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7 Reasons You Should Design Your Website In WordPress

seoWordPress has quickly become a world-renowned name for those that are looking to make an affordable and dynamic website, but many are still intimidated by creating their own site. It often seems easier to simply go with the first web designer that one finds, but WordPress offers a number of features that allow anyone to carve out their own piece of the internet with an eye-catching, useful, and profitable site. For those that are still unsure about using WordPress, here are seven of the top reasons business owners, private parties, and seasoned web developers may wish to make the change.

1. Complete Freedom with Opensource Code
One of the biggest advantages to using WordPress is the fact that almost all code involved in downloading, creating, and refining one’s website is completely opensource. This means that all users can not only see the code at any time, but change it to fit their own needs and purposes. For those that are taking on web design for the first time, this feature will only be used lightly at first. As one’s knowledge grows, so will their ability to completely customize their website and manipulate the code in any manner that they wish.
2. Advanced Security Plugins
A major concern for those that are creating a business website is the security of their own company, their employees, and their customers. Even a single breach of one’s security could harm a company for months or years on end. While negligent website owners will always have an issue with security, there are a number of free and paid plugins that can protect one’s hard work and can be downloaded directly through the user interface.
3. Simplified Content Management
Over time, every website will begin to gather huge amounts of data including written documents, user information, and media files. With WordPress, these files are organized in an easy-to-use manner with unique links to all new files that are uploaded. Those that are working on the website can even create various categories and sub-folders based off of the keywords, the subject, or unique folders.
4. Affordable Themes
While the experienced web designer can completely develop each page from scratch or use their previous code, thousands of themes are also offered around the internet. These themes come with a wide array of options and users can search out themes according to the website that they would like to create. Some basic themes are free to use while others can be purchased for a single website or the user can buy the all rights to the code.
5. Complete Support
WordPress is continually refined and improved by thousands of developers from around the world. Due to the sheer amount of support, users will be able to find assistance for any problems that they may encounter any time of the day. In addition to an integrated support and help system, there are a number of WordPress-created and third-party forums and support groups for those that have questions about their own website.
6. Control Over Search Engine Optimization
No matter how well-built a website is, it will never be able to keep up with the competition without SEO, or search engine optimization. Website optimization has become a unique and complex industry in and of itself, but WordPress has taken much of the guesswork out of this field. Users can quickly copy and paste bits of code into their website to improve their standing within search engines as well as utilize tools such as Google Analytics.
7.Flexible Server and Hosting Options
WordPress does offer limited hosting options and domain names at absolutely no cost, and this is a great way for private parties to begin the process of creating their own personal website. For businesses that would like a bit more freedom, they have the options to purchase their own domain names and then utilize their own servers or purchased server space.

Featured images:

Kyle Sanders is a WordPress enthusiast and founder of Complete Web Resources, a professional web strategy firm based out of Denver, Colorado. When he’s not writing for the web and designing WordPress plugins, he enjoys the outdoors and craft beers.

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4 Factors That Can Kill Your Website

Many web designers regard web design as simple practice and what works best for the users will work for them. However, not all web designers think this way and often let money get in the way of their thinking. This means that they will make cloud based judgements and not do what’s best for the users. In the end all that remains is a sloppy website that makes a few bucks if any at all.

If you really want to know what kills a website fast then read on below.

Excessive Advertising

When you’ve just come onto the website to check out some of the products or content, the last thing you want is a pop up advert. Excessive advertising is the cause for very high bounce rates and you can be sure a few annoyances as well. When adverts are too intrusive they offer no value to the user and they won’t be interested at all in what you have to offer.

If you’re going to advertise with good web design practice in mind then always be sure it fits in with your design and doesn’t intrude.

Poor Navigation

Navigation helps the users find their way around the website. If you allow them to do this easily then they will reward you for it. However if it’s hard then you’re likely to lose a visitor and have an exceptionally high bounce rate. Ensure that all of your navigation helps the users find exactly what they’re after. Whether this means breaking down all of the content into categories for the header or even using breadcrumbs. Think what is best for the users and you will be able to tell its effect by the added sales in your shopping cart.

Unnecessary Sound

This practice used to be extremely common until it was cut down. Unnecessary sound is unfortunately found on some websites and it can drive people away faster than the snap of a finger. This is often found in pop up adverts but is also found on some websites trying to be too wizzy by adding sounds when you click a button.

Text Is Hard To Read

Even though there is still a lot of rich media out there text is still the most important aspect of most websites. This means content is king and it should be easy to read. If you use a font that is hard to read or the way the page is positioned, visitors won’t stick around to see uf they can figure it out.

To ensure good web design practice you should ensure that a common font such as Times new roman or Arial is used for the best effect. As well as this it just means making sure the text is large enough to read. If you follow most of these tips then you should be fine … and so should your users. A good user experience now will pay you back handsomely in the long run.

By Kev Massey. Kev is the director at the UK SEO Company seo3D. Kev and his team provide useful search engine optimization video guides to help your website perform on the search engines.

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How to Improve Your Website to Increase Traffic and Keep Visitors Around

No matter what type of website you run, the content of the page is the most essential component. There is no denying, however, that a well-designed site that is easy to navigate is more attractive to users than a site with a poor layout and a confusing interface. The most successful – and most enticing – websites tend to have the same basic components: an attractive design, good navigation, quality content and a little personal information – lets look at how to  improve your website.

website is down

website is down (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

1 – Improve your website: Take the time to design an attractive site

No matter how many times we’ve been told not to, let’s admit it, we all judge books by their covers. So believing that the message is all that matters and any old website will do is naive, especially if you are creating a website for a business. If you want people to view you as professional, you must have a professional-looking site.

Creating an attractive site doesn’t have to be that complicated. If you have zero website-building capabilities, you can either hire a web designer or purchase a pre-made theme. Either option will set you back a few hundred dollars, but a clean, eye-catching site design will get visitors’ attentions and keep them from immediately surfing away.

2 – Lay your website out so that it’s easy to find information

Unless you have very little information to share with consumers, a one-page website probably isn’t going to cut it. Many small companies make the mistake of creating a single webpage and putting everything they want consumers to know onto that single page. While it may seem like a good idea in theory to have everything in one location, single page sites often appear cluttered. So, even if all the necessary information appears on the page, it may be difficult for users to find.

To make your website easy to read, create several different pages. Separate these pages by category, such as “Products,” “About the Company,” and “Hours.” That way, when a user comes to your site seeking the hours of your store, they simply click the “Hours” page and the information displays for them.

Remember, people aren’t coming to your site for a scavenger hunt. They’re coming to find information. If that information is too difficult to find, they’ll go looking for it somewhere else.

3 – Fill your page with quality content.

As stated before, the content of your page is the most essential part. Visitors to your site are seeking information, like what products you sell and prices. They don’t come to your site to stare doe-eyed at your stunning homepage (not that some visitors won’t).

Making the information on your site easy to find and read is only one part of good content. Making the content worth reading is the other part. So, don’t just throw anything up onto the page. Write professional copy to describe your business and your products. If you don’t know how to write professional website copy, find someone who does.

A Word on SEO to improve your website

When it comes to professional website copy, there is no downplaying the importance of SEO. SEO writing allows you to rank in the search engines, which makes it easier for people to find your site. Since your website’s success is dependent upon traffic, you must get into the habit of incorporating it into your site.

Good SEO doesn’t simply use keywords that describe the site well, it uses keywords that other websites aren’t using. If you have a tire sales company, for instance, and you use “tire sales” and “buy tires” on your site, you’ll have a world of contenders. If you use specific keywords like “tire sales in Cary, NC” and “buy tires in Cary, NC” instead, you narrow your competition down considerably. When creating SEO content, remember that specific terms are more effective than general terms.

4 – Let them know who you are by providing contact information.

If you have a legitimate business, there is no reason to hide from the world. Include contact information, so that people know with whom they are dealing. You don’t have to give your full name, an address or a phone number, but, at the very least, you should provide a first name and an email address so that visitors to your site know that you’re legit.

There are millions of websites. The competition to building a successful website is stiff. You can give yourself a leg up with a sleek, uncluttered design, easy-to-find information, quality, searchable content, and by letting visitors to your site know that they are dealing with a real person.

Byline:

Alyse is a marketing, photography, and tech addict who spends her time investigating the next generation of technology. When she is not brushing up on her art of the scientific know how in the world, you can find her contributing to ATTSavings.com or on Twitter @Alyse_1.

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Understanding Unconventional Web Design

Just outside of Hollywood, California, a man p...

Just outside of Hollywood, California, a man presents his unconventional car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In general web design tends to follow established traditions of form and function, from the individual attempting to format their own web page through to the professional designers working on massive corporate contracts; there are a range of accepted design formats that everybody adheres to. But in the world of unconventional web design these rules are turned on their heads so that the web pages that are produced stand out from the crowd. Just as there have been different schools of artistic though in all areas of art and design, so too the world of web design has given birth to an avant-garde school of designers who are bucking the trends and using the newest technologies to grab the attention of internet users.

Chaos Theory

The basis for unconventional web design often revolves around the unpredictability of chaos theory; the designers intentionally ignore some of the standard rules and applications of design in order to achieve their goals. You may be asking yourselves why they do this and in order to appreciate their design ingenuity you should first consider just how many sites there are currently on the internet. Think about how many of those sites all conform to the same rules of design and layout, functionality and form.  Once you understand how mired the playing field is in the tradition of rigid design protocols you will understand why they strive to bring something new and fresh into the arena. Unconventional web design brings with it a new and exciting element, breaking through the monotony of millions of lookalike sites.

Niche Audience

Of course the impact that these unconventional sites have is not for everyone, many people have become accustomed to a straightforward user interface, a clear menu layout and a very straight forward and no nonsense approach to accessing the information that they want. To them a new kind of interface that does not conform to the norm is something that they are not willing to entertain, but for those that have become bored with the regularity of the internet they are fresh and exciting and just what the doctor ordered to relieve the monotony of the web. Unconventional design does contain within it a lot of complicated elements that many users will not be prepared to try and get to grips with, it can mean that a site is almost inconvenient to use and there can also be technical issues that no one but the original developer will be able to understand and rectify.

Risky Business

Getting involved in unconventional design can be risky as it is still so new, so against the norm that not everyone will want to buy into your design or understand your concept. The majority of the people that use the World Wide Web for either business or pleasure will often select the functionality and ease of use of a site over the way that it looks and is presented, and an unconventional design may unwittingly alienate part of your perceived target audience.

Are you looking for more information on responsive web design? Visit Unleash IT now.

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Web Design Trends That Fell by the Wayside

The internet is a very fascinating reflection on many aspects of human culture. On the one hand, it’s a reflection of our technology – of course every few years sites become richer in media as connections grow faster and screens increase their resolution. At the same time it’s a reflection of what’s going on in the world – and the stories that grab all the headlines and that get shared the most of course are always going to be the ones that are big in the ‘real world’ news as well.

Finally the internet also reflects our general fashions and trends, and this includes the way that the actual colors and designs used change over time – in much the same way as fashion changes in terms of the clothes we wear.

This rapid movement all means one thing – that you need to keep up if you want your site to stay looking modern and to stay relevant. If you wore flares and a perm out tomorrow then people would think you were a throwback to the 80s or 70s. Don’t make that mistake with your website by making it ‘untrendy’.

To help you avoid the website fashion faux pas that lurk around every corner, here we will look at a few web design trends that are just no-longer relevant or half as popular.

Marquees: Okay so we’re going waaaay back here to the days when the internet first started and websites were programmed purely in HTML. Probably one of the first things you will have read in your ‘beginners guide to web design’ book was how to use a marque, and this is pretty much the equivalent of ‘hello world’ in any other programming language. Sadly they were severely overused and today marquees very seriously wreak of old-fashioned web design.

Animated GIFs: GIFs still have their place yes, but the animated variety is something that today is reserved for Tumblr pages and forum avatars. If you are using a GIF it should be a static button chosen for the small file size – nothing else.

Flash: There was a while there where every website covered itself in absurd amounts of flash animation and interactivity. Navigating a website briefly moved away from clicking the link you wanted and toward catapulting a penguin to the desired button. This lead to some of the most bombastic and overblown site design on the net.

Then came SEO, which made pure-flash web deigns practically untenable. Then after that came Apple’s assault on flash through lack of support on iPhone or iPad. In short, Flash’s days are numbered, and even if you do choose to use it you should make it a subtle feature rather than an integral part of your site.

Linear Site Design: Going back one again to the early days of the internet, you might remember navigating sites by just scrolling down. There’d be a title at the top, then some links, then an introduction, then some pictures, then a bio, then an article and each would be separated by just a ‘***’. This is about the ugliest form of site design around and there are countless tools that ensure we don’t need to make sites like this anymore. Sadly though some companies still do – don’t be among them.

Frames: Conversely you also should keep your use of frames to a minimum. This was once the default way to separate your menu and your navigation from your content, but it was very bad for SEO, and it gave way to CSS and tables which are more flexible and elegant solutions.

Blogs: About five years ago blogs were super cool and everyone loved the metropolitan image of ‘blogging’ on the ‘bloggospheer’. Today though blogs have given away to real websites and Twitter feeds, and they aren’t half as popular. You can still make blogs through tools like WordPress, but the secret is to make sure they don’t look like blogs at all so much as light websites.

This guest post is written by Cyril. Cyril believes best way to perform for any product can be done easily with the help of social networks and .