Unintentionally Innappropriate Domain Names

Be careful when choosing a domain name. Have other people look at it to be sure it doesn’t spell other words.
As an example…
We live in Essex County. When adding essex, the word sex appears in your domain. Be careful what word follows.

See how these people goofed with domain names such as:
itscrap.com, penisland.net, americanscrapmetal.com


Stay away from Link Farms

Link Farms, Web Rings, are various ways SEO people try to improve your website’s page ranking. Beware – Some methods are effective while others will actually damage your ranking.

Google has recently improved their algorithms to ignore fake links sent out by SEO farms. It hasn’t stopped them, just made them get more creative.
I had a request from a Calgary-based company looking for a cheap hosting package to include 80 or more external links.

A web ring
A web ring is a scheme whereby each website participating in a ring features the same navigation bar at the top of every page. They usually have a theme such as music, fashion (to get around google’s improved algorithm). The navigation bar has links to the “next” and “previous” sites in the ring. Eventually, if a user keeps clicking in the same direction, they will end up where they started. The navigation bar will also feature a link to a central site which links to all the others, so that if one link in the chain breaks, the web ring will still function. They may improve the amount of clicks to your site, but not boost your page ranking.

Online networking services
Don’t waste your money to join them. They buy your links, Likes and +1 and could possible damage your ranking – permanently!

Reciprocal Links
are a good thing. I’ll put my company link at the bottom of webpages on sites I create. I then, in turn, will put a link to their new website on my company website as examples. (see http://windsorwebsitedesign.com/websites)

Domain Transfers – a tricky thing!

When it’s time to move your domain you need to initiate a domain transfer. This involves moving your domain from your current registrar to  a new registrar. Transferring a domain should not interfere with your site appearing on the web (unless your old registrar deletes it)

NOTE: Be sure to initiate the transfer within 60 days of your domain expiring. Domain name transfer may take up to 10 days. You may have to renew with the old registrar before transferring if you wait too long.

Here are the steps involved:

Don’t make any changes to your domain name. Some companies (like goDaddy) will lock down your domain for 30-60 days if you change the Administrator Contact or Technical Contact info.  If this happens, you will not be able to transfer your domain name until it is unlocked again. Instead, ask the registrar to forward you any transfer confirmation emails received and possibly mask your old domain to a new url. Be sure the old registrar keeps your email addresses working as well.

To initiate a domain name transfer, you’ll need an EPP or authorization key. EPP key is a security code required by the registry to transfer a domain name, thus this key is unique to every domain name.

Before your domain name can be transferred it must be in ‘unlocked’ status. Almost all registrars offer domain name “lock” and “unlock” feature to prevent a fraudulent domain name transfer.

Your transfer will be sent to the administrative contact email address to approve the transfer. If this is your old registrar, have them forward the email to you. If you have trouble getting it, report the invalid WHOIS data.

Being held hostage?
Unfortunately, some registrars like to hold your domain hostage. This IS against the law. The transfer of registration policy also states that the domain name registration can be transferred without the approval of the losing registrar, and it is required that a losing registrar must transfer the domain name
If someone asks you for a fee to release your domain name, report them to http://www.internic.net/

Common reasons for domain name transfers:
Incorrect EPP/Authorization Key
Domain name locked
Inaccessible administrative contact email address
Time constraints
Expired domain name

Need help transferring your domain? We can help with that.
Contact us.

10 reasons people hate visiting your website

An overload of SEO to get people to your site will just piss them off… especially if you’re not what they were looking for.

Nothing worse than a 1mb pic on your homepage…. waiting… waiting… gone! Make all pics actual viewing size at 72 dpi.

BROKEN LINKS  – these are as bad as Under Construction pages. People will only be lead the wrong way once or twice before they get frustrated and leave.

POOR QUALITY GRAPHICS – don’t cheap out! If you want to look professional, use professional photos and graphics. Some sites sell them for as little as a dollar an image. Purchase the smallest files available for a website.

Lead the users through your site. Make the message obvious. If they get lost, they’ll just close the window.

TOO MANY ADS – trying to make money is okay, just don’t put so much that it detracts from your own message.

ANNOYING POP-UP OR POP-OVER ADS – some viewers will leave a site as soon as a pop over ad appears. If you must have one, make it professional, appealing and have a large X close button.

LACK OF INFORMATION – Provide pages to answer your visitor’s questions. Have a clear message on who you are and what you offer.  A lack of information could cause them to go elsewhere…. like your competition.

NO CONTACT INFO – ever go to a website and it takes you to a contact page with no phone number? People don’t just want to fill out a form. Always supply email addresses and phone numbers.

NO BLOG FOR FREE INFO – people search websites for useful information all the time. Provide free good quality information about your product or service to establish yourself as an expert in the field.

Under Construction can harm you

What does editing HTML files have in common with shovels, hard hats, big trucks, and construction work? Nothing! This icon page says a lot about your business… but not in a positive way.

“UNDER CONSTRUCTION”  pages are a bad idea. If you don’t have the content for a page, leave it out. If you only have a homepage finished, leave it at that until you have more to add. If you insist on putting one on your site, please consider one of these alternative expressions from the Utah School of Computing…

Alternatives to “UNDER CONSTRUCTION” :

1. “I have a great vision that one day this page will actually be finished and complete. Please share in this delusion.”

2. “My company realized yesterday it had better make a web page for itself. Too cheap to afford the services of a professional web designer, they volunteered me to be the web person. All I can say in defence of this page’s current appearance is, I’m trying. I really am.”

3. “I update this page frequently. To indicate this fact, I’ll show you a picture of one my favourite toys from my childhood.

4. “I have a persistent fantasy about being able to eloquently express exactly who I am with this page of mine. Until that comes to fruition, please view my lack of expressive power as merely a temporary phenomenon.”

5. “You see, we haven’t really come to terms with the web as an extremely fluid and dynamic information technology.”

6.  “I have high standards for my work. So high, in fact, that no matter how much I work on this page, I’m never quite happy with it. Like everyone else, I resort to using an under construction icon.”

To get that pesky  “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”  page finished, contact Rachel at info@ineedwebdesign.ca or the Contact page

Why use WordPress for your website?

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging tools available. But many people don’t know it’s a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for more than just blogging, if done correctly.

WordPress designers are constantly rolling out new themes, ensuring a wide range of options for layout, customization and functionality. Another bonus: with Categories and Tags, it all makes for easy publishing and organic search engines.

With a WordPress site*, your custom website can be built with an easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS). A CMS allows you to add your own content, blog, or make changes. You can easily keep your site fresh and up to date. You’re not at the mercy of a web designer’s time frame and priorities, waiting for edits.

There are many free themes from which to choose (WordPress.org) as well as many more available for purchase. There are also many free add-ons (Plug-ins) to help get your website found and place it top of mind. Trust an experienced designer to help you figure out which theme is right for your needs.

NOTE: I also offer a short CMS training session to each customer, teaching them how to update their website and make it their own.

Customized WordPress website with CMS sample – venting.ca Starting at $40 a month.
Password protected website – cupe1358.com – Starting at $30 per month

*pertains to single WordPress sites on private server – not free WordPress.org sites

How to start a website

Starting a business website? First, think it through.

Yes! Every business should have a website! But there are many things to consider before you begin. Here’s a place to start…

What is the purpose of your site? Take time to identify your objectives.
Answer these questions:
• Who will use your site?
• What is your message?
• What will visitors expect to find?
• What type of look are you hoping for?
• What image do you want to project?
• Is there a site you’ve used and liked?
• What about colours? Images? Pages? Draw it out first.

Once you’re ready to act, researching and purchasing a domain is the first big step. Tip:  You need to OWN it – don’t put it in someone else’s hands or you may regret it later on. (Buy it from a reputable company like domain.ca)

Then, we can guide you through the less-sexy steps of the online process:

1.    User Interface – what type of site do you need? html, WordPress, Content Management System, mobile? Don’t be restricted to a ‘canned’ solution. Free is not always good.

2.    Information Layout– what do you want to say? content, pages, categories, etc.

3.    User Experience – what does the visitor get? info, contact pages, downloads, sales, coupons, etc.

then… the fun part …

4.    Graphic Design – that’s when you put your site in the hands of a talented web designer and learn the benefits of having an experienced and invested partner. It’s this relationship that can help you to establish your unique message for your business.

Then, watch as we work behind the scenes to keep your name on search lists through pointing, hosting, SEO – a web developer’s specialty.
Want a website for your business? Contact us today!