Web Design for the No-Talent ArtistWritten by Jeff Clark
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If you aren't a whiz with HTML, consider a WYSIWYG layout editor. The editor will allow you to move your creation from your mind to screen. If you do know something about programming and modern constructs of web page design, consider building your site with external, included files. One of most important tenets of good web design is a consistent look and feel, especially navigation. The navigation should look and operate same on every page within your site. It gives your guests a feeling of comfort.
If you construct your navigation within an external file that is included at page load, you can save yourself tons of repetitive effort. If you want to add a new section, instead of having to change hundreds of pages, you merely change included file and you've added more functionality. There are probably other pieces of your site that will appear on every page. If so, put them in external files. You'll be glad you did. Read up on server side includes and ASP (Active Server Pages) too. Photographs Are Our Friends
For no-talent artists like me, photography becomes ultimate substitute for computer generated art. Buy yourself a digital camera, or a scanner. If you need a graphic that looks like a pumpkin patch, take a picture of one. Want to create that perfect background scene to set mood? No better realization than actual thing. Props in photography can serve an equally compelling purpose as that omni-filtered vector you spent days developing. If you don't have money or inclination to do digital photography yourself, there are plenty of stock catalogs available for a reasonable fee.
In summary, why make it harder on yourself than it needs to be? If you get scared off by marvelous professional artists out there, you'll never give yourself a chance. Many of most enjoyable sites on web were created by other twenty people who sat in that art class admiring work of Willie.
Jeff Clark is webmaster of Internet Brothers: Helpware for the Cybercommunity (http://internetbrothers.com), a web site devoted to helping newcomers compete on the Internet. Offering free tips, tutorials, and interviews about HTML and DHTML, graphics editing, page layout and design, digital photography, desktop publishing, and site promotion.
You CAN get over 50,000 hits to your web site every month!Written by Linda Rocco
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By including keyword rich Image Names and Alt tags throught your index page, you will be giving spiders and robots lots of content for indexing. So, if you used to name image of your logo "logo", I hope you know better now.
3. Site Content. Content is "stuff" of your web site. It's all words and images that make up your web site. The most important thing to remember about content is that keyword rich text will help you most. What are words on your page? I don't mean gif's that look like words, I mean actual text. Read them very carefully. Are you using your keywords and phrases or are you just rambling on about your store location and directions? Especially on your index page (first page) you should have all of most important keywords and phrases. Repeating them is even better.Please don't interpret that to mean that you would have words "Welcome to my pet pet pet pet store". That would be funny, but that's not what I mean. Instead, here's a good example for Pet Store: "We welcome you and your pet to our pet supply store. Our pet shop has been open for business for over 15 years in New Jersey. Now, all pets and all pet owners can enjoy our great prices on every pet need from dog and cat food, to chew toys, to dog grooming supplies. Our virtual pet shop is open 24 hrs a day 365 days a week. Enjoy savings on brands such as IAMS, and Science Diet. What are you waiting for? Doesn't your lovable pet deserve a special treat today?" Notice which words are being used repeatedly.
Invest in a software program that can track your Search Engine Rankings for you. Web Position Gold is reasonably priced $99 and will keep track of up multiple web sites, with multiple keywords. It's an easy to use program that will help you keep track of your progress. Or, if you're a Webmaster, it'll help you in preparing reports for your clients.
Now that you know how to get your site listed on first page of Search Engines, get started. Please, don't get impatient. It is going to initially take you at least 6 weeks to get your web site listed with major Search Engines. You don't have to submit your web site to 1000 Search Engines. You only need to submit your web site to Top 6 or so including Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, Alta Vista, Hot Bot and Web Crawler. Just between top 2 (Yahoo and Excite) you'll cover over 60% of all online searches. So, if you can be on Page 1 in Excite for a few of your chosen keywords, your web site is being exposed to hundreds of thousands of searchers per day!
If you find that after 2 months, you aren't showing up where you want to be, then do a little research. Check which sites are ranking best for your keywords, look at their HEAD section, their image tags, and their content. You'll get some great ideas. Borrow them and resubmit to Search Engine you need to. Then, wait approx. 6 weeks for an update.
If you are diligent your site will soon have thousands of visitors per day and per week, instead of measely few stragglers that are finding it today. Best of all it costs you nothing but a little time and effort.
Linda Rocco. I am a web designer, online marketer and Owner of Web Spinners Design Co. (www.webspinnersdesignco.com) and Gummy Lump wooden toys (www.gummylump.com). I also teach Web Design and Online Marketing at a NYS accredited school.