You Don’t Want to Look Cheap
To be a successful business you must have a web presence. Just having your name out there is not good enough. You need to showcase your products and services. You only get a few seconds to make an impression.
Here’s five things to look for when you shop around for a web designer and why cheap is not always a bargain.
A modern, clean, fully functioning and easy to navigate website says a lot about your business. Update your content and website regularly and you’ll increase your chances of getting noticed.
To that end, why not call (310-791-5803) or e-mail Chuck at Creative Juices house of design. We create websites that fit your personality, business and budget. And we’re friendly too. (Chihuahua kisses are optional).
All you need to do is create a 16 x 16 pixel .ico file. Start off in Photoshop or any image editing program. Use your logo or brand image and create a mini jpg file.
Then can go to a site like favicon and upload your jpg image.
Once you upload your new jpg icon into a favicon generator site, you just have to name it favicon.ico and export that ico image to your hard drive. Then, using FTP or Dreamweaver just place that image into your site’s root folder.
If you’re using WordPress, the “Shockingly Simple Favicon Options” plugin is an easy way to set up your favicon.
If you don’t use WordPress, check out Dynamic Drive’s Favicon Generator.
Adding a favicon to your website is a great way to help build your image or brand. It also makes your site look a little more professional.
WordPress.com is a great way to begin blogging. It’s a free service, easy to set up and use, plenty of free themes and plugins, and, well, free.
But WordPress.com does have it’s limits. For one thing, your blog’s domain name is branded for WordPress (yourblogname.wordpress.com). If you’re serious about your blog and/or website, it is vital to promote your own brand name in your url. Yourblogname.com, for example, is more professional and promotes name recognition. Being your own entity is much better than being part of someone else’s.
Also, you cannot easily monetize your WordPress.com blog. For now they do not allow Google AdSense, for example. That is why a self-hosted, WordPress.org site is a much better choice. WordPress.org is also free but there are more options and functionality. You just have to find a host and pay yearly hosting fees and domain name registration. Getting a unique, professionally designed creative WordPress theme to fit your brand image couldn’t hurt either.
Of course you can. But if you’ve been blogging for a while you will have probably built up a following. Search engines will have already found and ranked you. People may have already bookmarked your site or linked to you.
You don’t want to lose that ranking or those links. And while you can and should migrate all your blog posts to a WordPress.org system using your new url, it is also a good idea to redirect your old url to the new name. That way, anyone who has bookmarked your old site will be instantly redirected to the new site. And you will maintain your search engine ranking and permalinks.
WordPress.com now offers Offsite Redirect Support for $12 per year. I am not an affiliate of WordPress and am not getting paid to promote this service. I just think it’s a good idea. But don’t forget to renew the redirect yearly. You will not get a reminder.
The days of showing pretty pictures and awesome special effects are over. People want information and they want it now. A good way to lose your audience is to have them wait for a Flash splash page to download.
Today it is important to fill your website with “useful” information. Write about what you know. Show your voice and passion. Explore how to do something in your field. Comment on related news events. Review products. Create a links page that points to related sites your audience might be interested in.
Include a blog on your website. This will allow you to regularly post information related to your business, product or service. Writing a series of articles greatly enhances your search engine optimization. People, and Google, like to know the site you have is current and relevant. Plus this is a great way to get people coming back to your site.
Your website should have an easy to understand navigation system. The look of your site should be clean and simple. The text should be large enough to read clearly and should be on a white or light background. Did you know white type on a black background is difficult to read? It strains your eyes. A lot of people click “next”.
Twitter is a great way to send out mini blasts of information. Facebook is great for social networking and letting people know about you and your business. LinkedIn is also a good place to have a business presence. YouTube is great for video tutorials and product reviews.
But all social networking should lead to your main website. This is where you have room to show what your business is all about and teach new things about your business.
One of the most popular parts of the new Web 2.0 or Social Media is blogging. Using the format of blogging to help promote your business is a powerful way to reach new clients. The whole purpose of writing a blog is to constantly create new content. All search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, love blogs because they pick up on the new content, especially if it is optimized correctly. This is a great way for your blog to be listed high up in search results.
How does this relate to your business and it’s success? Just follow these simple steps:
Why not write a new blog post every day?! It’s a great new habit that will pay you back with more people interested in your business. It doesn’t have to be very long. Just interesting.
Want more information? Call Chuck at 310-791-5803.
Then you really need to get a website. Let the world know you exist.
The question is, where do you start?
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). It has a completely accessible back end that is easy to learn. You will be able to add an unlimited number of pages, posts and plugins with unbelievable functionality. This includes photo galleries, PayPal shopping carts, Twitter and Facebook links, calendars, search engine optimization and tons more.
Search engines love it when you add new content to your website. So do readers. Adding useful content to your site on a regular basis is a great way to increase your Google page rank.
Starting your company blog also helps to connect you with potential and current clients. It’s a way for you to be creative too.
Stand out from the crowd. There are plenty of free WordPress templates available. But you want your website to be unique.
I can design your custom template and set up your entire site.
Many options are available:
I will design and set up your unique website that will meet your budget. Special package deals available upon request.
There are many ways to get a logo today. You can create one yourself if you have design capabilities. You can buy a logo design software package for $29 and put a few graphic elements together along with your company name.
You can go online and find a logo design factory that charges only $99 or $149 for a logo with unlimited changes. Realize, of course, that your logo will most likely be designed by students or recent graduates with limited experience. And you will be encouraged to order something else to help the logo design factory generate enough money to make up for that cheap logo.
Or you can hire an experienced graphic design company and pay a fair price for a product that will best represent you and your company.
It used to be that a professional logo design would cost you a minimum of $500 and an average of $1500. You were dealing with professional artists and graphic designers who had many years in the business designing logos. They had talent and experience. They knew how well your logo would stand out in color and black and white. What colors would go with your product and service and what design would create the best public image for your company. You met with the artist in person and discussed your preferences and options. And they took the time to follow their creative process. Creativity is not instantaneous.
Today you can go online and get an instant logo for $99 or $149. How much time and effort do you think was spent on creating that logo?
Keep in mind that your business logo is a graphic representation of your brand. Typically you keep your logo for many, many years. When people see your logo they get an immediate feeling about your business, whether it’s conscious or not. Do you really want that image to be cheap?
Think about big companies like Apple, Nike, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Microsoft, etc. Do you think they contacted an online logo factory and paid $99 for their logo design. I think not. They took the time and spent the money to carefully research their image and brand. They spent thousands of dollars. Maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars building a brand image that matched their product or service.
So when it comes time to choose a company or person to create your own company’s brand image, don’t you think you deserve to get something that best represents you? I think you do.
You want to be proud of your company. You want to be successful. And you most certainly want to present an image of yourself that is both professional and exudes success. To achieve this you have to spend a little bit of money.
And always remember. You get what you pay for. This fact almost never changes.
This is known as a Top Level Domain (TLD) which started in South America but is now available worldwide.
The abbreviation .co can be interpreted as any number of things, from company, community, commerce or any other word you like that begins with “co” such as con.
True, some people think this is just another way of getting you to pay a premium amount of money to reserve yet another version of your domain to prevent others from getting it. While .com is the most popular choice, you also have .net, .org, .info and much more. How many people reserved a .mobi domain for mobile phones and now wonder why they bothered?
On the other hand, if you have a company name and cannot get a .com domain for it, now’s your chance to reserve a .co version. I’ve already registered creativejuices.co and cjuices.co. See if your domain name is available at my Creative Juices Domains website. And if you do reserve it there you’ll be contributing to the survival of Creative Juices since I am a GoDaddy registered reseller. Yay me.
How this plays out remains to be seen. Will search engines like this new domain extension? Will people get confused between .co and .com thinking it’s a misspelling and end up going to your competition by mistake? Do you want to take a chance and ignore this opportunity and let somebody else get your desired domain name… again?
Read “New domain .co goes up for sale” by Jennifer Scott from ITPRO for more information.
Any kind of social networking involves sharing your “brand” with the world. You want to present your best image and you want people to recognize your company wherever you are.
So if you’re into twittering for your business, you really need to create a custom backdrop. It is the first thing people will see before they decide to follow you. So at the very least you should have your company logo and design/color scheme that matches your website. (What, you don’t have a website? Contact Chuck at Creative Juices immediately.)
Besides building on your brand, your custom twitter backdrop also allows you to give more contact information on yourself and your company, beyond the 160 characters twitter allows. That’s 20 characters more than an ordinary Twitter post. This is a great opportunity for you to show how professional and creative you really are. And it’s all free. Unless, of course, you hire someone to utilize their creative juices and create an outstanding twitter backdrop for you.