Your Web Site - Do It Yourself? or Get Serious!

Written by Mike Jones

FACT: Your web site appearance can make you thousands of dollars OR it can kill your business - DEAD!

Why is it so crucial? Given a choice of restaurant, which one would you enter? The one withrepparttar entrance under construction,repparttar 134686 bizarre color scheme andrepparttar 134687 hand written menu? Orrepparttar 134688 one with an immaculately dressed host standing inrepparttar 134689 doorway welcoming you to a table where evenrepparttar 134690 color ofrepparttar 134691 menu coordinates withrepparttar 134692 rest ofrepparttar 134693 decor which is, well, just right?

Lesson:repparttar 134694 first impression has tremendous IMPACT on how visitors to your site perceive it from there on. The exit is only a click away forrepparttar 134695 unimpressed!

Take a minute to review my story and see if it rings a bell with you. Above all, learn a VERY important lesson:

I started onrepparttar 134696 internet about a year ago full of enthusiasm to get my first web site up and running. I dabbled with FrontPage. The first results were encouraging - so I thought. Then I started noticing other web sites out there - professional ones. Hmmm. Now I was not quite so content. Compared to some other sites I saw,repparttar 134697 whole thing began to look rather 'amateurish'. After countless frustrating hours fiddling with various programs, kickingrepparttar 134698 computer and feeling more and more frustrated, my site still looked likerepparttar 134699 work of a greenhorn!

I likedrepparttar 134700 color scheme of black, red and orange for some reason. After a couple of months some thoughtful person who had visited my site sent a brief message: "Sorry to say, I could hardly read a word on your site! Your body text is orange, one ofrepparttar 134701 worst choices you can make!" I was shocked. The page looked so nice in my Internet Explorer window. So orange was a big mistake! Time for a redesign.

OK. Off we go again. I changedrepparttar 134702 colors to red and grey withrepparttar 134703 body text in a dark grey. Very smart I thought. After hours and hours laying out many pages and formattingrepparttar 134704 paragraphs I was well pleased withrepparttar 134705 results. I came across a copy of Netscape's browser and decided to install it to see how my site looked to a large chunk ofrepparttar 134706 internet community who did not use Internet Explorer. HORROR! What a mess! The page that looked good in IE4 was totally disjointed in Netscape. The paragraphs were all uneven andrepparttar 134707 tables didn't even line up. Picasso would have been proud!

My dissatisfaction was growing. On top of that, I read a comment from a savvy internet entrepreneur who said there was only one design program he was aware of which delivered clean html code which looked good in all browsers. Which one? Dreamweaver from Macromedia. Gulp! You mean I had spentrepparttar 134708 last four months sweating with FrontPage only to be told thatrepparttar 134709 design program of choice is a different one? Could I stomach another sharp and tedious learning curve?

Around this time I received an interesting offer from a guy named Micah Cranman. He owns a web design firm, Sybren Design and is also a subscriber to my ezine The High Achievers Journal. He had taken a look at my site and suggested a total reorganization. I was skeptical. After all, I had given birth to this thing, we were bonded, it was mine! Anyway, his offer sounded good so I accepted.

Give Your Graphics A Professional Look without the Price

Written by Shelley Lowery

Graphic design is an intimidating subject for many Internet entrepreneurs. However, most of us must learn some basic design techniques to avoidrepparttar high costs of hiring a professional graphics designer.

You can create your own graphics that can look just as nice as some ofrepparttar 134685 professionally created graphics for a fraction ofrepparttar 134686 cost.

In order to create your graphics, you will need to invest in a good graphics program. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy graphics design software. Paint Shop Pro is a wonderful graphics program and isrepparttar 134687 only program you'll need to design professional looking graphics. You can download a free 30-day trial and registerrepparttar 134688 software for only $99.

The first and probably most important graphic technique we're going to discuss is text. This is probably what you will userepparttar 134689 most. Not just any text, but text to be used with your logo, banners or page titles.

When you're ready to begin, open Paint Shop Pro and click on "File" then "New" and type in a width and height for your image. Make sure your "Image Type" is set to 24-bit and select your background color. You can leaverepparttar 134690 other settings at their defaults. Make sure you give yourself a large enough space to work with, as you can reduce it later.

Your first step will be to select a good font. Depending upon repparttar 134691 effect I want to achieve, I use one of three different fonts; Impact, Verdana, or Arial Black. If you don't have these fonts installed on your computer, you can find them here: ypography/fontpack/default.htm

The first text effect we will be creating will display your text in a large font size with a drop shadow effect. This drop shadow effect can also be used with any other images you create.

Your first step will be to select your text color. To changerepparttar 134692 foreground and background colors, double click onrepparttar 134693 top and bottom color squares onrepparttar 134694 right. Your text will be displayed inrepparttar 134695 color withinrepparttar 134696 top box, which isrepparttar 134697 foreground color. For this example, I will be using a light color as my foreground color.

Once you've selected your text color, click onrepparttar 134698 text tool on repparttar 134699 left side (It looks like a capital "A"). This will launch your text window. Select your font and text size fromrepparttar 134700 drop down menu and type in your text. I will be using "Impact" bold, size 24. Make sure you select "Antialias" and "Floating" then click "OK."

Antialias will smooth out all ofrepparttar 134701 rough edges of your text and blend it in with your background color. You will userepparttar 134702 Antialias setting with various graphic tools when designing your graphics, so it is important to remember its function.

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