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Why CSS Is Good For Your Web Site

css style sheetsCSS Style SheetsCascading Style Sheets (CSS) are used within the HTML behind your Web site as a way of controlling how each page is laid out and what elements on it look like. For instance, you can use CSS to make headings in your copy a standard size across the whole of your site.

CSS has been around for several years and is supported by all the major browsers available today, including Internet Explorer for the PC and Mac, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

Using CSS to control your Web site will give you several benefits:

Makes your Web pages snappier

By using CSS and writing your HTML code to match standards like 'XHTML Transitional' or 'XHTML Strict' you can decrease the 'render time' of your pages. This is the time it takes between downloading the page and actually showing it on screen to your Web site visitor.

When using tables for layout - the traditional alternative to using CSS - and 'font' tags to control how the text on the page looks, the browsers have a lot more work to do before they show the page. Using CSS and the proper DocType for the pages means the browser knows what to expect from the code and can display it much more quickly.

In practice, converting to a standards based CSS layout on one client's Web site reduced the time it took the page to display by almost a quarter of a second. Although this is a very small amount of time, it is more than enough to make a Web site feel much more snappy and responsive, helping it give a good impression to your potential customers.

red nose dayRed Nose DayMakes your Web site quicker to update

As well as making your pages display quicker, CSS makes it easier to make global updates to your Web site. Say you're having a minor change in corporate image and want all your page headings changed from blue to green. With CSS controlling how your headings look, that means changing the colour in one file and the whole site shows the change - a two minute job rather than having to edit every page on the site.

This flexibility gives you the opportunity to do more with your Web site. Want to show your support for Red Nose Day? Again, one file change can put a little red nose next to all of your headers, turn the text red and even make them display in a silly typeface. Turning them back to normal for the next day is, once again, a single file change.

Good for Search Engine Optimisation

Because using CSS removes lots of HTML from your pages as layout and the look of text is controlled through the CSS file, it makes your textual content much more prominent within your HTML. This means the search engine spiders can easily find your textual content, and that your content is generally displayed in one block, rather than being split up into less readable chunks by HTML just to fit it in to your design.

Using 'semantically correct XHTML' - ie heading tags around the headings and sub-headings in your copy, and bold or strong tags around content you wish to highlight - tells the search engines those words are the most important on the page. This helps give the page a boost for searches which match the words which are marked as more important in this way.

disability awarenessDisability AwarenessHelps in passing the Disability Discrimination Act

Using good CSS and XHTML makes it easy for people with disabilities to change your pages the way they may need to for easy reading. This may be through increasing or decreasing the font size, or having it read to them through a screen reader. The clean page coding that goes along with using CSS means screen readers can easily navigate through your page and find the content, giving a good experience to visually impaired users.

Using CSS and XHTML also helps you comply with the UK Disability Discrimination Act rules for accessible Web sites. This is a valuable side-effect of using this kind of coding and takes no extra development time to be compliant.

Helps browsing from different devices

As well as helping screen readers, using CSS means alternative devices like mobile phones and PDAs can show your content effectively and easily. Although the current market in the West for browsing the Web through mobiles is small, it is growing and by using CSS you can create a Web site which is easily viewable on these devices with little extra effort,. So as more people use them it will be simple to convert your site to work with current or future devices..

cross browser testingCross Browser TestingDownsides

Currently, Web browsers treat CSS slightly differently, so when your Web site is created you may need slightly more cross-browser testing, and you will need to find a Web designer who understands how to build a site in CSS correctly. Most professional designers and developers are now seeing the benefits of creating standards based CSS sites, but it is worth ensuring that anyone you hire to make your Web site does know CSS before starting a project.

But the downsides are small when compared to the immediate and ongoing benefits of a CSS-based Web site

Please contact us today to request a free quotation

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Why Your Organisation Needs A Website

customer buying onlineCustomer Buying OnlineIn this age of electronic communication, more and more consumers are turning to the internet to purchase products or services in the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Research suggests that there are well over 500 million people who access the internet world wide, and that 70% of consumers who browsed online in the UK alone, went on to make a purchase. As technology progresses, consumers feel more reassured that online shopping is safe.

Does your competitor have one?

As markets are constantly changing, keeping an eye on your competitors gives you an insight into industry specific market trends, and can show you any offers they may be promoting. If your competitor has a website, so should you. If you don’t, they could be taking potential business away from you.

24/7 Shopping

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your shop open all the time, without having to pay extra staff wages. Not all businesses can stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An online presence means you can take orders and enquiries, even when you sleep. Online credit card transactions mean you can get paid too.

International Markets

global internet usersGlobal Internet UsersWith your website up and running,your products or services can be accessed by anyone using an internet ready computer, from all over the globe, any time day or night. It’s like having a shop or office in every town, in every country, all over the world.

Email – Fast and Efficient

There is no need to wait for the postman for that important document you have been waiting for, and no more lost mail. Email can often be delivered in less than 15 seconds, anywhere in the world.

Feedback

Knowing what your customers really want, or what they are thinking about your company, is very important information. By including feedback forms and surveys on your website, you can gather valuable information, which in turn could improve your organisation.

Interaction with your customers

Keeping your customers up to date with company news, special offers, polls and forums, can keep existing customers returning to your website and using your products.

people want online shoppingPeople Want Online ShoppingCompany information online

There is no need to be constantly repeating all the products or services that your company offers, and giving directions to your shop or office to people who call. Your website can hold all this information, including mission statements, terms and conditions, office locations and phone numbers, maps, product prices and more, freeing up time to focus on your business affairs.

websiteWebsiteCustomers Expect Websites

The internet is the fastest growing source of information, growing bigger and stronger every day. Without a website your business runs the risk of never being found by potential customers. Also, a business without a website can seem to be less successful than a business that has an online presence.

The internet is a form of media that attracts more and more people everyday. As competition between website designers and web hosting company’s increases, and prices become more competitive, it makes sense to market your organization online. Don’t lose out on all that potential business.

For more information, or a free quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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Search Engine Optimization - A MUST

Web Site TrafficWeb Site TrafficAs you surf the web take a look around at many of the sites you see. Do you notice anything that seems strange? Well, let me point it out to you. There are hundreds of thousands of web sites that just don’t get much traffic. Some of these sites house hundreds of articles, reviews, tutorials, tools, products, forums to mention a few things, yet still they do not receive large amounts of traffic. What is their problem? They have the content. What is left?

The problem is these sites aren't optimized for the search engines. SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SE Friendliness, however you refer to it doesn't matter, the fact is it works and I'm going to tell you what's involved.

Before we continue let me familiarize you with some relevant terminology in my own words.

**Search Engine Optimization**

Search engine optimization can be referred to as the addition and modification of all variables and extended variables of a web site in hopes of achieving a better position in the search engines. By variables I mean components of a website such as META tags and content. By extended variable I mean things such as links from other sites.

Different SEOs, search engine optimizers, may have different opinions on this but alas this is only my own.

**What is a Search Engine Optimization Company? **

A search engine optimization company is a company that offers the service of creating and adjusting all the variables involved in search engine optimization in order to get your web site the best ranking they can achieve, during the designated project period, for all the major search engines.

hurdles seoSearch Engine Optimization Hurdles**Search Engine Optimization Hurdles**

Back to the question of why these sites rich with content aren't bringing in the numbers. There are several reasons why sites small and large aren't optimized for the search engines, fortunately these can be remedied.

1. Many webmasters/site owners believe in "If You Build It They Will Come". This attitude will get your web site no where fast. Sure if you build it you will get users maybe even a decent amount of users but you will not be unleashing the real potential of your web site.

2. Not feeling that your site can do better than it is. Websites can always be further optimized. Search engines change their algorithms all the time so what worked 2 months ago may not work as well or at all in present times. For any of you that fee you can get your site optimized better, think of the story of the Little Engine and don’t think you can, KNOW YOU CAN.

3. Laziness is also a major contributing factor. Many webmasters feel it is just too hard or too time consuming to do search engine optimization.

This is partially true. Search engine optimization is not easy but then again, anyone can do it. It does take time though and time is a precious commodity. In situations where you just can't devote the time to search engine optimize your site I would recommend seeking the services of a professional search engine optimization company. Storm Biz Offers this Service, Check out our Marketing Section For details

4. Time + cost = a deterrent. For a situation like this I would recommend optimizing little by little on your own. Eventually you will become better and better at it and be able to accomplish more in less time.

5. Another problem is many people think "Well my site is only a small site, there is no way I will be able to compete with the larger sites that have top spots in the search engines". If you think like this I’d like to say this to you. It is possible that that if you optimize your web site you may not be able to compete with the larger sites and may not be able to get a page 1 or 2 ranking in any of the search engines, BUT, what if you did. Always shoot for the stars so if you fall short you will at least hit the sky.

Now for those of you who plan to better your websites via Search Engine Optimization here are the stages you need to follow in order to have an efficient and effective SEO campaign.

SEO CampaignsPlanning Your SEO Campaigns**Planning Your Search Engine Optimization Campaign**

Planning is an essential factor in your SEO campaign. Knowing exactly what steps you are going to make and in what order and how you are going to go about achieving each of those steps will save you not only time but it will save you frustration as well. Planning is essential.

**Researching the Most Effective SEO Strategies**

What works and what does not. You will need to learn as many optimization strategies as you can that are currently effective with the search engines. This will be one of the most time consuming steps in your SEO campaign as you will have to sift through information as well as participate in SEO related forums to get additional information from professional. You can take this process in stages and apply your newly gained knowledge as you get it. There is also some useful software available both free and paid that will greatly help with this effort. WebPosition Gold is one of the more popular ones.

**Search Engine Optimize Your Site**

SEO Optimization ProcessSEO Optimization ProcessThis should be done in stages so you can see the effectiveness of the applied strategies you are using. Don’t change your entire site all at once, instead, change a few areas at a time and see what results they produce. If you are satisfied with this then move on and optimize another section.

Search engine optimization does not only deal with your site it also deals with the relationship other sites have with yours and yours with theirs. Keep this in mind when utilizing your link building strategies.

**Monitor Your SEO Progress**

There are many ways to do this you will have to find the best method for you. You will need to monitor your search engine ranking for the keywords you are targeting after each update. Changes should be recorded and used as references to monitor progress and for strategy adjustments. There are many tools for this process as well. I recommend SEOCount.com for monitoring your progress on the Google search engine as it is very easy to use and you can monitor several domains and keywords all from within the same account. It also gives you the option of viewing the number of backlinks.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information, or a free quotation
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Search Engine Optimization: What Is It?

search engine optimizationSearch-Engine OptimizationSearch Engine Optimization is the creation of a web page, purposely designed to rank well with the Search Engines.

If you want traffic to your website then you must Optimize your website for the Search Engines.

Search Engine Optimization is a necessity if you want a huge amount of traffic flowing to your website.

Traffic from the Search Engines is one of the best (And most abundant) forms of traffic. Most people use Search Engines to find what they are looking for. I do and I bet you do too.

You simply cannot afford to pass this up. If you do, then your competitors will be way ahead of you, taking customers which you could have had.

However, if you are going to undertake Search Engine Optimization I STRONGLY recommend that you do some extensive research before you start trying to create the "perfect" page for the Search Engines.

If you don't do enough research then you will find bits of Optimization information, but will it be correct or will it heavily penalize your website, or even completely ban it? If you end up doing the wrong thing, this is what can happen.

cloakingCloakingExamples of bad Optimization techniques:

Previously many of these probably worked. However the Search Engines are now actively looking for websites who may be implementing some of these techniques and penalizing them accordingly.

Cloaking:

What I mean is creating a page for a visitor but when a search engine spider goes to the page, they see something completely different. One way to detect if a website is doing this, is if they appear at the top of search results for a keyword that doesn't even appear on that page. This is a major no no. Sure it probably works incredibly well for a time. But when the Search Engines figure out what your up to, you can bet they will ban you permanently.

Keyword StuffingKeyword StuffingKeyword Stuffing:

This is the process of having as many keywords placed into the meta tags or content of the page whether they are relevant or not to the "content" of the page. Not only does this not work, it will work against you. Google for example will penalize you if you have a keyword more than once in a row. This is logical, as having 2 keywords in a row probably would not make sense. For example, for the keyword Golf, Google would penalize you if you wrote Golf Golf.

However, if the title of your page was "Golf", and the sentence beneath it was "golf is great because..." you would probably still be penalized.

Colouring keywords the same colour as their background:

This is quite self explanatory. It's bad because you're purposely hiding things from your website visitors, but still want the Search Engines to see it.
 
For more information or a free quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us
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Are You Pulling Your Hair Out?

social media advertising services graphic

This is a very troubling time in South Africa.   Businesses are closing and people are losing revenue. 

Don’t be caught unprepared.

Is your website doing what it is meant to during the lockdown?

Let us give you a free website optimization report…do not wait until it is too late!!!

The one thing that can keep you going is your website.   Your website is your number 1 salesperson, especially in these devastating times when we are all confined to our homes… You need a website, proper Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O.) and marketing.

Do not allow your business to disappear.   Today, people have time to think and plan for their future and the future of their business.

If you have a business, you should have a website to advertise and draw clients.  If you have a website, then now is the time to make sure that it is doing what it is supposed to do. Let us give you a free website optimization report.

You need to have the best S.E.O. possible to increase search engine advertisingrankings and draw customers to your site to convert to sales.

Online marketing is the second most important item on your to do list.  Although business has dropped, people are spending a lot more time on the internet, and that is perfect if your website is well marketed, and available for people to see.

Now is the time to build your business, while you have ample time at your disposal to make the best decisions.

StormBiz are Professionals and can take care of all your business needs. Do not allow your business to become history.

First and foremost!  You need a really good website. Marketing and good S.E.O. can keep you in the public eye and strengthen your presence online.

If you are not sure of what is best for you, please do not hesitate to contact us, either via email, or give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements and receive a free quotation.

It will be the best decision you can make in these trying times

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