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Below you will find a collection of frequently asked questions related to Zee Designs, websites and print topics. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.
Zee Designs is fortunate to have a team of talented people in Las Vegas and around the country participating on our projects. We are continually in contact via telephone, e-mail, and Instant Message. With modern technology, it is like being just down the hall or in the same room. We are fortunate to be able to choose our team members from the best in the nation.
With different time zones represented, we can have quicker turn-around on your projects because there are people working on your project for far longer than the standard work day. In addition, we have clients around the country, so why not have team members there as well!
Each of our team members has a work space that is private and suited specifically to his or her own specialties and requirements, and there are fewer distractions than in a busy office, so they can be more focused and productive. In addition, in these days of great concern over sustainability issues, we are able to conserve resources by doing most of our work digitally.
Here at Zee designs, wherever we are beneath the big virtual roof, we are dedicated to serving you.
Image Consulting is a process to define and polish your corporate identity. This includes designing a logo, letterhead, cards, and other corporate documents that truly capture and express the image your company wishes to express to the world.
At Zee Designs we have you fill out a questionnaire with detailed information about your business mission and vision, demographic information about your business and your top executives, color and other preferences. This information helps our experts design a new logo that will delight you and your clients.
By expressing the true essence of your business, your graphics will have a vibrance and excitement about them that will draw people who are like-minded and ready to engage.
YES! Unusual sizes or designs are fun for us. If you would like help in the idea/design area, we have some very creative people who can help you.
We can take the roughest draft, polish it up to professional standards, create artwork or edit photos for the cover and inside, format it for print, and bind it any way you like it. And then, we can market it for you, help you sell it online with your own website, and get it into the distribution stream. If you want an ebook rather that a bound book, we can do that too, and set it up to be sold and downloaded online. From the most technical manual to the most artistic book, we do it all.
Zee Designs creates custom business cards and other documents that are distinctive and that express the style of the business. Your look will be unique to you and very professional. We ensure that all the difference pieces of a company's business communications express the brand, whether website or brochure, and that they all work together.
In the printing business we use the terms "dpi" which means "dots per inch" and "resolution" which means "the fineness of detail that can be distinguished in an image." These are aspects of photo images that a printer relies on to print with detailed quality. Images we see in a magazine are usually printed at 300 dpi, which means there are 300 dots that make up each square inch of image. Television and computer screens only need 72 dpi, so if you take an image with that resolution to the printer, it cannot be used because the dots are too big, making the image look "patchy."
If you are considering using material both on your website and in print media such as a business card, brochure, advertising, catalog, etc., be sure to tell your designers this so they will have two versions of every image-one for your website and one for your print media.
We will walk you through the entire process, starting with what you want to accomplish by having a multimedia production and how you are going to use it. Will it be for your website or for a presentation you are giving?
Do you require music or sound? We have a vast library from which to choose or we can help you create your own video or audio. We can even write the script for you. Multimedia is truly a collaborative process and the outcomes are spectacular.
» Learn more about about how Zee Designs approaches multimedia projects.
Your content will still sound like you. It will just flow a lot better. When there is any question about the meaning of what is written, we ask to make sure we have the right meaning and emphasis. We remove redundancies, improve organization. The words remain yours.
Search Engine Marketing is using pay-per-click advertising methods to ensure that your site is one of the first ones that comes up on the search results or that it appears as a sponsored link on the right side of the search results page. There is debate about the cost-effectiveness of this technique. It is useful for people who have products to sell and can offset the cost with sales. Zee Designs can help you determine what alternatives might be right for you.
That depends. What are your overall marketing and advertising budgets? How much of your income is expected to come from web sales or web-inspired sales? How much does your business gross overall compared to internet sales? We can help you look at your overall business situation and marketing plan to see what strategy will do the most good and help you lower potential risk.
One of the biggest risks of pay-per-click is having a competitor or other malicious person click repeatedly to run up your costs, without giving any return. This can be done by people who use the same keywords and wish to keep you from bidding on advertising for that keyword to lower their own cost or increase their own exposure. Click fraud in its many forms has become a growing issue that has search engines scrambling for answers and it has spawned a number of products to help search engines and site owners monitor their traffic.
Another risk is that some of the other advertisers may not be companies you would enjoy being grouped with in an advertising section. Try searching on the keywords you would target and see what other advertisers show up. If the other advertisers go to link farms, spam sites, or other questionable sites, then it would lower your image to be listed among them. For some types of businesses this is less of an issue than for others.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines. The earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it typically will receive from the search engine.
SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and programming to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove features that might create barriers to a good search engine acceptance and ranking.
Unlike the “olden days” of SEO, current SEO requires far more than just adding the relevant keywords or submitting the site to the engines. Now, the search engines use sophisticated techniques to judge the relevance of each site. Google says it ranks sites using more than 200 different (undisclosed) criteria to avoid manipulation of rankings. The search engines continually change the criteria and their priorities.
These days, SEO is only part of a much broader website marketing focus where other online marketing strategies are used in cooperation with SEO to enhance traffic flow to the website. There are Search Engine Optimization Specialists who charge $1500 - $3000 per month to do all the work of keeping sites on top. It this is what you require, we would be happy to refer you.
These days, traditional SEO methods have become only part of a much broader website marketing focus. Other online and traditional marketing strategies can be used in conjunction with SEO to enhance traffic flow to the website. You market your website and your website markets you. That is the reason we request that you fill out a marketing questionnaire before we start SEO work for your site. It helps us know how to position you and which audiences to target.
There are Search Engine Optimization Specialists who charge $1500 - $3000 per month and spend hours doing all the work of keeping sites on top of Search Engine lists. If you are looking at less expensive alternatives, then you have to start out with an understanding of SEO, a good understanding of the audience you wish to reach, and a solid marketing strategy to supplement your SEO efforts.
Put your website address(es) on all letterheads, brochures, invoices, cards, menus, signs, ads, and promotional items. Zee Designs can help with marketing, design, and print services. Put your website addresses on your email signature. Mention your website to your clients and friends and new acquaintances at networking events.
When an older web site has had the same look for many years, the website may have a totally different look from your current print materials and organizational image. In such cases, it is wise to update the site to achieve a consistent branding. Sites with obsolete technology or a stale look detract from your image.
Virtually all the marketing opportunities listed on the Marketing Questionnaire are ways to promote your website as well as your business. The Marketing Questionnaire is a great tool to start you thinking about new opportunities, and the Zee Designs Team can help you create and implement a comprehensive plan.
You will do best when you can zero in on those who are most interested in what you have to offer. Who are your current clients, members, patients, audience members, or aficionados? Where are they located? How did they find you? What are they looking for and how are you currently helping them? The more you know about your current audience, the easier you can target your offerings and marketing to them and others like them.
Next, it is good to consider what markets you might have missed in the past. The easiest way to expand your business is to discover new niches, new ways to present the same products and information to different markets.
The easiest way to grow your business exponentially is to:
To increase the traffic to your website, to increase your business, it takes a plan that takes into account where you are now and what more you wish to achieve.
Search engines send out little animated “robots” to search the web for sites, to rate them, to categorize them, and to put the information about the sites in directories to reference as search results. These directories are indexed for rapid searches. Eventually they will find your site. You can also go to Yahoo! or Google and submit information about your own site. Zee Designs can register your site for you as part of a SEO project.
Most people, would like to be noticed in a way that lands them at the top of the listings rather than as listing number 45,379, and how to accomplish that is a totally different question!
Easy question, difficult answer.
Doing a search on “restaurants” yields over 318,000,000 results on Google. Searching for restaurants in Las Vegas can generate between 977,000 and 13,400,000 results, depending on how people punctuate their search. If the searcher further qualifies the search by adding a type of food, it will cut down the list further. If you wish to have a high ranking for the people who are your most likely clients, then your first step is to consider how they will be looking for you! Then you can work with Zee Designs to determine how best to reach these people in a variety of ways.
This is a highly regarded secret, and every Search Engine uses a different set of methods which change over time – and some engines use several different methods, all on the same day! We can share what we’ve learned and help you come up with a solid strategy that can stand up over time. The reason methods constantly change is so that programmers are less likely to abuse the system.
For instance, it used to be that keywords played a major role in search ratings. Not true today. Programmers were putting words in keyword meta data for websites that had nothing to do with those topics, so search engine results were skewed. To guard the integrity of their results, the search engines started disregarding keywords or giving them lesser importance.
The same thing was also true of doorway pages. Doorway pages used to be the mark of a sophisticated site. Doorway pages are pages specifically made for the search engines, and now too often contain hundreds of links that are of little use to the user, or automatically redirect to advertising. This trend made the search engines downplay their value in the rankings. Now landing pages are used by sophisticated users for specific tracking purposes. For example, a client with a magazine ad wishes those links to go to a specific page. Another example is at the end of an online order, providing a link to a landing page of a complimentary site. Doorway pages are abusive to the system, and landing pages, done correctly, are not.
Search engines nowadays care much more about what others do in relation to your website than what you do (or have done) to your website yourself. That is, if you make a great site about widgets, how does Google know your widget site is better than others? Among other things, it will check to see how many other sites link to yours using the word "widget." ("Click here for info about widgets", "This is an awesome widgets site", etc.) There are other factors involved, including metadata, good URLs, how long your site has been around, but links are a big deal for Google - at least at the moment!
Know that there's no magic bullet. The best way to get a good position in search results is to become a valuable, authoritative resource for your chosen subject that people link and refer to frequently. You do that by creating great content and sharing it with everyone you can. A well programmed site that is updated periodically with content relevant to your topic is a good start and can be built on as time goes on.
Deciding how to use the various aspects of your website to enhance user response, satisfy the search engines, and fit into your overall marketing plan is a continuing process.
Keywords are still important—in a different way than in the past. Most search engines pay scant attention to meta tag keywords. The words used in the URL, in the page titles, and particularly in the content on the page, are important. Content is key, so use your keywords frequently (without being obnoxious and blatantly repetitive) and strategically on the page along with related wording in context.
There are many places where keywords can be used on a webpage including:
For keyword selection, try the Search tools available in Google AdWords. There are two tools that are very helpful: The Keyword Tool and the Search-Based keyword tool.
The Keyword Tool lets you enter the URL of your business website, or of any site related to your business. The AdWords system will then scan your page and then suggest relevant keywords – which may turn up enlightening surprises. It works best with short keywords of one or two words in length to make it easier for Google to determine the most important words and deliver appropriate alternatives. It also allows you to find keywords based on your site content when you use the Website Content option. The keyword tool can help you identify synonyms or tailor results to a language or location.
The Search-based Keyword Tool is similar to the Keyword tool except that it uses your own URLs to display a list of relevant user queries that have occurred on Google.com with some frequency over the past year; these suggestions can be found under the Keywords tab, in the "New keywords related to (site)" section. In the “Keywords related to your search” section, you can see a broad list of keyword ideas that may also be relevant.
These tools can give you an idea whether the keywords you are using for your site really match the content that is present, a key item affecting search ranking.
There are many places where keywords can be used on a webpage including:
Using too many keywords will backfire, marking your site as a potential spam site. In the early days of search engine optimization, people would put their keywords all over the page in the same color as the background, boosting the number of times the words were used. They’d even use high volume-producing words, even if the words had nothing to do with their site. Search engines are much more sophisticated these days, so if the percentage of keywords on a page is too high or the keywords don’t match the content, either the site will get a low rating or be banned!
Smaller files (<40K) are preferred. ZD-CMS™ websites separate the formatting from the html pages, resulting in much smaller file sizes and cleaner content, both of which search engines love.
Hyphens in the Domain Name
Hyphens are used in domain names to make them easier to read and to indicate spaces, which are unusable. One or two hyphens can be excellent for separating keywords (i.e., pet-smart, pets-mart). Four or more can look like spam to a search engine. Ten or more are seen as spam, with rank demotion probable.
Freshness of Pages
Rankings are higher if the site changes over time, and when the site involves news, retail, or auction, the more recent the better! More frequent updates draw frequent spidering, which means the cached information the search engine has is more recent, which can improve your ranking. Some search engines look at the ratio of old pages to new pages.
Freshness of links may be good or bad: excellent for high-trust sites, perhaps worse for newer, low-trust sites. Search engines take care to ensure that spam sites where masses of links are updated daily from databases receive lower rankings.
Create the page content on the website to exhibit a clear and consistent theme and general consistency. Use your search terms, and also words that are similar to some or all of those terms, including plurals and synonyms.
Keep it less than the 2,000 characters allowed by Internet Explorer to be safe - less than 100 is even better. The ZD-CMS™ uses “pretty URLs,” which means the domain name is followed by a slash and a page title or record title without special characters, numbers, which search engines don’t like. Short, understandable, keyword relevant, and search engine friendly.
Search Engines like big sites because larger sites are presumed to be more professional, better funded, better organized, better constructed, and therefore better sites. This can backfire if the site content is sparse or incongruent with the purported topic. Small sites with better content are preferred to large ones that have been generated artificially to look large.
Sites that have been around longer do better than new sites when they have been updated over time. New pages on an older site will get faster recognition. There is often a temporary boost for very new sites - from one (1) week to three (3) weeks in Google and Yahoo.
Navigation within your own site
Ensure all links to other pages on your own site are valid and that you can get to any page in 2-4 clicks. ZD-CMSTM websites already have the efficient, logical, consistent, and conventional navigation with a tree-like structure the search engines prefer. Appropriate links between lower-level pages also enhance rankings. ZD-CMSTM websites have these built in.
Navigation outside your own site
Visitor behavior can affect page ranking:
Search engines can glean traffic information Internet Server Providers and other available network resources. Google Toolbar is a less desirable way to get visitor behavior information. If you install the toolbar and enable page ranking, it will show the ranking of the sites you visit. The downside is that it slows your page loading as it starts tracking everything you personally do online. You lose all privacy, which is one of the many reasons Zee Designs does not recommend using the tool bar. The Google Toolbar comes bundled with many software packages you might install from CD or DVD, as well as many of those you might download from the web. There is always a way to opt out of installing, so use vigilance. If accidentally installed, it can be uninstalled easily.
Things that search engines look at with respect to visitor behavior:
Zee Designs has Website Usage statistics that are automatically generated so you can monitor these trends. We can also install Google Analytics if you prefer that method of tracking your site’s information.
Site Metrics (Traffic Statistics) can affect page ranking:
Domain Owner Behavior:
Note: For ALL the POSITIVE factors listed above, PAGE RANK (how many links from other quality sites point to your website) can OVERRIDE them all. The next section on Incoming Links will explain all about Page Rank.
Too much of a good thing, shortcuts, or tricky programming can create unintended consequences!
Things you may not have much control over include:
It is important to be vigilant, check your ranking and traffic, and make modifications when required.
Back links or reciprocal links are links to your site from a site that your site links to.
Search engines have directories and they are good places to be, if they are one of the main directories like Google or Yahoo. Some trade organizations have their own directories, and they are good places to go to if you are interested in targeted niche markets. Directory listing is a boost only if the directories that link to you are real directories, rather than link farms, and respected in their niche markets, which requires that you understand your markets. Some directories require payment to belong, notably Yahoo!
Search engines index the sites they accept for rapid search results. If you wish to be found by the people you wish to reach, it is important that the search engines properly categorize your site through the keywords and the content that you use to back it up.
The type of domain is an important indicator of the content of a site.
In addition, the technology and the programming used can affect search engine rankings. For example, sites programmed with frames or as flash-only sites are at a disadvantage.
Flash animation is a great way to present complex content because it allows the designer to put more content in a finite space without wrecking page design. Flash is an ideal way to present a slide show or movie explaining a complex product. Art and entertainment sites have a real need for multimedia, and Flash is the perfect solution.
As part of a total solution, Flash is great! As the basis for an entire website, it introduces challenges for Search Engine Optimization. While Flash sites are graphics-based, Search Engines are text-based. For years the two worlds had trouble intersecting.
In recent years, Flash has been billed as having added new features that make it more conducive to SEO, and Google has bragged about its ability to handle Flash files. Despite all this, trusting Flash content to get good SEO results is like trusting a Seattle summer wedding to be rain-free. It could happen, but no one would call it a wise bet. The interfaces between Flash and the search engines is still too new and there are issues to overcome.
(Note: Adapted from the SEOmoz Blog, where you can learn more about Search Engine Optimization.)
Hoping that search engines can decipher your Flash is not a substitute for providing index-able HTML content. There are things that can be done to make Flash sites more accessible to Search Engines and Zee Designs can help.
Your site can be made into a hybrid site that contains both Flash and HTML elements.
Any content you embed in these files can also be available in text format to be accessible to search engines. Providing text-based equivalents of these files can help other search engines crawl and index your content. In addition, a text-based version of your site will let viewers using older browsers or mobile phones access your content easily. However, now that Google can index Flash in greater depth, there is the potential problem of duplicate content with sites that have an alternate HTML version for users without Flash player installed, and duplications are frowned on.
Zee Designs can help you evaluate your Flash-based website to determine which approach would work best for you.
Many Content Management Systems use technologies that do not interface well with search engines. The ZD-CMSTM was created with SEO in mind.
Meaningful, linkable URLs
The ZD-CMS™ provides simple, meaningful URLs for all website pages. Not every CMS does this. For example, here's a URL from the Joomla CMS:
There's no indication what kind of content is on that page. You won't know until you visit it. After redoing the above site in the ZD-CMS™, the URL became:
Now you can tell immediately what's on that page (and so can the search engines). It's also easier to link to from an email or to tell someone over the phone. Search engines will rank it higher, also, because the URL is understandable and congruent with the content.
Our sites are created using cutting-edge standards for code. Pages generated by our system are clean and as free as possible of clutter, which makes it easier for search engines (and accessibility software) to understand the meaning of the pages. Google is blind: it can't see cool designs; all it cares about is the semantic interpretation of your site - the meaning. Our sites are structured behind the scenes with this in mind.
Each site and each page within a site can have metadata associated with it, such as keywords, description, author, and so on. This helps search engines get a feel for what kind of content a page contains. Search engines are always looking for meaning, and metadata helps communicate important chunks of information directly to them in a machine-readable format.
Nothing is ever done when it comes to Search Engine Optimization because the industry is constantly changing. There are always new opportunities. Websites require maintenance, and it takes work to remain at the top of the rankings.
It is entirely up to you, your business plan, and your financial situation. There are companies that charge upwards of $1500 per month, just to manage a site’s SEO on an ongoing basis. For most people this is overkill. Zee Designs will be happy to refer you if you require this level of special care.
Whether open-source software is more or less secure than closed-source (proprietary) software is a contentious issue within the tech community nowadays. Since open source is a relatively new phenomenon and collecting reliable data on security is difficult, speculation abounds.
Hackers have found and exploited vulnerabilities in all sorts of software, whether open or closed. Security-wise, it's tenuous to say that one development methodology is categorically superior to the other.
There are big, successful companies that use open source software -- Yahoo, Google, the BBC -- and the same goes for closed.
Good coding practices and vigilant systems administrators are what ultimately make a site secure, rather than whether the software is open or closed.
The developers of the ZD-CMS™ use industry-standard security practices throughout.
Absolutely! A well thought-out web site can be built in stages and the costs spread over a period of time. It's also important to have a flexible design that can grow with you and adapt well to an ever-changing industry.
The first stage is always the Development Plan, which includes:
The second stage is registering your web site address (URL) and obtaining appropriate web hosting services. Your webmaster will usually do this for you. Tip: be sure to register your URL with both the .com and .net extensions. This will give you at minimum two URLs to register with Search Engines and Search Directories. If your business is more of an organization or an aspect of your business is organizational in nature, be sure to register your URL with the .org extension. There are other extensions available and you can discuss the value of these with your webmaster and/or marketing director.
The third stage is the development and production of the site style-the "look" of your website and its navigation elements.
The fourth stage is following the Site Map according to the Development Plan and filling in the text and other static elements.
After that, additional stages are up to you, taking into consideration the recommendations of the webmaster, and updates you decide you would like to add once you see all the things that our Content Management system can do. Modules of dynamic elements can be developed as "add-ons" potentially making a more elaborate web site project more affordable over time.
These remind me of the many pieces of paper that fall out of or are glued into magazines when you first get them. Obviously these were designed to grab our attention and they have done just that, even though our reaction is an annoyed one. This is what I think is a great idea gone bad. I don't mind the pop-up windows when I "ask" for them, like when I click on a link and it brings me to another website or a glossary of terms or some other feature like that. When it's advertising "screaming" in my face, it is annoying. The only way to avoid pop-ups is to close the window or disable pop-ups in your browser.
As a feature in your own website, consider the application. This feature does have its place, like on a fun and vibrant website where the main subject matter may be available resources, games, entertainment, etc., enhancing the liveliness of the website. In most cases though, this feature is best used wisely, for instance when your website provides links to other websites. It is valuable and considerate to make your site "sticky," so that people still have access to your site even when clicking on an external link. I appreciate viewing someone's site and then linking somewhere else and, after closing the new browser window or tab, be right back where I started- and so do a lot of our clients.
At Zee Designs we can discuss your specific requirements and determine whether pop-ups are appropriate for your application or whether another technique might work better for you.
You won't until you come up with a plan. How do you know how much your house is going to cost to build with all your wishes included? You hire an architect to draw the plans. Think of building your website in the same way. Hire a webmaster to create a Web Site Development Plan. This is the most important aspect of creating your web site. It will save you a significant amount of money and time, especially throughout the design and production phases.
The process of getting your own web site can be both confusing and scary. You're constantly being told that for your business to survive you must have a web presence. Adding to this pressure, web designers are coming out of the woodwork from every direction. How do you sort out the good from the bad and what is a fair price for their services? How can you use your site to truly enhance your business?
The easiest way to sort through these phone calls is to ask for their web site address, commonly referred to as URL (Uniform Resource Locator-the address for a web site), and take a look at it yourself.
While visiting their web site, locate their Portfolio and link to the other web site projects they have done.
Basic things to consider when browsing a website:
If you like their portfolio, move on to other considerations.
Check out their Services.
Check their references
Talk to the principals.
If you get enough information, it will be an easy decision.
It is impossible to answer this question without first addressing what is to be included. What is the purpose of the site - marketing, information, sales, services? How many pages will it have? What kind of software and special features will be used? How many people [designers and developers] will it take to build this website? How much time do we have to build it? What additional services would you like?
The first part of your investment to developing a professional web site for your business should be the Development Plan as discussed in another FAQ. This will usually cost $75 to $150 per hour to develop and can take as little as two hours or as much as dozens of hours depending on the size of the project. From this Development Plan will come an estimate which will detail the cost(s) and phases of the project. Most firms will offer you the option of paying a per hour rate or a fixed project price. Be clear that with a fixed project price, any change or revision to the Development Plan will change the fixed project price.
When you buy a website, you also need to provide all the services that go with it to make it work. Some website development companies attempt to make it look easier or less expensive than it really is by combining all the parts and pieces together in their proposal and skipping over the incidentals, expecting the client already knows what these incidentals are. Then, bang, at the end of the project, the client gets hit with the invoice with all the incidental charges. this will never happen at Zee Designs. We outline all the charges in detail up front, and of there are changes due to changes in the project, we tell you that too.
An experienced, professional website development firm like Zee Designs knows that it is most efficient to be able to acquire and/or provide all services, elements, and production for any website project, be it small or large. They will also know it is about integrity to inform each and every client in writing about everything that is being done.
Costs involved may include:
The important thing to remember is that Zee Designs will always tell you in advance what the charges will be and what is included. We will always let you know your options.
Affiliate advertising will represent a small secondary source of revenue. For many businesses however, even a supplementary income source is quite valuable. The major benefit of affiliate advertising is to your viewer, providing added resources and content that you could not afford to provide on your own. An additional benefit is increasing your credibility through your link with more widely known service providers in your field.
There are many choices when it comes to affiliate advertising programs. Choose wisely, and try to match your new 'advertisers' to the content of your site.
Most of the programs being offered are "click" based, which means that a visitor must click on the ad in order to generate a payback to you. The amount varies, but generally seems to be in the 10-cent to 20-cent range. The actual revenue generated will depend on how good the ad is and how well it fits with the demographics for your site. From what I have experienced and based on current industry data, you might expect to make between $0.50 and $1.00 per thousand page views. If you do the math, 100,000 page views a month would generate approximately $75 income.
Other programs will offer you a percentage of the sales made to visitors from your website. These programs may be more profitable.
Zee Designs can help you navigate the maze of options to find and implement solutions that best support your business and its requirements. Just ask.
You are not alone. Most people have a limited knowledge about the variety of elements to consider when creating a web site and the technical details behind it. Focus your energy on educating the webmaster about what you do know-your business. Then they can share with you what they know: presenting your business on the Internet with empowering, efficient options.
It's important when speaking with a web site designer/developer that you feel comfortable about how they communicate with you. Are they able to assist you with understanding the options without using a lot of technical jargon and speaking like a computer geek? When they do use technical jargon, do they offer an explanation that you can understand? Most likely you will be entering a long-term relationship with this company, and while this type of project can often be challenging, it is best when the journey is also fun, inspiring and rewarding for everyone involved. Zee Designs specializes in making the journey quick and delightful.
Consider how often you are making changes to your website and on which page or pages. If you are making changes every day, every week, every month, it would be wise to consider having programming designed which would allow you access to the "back side"-often referred to as the administrative side-of your website. You would use this to make changes to your website for that specific page or pages yourself, not relying on the website developer's schedule or motivation. Creating this administrative side is often done in two ways, through a custom application requiring custom programming or through the use of content management modules.
Programming is a time-consuming process and therefore can be costly. To decide if this is the most economical option, the cost of programming needs to be measured against several factors some of which include:
Modules can be a great way of keeping your costs affordable and getting the kind of flexible access you need to these changing portions of your website. Let's use the excellent example of a Calendar of Events. Our team of website developers and programmers has developed the code for a Calendar Module. Because it is a nearly ready-made piece, it is sold as an element for a very reasonable, one-time-cost to any client desiring this feature in their website. The only custom programming that is done is integrating the module with your website, making it less time consuming than a custom programming application and therefore less costly. Now you have access to your calendar on your website 24/7 on any computer that has internet access around the world! This is just one example of a module option and how it can be used. We have modules for virtually every purpose. Let us know what you require and we will show you how our content management system can create it.
Seriously consider hiring Zee Designs as your website developer. We understand that a website is a living, breathing, interactive and important part of your business and livelihood. The majority of websites are not built and left alone. Due to the wonderful flexibility and technologies the internet involves, your website CAN change-much more easily and economically than changing any of your print, television, or radio media can. It is appropriate to find a website development team that will consider your needs now AND as your business evolves, evaluate these needs appropriately, give you options for empowering solutions that work for both of you and continue to support you with marketing solutions that will potentially bring you business. After all, isn't that why you had a website built in the first place?
Advertise it on and in everything else you do including: business cards, brochures, newspaper and magazine ads, your yellow pages listing, your motorcycle helmet, invoices, business checks, letterhead, at the bottom of every email you send out, company vehicles, newsletters, product packaging, your race car, etc.
Ask other companies you associate with to link from their web site to yours. Offer the same to them. A sophisticated version of this is available where you and your affiliates get paid for referred traffic and/or sales.
Business pouring in will be directly affected by the effort you put out notifying the public you now offer a web site for them to learn more about your business and to obtain your services and/or products in another way. Start with a mailer and/or an email notice to your current customer list. There are several dynamic options we can discuss with you which will offer powerful ways to communicate with your website visitors. A simple example of this would be a "join our mailing list" option and ZD-eNews™, our easy way to send a notice to those who have joined your mailing list.
Getting the kind of traffic you would like is directly related to all your other marketing materials. Zee Designs has excellent web site traffic analysis options so you know exactly what your web site is and isn't doing. From these analysis reports you, Zee Designs staff, and/or your marketing director can base decisions about changes and revisions that will potentially make your web site more effective. Offering day-to-day information and giveaways is a fantastic way to get visitors to come back to your site time and time again.
Search engines play a large role in how easily people find your website. The best way to think of Search Engines and Search Directories is like a giant yellow pages directory that holds millions of web site addresses. Zee Designs knows how to make sure that, at minimum, when you type in your company name, it will come up. There are several other options for submitting your web site to these Search Engines and Directories from do-it-yourself to paying for this service to be done for you. There are also pay-for-position options, and unless you have a Fortune 500 company, this may not necessarily be a wise use of your advertising funds. Register often is the golden rule here-a minimum of four times per year. Zee Designs can take care of this for you and educate you on the options available.
It really depends on the results you expect and the time you have. Employers and employees have full schedules already leaving no time for learning the complexities and diversity of this type of software. Depending on the size and scope of your project web site design, development and production can be a full-time job. Most people find out very quickly that the do-it-yourself websites often look amateur and are very limited in their ability to provoke interaction from visitors. What about all the aspects that work hand-in-hand with web sites beyond design and development like hosting, search engine registration, traffic analysis, database development, affiliate programs, and E-commerce solutions? Are you prepared for learning all about these as well and making the myriad of decisions that go into designing a site with these features?
Just as it takes a toolbox full of tools and many people to build a house, it most often takes several software applications and many people to build a professional, effective, efficient website. You may spend a few hundred dollars on a software package and a professional website design/development firm has commonly invested tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in their equipment, software, and education. A professional web site design/development firm will offer you much more for your money.
We recently were referred to a client with the same challenge. They paid $375 for three web pages on another company's website. The address didn't even reflect the name of their business! Their biggest complaint was they are getting no response from it. Here are some of the issues we discovered with this that are common to this kind of arrangement:
A referral is an effective way to find an appropriate web site developer. Ask other business owners who they used and what they liked about working with them. Were they able to fulfill all the requested requirements of design, development, and production? Did they deliver the project on time? Were they informative about a variety of solutions? Do they feel like they paid a fair price and the services met up to or exceeded their expectations?
Check out other web sites of companies that offer similar services and/or products. If you find one you like, look for the webmaster's insignia, logo, or link, then check out the webmaster's services and portfolio. Ask yourself, "What sites do I like and for what reasons?" Take notes and write down the URLs. This will be very useful to the company you choose to create your web site!
Nothing if it is just a counter, and it can potentially be a turnoff for your visitors if the number isn't what they think it ought to be for them to consider your website valuable.
A more appropriate solution is website traffic analysis reporting, which can be done by putting into place software and/or a service that can report on the specifics about the traffic that is visiting your website. For example:
By evaluating this and other specific data, we can determine appropriate aspects of your website to either develop further or eliminate, thereby creating a strong, effective, evolving tool for your business. Solutions can range from free to a few hundred dollars a month. Effective solutions can be found for $49.95 per month and under. Considering how much you invested on the development of your website, this is a wise place to spend additional funds.
Uniform Resource Locator. The address for a website.
We take you through the process of determining what you desire your website to accomplish and that will help determine what elements the new website will contain. We will help you put together a plan, let you know what kind of information you will be asked to provide, and design the look to fit in with your branding. If you have no branding or inconsistent branding, we can help you with that as well. Zee Designs is a full-service provider.
Charges may depend upon what your monthly needs are such as text and product updates, monthly newsletters, high-volume list servicing, etc., and how much of it you will be doing yourself. If it is a determinable amount of work, some website firms will assess this and create a monthly fee for it, figuring that your demand will even out over a year's time. Monthly maintenance fees can also pay for the day-to-day task of checking on your site to make sure it is up and running, addressing spontaneous technical issues immediately, any dedicated server-side maintenance, etc. Other firms prefer to invoice on an as need basis. When you need the work, they do it and then bill you for it.
My friend has a son who spends all his time on the web and will design a site for me for $100. My friend is very impressed with what he has done for him. What is the difference between what he can do for me and what you can do for me?
The old adage, "you get what you pay for" definitely applies here. This is your business we are talking about, not a high school project or hiring the neighborhood kid to mow your lawn! Adding the creation of a web site to your list of advertising expenses is a big deal whether you are spending $1,000 or $1,000,000. Experience, experience, experience. How much experience does your friend's son have with owning and operating a business, managing an advertising budget, discussing a contingent marketing plan, coordinating a team of people for all aspects of project design and development, project research and development?
Even the simplest web site projects are best served with professional attention, by people who know what it's like to own and operate a business, by people whose business it is to assist you with promoting your business, and by people who care about your advertising results and provide professional graphic design to show your business to its best advantage. At Zee Designs, you end up with a website you can easily update yourself, rather than having to rely on someone else who may not be available later.
When you tell us what you want to do on your website, we will tell you which of these enigmatic features you will require to support your site. If you have an IT department or consultants working for you, we would be happy to speak with them so that they understand the requirements of our Content Management system as applied to your project. When there are choices to be made, we will ensure that you understand the issues as well as the costs.
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