offs and limitations to getting a web site this way. Some of the downsides are…the design is limited to their predefined templates. The functionality is limited to the tool. Also, in most website builder tools it is hard to perform search engine optimization, which is essential for a site to be found in the major search engines.

One of the biggest attractions for site building tools is the cost. It won’t necessarily cost less to get your site this way, but it does provide a way to spread the cost over time. The cost for a custom website varies as per the feature and function it carries with itself.

Many people are concerned with building their own website, fearing boring designs and complexity. However, it is now becoming apparent that there are many custom web site builder software products on the market that promise dynamic layouts, professional templates, and user friendly web design tools. The professional web designers know there are a few more things to know, but sometimes they find some irony in the fact that web developers, in their quest to improve and better the web, have made themselves “optional”. Most site building tools today are very robust, making it simple to add forms, searching, maps, guest books, calendars, and a whole variety of elements to a web site. Even better, the hosting company sometimes offers an entire suite of services – the site builder, email marketing, search engine optimization and statistics, all in one package along with the hosting.

There is also a possibility that the service will require you to keep some branding on the site telling people that you used their website designs and tools. This is more common with the free site builders – which pay for themselves by putting ads on your site. If your goal is to build a business web site, it’s really not worth sacrificing your professional image by getting something free, which screams CHEAP.

Low quality websites sometimes attempt to sell expensive products or services. These websites cannot succeed. Studies reveals people spend more time on a well designed web page than on a low quality web page. There is a comparative relationship between the amount of time that an average visitor will spend on a web page and the amount of time that was spent building the web page.

Websites are an important aspect of online businesses. They are the first face of interaction between the user and the business. The website creates the first impression on the user and hence needs to be effective and impressive too. It is the job of web design services to make the website user friendly and search engine friendly too, so that it can serve the purpose of both effectively.

A tool can make things happen – but if you don’t know what to make happen, it is either a useless tool or a dangerous one. There is a learning curve in knowing how to present information online (called information architecture in the profession), as well as for using the site builder. In other word, the fuller featured the tool; the more there is to learn. If you aren’t familiar with color theory, use of typography, information architecture, navigation and interface design, and page layout and design, you can potentially make something that will hurt your business more than help it. So, unless you are already computer and web savvy, figuring out all the features within your web hosting and site builder package can be time consuming and frustrating.

In the end there are ways that a business can take advantage of these new options and still create a functional and professional web site. One way is simply take your time and research the available website templates, and find the one that has the most features and flexibility, that meet your functional requirements. In other words, spend the time to learn the things a seasoned pro would bring to the table. The internet is a massive library of “how to” information, where you can literally teach yourself anything – and with enough time spent, you could potentially learn how to layout information, what colors and fonts work well together, how to conduct your marketing online and optimize the site for search engines. The second is choosing the best suitable custom website design company and work with them to build a professional website that meets your needs get your imaginations carried and make business a greta success.