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!

Social Media for Business 101

Platforms like blogging, Facebook, Twitter and mobile are changing the way people connect — and the way businesses promote! Here’s some valuable information about the basic offerings and links.

Facebook: A good Facebook fan page (or business page) is essential to making your business look professional and trustworthy. There needs to be a reason people should “Like” your page such as a free item, contest, or special coupon. You should set up a Facebook Welcome page, special offers, coupons, and entry forms as well as informative and useful posts. Have an attractive cover image that shows what your company is about while still following Facebook’s business guidelines.
http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=167124440013852

LinkedIN: A great place for business to business contacts. You can accumulate connections rapidly through 1st connections. Join Groups related to your field and make posts weekly. Follow companies you’re interested in working with. Add as much content as you can to your Profile so people get to know what you and your company are about. You should create a page for your business too.
http://learn.linkedin.com/company-pages/

Twitter: This is a bit trickier. The best way to find followers is to follow them. The Follower gets an introductory message when you follow them. Why not make it a free offer or coupon? They in turn, check your page out. You need to design an attractive Twitter page, tweet valuable and useful information about your product so they want to hit “Follow”.
https://business.twitter.com/

For help promoting your business through social media, contact us.

Choosing a domain name

Choosing a domain name (website name) can be one of the hardest parts of having a website. Here are a few tips to help you decide what’s right and what’s wrong…

  • Brainstorm five top keywords for your business
  • Make the domain name unique but relevant
  • Choose #1. a dot-com or #2 a dot-ca if available first
  • Make it easy to type on a keyboard – shifting between letters and numbers is a pain on a smartphone
  • Make it easy to remember (without having to write it down)
  • Keep the name as short as possible
  • Don’t use acronyms (unless it spells a really good word that people will remember)
  • Avoid copyright infringement – stay away from variations of competitor’s names
  • Set yourself apart with a brand, benefit or a need (energysaverwindows .com)
  • Reject hyphens and numbers (like go4new-windows.com)
  • Don’t follow the latest trends (no one knows what redtoadstool .com sells)
  • Use a WHOIS service with a good reputation (like a company CIRA certified for .ca sites)

Once you’ve decided on a name, it’s time to buy it.
NOTE: Don’t purchase your domain through a web-hosting company.

For more information and advice about purchasing a domain and web hosting, contact us – before you sign up somewhere else. We can help you purchase your own domain. That way YOU own and control the information. Deal with someone you can trust. We’ll help you point the domain to our server. We’ll talk you through it by phone or in person – another great reason to deal with someone local.

Canada Revenue Agency Refund Scam

If you receive an email from “Canada Revenue Agency” <revenue@agency.ca>, throw it in the trash or (better yet) label it spam. It’s a scam.

It has a Canada Revenue logo on top. It tells you there is a refund waiting for you and all you need to do is download the attached file (a web page, not a form) and open it in a web browser and follow the instructions. DON’T DOWNLOAD THE ATTACHMENT. Don’t reply to the email either.

The email may look odd to you at first when you open it because e a c h   w o r d   i s  s p e l l e d  o u t  l i k e  t h i s .  That’s to try and fool your spam software. Here’s a sample of what the message looks like…

Creating safe passwords

Ever get your Gmail account hacked? Or your Facebook?

Hackers are running programs 24/7 to crack users’ passwords. The more obvious you make it, the easier it will be for them to take over your account.
The obvious DON’Ts are to not use: your name, address, phone number, any birth date, kid’s name, pet’s name, places, or anything spelled backwards.

Make it something you’ll remember…
If you are having trouble picking a good password that’s easy to remember, one good method is to use the first letter of each word in a phrase… remember to use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
Here’s an example…
Our daughter Julie was born in 1998 – becomes – OdJwbi1998
Now for banking you can add ‘ba’ to the end (or beginning) –  OdJwbi1998ba
for Facebook – OdJwbi1998fa
and so on…
One password for everything that you can remember!

Maybe use an event that stands out in your mind…
In 1994 we went to Disney World – I994wwtDW
Want to make it even more difficult? Add one or two of these…. ! @ # $ % ^ & * (  or ) to the end.

Using *(*(*( at the end of your password makes it millions of times harder for someone to crack.

If possible, change your password every month or two.

Domain Registry of Canada Scam

Domain Registry of Canada Scam: If you’ve ever purchased a domain, you may receive a letter in your mailbox from a company called “Domain Registry of Canada” asking you to renew. (I got another one today) They list your domain name details and expiry.
It looks like a government official domain name authority with a Canadian flag on their envelope. They also use the same colour envelope that you would expect from the Canadian Government. Inside you’ll find something resembling an invoice.
THIS IS A SCAM! Please do not send any money to this company. If you are unsure, contact your domain provider.

Below is a sample of what the fake document looks like…

Bitmap and Vector Images

Bitmap and Vector Images:
BITMAP – or raster images are made up of pixels in a grid. Resolution is determined by the grid – 72 dots per inch is 72 dpi. that means there are 72 dots within one square inch. 300 dpi means 300 dots within one square inch. Computer monitors display 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Your desktop colour printer prints about 150 dots per inch. Newspapers are printed at 200-300 dpi. Magazines are much higher – 300-600 dpi. Common bitmap formats are jpg, png, tiff Some formats support transparent backgrounds – GIF and PNG. Others have opaque (non see through) backgrounds.

VECTOR – Vector images are made up of many individual, scalable objects. These objects are defined by mathematical equations rather than pixels, so they always render at the highest quality. A vector image can be reduced to a postage stamp or enlarged to a billboard without loosing any quality.
Objects may consist of lines, curves, and shapes with editable attributes such as color, fill, and outline.Shapes are formed with handles. Most vector images are created from scratch using programs such as Adobe Illustrator. Vector images can be converted to bitmap images.

Photoshop formats definitions

Photoshop formats definitions:
Formats are determined by the suffix after the period in a file name.
Use GIF, PNG and JPG for online publishing.
Use EPS and TIFF for print publishing.
(BMP and PICT not really used anymore)

BMP – Windows Bit Map Picture
EPS Encapsulated Post Script
GIF – Graphics Interchange Format
JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group
PNG – Portable Network Graphic
PICT – Apple’s bitmap image
TIFF – Tagged Image File Format
WMF – Windows Meta File

PSD – Photoshop Document
PDD – PhotoDeluxe Document
PDF – Portable Document Format

Welcome

The world of design is constantly evolving and artists must constantly upgrade their skills. Ours is a fresh approach with fresh thinking, backed by more than twenty years in marketing and advertising. As your new online partner, ineedwebdesign.caoffers web advertising as well as print products, for a total package to promote your business.

We’re always adding new projects, so check back often to keep up to date. View our samples of websites, animations and graphic design by clicking on the top bar links.

We’ll critique your existing website too. Just send us the link and your email address.

Contact us for a free consultation. We’ll have you online within a month!