Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Even More on… How Can I Use The Free Website Template?

Find your own copy of the free webpage at: -


With article Developing The Grid That Supports Your Design by Emanuel Blagonic you are given an introduction into how you can extend the simple template into a more advanced webpage format.

‘How To Design Your First Website’ doesn’t try to bamboozle you so, as usual, I won’t try to tell you how to do something when there is an expert who can tell you better. Go on, take a look at Emanuel’s article.

What you might find confusing (or as likely you won’t) is some of the terms Emanuel uses…

You’ll notice that he refers to numbers with ‘px’… All this means is ‘pixels’.

This means that where I suggested using a frame of 600 pixels width for an A4 letter size, Emanuel uses frames and cells that have their widths controlled by pixels (i.e. 40 pixels width)

What you might find useful is to split a frame into 2 or more cells. The advantage of this allows you to provide spaces for text and images, side by side.

Of course, depending upon your needs, with your imagination anything is possible.

The main advantage is that, without having to resort to more advanced programming techniques, you can simply maintain an advanced looking web page template.

However you decide to build your website, Emanuel’s article Developing The Grid That Supports Your Design is an important webpage design guide.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

More On… How Can I Use The Free Website Template?

You can get your own copy of the free webpage at: -


In my last post I showed you how to use a simple web page based on the “Your Free Web Page Template”.

Hopefully, you have had some fun creating your own webpage using the template.
More importantly, you will appreciate that you can do plenty with the most basic of webpage layouts possible… a ‘letter’ format.

What the article didn’t tell you about was the way that the template web page layout was managed using tables. It is really easy to do…

Open Mozilla Composer. Keep the blank page and rename it as your test page. Click the ‘Table’ icon and you’ll see a new ‘Insert Table’ window. It will automatically be set to 2 Rows, 2 Columns and 100% of the window.

Because people sometimes prefer to print a webpage to read offline, you’ll find the template is based on a single table set 600 pixels. This controls the overall width so that the webpage will print to an A4 page.

Also, so your website visitor has no problems viewing, the table is positioned centrally.

The settings you need are on your test page are…

1 Row, 1 Column and 600 pixels width

If you want to have a border you can leave the setting at ‘1’ or you can increase it to whatever size you want. If you don’t want a border change the setting to ‘0’.

For the template I provided an additional 3 tables within the main table. This is as easy to do as it was for the first table…

Place your cursor inside the main table and press the return button a few times to increase the depth (I reckon 3 to 4 returns are plenty to begin with).

Next, place your cursor on the second line and open the ‘Insert Table’ icon again. This time change the number of rows to 3.

There you have it. You have created your own web page template just like your “Your Free Web Page Template”…

That was pretty simple, wasn’t it?

So, you’ve had no trouble so far but you fancy changing the webpage background color

This isn’t too complicated…

Find the ‘Format’ text icon and click ‘Page Colors and Background’…

Click on the ‘Background’ button and a color table will appear. Choose which color you want and accept with OK.

This will change the whole webpage color to the color you have chosen… GREAT.

The downside is that the table colors have changed too. Depending upon the background color you have chosen this could make the your text difficult to read. This may not be a problem if there’s plenty of contrast but if the colors are similar tone your words could be lost (Vincent Flanders gives an example of an unreadable website at Dailysucker

Without going into technicalities, the best contrast is black text on a white background, as provided with “Your Free Web Page Template”. This isn’t too hard to achieve with Composer…

Using the text ‘Table’ icon on the top line of Composer click ‘Table Properties’. Now, click the ’Background Color’ button and change the color to white.

You only have to do this for the first table you created. The tables that were placed inside will automatically change to white.

Finally, you will want to position your tables centrally

Once again, open ‘Table Properties’ and alter the ‘Table Alignment’ setting to center.

There you have it…

Your own working webpage template, easily and quickly created by none other than YOU.


Tables are a simple way of controlling the look and layout of your web pages. You’ll find an interesting article Developing The Grid That Supports Your Design by Emanuel Blagonic gives you more detail about how to develop a more advanced webpage layout.

For more examples of bad web design visit Vincent Flanders’ Web Pages That Suck

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Can I Use The Free Website Template?

In my recent post I gave you a link for a free webpage template “Your Free Web Page Template”. To get your own copy you can find it at: -


But the real question that you were asking was…

“You’ve given me a free website template - What do I do with it? How can I use it?”
First you need to open Mozilla Composer. Then, find the ‘Window’ command and open ‘Composer’. You will get a blank page, just as you might expect.

Towards the bottom left of the page you will see 4 icons: ‘Normal’, ‘HTML Tags’, ‘HTML Source’ and ‘Preview’.

Try clicking on the ‘HTML Source’ and you will see the following text: -

meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"http-equiv="content-type"
title /title

This is the HTML code behind a blank web page (for clarity I've left the brackets off - don't forget to use the brackets as shown in Composer)

Now, open the FREE web page template and take a look at the differences between the HTML text of the blank page. Try to find the lines shown above and see where they lie.

You will see that (html) starts and (/html) closes the web page text.

Scan down a little and you’ll find (title)Your First Website Web Page Template(/title)
Your page title should be placed (or edited) between (title)(/title)

And, further down you will see (body)(/body)

This is where your text, pictures and precious links are placed.

Oh, yes. Before I forget, there is the line with (br). This is a line break.

Now, return to the ‘Normal’ page environment and try editing the large red text heading "How To Design Your First Successful Website In Less Than A Day From Scratch... Even If You've Never Created A Web Page Before..." (heading)

When you are satisfied with your own headline wording save your web page giving it a new file name that distinguishes it from the template. Next, view the results of your editing with ‘Preview’

What you will see is your own webpage that, with a few more text edit modifications, will be stamped with your own personal identity.

That wasn’t too difficult… was it?

“Why don’t you give it a try?”

It doesn’t seem like much, does it?

Well, it isn’t really all that complicated. And, there’s no urgency to make it more complicated.

So, although I have said that www.your-first-website.com is rubbish, you will understand that it is also tremendously successful in its simplicity. In this respect I am more than happy with the result. All it is trying to be is a ‘no fuss’ letter to you, that invites you to take advantage of Louis Alport’s expert web design training video’s which show you how…

It is then your choice to act. When you are convinced by the message you will respond and buy.

“Tell me if you think it is successful in that aim”

Because, if the message doesn’t convince you… You will quickly walk away.

Also, if you’ve read my recent posts you’ll know that simplicity is the first route to your website’s functionality, reliability and manageability.

You can see how you can easily and quickly create a simple website of your own. You can afford to take some time planning what you want to say about your chosen subject. Also, knowing that it is no harder to write your message than it would be using any word processor, there is time to find your true website voice.

“Is there more?” Of course there’s more…

Yes, you will need more help and additional learning if you want to produce a more elaborate gadget driven website, when that is what you need. For now, you can be assured that you will be confident that you can choose to remain in control. With basic free tools like Mozilla Composer you know that you can create your own magic with your words.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Do You Need A Website But Have No Idea Where To Start?

Do you need a website but have no idea where to start?

And, do you have other questions like: -

  • My website isn’t very good - where can I get help?
  • My website looks okay - but why doesn’t it get any visitors?
  • I want to create a website - but it scares me?
  • Is there a way to make a simple website?
  • Where can I get help getting started with my new website?

All these kinds of questions are asked everyday and like you I keep asking myself how I can improve my website and the knowledge required to get it working like the best.

And like most people, the prospect scares me. If you feel intimidated then you aren’t alone.

Yesterday, I took a look at what Dawud Miracle’s website home page had to say. Guess what, he asks questions exactly like the questions you are asking.

What Dawud Miracle’s offers is answers. This is the reason I have added www.healthywebdesign.com in the list of useful links.

And, when you visit why don’t you sign up for Dawud’s newsletter, Healthy Websites.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How Relevant Is Your Website?

There is an awful lot Dawud has said in Dawud Miracle’s article Is Your Site Relevant? It is all so obvious when you have read it but each of the points identified go far beyond the old advice of 'meta tags' and etc.

Don’t you agree that it is a great thing that the internet isn't so easily fooled by silly webmaster tricks? Many of those tricks, supposed to rocket your website to 1st position in the search engines, are still touted and sold by out of date publishers selling out of date news.

The problem here is that you can't stand still, relying on redundant techniques. Surely a generous and honest site will give more and last longer. It will surely become stronger and successful if it becomes a trusted resource for your services and products.

“I don’t know what you think but I want truth… I want to be able to trust”

If there is any doubt that you can trust a website, you won’t go rushing back there, expecting to be ripped off, will you? There’s no way you want to feel the pain, is there?

The list of factors that Dawud gives in his article Is Your Site Relevant? is: -

  • Content
  • Freshen it up
  • Link it
  • Link up
  • Write Away
  • Blog it
  • Opt-in

I’m not going to give the game away here. Read Is Your Site Relevant? for yourself to find out more… and make your own mind up whether you choose to take his advice… I know that I certainly shall.

I've found that Dawud generally gives excellent advice... He certainly hasn't disappointed here.
The strategy given here is the intelligent, quality driven approach. There is the underlying honesty you’ll like and the truth factor you need is also there.

When you design your website like www.healthywebdesign.com it will stand you in good stead for getting what both you and your website visitors want… interest and enjoyment… and success.

With “How To Design Your First Website” you'll already know that I am a slow learner. You could also say that I am only just getting to grips with website design…

“I agree with you”

What I am looking for is to find a number of experts who give as much as Dawud Miracle does with his website www.healthywebdesign.com

When I find them… You shall be the first to know.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Use a Blog For Your First Website

I haven’t posted for a few days. Part of the reason for this is that I have been trying to get to grips with placing RSS Feeds to “How To Design Your First Website”. Thanks go to Dawud Miracle for his encouragement to do so (it was really easy but I made it far more difficult than it really was… but then it is okay to make mistakes)

The reason for writing today is to say out loud that starting a web log has been the easiest thing I’ve done. I can’t understand why I hadn’t figured it out before. It is far simpler than I imagined, with the online help available.

And, if you have taken the time to look, both Biana Babinsky’s www.avocadoconsulting.com and Dawud Miracle’s www.healthywebdesign.com sites have a blog. Each of their sites has massive content rich elements that go far beyond a simple diary of thoughts but each site has the extra added interest that a blog gives…

“Direct contact with their website visitors”

Okay, you’ve realized that I know my website is rubbish compared with Biana’s. It is definitely light years behind the professional look of Dawud’s.

But, do you know…

“I am happy with the results so far”

Why am I happy with the results?

I’m happy because www.your-first-website.com was targeted towards people who were new to thinking about creating their own first website. It wasn’t trying to be clever. It wasn’t trying to confuse people with fancy programming tricks. The aim was to try to make things simple and basic.

As a professional designer, I like to achieve simplicity. When I have achieved simplicity, I know that everything will work well.

It is one of the reasons I suggest sticking to the ‘minisite’ approach of a small compact website with as few gimmicks as possible. Keep to this and you can keep better control.

What you see with www.your-first-website.com is what you can easily produce with Mozilla Composer. The draft for the web pages was mainly written using Microsoft Works Word Processor, as supplied with my computer. So, nothing fancy here and very little money spent.

The website is so very, very simple. You could easily produce and launch a simple website like this…

“I’ve given you a start with some free stuff already to get you started” (see earlier postings)

However, the only trouble is that this blog site “How To Design Your First Website” in many ways makes a far better website. It is far easier to build and manage than www.your-first-website.com and it is far more fun.

Although I had been considering starting a blog for some time, with the main aim of promoting Your First Website I hadn‘t understood the additional benefits. It is so much easier to talk with a blog. Personally, I would much prefer to talk with you about “How To Design Your First Website” than try to sell you something you don’t want.

I hate pressure selling at the best of times and respond badly to anybody trying to force me into buying something I don’t want. Worst is when I would normally be interested in buying. If someone tries to force the issue, I will immediately lose interest and walk away.

I reckon most of the world is like this, with more sales lost through clumsy, ignorant salesmanship. The arrogance and stupidity of bad selling is a crime. It‘s like my dear old mother used to say…

“You can’t persuade with your fists. Try to talk instead”

This is why I like blogs. It’s why I like to see people blogging. This is where people can talk about what it is that interests them… GREAT!

I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found Jonathan Street’s “Blog IT!” course. This course has been my first guide to setting up and starting “How To Design Your First Website”
Importantly, I fully support his recommendation of using Blogger. It makes it easy to create a dynamic blog site using their online design tools (which definitely impress me).

With limited web design skills, it is simple to create a blog… And it’s FREE.

Also, I’m impressed by using Blogger. Why don’t you take a look for yourself? They give you a quick tour to let you find out more and it is only a 3-stage process to get your blog started.

It’s your choice…

“I’m not saying don’t have a website but I am suggesting that you can learn from having your own blog site"

Whatever you do, try to create a dynamic interesting website that will be a joy to come back to rather than a boring static website that doesn’t have a chance to progress. You want your website to be enjoyed by plenty of visitors and you surely deserve a website that you enjoy creating and living with.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

“How do you link web pages?”

Hi! Here’s a more cheerful posting than the last one “Warning! Don’t create rubbish websites like these…”

Like all good things it will take time to find the correct pieces of the internet marketing jigsaw and put them together. Yesterday, I found something that I think could be really important. I’m sure you’ll agree but I need a few days to check it out before telling you about it…

"You don’t want to be given junk, do you?"

So, until then I’ll give you some more basics about designing your own successful website…

Here is another area where using a minisite website offers you great benefits. The fewer web pages your website has the easier it is to keep track of the links. Think about it for a second and you will realize that a 3 or 4 web page website doesn’t need a lot of links.

If a link fails from a web page it is easy to see where the problem is. Because there are so few web pages there source of the problem is easy to find.

Usually, the link breaks because there has been a spelling error, or a letter or number has been missed from the link path. It isn’t even unknown for the wrong page to be linked.

There are all manner of reasons a link can be broken but the main reason will be that the path hasn’t been identified correctly from the start. Below is an example of a link that I used in my website "How To Design Your First Successful Website In Less Than A Day From Scratch... Even If You've Never Created A Web Page Before..."…


I’m sure you’ve already used it to get your free web page template but you may not have realized that it contains information that allowed you to find it straight away without fuss.

Now, take another look at another version of the same link…


This leads directly to the same location as the first example but contains just a little more information. This is the true path for both of the text links above.

Let’s take a look at what you might be trying to do for your own website with 2 pages, index page (index.html) and sample page (sample.html).

Say you want to create a text link to your sample page from the index page it couldn’t be simpler.

Start Mozilla Composer and open your index page. Just type the line “To try a free sample just click the text link”

Now, highlight the part of the text that says “Here’s your free sample”. Look for the ‘Link’ icon that looks like part of a chain. Click this and you’ll see “Link Location” with a text box that you will fill with the location of your sample page. It will be something like…


Once you’ve filled in the link text box, click OK and you should have a link that will go directly to the internet location of your ‘sample’ webpage.

Note: you will notice that there is also ‘Choose File’ option that allows you to link to the sample page location on your own computer. This is great while it is only stored on your own computer but it is not going to work when the web pages are submitted to the internet.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

“Warning! Don’t create rubbish websites like these…”

“Life can be so disappointing…”

In a moment I’m going to run through a very short list of some of my recent disappoints. But, before you switch off and run away, let me tell you that they are minor and haven’t turned me into a moaning misery. Better still they can all be put right in time.

Anyhow, here goes the short list…
  • Yesterday morning I couldn’t post the blog I’d written on Friday.
  • I’ve given free sample copies of Louis Alport’s website creation videos to my friend and he hasn’t found time to watch them yet.
  • Neither www.yourfirstwebsite.blogspot.com nor www.your-first-website.com receives any visitors yet.
  • Have I chosen the wrong subject to write about?
  • Is anyone remotely interested in what I have to say?

And… I have the housework to do… and the cat has decided that she wants attention.

The first response I expect from you all is… TOUGH! GET OVER IT!

Each and every disappointment listed is truly minor. The world won’t stop turning because of them and my life isn’t at risk.

Okay, I’m having a little grumble but I know I can easily sort out most of them pretty quickly. Those complaints that can’t be fixed quickly are problems that I am interested in finding long lasting solutions for. The major issues might take time to fix but I know that the fix will have brought me incredibly valuable knowledge.

So, let’s take another look at the list to see what can be done to solve the problems…

1. This was easy to sort - I posted the blog later on Saturday (No real problem here)

2. My friend’s life is full of other interests and responsibilities… when he is ready he will watch his complimentary videos that will help him to understand that creating a website for himself isn’t so difficult.

Why should I be disappointed? When he is ready… I will try to help (once again there’s no real problem… I can‘t force him to take an interest)

3. I didn’t really expect to have any visitors yet. This is mainly because I haven’t advertised either site. I haven’t taken any notice of any promotional advice.

In fact I have totally ignored the sense that Biana Babinsky gave with her post Stop Cold Calling! Here she said that “Online marketing is all about bringing your potential customers, who are already looking for what you have to offer, to your web site”

How can I ignore such good sense? How dumb can I get?

4. I could well have chosen to write about the wrong subject. “Why?”

The reason I don’t know if anyone is going to be interested is because I haven’t asked the question to anybody “Does the thought of creating your own website scare you?”

Are you beginning to see how stupid I’ve been?

5. “Is anyone remotely interested in what I have to say?”

Clearly, because I haven’t asked anyone any kind of questions relating to their website design interests I can’t get a sensible answer.

Now you know just how idiotic I am.


As I said at the beginning of this post, each of the 5 problems can be sorted out. The first issue wasn’t a problem at all. It was only a minor distraction.

The second problem isn’t my problem. Making a website isn’t even my friend’s problem until he wants to take a serious interest.

Obviously, what needs to be looked at is the fact that www.yourfirstwebsite.blogspot.com and www.your-first-website.com aren’t working because I haven’t found out if anyone would want to know anything about them.

I’m not going to say anymore just now. You can find out more about how I will solve the last 3 problems in my next blogs. This is where the interesting bit starts. Great…

“There’s so much more to learn”

There is one thing I do know…

“I know that you aren’t so stupid as to make all of these kinds of mistakes… Are you?”

Saturday, February 10, 2007

“Make your website look as good as this…”

Unusually, it is Friday afternoon as I begin to write this post. It has been a full week of work, designing a London underground rail vehicle, that has left me with little time and energy. Like most people in the world we have great intentions to achieve but find life’s distractions get in the way.

When I look at the progress of this blog and precious website I realize that there is still that huge mountain to climb. I’m already tired and I’ve hardly started the long climb. I guess that, as with a mountain climb, you need to build into your plan the times your focus will be lost. When this happens, interest will drain away and all the ambitions will fade away.

Well, I can tell you this…

“I am serious about www.yourfirstwebsite.blogspot.com becoming successful”

What’s more…?

“There is so much I can learn on the way to achieving this success”

And, even better…

“I know that the things I learn about web page writing and website creation are exactly the same things you need to build your own successful web design”

At the moment I have a little time to spare, so I think it is time to take a closer look at Biana Babinsky's post Stop Cold Calling!

This is an article where Biana say’s…

“If you hate cold calling, you are not alone. Many business owners hate cold calling, but since for many business owners this is the only technique to drum up new business, business owners just keep using it”

She goes on to qualify this with…

“Online marketing is all about bringing your potential customers, who are already looking for what you have to offer, to your web site”

Hey, this is exactly what we all want to know, isn’t it? “How can I get as many customers to come to my website and spend their money on what I have to sell?”

“This is what I call success - I want to know more"

Now, strangely, I m not going to say any more about Biana’s article, other than … “Read Stop Cold Calling! for yourself” Biana is the expert… take a look at what she has to say.

Initially, I may not have been inspired in quite the same way that Dawud Miracle, of www.healthywebdesign.com found. I think that this is partly because I am interested in the earliest stages leading to the design of a website, where the ideas are just beginning to take shape.

However, as a professional designer, what I am going to say is take a long hard look at her blog site, Internet Marketing for Solopreneurs By Biana.

I really like the layout of her site…

“What you will see is beautiful clean simplicity combined with easy on the eyes layout and functionality”

I also like the wide range of offers she manages to pack into a single page. There‘s a whole lot to see and you will easily find what you want whenever you want it…

“I think I could spend a lot of time finding a whole load of interesting stuff”

I want to get as much out of my blog site as Biana seems to have given with Internet Marketing for Solopreneurs By Biana. If this isn’t a successful website then I want to know why not.

Here’s an admission…

“I want www.yourfirstwebsite.blogspot.com and www.your-first-website.com to look this good. In fact, I want all my websites to be this good”

Well! The rest is up to me.

You can find out more about Biana Babinsky and what you can learn from her about your website and business by visiting http://www.avocadoconsulting.com

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

“How many web pages do I need for my minisite web site?”

You know that life can be full of frustrations. Yesterday, I intended to add this post and my internet link was unusually busy. I couldn’t get a connection and it cost me at least 2 hours while I waited.

Still, a little spare time does allow you the chance take review what you are doing and gives you the chance to read and learn. I found that it gave me the opportunity to think about what more you might need.

Without doubt you have ambition to create a great website that contains hundreds of magnetic web pages that bring you adoring visitors and result in massive sales. But, as I’ve said before, you need to focus on the small detail of a single web page. By getting the basics right you start with a far better chance of success.

So, understanding the importance of a good start you will want to know how many pages you might need to keep your mini website small and manageable. I do hope the rest of this post will help you find an answer…

Now, if you haven’t found out where your FREE web page template is yet, don’t worry. You’ll be able to get your copy at www.your-first-website.com/yfwt/your-first-website-web-page-template.html

Remember, if you need greater in-depth understanding you could get the Louis Alport video demonstrations available from http://www.your-first-website.com/ as a hand-led guide through the processes of website creation.

Otherwise, I hope you have been enjoying using your free web page template. See, it isn’t too difficult to construct your own front web page for your website…

“You have done well!”

All it amounts to is the use of plain language to interest and entertain your visitor while you give them information and you share some of your own knowledge.

It can’t be finer than that. Not all the fancy websites developed by the finest website designers in the entire world can come up with a better solution than a simply delivered message given by you.

Let’s face it…
  • Do they know what you know?
  • Do they know how you think?
  • Do they know what you can do?

Using simple plainly spoken words gives you an advantage when someone needs an answer to a problem that you can provide an answer for. Straight forward direction towards a solution is what people really want and expect.

Do you think you have achieved this with what will be your first main ‘index’ web page?
(The welcome/introduction/home page should be named ‘index.html’ or ‘index.htm’ - It is the first page that any search engine expects to find for a website)

Now, if you are going to keep to the idea of a minisite you only need to make an ‘order’ page and ‘fulfillment’ page. Of course, if you are offering free samples of a product then a ‘sample’ page is handy too. That amounts to only 3 or 4 web pages.

“Can you say what you want to say in 3 or 4 web pages?”

I know, it can be quite a challenge to bring everything together in just a few web pages but I’m sure you will find it worth it. I can prove it to you how badly a website can go against you if you let get out of control…

Just read my e-book "How To Use A Minisite To Design Your First Successful Website" and see if you want to ignore the warning.

To close this post, let’s talk a little about how you will create the rest of your web pages…

As with your home page, it is just a matter of adapting the web page template with your own version of text. If you are short of ideas, take a closer look at some of the other websites you see on the internet. There are plenty of sources for inspiration.

All I’ll repeat is “Try to keep it as simple as your home page”

Monday, February 5, 2007

“Would you take 3 these steps before you start your web design?”

You’ve heard what Dawud Miracle, of Healthy Webdesign, has had to say in his article Give Your Website A Chance to Help Grow Your Business . Great advice I’m sure you’ll agree.

Remembering his comment about considering “Your Peers & Competition”, now is the time to take a brief look at what other people have to say about website design and creating a webpage. (Please remember that the following is not an endorsement of services or recommendation of any products provided)

As luck would have it the first article I happened to read, even before reading Dawud’s post, was titled “3 Steps Before You Start Your Web design”, written by Jenna McCartney of www.greenhouse-design.co.uk .

Naturally, I wondered what she might advise for someone considering beginning a website and found, as you would expect, that I found that I shared some of the thoughts she had raised. Perhaps, even more interestingly I found that we seemed to give the 3 factors a different priorities.

As an independent minded person I prefer to make my own provisions for website design (If this is you, take a look at the link Great Value Domain Names! Click Here Now! ).
Whereas, Jenna McCartney and Dawud Miracle obviously promote their own professional web design facilities. Once you are sure about what you want you might prefer a professionally produced website.

So, what was the Greenhouse Design first step?

Step 1 states “Forget the look (but just for now)”…

This is where I would fully agree with Jenna McCartney. As I have suggested before, take time finding out what it is you want to say before rushing into website design. You must know this beforehand. Also, you really must have some idea how you want to present yourself (as a friend who will be asked questions or as an authority who people seek out as an expert)

It is your choice and a bad choice could result in your web pages being seen by your visitors as junk that no one wants to read, let alone return to and take a long term interest in.

Step 2 Identify your objectives

Once again, this is common sense. Target your website directly to what your visitors want and design it with only your customer in mind and your success is far more guaranteed than if you are designing the website to purely cater for your own interests.

I guess the only issue I have with the article at this point was that it almost seemed to presume that you, the reader had definitely decided upon seeking professional web design assistance… not necessarily the case.

However, this can’t be held against Jenna, in her role as a representative for a web design consultancy… she is offering good advice and is trying to advertise her professional services.

Step 3 Know your customers

“By now you know who your primary customers are and have also identified any other potential markets”

This step is where I agree most with what has been said. Yet, I wonder if it really hits home as hard as it should.

Surely, if you do know exactly what your customers are thinking and looking for you cannot fail by making your website cater for them.

What should strike home is the far more serious question “Do I really know what my customers want?”

The time to think about what your customers actually want is now, before you’ve spent huge amounts of time and money. Could your customers help you understand exactly what they want you and your website to provide?

It doesn’t matter what you have to say and it doesn’t matter how you say it… if, your visitor/customer doesn’t want to know then you are wasting your time.

“So, isn’t this the time to ask you customer?”

I’d certainly have spent a whole lot less time if I had asked questions… but then I am not as clever as you are, am I?

Whether or not you choose to create your own website or have it professionally produced, I totally agree that “Know your customers” is the most important step of all…"

For more information from Jenna McCartney and to learn from professional web designers at Greenhouse Design why not take a look at www.greenhouse-design.co.uk

Sunday, February 4, 2007

"Here's what Healthy Webdesign say about web design"

Here’s what Dawud Miracle, of Healthy Webdesign, has to say in his blog Give Your Website A Chance to Help Grow Your Business, Posted, February 2, 2007: -

“I love being inspired. This morning, I read Biana Babinsky’s post, Stop Cold Calling. In it, she offers a three step plan for those starting out with online marketing”

Referring to Biana’s post he quotes the following list: -
  1. Define your target market
  2. Create/revise your web site to make it an effective sales tool
  3. Use online marketing techniques to drive your target market to your web site

More importantly, he expands with a longer list of important considerations that include…

  • Goals and Objectives
  • Your Audience
  • Your Peers & Competition

And more…

I don’t think you can go wrong in taking a visit to see what Dawud Miracle has to say and you can bet that I shall also be taking a closer look at Biana Babinsky’s post.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

“Your Free Web Page Template”

Okay, so you want a free web page template to help get you started.

You know what you want to say to your website visitors and you are confident with your web page words. You know that what you want from a web page editor is a very a simple very easy to use WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) with enough extra facilities when you know more.

Well, here it is at www.your-first-website.com/yfwt/your-first-website-web-page-template.html

Save this page to your computer and then you can modify it to your heart’s content using the free web page editor, Mozilla Composer that you can download from www.mozilla.org

All you have to do to begin with is open Mozilla in a local offline window. Next, on the top row of commands you will find ‘Window’. Click the word ‘window’ and a short list will appear that contains ‘Composer’.

Now, click ‘Composer’ and a new blank ‘untitled Composer’ window will appear. All you do now is use ‘File Open’ and find your web page template copy.

Here’s a tip… To protect the original, rename your web page template and save it with a new name of your choice, right away before you change anything.

The rest is up to you…

Change the web page template heading from "How To Design Your First Successful Website In Less Than A Day From Scratch... Even If You've Never Created A Web Page Before..." to something of your choice.

Next, alter the sub-heading text to features that will attract your own website visitors.

Finally, you can replace the body text with your own sales message storyline.

Here’s another tip… until you are more confident, leave the text settings as they are but try to use plenty of sub-headings to break up the body text.

Have fun creating your first main web page.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

“Here is your free web page editor”

In yesterday’s blog “Here is an example of a simple ‘minisite’ website” I promised you a free web page editor.

So here it is at www.mozilla.org

When you download Mozilla web page navigator you are also provided with the latest version of ‘Composer’ - for FREE!

Of course, you probably prefer to use Internet Explorer as your main web navigating tool, which you can still retain, but I can certainly recommend Composer as a very simple and easy to use web page editor. It is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) tool that really does let you see what you are creating as you are working.

Previously, I’ve used an early version of Navigator Composer to produce simple web pages. I definitely find that I am pleased by the improvements that come with Mozilla Composer.

Now, I’m not going to tell how to use Composer here because, as always, there is someone who I know is far better skilled. He is an expert at website design and webpage creation. And, rather than write miles of pages using technical terms that no one can understand you are shown by easy to follow video demonstrations that you can view on your PC.

Personally, I think Louis Alport deserves an award for the way he guides you into the simplicity of making a fully working website. I like the fact that he is so confident about what he knows and what he can show you that he doesn’t edit out the minor problems mistakes that occur through the videos. Even while his computer is having ‘a bad day’ he still gives you all you need to know… I can’t recommend him highly enough.

You can find more about Louis Alport's website design advice by listening to the first 2 Louis Alport demonstrations at www.your-first-website.com/audiosampleinfo.html - they are FREE to listen to.

For the next blog I’ll give you a simple web page template to use.