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The Difference Between Website Designers & Developers

Website Development Team 04/09/2017

There is a clear difference between a website designer and a developer. But it’s not uncommon that you’ll hear people using terms such as “web designer” and “web developer” interchangeably. The reason for the confusion is that web design and web development companies tend to use either “web design” or “web development” to refer to the entire web development process in creating websites.


Understanding Web Design and Website Development

You don’t want to waste your time delaying the project you wanted to start? Let me proceed in explaining these two terms for you.

Web Design

The process of crafting out a website layout, including all of its graphical elements is what can be referred to as Web Design. Web templates are created using image editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop. It gives it the look and feel of the web page being created. Its end product is a layout and design of the website that the client requires from the web designer.

The completed web design does not contain any code. Instead, another staff uses this graphical template to develop pages using their own codes. Some parts of the web site development involve use of code, while other areas use pure graphics.

Website Development

Web development on the other hand, is the term reserved to describe the design of the back-end of the website. Website’s back-end isn’t visible to the normal users. However, they respond to a set of command by the users and output content on the site in a correct format (front-end).

Web development team creates database-driven web sites using server-side languages such as PHP, ASP, and .NET. and ColdFusion. Web development also refers to the design and development of the database structures – creating tables and users, assigning privileges to the user on certain tables, and grabbing data on those tables on the front page.

Web development also means client-side scripting, such as JavaScript and Java that runs on the client’s computer. They help to remember usernames and user’s settings so that the visitors don’t have to remember them every time they open the web site.

 Web Designers vs Web Developers: Differences in their Roles

1. Role of Web Designers

Web designers are creative people, who have a knack of getting inside the minds of their clients and crafting out their visions. They use these inputs from the clients and convert their vision into creative work of art to captivate the attention of thousands of viewers.

Designers of websites have amazing sets of skills in typography, usability, and design of user interface. They usually use tools such as Photoshop, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator to design graphic designs. Most of them often spend their time browsing through sites like Getty Images, iStockPhoto looking for beautiful and relevant images for their web sites.

Some argue that the role of a web designer should also include creating web pages. Some web designers can convert PSD templates into HTML pages using CSS. CSS stands for cascading style sheet. A web designer that is also a front-end developer can use CSS to define the layout, design, color, size of the different elements of the web page.

2. Role of a Web Developer

Web developers are concerned mostly on the technical aspects of the whole web development process. They are talented and gifted people with logical reasoning and problem solving skills. They write codes for web applications using programming languages such as JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, ASP, Perl, Python, X(HTML) and so on.

In their personal computer, they usually have some program development text editors. They may have a Zend Framework install, Firebug install on their Firefox Browser and several of other web development tools. Some of them are also responsible for testing, analyzing, and uploading the web content on the server.

You’ll also see them wracking their brain why their code didn’t work out. They love to visit online forums dedicated to developers. They read a lot of online documentation from PHP.net, MySQL and jQuery sites to find solutions to the crisis they got themselves in. While some refers to them as web programmers, developers skills often surpass that. Think of them as a programmer with lots of technical knowledge.

Who Should You Choose: A Designer or a Developer?

It depends on what you’re trying to achieve. You’ll likely need both of these people to work along with your web project. If you want to renovate your old website’s design or want a completely fresh design, hire a web designer. But then again, you need to know how to choose the right web designer for you.

Once the web design aspect of the whole web project is completed there are still a lot to be done. You still want to include some dynamic functions to the website. And if you want to build an e-commerce website, you need to hire a web developer. While there are many developers out there, choosing the right web developer for your specific project can be challenging.

26 total views, 1 today

Tips for Effective Content Writing

Website Content 31/08/2017

When a review or an informative article has to be published, at times displaying only factual data reminds the readers they are on a science website that shows abstracts containing complicated terms too complex for the average reader. Writing an article can be dry when it is too technical and too factual making it look like a Wikipedia post. Below are some tips to improve content writing making articles more fascinating to the readers:

Be first (Individuality)
It may be difficult to be first in the know but what is meant here is to be first in presenting something new in a unique way. For example, introducing blogging to the generation that didn’t have blogging can be a new way to present such topic rather than presenting blogging in general as many sites and even Wikipedia have posts on what blogging is all about. Be the first in presenting information differently. It can be through new writing techniques, targeting another market, using media not usually used, and through upbeat writing. Be innovative and take that extra step to show what the article is all about.

Proper Media Integration
Although many sites do show a picture or two about what is being written, it is still not wise to put too many pictures just to make the site more effective. What it’s doing is just polluting the post with too much information–many of which are deemed unnecessary by readers. Instead, choose wisely what to integrate. Look for unique shots that would show something different about the topic. If it is possible, the writer should take his/her own photos and post it to give the article a personal feeling which usually lets the readers know that “the writer took the time and effort to show this picture for me.”

It has been stated in media integration but this deserves its own subsection. When readers feel the article was not written in a generic form, they take it personally to heart as if the article was tailor-made for them. Of course, this is easier said than done. Writing in a way that everyone can understand while personalizing it are daunting tasks. All readers are silently asking is that hint the writers care about them. By adding just a sentence that breaks away from the formality of the post, granting it does not ruin the article, takes that step towards personalization.

Jam Pack with Enthusiasm and Examples; Not so on Details
The mistake of first-time content writers is to have too many details in one article. This can lead to a broken train of thought or a simple wreck. Discerning which information is useful and necessary to the readers is a skill each writer must possess for a writer can write so many things but without choosing what is important makes the writer a nagger. Instead, a content writer must focus on important facts and fill it with enthusiasm for it is, most probably, something new and innovative. Include examples to further empower the readers to understand the points in the article. Deliver it not with factual dullness but with realistic vivacity.

Get the Facts Straight
This gets overlooked sometimes where the writer has all the facts he/she needs yet among them all could lie a big lie. Before writing, ensure the facts have been laid out and if it has already been published by others, ensure the information to be reused is accurate and credible. Nobody wants to read heresy about this technology and that technology. Even ignorant opinions should be avoided. Verify the facts and following up using an opinion based on the facts are good steps toward an effective content article.

Funny Lines
It can be effective to start and end with a funny line. At times, sarcasm plays a role in effective content writing but this can be done when one has more experience.  However, adding humor can be done immediately but must be appropriate. This can be written in the various figures of speech (i.e. simile, metaphor) that takes a jab at the article’s topic yet in the end must conclude the funny lines.

Social Media Integration
Last but never the least, social media integration like having a share and tweet button can improve the overall writing. Yes, the content and the way it is written can be more effective when readers can share to their friends what the writer has written. Nothing can have a more profound result than the increase in viewership through sharing.

These steps should improve writing content that is not only effective but also entertaining to the readers. While some can be tricky to implement, others are quite easy. The only way to find out for sure if one is an effective content writer is to keep at writing developing using these tips.

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Finding your Niche as a Writer

Website Content 10/10/2012

Each writer of content is essentially unique and displays his signature in a way he probably does not even know it. Yet the readers know very well his signature or style of writing. Some writers may not be able to write what the other is able to. For example, some may find it boring to write about scarves while some may just love it. Here are some tips to find that “niche” as a writer to be able to generate content that is not only informative but also interesting:

How to Find your own Signature & Style as a Writer

Know your market
That is what “niche” is all about–finding that market where the writer can do his job. If one has a talent to write step-by-step tutorials on making a website from scratch or baking the easiest yet tastiest cookie in the world, one discovers his niche. Question, though: is there a market for that topic and is there someone willing to read it? Sometimes, to find that niche, the writer has to adapt to the market and what it needs. It may require the writer to adjust his talents into something more mainstream. This is not about changing the way the writer does his job but merely learning how to deal with the current market today. Nobody wants to be stale working at the same place for 50 years. All writers must move on to do different things and explore what they could do rather than what they couldn’t.

Being a generalist has its advantages as a writer but having a specialization can bring out the true niche of a person. It is similar to when seeing a doctor for a stomach problem. Anybody can go to a doctor and have their stomach checked out but the doctor will most likely refer someone who has the specialization in gastroenterology to the patient. In websites, people will remember the writer for being a specialist in a specific field and not a generalist.

Writing Technique
The most important thing readers want to see is an article that is excited about what it has to offer to them. Writing a narrative for a supposedly upbeat article is very dull and will also define the writer’s niche and technique. Whatever the article should be should happen and should be done by the writer. If it is news, it must present facts and represent all sides of the story. If it involves the tedious step-by-step guide, it must be written in detail as to not receive excessive amounts of comments and unnecessary feedback. If it is about this lovely basil plant, a new fashion trend, or just the latest hairstyle, an upbeat technique and a happy mood will generally create a wonderful article.

Writers often fail to take into account the perspective of their readers and instead focus on their own views. To create a writer’s niche, he must always put himself in a place where he finds himself also as a reader. It is through the eyes of the reader will the writer himself realize his own  mistakes and shortcomings to let his readers understand his own view.

Creative Ideas, Not Necessarily New Ideas
To create that niche, writers often have to think of something new. Well, the sad reality is nothing much is new especially if the market they are writing for is packed with other writers. However, it is never too late to think of creative ideas–not necessarily “new” as it would add to the burden of having to think of those “new” things. Sometimes, by simply putting another view on the same topics can bring out the creative things and readers will be the one to decide if it is new to them and most of the time, it will be.

It can be hard to have passion for writers who work at it for a living but if it is not their passion, they will ultimately fail. Writing is 99% passion where the 1% is everything else like content and grammar. Without the passion to write, writers only get that 1%. Readers love to see the signature of writers when the signature is passion itself–for writing, for themselves, and for others.

A writer’s niche can be found and harvested like fruits of the tree. The only difference is the specialization, the market, the technique, and the passion that drives a writer to put out his best. Writing is a rewarding experience and with hard work and a bit of luck, readers might be able to see the writer’s signature and appreciate his work in due time.

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Tips on How to Overcome Writer’s Block

Website Content 10/10/2012

Many writers dread the days when they are not able to write something new even when they try to do it. One of the common causes of writer’s block is the lack of inspiration. People often need to be inspired by an event or a special someone to pursue their dreams. Writers also need the same things just to write. Although there are many factors that could cause writer’s block, one thing is for certain – it is not a disorder. It is a moment that can recur time and again and ever so often, the reasons are not known to the author him/herself. And while there is no sure-fire way to remove writer’s block, below are some tips on how to overcome them:

Strategies to Get Over Writer’s Block

Having a hobby
Employers will almost always ask the question to the prospective employees, “Do you have a hobby?” The company actually wants to know truly if one practices having hobbies because sometimes the job can be stressful. In writer’s block, it is equally important to have hobbies to prevent that build-up of frustration and to let loose emotional baggage. Some play instruments, read other books, listen to music, watch movies, and some do gardening which can be very rewarding. Others enjoy socializing–going out with friends to watch movies, having drinks, and just enjoying other peoples’ company. Although some of these are not “hobbies”, these definitely are things writers may enjoy doing. So go ahead, use that hour to enjoy. When it is time to write, gratefulness will set in saying “I’ve enjoyed much today. Now, back to work.”

Writer’s block, sometimes, can be the mind staying in one place and refusing to leave. Let the mind leave by doing other things or by having pets around like cats and dogs. Petting cats and dogs, and plainly looking at fish can most likely ease one’s nerves enabling the writer to continue his/her tasks for the day. It is a way people can unconsciously pass on their stress to the pets so the people themselves would feel better. Sometimes starting into an aquarium and imagining an epic ocean adventure in the mind can be a source of inspiration even if the write-up is not relevant. Note that it may be impossible to have these pets in a corporate setting but daydreaming about one’s pets or having a small fish in a fishbowl at work wouldn’t be much of an issue.

Think of daydreaming as the mind’s way of relaxing itself from the day’s work. Sometimes, people want to daydream as it is a way to play fantasies out or tackle the what-ifs in life. It is interesting to play out these daydreams when one has the time to explore what the mind has not yet.

All writers have deadlines but some more intense than the rest. These deadlines are actually quite necessary to keep the mind and body in shape to perform a set of task on time but at times these disable the mind to think up of new things to write especially when the work and time frame are so demanding. It is easy to say proper time management will solve it but it is very difficult to do. Instead, it is time to manage one’s deadlines by setting one’s own deadlines. What can be finished today? Is one write-up so difficult to do in the next two hours? What if it can be done in one? By doing this, the mind becomes challenge and gets out of that loop it is probably stuck in.

The workplace may allow the writer to take a short nap although this can be very awkward to do especially when the boss sees it. Luckily, many people are more aware that by taking a 15-minute power nap, people are more productive in their work, writers included. Take a short nap so the mind has enough time to recharge and think of new things. Maybe the mind is so tired and it is being forced to work. This will force the writer to have poor-quality work which will not only look bad on him/her but also look bad on the site and on the company.

Managing Caffeine
Writers tend to become addicted to coffee for many reasons where one includes taste. Caffeine may not be so good of a drink if one drinks it too often. Try cutting back on coffee and instead try out new teas and other beverages that has not been tried before. Any new experience the writer gains from the new drink can become a new source of inspiration.

Could it be the color of the screen/paper that ruins the writer’s appetite to write? Try changing the colors of the room by brightening it up with neon colors. Changing the colors of the screen can also be effective to overcome writer’s block if the software permits. Having tons of color can hopefully ease the mind making it think more effectively than before.

Most writers do not write not because of writer’s block but because they are not happy and when they do write, it will show. A writer must feel happy and excited to do work and not feel dull and bored doing it. By doing the tips above, the writer should be able to overcome the dreaded writer’s block syndrome. It is not a disease. It is just a moment in time to get re-inspired.

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Types of Media that can be Used on Online Articles

Website Content 10/10/2012

Not all posts are created equal and not all have the same structure. Some may be required to follow a formal format while others can become quite of a wild card–creating their own unorthodox methods of writing to convey the writers’ message. The interplay of words can have a great impact on the delivery but there are some things readers expect from an article and that is the structure.

The basic structure of an article is composed of the following:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

This should be the skeleton of all posts and must have this structure present regardless of the type of article whether it’s news, reviews, travel logs…etc. What isn’t obvious is the way each area is presented as most writers expect their readers to read between the lines.

Media Types for Online Articles

For an article/post to be considered good and proper, media, bullets, emphasis, and others must exist. The facts must be pointed out by the writer as to not let readers have to demystify what the writer is trying to convey but at the same time leave a hint of mystery for each post. Although the skeleton is there to provide the foundation (and the presence of this alone closely ensures a proper post structure), the little decorations in a home make the place unique. For a web post, it is the media that makes each site unique. Listed next is a guide into the proper usage of media to make a post/article effective and structured:

Every article must contain at least one photo but the usage and amounts will vary. For example, if the topic of the post is something that is relatively new, a photo would help the readers visualize it for themselves rather than them imagining it. If it is about a new discovery of a technique in baking, step-by-step photos with captions would be much effective than placing the one photo of the final product. Photojournalism and posts involving such must have multiple photos carefully selected in terms of quality and appeal as to not bore the readers. Things like these take into account when and how many photos should be posted on a single article.

Physical size of a photo will also matter. Showing an image too large for any screen is impractical. A small 640×480 photo would work although anything smaller will do fine. Larger photos are reserved for portfolios and photojournalism sites.

In this age of video streaming, no one can deny the fact everybody wants to watch a video not only for entertainment but also for information. Yet placing too many media on a single post can be overwhelming and it becomes difficult for readers to discern which is important of all. If possible, only one video should be present where it [the video] has been carefully edited to highlight important points it wants to convey. Having a 40-minute unedited video speaks volumes on the low level of professionalism and people will think it’s a bore. Trimming the video duration to as short as 2 minute indicates the ability of the content publisher to discern only the necessary information Also, using effects is not necessary as cut scenes will suffice. Having too much effects will drown out the content unless of course it’s a special effects video.

Sound Clips
Playing music on the site can be very annoying especially when set to auto-play upon visiting the site. However, depending on the site theme, it is necessary to add audio clips that give insights and additional information. If it is about selling ebooks, audio versions may be present requiring the site to publish a sample clip of the voice speaking. It can be a podcasting site where recorded shows can be played and downloaded on peoples’ portable media players (i.e. iPods) thus placing a player for the clip will be a great asset for such site. Audiophiles may want to test out new gear and the site may sell headphones and earphones. Preparing an online audio clip demonstration for them will also add convenience on their part not to mention increase sales as audiophiles are willing to shell out more for premiere audio gadgets.

Flash Animation
Some may still be into flash animations and games and while these can be useful for simulations for some physical concepts, it is not proper that these be found in feature articles. Instead, these should have their own page dedicated to that content alone as the manipulation of the flash animation can void the whole point of the article.

Be reminded also about copyright laws and ensure the content on the site is solely owned by the company. With these tips, sites can now have a structured content that not only has clarity in words but media as well. Read the post on the elements of a well structured article for a complete breakdown of what a successful article must have.

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How to best structure your article

Website Content 20/09/2012

The best ways to craft an article for your website, or email, or blog post is first give it a logical structure. Logical structure is there to eliminate confusion, getting-stuck, and other nuisances of writing an article. When you’re clear what you’ll be writing, and how to present them, then you probably would struggle writing an article in the first place.

Writing an article is all about organizing the content. Like the web page itself, if you look closer at the content, they also are divided into separate parts. This is helpful to easily craft an article that have flowing ideas and highly readable.

Elements of a well structured post

In this article, we’ll discuss the best way to structure your article, blog posts, or other contents so that more people are clear as to what you’ll be discussing.

1. Catchy Title

As we discussed earlier, the impression any article gets is because of its headers. Headers compel people to stop and look at what they have to say. Effective headers are those that are concise, clear, and welcoming. They say if you have hooked someone with your headers, then you have earned a reader.

People read your article because they caught their attention.

So, it’s always helpful to write smooth, welcoming, and to the point headers that quickly grasp reader’s attention. Click here to learn the art of creating eye-catching headers for your article.

2. Short Summary

So you have managed to earn a reader with a convincing title. What next? Your article is probably few hundred long. How do you summarize all the best way and let your readers know what they’ll be reading about?

Well, you write a brief summary, not more than 140 characters, just like those you see on social networking sites like twitter and Facebook, enticing readers to continue reading.

3. Teaser

Teaser is a short paragraph, which includes a brief summary of all the important points discussed in the whole article. They are also used by some browsers to generate a RSS summary or used by some search engines while indexing the article.

Teasers can be highlighted – using bold and italics – to gain a support from users.

4. Introduction

Following a teaser, an introduction paragraph gives further information in details – the what, who, why, where, when, and how. This helps reader a clear picture of what they’ll be hoping to find in the next part of the article, the body.

5. Body

After you have hooked the reader with the title, one-line summary, and the teaser, and the introduction, you have to explain every detail with supporting evidences in the body section of the article.

The body of the article covers the article, under the scope of the article, in every possible ways with a brief outline of the fact and backing up that fact with convincing reasons and evidences.  Click here to learn how to write your content effectively. Below is a brief summary his is where you build your central theme or story.

  • Headers and Sub Headers

Within the body itself, headers and sub-headers can be used to break-down the long chunks of text, making them even clearer for the reader of what they are reading. In addition to giving a structure to the body, they also help to highlight important points of the article itself, making them easy to read and comprehend.

  • Paragraphs

Paragraphs within the body of the article, must be short and to the point. Write long paragraphs to develop the central theme, adding more variety and depth to the content.

But remember to write short sentences and break down long paragraphs into readable chunks.

  • List

Use list in the body of your article to summarize the key points, but they should be brief and only limited to few words. Otherwise, they will lose their importance.

  • Images

Images enhance the content visually. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, use images sparingly. Choose a relevant image to highlight what you’re discussing in the article. But don’t overdo it. Click here to find a list of amazing free graphics and images for your website.

6. Summary

The summary wraps up the whole article with a conclusion, re-highlighting the main points discussed. A good summary also draws out important points and lays out further steps or actions for readers. References, suggestions, and further actions are important aspects of concluding your article at the end.

How to structure your article: in summary

In conclusion, breaking down an article into manageable and known parts will help you know what you need to be focusing on that section. Like everything else, knowing the structure of the article before starting to write the whole content will put you into a frame-of-mind where you will be focusing on pulling the readers instead of scaring them away, especially if you want to build your readership to your blog or website.

An elegantly structured article has

  1. Title/headline
  2. One-Line Summary
  3. Teaser
  4. Introduction
  5. Body
  6. And summary

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How to Spot a Bad Designer

Website Development Team 27/08/2012

Dealing with a bad website designer can be a real headache. Some web design company are simple brokers while others may be web designers offering hosting services from third party. If you have not done your research before hiring a web designer, you will never find out until you have hired them.

If at some point you found out that their standard is of low quality and/or their behavior is affecting your business, you must remember that you are the customer. You are entitled to a reasonable standard of service. That is why it is important that you have discussed and agreed the scope of your website design project. If they cannot satisfy your requirement in time and worst not even co-operating, the situation need an urgent attention.

False Claims of Bad Website Designers

Below are some of  the false claims of designers that you mabe lured into:

  • Traffic can be increased by SEO:This is a half truth statement. Web designer can do some optimization to increase your rank in the search engine. SEO is a continuous process and needs to be handled by some expert SEO professionals. There is no such thing on the part of a web designer saying – Presto! And you have a traffic spike overnight. Web designer however can increase the probability of getting your website more visitors hit but mark my word – it is not a damn sure thing! Any way there are other issues as well. Refer to the article: How to prepare your website from increasing number of visitors and/or traffic spikes.
  • Boom in your sales as soon as you get your site on-line:This is also a maybe thing. Analogically, simply opening a store does not lure your customer. You have to provide right services where website can definitely be an on-line face of your company.
  • Offer of cheap/affordable hosting services: Beware! This can be a broker trying to resell a hosting package from third party hosting services. You have to be cautious and do your homework to find out the truth. Try to deal with the company directly rather than going through a middleman. There can be numerous such claim and unscrupulous way to entice customers to give their hard-earned cash. Best possible way to tackle such a situation is to have a clear understanding of the technical aspects of the whole website business.

How to get rid of your “rogue” designers?

It cannot be emphasized enough that it is better to carefully choose your website designer before you hire them. This will prevent you from falling into trap of a low quality designer. However, if in the unfortunate event that you feel that your designer is of low standard, you can take the steps below to get rid of them to rescue your website:

  1. First thing you do before hiring a web designer is to register a domain name. Domain name such as www.cnn.com is not actually the website. It is the name, address or URL of your on-line presence purchased from a company called Domain Registrar in exchange of an annual fee. Once you stop paying, this gets dissolved or resold to some other company.
  2. Web designer simply creates the pages as html, php or asp document. Web hosting company provides the server to host those documents onto their hard disk and configure it to use the domain name. If you want to move your website to another host, you simply need to get the copies of your pages and host it onto some other web hosting server and point it to use your domain name there. Refer to the article: Tips on moving your website from one host to another. Once this is completed you may have recaptured control of your website from bad host.
  3. Getting rid of your web designer is not much of a problem, but while hiring a new one you can take the certain preventive measures.
  4. Get the domain name registered by you from the Domain Registrar Company.
  5. Find a web host and read in between the lines of their terms and condition
  6. Study the services offered and opt for the plan carefully that suits you
  7. The web host will give a password to your new account by which you can log in to the control panel for web site maintenance. Do not share this password with anyone, not even with your web designer.
  8. Sometimes the web hosting company also provides the service of web designing. Try to get the responses of other user of their services and competency. If the web designer is some other company/individual apply the same principle.
  9. Once the site design is complete be there with the concerned technical person while uploading the documents. Better, if you can do it by yourself.


You should do your homework to find out if your web designer is not a cowboy before you actually hire them . Sometimes it is really very difficult to cull someone from numerous choices. This is one of the biggest problem people are facing nowadays – We have numerous choices! Knowing the intricacies of how web business and how they function can save your valuable time.

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How to Choose and Hire Web Developer

Website Development Team 26/08/2012

Hiring a web developer could be a tricky business as there are tens of thousands of them. Finding the right web developer – one who understands what you require of them, who is passionate about their own programming, and who is amicable to work with – never need be a hassle unless you know few tips while choosing them in the first few steps.

Web developers have their own sets of roles and responsibilities in an organization. They are individuals who use web development tools – PHP, ASP, Joomla, WordPress, Magento, and everything that’s related with programming and building up of back-end admin sections. These programmers think logically, programming your web projects exactly the way you want them to.

Unless you know what to look for while hiring a pro, you better read this article and add them to your to-do-list to narrow down your search for the programmer. With that said, let’s discuss at few easy tips you could follow while hiring a web developer for your next web project.

1) Web Developer’s Experience

If time, money, and energy are crucial to you, then you should look for programmers with a good programming background, just to know what types projects he has worked upon. This will make sure that he/she will be able to deliver you the kind of results that you are looking for. There’s no point of hiring a web developer is they cannot provide what you demand from then, does it?

2) Communication Aspect of the Hiring Process

As an employer, your job is to make sure each programmer communicates well with you regarding each project his or her assignments. Communications are extremely important in the completion of the project. Nobody can afford a web developer who leaves abruptly for a holiday for a week or two, haven’t completed the assigned project, and comes back with his lame excuses for his absence.

While from the employers end, briefing at the start of the week is crucial, but it’s the job of the web developer to give back timely updates about the progress of the web projects. If he fails to do that, you probably are going to miss your own deadline.

3) Their Credibility

Before you even consider hiring a web developer, be sure to check out their online portfolio – either by visiting their personal websites or blogs. Read their profile, get to know his skills sets just to get a feel if he is capable of handling your project or not. Read their customers testimonials. If there’s positive feedback for his services, that means he has a satisfactory working relationships with his/her client. You just found a reliable programmer there. Reliability and enthusiasm is two major factors that are vital fuel for success. Now you’ll know you’re not wasting your time and money on this web developer you’re about to hire.

4) Time for a Preliminary Test

Once you’ve run through their profile, it’s time to test him with a small project of your own. What we are looking in this test is how he tackles the problem and solves them, and how much knowledge he really has in his armor. You can generate a list of simple questions relating to programming:

  1. Does he know how to generate a simple newsletter system or perhaps a membership system?
  2. Does he have knowledge on shopping carts and can he integrate those in a dynamic website? Ask him if he could integrate this for your existing web project
  3. How would he round up a decimal number like 6.55 and 6.02?

The idea is to learn how he solves this simple problem. He might not have done it before, but does he do his research as to know how these things work and implement them or not.

5) Initial Phone or Face-to-Face Interview

After the preliminary test, call the interviewee for a quick phone interview, or letting them know that they visit your office for an interview. Phone interview and face-to-face interview develops a sense of familiarity among web project manager and the web developer. You’ll also get to know the person well, and appear more genuine in-front of them.

In the interview, you can ask variety of general questions – what they know about your company, how are they going to complete their projects, how much time they can put aside for the project each day, and how much they expect for their work?

If you’re hiring someone on online jobsites, you have to depend upon their personal websites, their client’s feedback, and their knowledge you’ve gathered through preliminary testing round.

Final Thoughts on How to Hire Web Developers

I would highly recommend not compromising quality over quantity, and always go after programmers who can really deliver high quality of work; otherwise, it would be just a waste of each other’s time and money. Also look for their online portfolio, customer testimonials, the tools and technology they use, and the types of projects they’re comfortable doing. Don’t hire a PHP programmer for projects that require ASP programming.

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How to Hire a Website Content Writer

Website Development Team 25/08/2012

Content writing is an art and finding the best content writer for your website could be difficult if you don’t know what you should be looking for. Websites needs content writer as they generally help boost sales of your products and services through their use of compelling and engaging content. That’s why they’re in great demand these days and website article writing has become an integral part of online business.

Good content writer know how to provide relevant and high-quality content for their client’s website. They have the ability to select proper keywords for the products and services that you offer to your clients. Not only they know how to search for relevant keywords, they also know how to place keywords throughout the content of the site to increase website traffic.

So, if you really want to find a good content writer for your website, keep these tips in your mind.

1) Search for Writers

Use proper keywords to search for writers on Google. Use “writers wanted” plus the keyword of your niche to find a list of potential writers fast and quick. For instance, you can type “writers wanted + health” on search engines.

Once you’ve found them, ask if they’ll be able to meet your requirements or if they are available for projects. Leave contact information or send them emails regarding your website content and other information that they need to take care of.

Once you’ve hired them, don’t just be complacent that they’ll provide you with an error-free copy. Make sure you go over each article they send, correct few mistakes, or re-send them if the work is sloppy. You need to get what you paid for.

2) Post Jobs on Online Job Boards

Turn to online job board sites if that’s where you find comfortable and sure you’ll get professional writes. Your website content is a marketing tool because the words are going to help you make more sales of your products and services. Convincing and compelling writing will help reach those products out to those who are looking for it.

Just hope that they didn’t blatantly copy and paste the content of the website from other sites or used the same content they’ve written for other clients. For this, you need to proofread, give time for content delivery, and for re-writes.

Although there’s no guarantee that the work produced is what you require, going over their online profiles and resumes will help you clear some of the doubts you have in the back of your mind.

3) Ask for a Sample Writing

Before you go on and hire a content writer, ask for a sample in writing. Good content writers never hesitate to provide articles to get accepted. While there are writers who will turn this opportunity, genuine writers one step further to make their first impression.

Now, after you’ve made a list of writers who are willing to provide you with a sample article, it’s time for you to assign a simple topic for them to write. At the end of the day, you’ll successfully have found a content writer for your website.

Assigning a topic for the niche you are in will help you find out how knowledgeable the potential content writer is.

4) Knowledge about Your Niche

As each business have their own specific niche and they are focused on a targeted audience, the content writers you hire for creating web copies for your site should have substantial knowledge on your niche. The reason is those writers who are aware and good understanding about your products and services will definitely produce high-quality content without spending hours on research.

Equally true for writers who have little or no experience on your field of expertise – they may take a little bit more of their time while coming up with a good content. In such case, the business owners or the webmasters must give clear message to the writer explaining what is that they exactly need. As a result, the content writer knows how to tailor their content for the target audience.

5) Look Out For Credible and Proficient Writers

Not every writers use comprehensive language to get your message across. It’s your duty to probe and pry the writing skills of the intended writer.

Credible writers are those individuals who consider the type of your business venture, your intended target audience, and you ultimate purpose. With this clarity, they will effectively be able to present their content relevant to the products and services you are offering.

Without these specific writing skills, the whole message of their content could be lost. So, always make sure to look for writers who are both credible and talented to craft articles for your website.

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Tips on How to Choose and Hire Website/Graphic Designer

Website Development Team 24/08/2012

There’s a constant need to establish your online business as a brand, however, if you don’t have a properly designed web site compared to your competitors, it’s likely that you’ll be lagging behind on the web. Before we discuss what you should consider if you’re to hire a website designer.

Why You Should Choose a Web Designer Wisely?

Internet marketers and SEO guy usually love to work with a clean, properly designed, and logically placed website design as it complements their online marketing, advertising and social media promotions and efforts. Website created with SEO and usability in mind is what helps drive visitors in them.

No matter how beautiful the website looks or feels, if there are certain elements lacking such as website built with total disregard to social media marketing – your site is still not going to produce the results you would like to see. After all, would you not want a sustainable growth, more website traffic and subscribers? That is exactly why your site needs to be setup for this.

But there are plenty of web designers who understand a logically well-structured, beautiful, clean, and effective web design as well as how to correctly lay the basis for you to build upon.

Other than creating a beautiful web design, your web designers basically setup your CMS, provide you with username and password, show you how to create content on your website so that you can edit them yourself later, and show you how to effectively do on-page SEO for your site, all for FREE.

But don’t over complicate things and treat your web designers to list your website on the front page of Google – that’s not what they do. Graphic designers will create a web design that appeals both to the search engines and the human beings, and then they hand down the keys to you.

Screening a Potential Web Graphics Designer

When the website is built correctly from step one, it gives it a solid framework upon which your sit could gain a steady increase in their sales, visitors, clients, and subscribers. So, I’ll explain few steps you could to identify a web designer to create a website for your online business venture – blogs, or online shopping cart, or personal business site, or whatever it is that you have in the back of your mind.

1) Look at their other online creative works

Each web designers have their own unique style and they frequently employ common elements to each website they design. To be sure that the vision of your brand aligns with their style, visit their websites and browse through their sample websites.

2) Interview a potential Designer

Talking to a potential Designer is a good way to find out more about their services. A good designer is a good listener.  They should try to learn about your company, the vision for the company  and what exactly you want them to do. Communication is the key. If they persistently fail to understand you or if you struggle to understand them, then this could be a potential barrier in developing a successful website.

3) Don’t Hire Graphic Designers who will charge for every minor tweaks on your web project

You’ll be ripped off, slowly but surely, if you’re paying money to make each and every minor tweaks to your website. There must be some provision in allowing a number of changes without being charged additional fees. Additionally, a professional graphic designer knows that great websites will require updates in order to remain current. They should be able to provide advice on how to use a Content Management Sytem in order for you to write news update for your site.

4) Hire Web Designers who are passionate about Web or Internet

Website designers work so they can earn money. We all have to earn in order to survive. Look out for someone who are passionate with what they’re doing. This will result in a website that works better, efficient, and runs on top-of-the-line frameworks and tools. Put it in simple words, they simply have years of hardcore training on building website and understand usability better. But do not weed out new designers who have great potential.

5) Do not buy in when web designers promises to get you to the first page of Google

To grow search engine traffic takes time, education, and constant effort on building backlinks for your site. Sure it’s not going to happen over time and sure it’s not the job of your web designer. Their only job is to help you set up and craft a new visually pleasing website that is constructed with the SEO in mind.

You should be extremely wary of these Graphic designers who promising you rags and riches for a lucrative amount. Don’t fall into that trap.  Free traffic is grown overtime by successful addition of content to your site on a regular basis, as every Internet Marketer would tell you.

6) Do not hire a Web Designer who Only works on Flash

The downside of Flash is the slow loading time which may put off visitors. It’s all about your users first, you know. Remember, we want a beautiful, clean, and fast loading website that should catch the visitor’s attention and make them take some action we want them to take.

Some browsers don’t have a built-in flash plug-in, meaning that visitors have to download them manually, install, and finally view the site only to find out that was not what they were searching for. Worst, Flash is not even supported on some smartphones and tablets by default.

There is no doubt that Google can crawl and index sites made in Flash. However, there is always an issue that websites heavily made in Flash maybe far more difficult to rank better on search engines, everything else being equal.

Having a clean, proper, and beautiful web design is just the tip of the ice-berg. The website still needs to dominate Google and other search engines on a consistent basis in order to bring in a lot of traffic back to your site. Web design and development are both an ongoing basis, and it would normally take you few months before you’ll start to see the results you’ve craved for.

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The Role of a Website Project Manager

Website Development Team 24/08/2012

Although the medium might be different, but the goal of both website and publication of book or magazine are the same – quality information presented in a way that engages, captivates, and informs readers.

As a project manager, you would want to manage two aspects of your website. First, as content is still king, the responsibility of a project manager is to show that through a good design. Second, is deciding what exactly you want to offer on the web and how you’ll deliver it more effectively and clearly.

Most of the work, almost 90 percent, involves conceptualizing, organizing, and finally designing of the website, while only 10 percent of work include for execution – coding and content management system. But both of these tasks consume equal time and energy.

It is imperative that the objective of a project manager must be to remain focused on the overall goals and aims of the website, while equally managing small elements of the web design and development.

In the following steps, we’ll look at some steps that Web site project manager could follow:

1) Build a Site map

Basically, site map is a listing of each page of the website. They have a hierarchy structure – each page under the main page acting as a detail content of the website. Sitemap organizes the site by listing pages according to the menu items on the navigation bar. But at the same time, it also acts as a master copy that will serve the website team – designers, developers, and the project manager – from skipping crucial elements once the web project has started.

It’s a useful tool that maintains the interconnectivity among the different features of the website.

2) Design and Develop Strategies

Each website project requires consultation pertaining to the design and programming, its organization, and where to place each feature and element.  While developing website project design and development strategies, ask these questions.

  1. What would you want the website to do and be?
  2. What impression do you want to make to your visitors?
  3. What you want them to feel?
  4. What is the central goal for the website project? Is it for product promotion? Do you want to make money or build reader’s list before your next book launches this winter?
  5. Is the website going to be a blog? If yes, what topics are you going to cover? How you’re going to promote your blog?
  6. If you are an author of a book, does the content (text and design/layout) balance with the overall theme? Are you focusing on both or only the textual content gets all the attention while completely leaving the layout with poor design?
  7. If you’ve decided to keep your previous existing website of your company, would that confuse people who are looking for you? Will you be able to handle two sites for maintenance?
  8. Are your pre-existing and partners comfortable with the shift towards your new design?

3) Aggregate Content

The project manager also needs to assist in collecting and arranging content for the whole website, including web page copies, product reviews, videos, press releases, audios and images, updates and news and so on. He or she must also review every draft into finalized web copies before creating web pages.

4) Webmaster of the Site

During the development of the site and until it is launched, it’s better that project manager of the website serve as a webmaster. Basically, he or she will look after the whole site – uploading the content, formatting them, looking after if the site functions are conceived before.

5) Use Web Tracking and Maintenance Tools

The project manager can use the following free tools for measuring their site traffic. Google Analytics, a free website tracking tool, allows you to monitor site visits and page views on your site, ultimately keeping you abreast of what is working and what is not.

Besides, if you don’t have your own product or services to promote, you can still make money online through you website by joining an affiliate network such as Amazon associates and virtually earn a commission for each referral you make to these websites.

Another vital tool that a project manager of the website needs to use is a newsletter service. You can easily send new offers, website updates, and notification of your product launches to your list of existing clients. I would highly recommend you to use Mail Chimp because it’s completely free for the first 2,000 lists, so you could use it as a testing tool to market your website.

So, the website project manager needs to be concerned over different aspect of the web project – a good vision for the website, turning those visions into a sound plan, taking steps to create a design, and finally monitoring and controlling the site using different free tools available. It’s better if he also have a combination of skills to ask penetrating questions to detect loose ends and take proper actions to resolve them.

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The Role of a Webmaster

Website Development Team 23/08/2012

What is the role of the webmaster, you might ask! Well, in short, the webmaster’s main responsibilities are to make sure the website is up and running as it should, including the hardware, software, and the web servers. Whenever something part of the website isn’t working as they normally should, it’s the job of the webmaster to find the problem, and once it is found, fix those problems before things could turn more unmanageable.

Webmasters also have other designations entitled to them – web architect, web developer, web administrator, and site author.

1) Setting up a Website

Setting up a website involves a wide variety of tasks. First, the webmaster needs to know how to point the Domain name to their website. Sometimes they also require registering a domain name  for their own website or their client’s. If the site is designed for a client, then the webmaster needs to ensure that all the client’s requirements are met.

Clients have varying requirements – someone might just want a website for informational purpose, while others want a website for business reason. Other than that, setting up a shopping cart, if need arise, is one of the major responsibilities of the webmaster. Web developer must ensure each page looks professional and they run on every browser.

2) Maintaining the Website

Website maintenance is another important role of a web author. To make the client feel as though the webmaster is responsible and doing his best to give them what they asked for, the webmaster must provide maintenance services long after the website is handed over to the client.

That means checking the website on a regular basis – trouble shooting problems as they arise, eliminating them both from the website and the servers, making frequent backup of the website and so on. Website manager need to stay up-to-date with the changing technology, as they help them suggest better options and viable path to take to their clients while building new systems in the near future.

3) Maintain Web Security

Website security is similar to web server maintenance, but it’s even more crucial. Security threat could arise in number of cases – unauthorized person trying to access social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other customer’s email address and passwords. They need to make sure that hackers aren’t prowling their system and stealing money from the actual company.

4) Managing Web Server

Managing web servers is another responsibility of the web architect. Clients need their website running almost 24/7, especially if they’re running a virtual online shopping site, or an e-commerce site, or simply they are large corporations who have many of their staffs requiring instant access to the online site. In these situations, the role of the web master is ever important and he/she has to make sure they’re running both on high and low times.

That means they need to maintain the web server – checking for virus attacks, unauthorized access, and generally repairing mal-functioning sectors on the servers hard drives. If the server isn’t maintained for a long time, they can really create a great deal of problems for the clients and the website.

5) Knowledge of Some Programming Languages

Webmasters are known to have used or mastered a set of common programming languages for development purposes, including HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and SQL. HTML is a markup language used to build web pages for each element of the web page – headers, paragraphs, images, and the likes. JavaScript is a program that runs on the client’s computer, alerting important messages and remembering username and passwords. PHP, also known as Hypertext Preprocessor, is a widely used server-side programming languages to develop web applications. It is embedded inside the HTML page source and read through PHP processor.

6) Writing Content

This is an optional step that the website author needs to take care of. They could either outsource who will write content for them or they could write content themselves. Either way, they need to make sure that whoever  writes content for their website use, quality must not be compromised and must remain consistent with whatever the initial intention was.

7) Search Engine Optimization

Webmaster’s also need to know how search engine work. Most of the clients either don’t have time to do the search engine optimization or they simply don’t know how. In this regard, these clients might hire the webmaster to do all of its searching engine optimization.

Basic knowledge on how to perform keyword research, and how to optimize content of the site so that they’ll be readily found by those who are looking for them are some of the skills that webmasters can learn. There are many helpful search engine guide eBook on the market that webmaster’s can read and apply those skills while setting up the site.

Webmaster’s role changes as the technology changes and they need to keep abreast of number of different crucial steps just to ensure that they’ll be one step further than their clients, or someone else who might be looking to cause a problem on their network. Besides periodic checks for regular updates and maintenance, they also need to ensure that the website, servers are up and running almost all the time.

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10 Components of a Good Website Project Scope Document

Website Development Team 23/08/2012

Few years ago, I heard a story about my friend involved in the design of the website. He had actually taken the website development assignment form one of his client by accepting an upfront fee. Near the completion of the project, he showed the build to for the client’s approval. The client gave him a feedback attesting that the end design wasn’t what they were looking for, and while he was making few changes, could he also add few extra features on the web project?

What followed was a barrack of request that started to pile up on my friend’s desk. By the time the project was passed on to me to look after its content section, both the client and my friend were at their tether. The clients had spent twice as much of their bid fee for the web development project.

But, had both of them scoped out each requirements for their site in the scope document, even before the web project was commenced, they would have avoided those problem before. With that said, let’s look at what a website scope document is and its importance on avoiding unnecessary cost on time, energy, and money.

What is Website Scope Document?

A website scope document list what is included and what are not in the website build process. Simply put, the document makes it clear to the client what you will deliver at the end, allowing you to handle their anticipation more effectively and giving you enough armor to push back on them as required.

The process usually go over a series of iterations as the client explains and refines your understanding of the project more clearly and explains their requirements in details. Website scope document covers various aspects of the project, including website functionality, content, and technical requirements.

Both sign the scope document once both the party of the website is happy with the deliverables at the end of the web project. The signed document becomes a contractual mechanism.

The Basic Elements of Website Scope Document

Although website scope documents may vary because of the size of the web project or the unique requirements of the clients, they still have common elements.

1) Introduction

Introduction defines the primary intention of the scope of the document, including the objectives, end deliverables, functionality, and technical aspects. It also includes a brief summary of the intention of the project, and benefits the client is entitled to.

2) Aim of the Web Project

The website scope project clearly mentions the specific objectives each party hopes to achieve at the end of the web development process. Is the client asking to design a new website or they want only to add few additions to already existing web design. Does the web designer or the web developer responsible for creating business for the client – raising brand awareness or helping customers to buy and sell products online?

3) Deliverables

It’s imperative to let the client know what exactly they can hope to get after the web project ends. Even though the client wants a web design or application, does that also include other deliverables – a content management system (CMS), setting up a Facebook Fan page, a user manual?

4) Work Description

The description of work is the most detailed section of the scope document and can be put under number of different sub-sections. You’ll need to explain which web pages are controlled by the content management system and which are static pages.

And then, the scope document also include list of technologies used on the web site project – the version of the website, the programming languages it uses, third-party softwares used (if any), CMS, database, and media used. Other technical information includes mentioning the web hosting details, minimal screen resolution for best view on browser, and so on.

Then explain the web development process itself. How will you weave out the web project, and what stages of the development process you’ll go through? Most of the website follows a process starting with planning, building skeletal design, actual graphic design, development, testing, and finally launching on the web server.

5) Team Members

Whatever the size of the project, include the name, email address, roles, and contact number of each member of the web development team. Include the name and phone numbers of your clients so that you can contact with them at ease.

6) Project Costs

While you might have already mentioned the project cost at the website proposal phase, but mention them here again. Also clarify how you want to receive your payment – first half at the start of the project and later half after the launch of the site.

7) Project Deadlines

Estimate the total time to finish the whole project and mention it in the website scope document. If the website is large, use Gantt Chart to show mutual relationships of each task and timings and their critical path.

8) Change requests

The whole exercise of using the scope document is to shun unintended changes while the site is on its way to completion. But most of the time, you’ll often find your clients asking for some revisions for your work. So, the website scope document serves as a reference point as to how you will handle change requests. You might mention that changes will be done either at the end of the web project or may allow changes as long as the client is aware that extra work may impact on deadlines and the fee.

9) Post-Launch Services

What type of post-launch services will you offer your client after the web project is completed? Are there “warranty” period, during which you’ll provide maintenance and other fixes for free? What were the terms you both agreed on the maintenance agreement? Mention all these aspects in detail.

10) Version control

Website scoping is an iterative process, ever growing and evolving as the client refines your understanding of the project. It’s imperative to have a mechanism for recognize which version you’re currently working on. Usually, a grid on the first page of the document with columns for version, its date, author, and a brief summary of amendments made.

The website scope document will list the website build process and what steps will include. Acting as a team, you and your client both sign the scope document. Each is aware of the changes, detail steps, and scope of the whole web project. A website scope document before the commencement of the project will make sure that your client’s vision is aligned with what you are building.

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Setting SMART Website Goals and Objectives

Website Content 23/08/2012

While building a website, we often have a tendency to design a blueprint, then create the graphics, and then build HTML and CSS, but then, leave them for someone else for maintenance purpose. If you can manage to do that, more power to you. But for the rest, we need to maintain as well as built websites. Hence, writing down SMART goals for website help them keep improving in the future.

Websites also have their own sets of goals. But do you set these goals in advance? If not, then you’re probably missing out a critical step to make profits from your site. It amazes me to see many website owners take the ‘whatever I can get my hands-on’ attitude and plunge blindly thinking they’ll make money overnight. But it’s far from true!

In this article we’ll discuss with detail some of the key elements of setting an effective goal using the SMART goal setting principles, so that we ultimately make our website a successful in the end.

Specific Goals

Goals need to be specific as possible. Having a goal of ‘creating an awesome website’ is mere a wishy-washy thing that usually get side-tracked by thousands of distractions that might head your way. Instead, make your goals specific. A specific goals answers all these questions:

  • Who/What
  • Where/When
  • Why/How

If you manage to answer these entire questions while setting a goal for your website, then chances are that you will meet other SMART rules, too.

Measurable Goals

What do you mean by when you say, ‘I want to build a better website’? Does it mean you want to write better article or build better website designs? And how would you measure that you’re better? ‘Spend four hours each day to craft out four articles’ is more measurable. If you write three articles, you know that you’re one article short, but if you exceed the limit, you’ve reached your goal. In short, ask how many and how much!

Achievable Goals

Set goals that you can accomplish. Don’t buy in when someone tells you to set “stretchable goals” – goals that ask you to reach for the moon. The concept of this goal is so ridiculous, that it not only saps your energy, but in the end you become discouraged to pursue after few days. Instead, I would highly recommend striving for the attainable goals, and quitting giving up. You’ll likely achieve something when you know you can do it in the first place – you might have done it before or you might have the right training for the purpose. To help you set attainable goals, ask these questions:

  • Can I commit to this task at hand?
  • Would I be able to do it, even though it looks difficult?
  • How much time do I need to spend on this goal?

Realistic Goals

Most people think setting a realistic goal means setting goals that are easy. Not exactly. Realistic goals could be both hard and easy. For example – it might seem impossible to get 10,000 hits per week within couple of weeks, but in a year or two years, that seems more realistic. The key here is to change the time frame to set realistic goals. Next, is to have a good plan of attack. Rather than have 10,000 page views by next six months, you can write three blog posts every week by the end of August and see how it affects your page views. Don’t make your goals too easy, too. Doing so will only mean that you’re not very capable. But if you set goals that are hard but realistic, you feel more accomplished after you finish it.

Your Website Goal Must Be Time Bounded

Time-based goals have deadlines. When you set time limits, you have something to work towards. But if you don’t, then you’ll likely procrastinate and continue putting this off. Time limits are imperative for a goal to work. But don’t set random deadlines just for the sake of setting a time limit. Instead, the timeframe must be both reasonable and sensible for the goal in hand. Or else, you risk not taking the time limit seriously. Be sure to ask yourself these questions:

  • When would I like to complete this goal and why?
  • How much time do I need to spend on this goal?
  • What other tasks depend on this goal?

Now that you know how to set SMART goals, it will more helpful when you write them down. Writing down goals help cement them in your sub-conscious mind. Use notepad or sticky-notes on your laptop – for example. Having goals written only make them happen. Once you’re written down your goals, look at them often, evaluate your progress, and change them or their timeframe. When you look at your goals often, you know where you stand and what is still there to accomplish. Are you ready to set your goals for your website?

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List of Skills Needed By A Website Builder

Website Development Team 23/08/2012

In this article, we’ll be discussing different areas you need to familiarize yourself to build a website. Once you know what skill sets are required in order to build a website, it’s up to you to decide whether to invest time on learning them, or hiring someone else to do it for you. I highly recommend that you learn these skills set as they’ll open many more options for you while building and maintaining the sites. And then, if you want to build career developing sites, these skills become even more essential for you.

But if you don’t want to, it is fine too – there are alternatives to creating a website.

If you think you really want to learn these skills, bookmark this web page now – we’ll be covering a lot in this page and probably, you’ll need to visit back and reference the web page as you go in the process of building your new website.

If you have done that, then congratulations, it’s time to get our hands dirty. Ready? Let’s go.

Website Building Skills

To build your first website, as already mentioned, you need a number of skills. Fortunately, most of them are easy to learn. In fact, by only learning few of the skills, with a bit of a practice, you will get a basic web site setup in less than a few hours! Here are some of the essential skills you’ll need if you’re involved in ‘building a website’ of your own.

  1. Basic HTML – HTML is an abbreviation for Hyper Text Markup Language used to create each web page of your website. They are the basic building blocks of each element of your web page, including headers, paragraphs, lists, anchor links, images, embedded media – music, videos, and flash animation.
  2. Cascading Style Sheet or CSS – CSS is a scripting language used to determine how your website looks. For each headers, titles, and paragraphs of your web page, you can use CSS scripting to determine the color, size, texture, and alignment among others
  3. Domain Registration and Web Hosting – For your website to be shown to your audience, it needs to be hosted on the web server using specific domain names that reflect the overall theme of the site. There are many web hosting and domain name service providers on the net, and because they usually make it their business, you really don’t have to know all the technical jargon. Once you’ve setup a web hosting, all relevant information is sent to your email address.
  4. File Transfer Protocol or FTP – This cute little software lets you transfer your files on your hard drive on your web host. You can either access FTP through the control panel of your web hosting account or download a FTP client for free from the internet. FTP is a file transfer protocol and simple to use. All you need is to connect the server using your FTP username, password, and the host.

Optional Skills of a Website Builder

You do not need to learn these skills, as they’re optional. You can still build a complete website without them, however, with these set of skills you can turn your ordinary website into an advanced web machine.

  1. Server-Side Scripting Language – These set of skills allows you to build an advanced website than you could with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Almost every open source platform – WordPress blogs, Content Management System, and Dynamic Websites – use server-side script language along with different databases to turn a normal site into an interactive website. Blogs and online internet discussion forums allow people to register, read post or threads, and comment on them. As a result, these comments are read by other visitors, who might want to reply their own ideas about them, turning a website into a virtual community. Commonly used server-side-scripting languages are PHP and ColdFusion.
  2. Image Editing Tools – are used for image editing and creating images for your website. But use of this tool is completely voluntary. You can create a website without images, and they’ll still look awesome and clean. But if you choose to use graphics, it’s imperative that you learn how to use image editing tools such as Adobe FireWorks or Photoshop.
  3. Database and SQL Queries – If your website is huge, and there are lots of content, you can store them on database. It could be the content of the site – articles, products, and events – or they could be someone else’s content – guest blog and forums.
  4. JavaScript – is a client-side-script that makes your web page dynamic. JavaScript is a programming language that runs on the client’s computer to make your site do things – alerting messages, display pop-up windows, create drop-down menus, and remembering form fields values.

Where to Learn these Skills

We’ve crafted a series of articles to help you get started to learn all these crucial skill sets in order to learn how to build a website on your own, upload it on the server, and manage and monitor it. We highly recommend that you go over through these tutorials over a period of time.

To help to digest information, we’ve created these tutorials into different steps. While some of the tutorials are quite short and simple, you may need to spend a few days on others. But it’s okay to take your time, especially if you really want to understand and harness the benefits of each technology.

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