Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Four MORE Signs Your Website Needs an Upgrade

There was such a great response to my last post about upgrading your website that it's time for a second chapter.  If any of the following apply to you, talk to your web professional or contact SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions for a consultation.

1)  Your email address does not match your website address.

Companies will often spend lots of time on getting just the right catchy, snappy name for their website URL.  It's hip, it's happening, all of the customers love it.  Then the contact emails consist of "@yahoo.com" or "@gmail.com", etc.

Take the time to complete the presentation.  Almost all web hosting companies, even bargain ones, provide some email accounts with your service.  If your emailsays "throwaway", that's what your customers will think of your company.

2)  "ImageReady Slices"

What is ImageReady?  And what is a slice?  About ten years ago, as web design became more complex and intricate, it was difficult to download these gorgeous new images.  They took forever to appear in a browser.  So a technique was created to split up big beautiful pictures into "slices" - like squares of sheet cake - so the image would download faster.  It worked!

But that was ten years ago.  Today elements can be "layered" on top of each other like transparent sheets of paper which not only makes it easier to create beautiful designs but also makes it easier to translate your web images into your print materials.  Ask your web professional how they created your design.  If the word "slices" comes up, either your design is outdated, or the web professional is!

There is one exception to the above rule:  if your site visitors are using older browsers (like Internet Explorer version 6.0 for example) you may have to generate your site using an older technique.  Your site statistics (provided by your hosting company) can tell you what kind of browser your visitors use most.

3)  The Search Engines Can't Find You

Your site has been active for months, even years, and yet when you type a phrase in a search engine related to your site, you're nowhere to be found.  Welcome to "what's the point".

Your site will get more visits if the content that visitors can read or the functionality that they can use is always fresh and updated.  That takes some time and effort, but so does all kinds of advertising.

Many older sites used a piece of code called "meta tags" to help search engines find them.  They are pieces of text not visible when you view the website, but search engines and browsers can read them.  There was a time when less-than-scrupulous designers would pack the meta tags with all kinds of garbage just to attract search engines, even if it wasn't relevant to what the site was about.

Google and all other search engines got wise to this trick.  Meta tags are not seriously used to rank sites in search engines anymore.  The search engine reads the text actually on the page.  So when deciding what you want to say to your customers, use words that you want them to find you with on a search engine.

4)  The Copyright Holder Notice on Your Site is Not You

This is not just an issue of effective Internet market, it is a core issue for any business.  Make sure when your website is created that the contract clearly states that you own your own content!  If it sounds obvious, it's not.  There were many conflicts early in the growth of the Web whether the website designer owned the content created, or if the business contracting their services did.  Older websites may have a copyright notice indicating the web company owns everything you gave them for the web.  Which will put you in a real bind should you want to make changes, or if you're competing with another company for customers.

All sites created by SDOC Publishing are owned by our clients.  We only reserve the right to credit for creating it.  Our clients own their content, including any graphic creations, and they hold ultimate legal responsibility for it as well.  That point is always clearly stated in our contracts.  \

If you're ready for a current, state-of-the-art effective web presence for your business or organization, now is the perfect time to contact SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions.

No comments: