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Why a CSS Website Layout Will Make You Money

web devlopmentWeb DevelopmentAlthough CSS layouts have been around for years, they haven't become so commonplace until recently. This was basically due to limited browser support (especially from Netscape 4) - nowadays though, CSS 2.0 (which introduced positioning) is compatible with over 99% of browsers out there (check out the browser stats over at http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2004/August/browser.php).

So, why should you convert your website from its current table-based layout to a CSS layout? It'll make you money. Simple really. And here's four reasons to explain why:

Reduced bandwidth costs

Web pages using CSS for layout tend to have much smaller file sizes than those using tabular layouts. It's not unusual to see reductions of 50% or more in file size when switching from tables to CSS. Smaller file sizes obviously mean reduced bandwidth costs, which for high traffic sites can mean enormous savings.

The main reason for this dramatic decrease in file size is that presentation information is placed in the external CSS document, called up once when the homepage loads up and then cached (stored) on to the user's computer. Table layouts on the other hand, place all presentation information inside each HTML, which is then called up and downloaded for every page on the site.

Additionally, CSS can be used to replace JavaScript image rollovers, again allowing a large reduction in overall page size. See the article, CSS navigation menu for more on this (http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/css/css-navigation-menu.shtml).

search engine optimization rankingSearch Engine OptimizationA higher search engine ranking

A CSS-based website will appear higher in the search engine rankings for three reasons:

  • The code is cleaner and therefore more accessible to search engines
  • Important content can be placed at the top of the HTML document
  • There is a greater density of content compared to coding

A higher search engine ranking means more site visitors, which, provided your website is usable, should lead to an increase in enquiries or sales.

Faster download speed

A faster download speed will make you money? Well, yes. Slow download speed is often cited as one of the biggest usability complaints for websites. A faster download speed therefore leads to increased usability, and a web usability redesign can increase the sales/conversion rate by 100% (source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030107.html).

CSS and HTML codeCSS and HTML CodeCSS downloads faster than tables because:

  • Browsers read through tables twice before displaying their contents, once to work out their structure and once to determine their content
  • Tables appear on the screen all in one go - no part of the table will appear until the entire table is downloaded and rendered
  • Tables encourage the use of spacer images to aid with positioning
  • CSS generally requires less code than cumbersome tables
  • All code to do with the layout can be placed in an external CSS document, which will be called up just once and then cached (stored) on the user's computer; table layout, stored in each HTML document, must be loaded up each time a new page downloads
  • With CSS you can control the order items download on to the screen - make the content appear before slow-loading images and your site users will definitely appreciate it

Increase in reach

lead generationLead Generation The more people you can reach, the more visitors you'll get to your site and the more enquiries or sales you should get. A CSS-based website is compatible with PDAs, mobile phones, in-car browsers and WebTV. Don't underestimate the importance of this: In 2008 alone an estimated 58 million PDAs will be sold (source: http://www.etforecasts.com/pr/pr0603.htm) and one third of the world's population will own a wireless device (source: http://www.clickz.com/stats/markets/wireless/article.php/10094_950001).

You can make an additional CSS document specifically for handheld devices, which will be called up in place of the regular CSS document, thereby ensuring your website is accessible to this lucrative market. This isn't possible with a tabular layout.

Conclusion: Switch to CSS!

Switching your website from a table layout to a CSS layout can be a long, arduous process, especially for large websites. Given the money making possibilities though, it could very well prove to be well worth it.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ' to request a free quotation.

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How Do You Get Folks to Look At Your New Website

website reviewWebsite ReviewI took a look at a new Website recently, in response to a request for a site review on one of my favourite forums. And, while the appearance was pleasing, there wasn't really much there. Too often, new folks to the Internet marketing world make this crucial mistake. They think that if they build a stay at home job website, customers will automatically show up and start buying stuff. When those customers don't materialize, the site owner often gives up and quits.

In order for any stay at home job site to attract quality visitors, there are some things that need to be done. In this article, I will give you a small list of objectives, along with brief hints on how to go about meeting them. If you follow through, your site will advance in the search engine rankings, and before you know it, the visitors will be showing up faster than you can count them.

Search Engines Love Content

Involve yourself in an ongoing process of collecting, and/or producing articles for inclusion on your site. There are many sources of articles on the Internet. Some of them charge a small fee, while others are free. Look for articles that are relevant to the subject of your site, and add them. If these articles are rich with the keywords that you wish to target, so much the better.

You can also write your own articles. This allows you to concentrate on the keywords that you wish to target, and establishes you as an expert in your field.

By adding your resource box, with your URL, to the end of your articles and then submitting them to other sites and Ezines, you can generate additional traffic to your site. More about this later.

Invite your visitors to submit articles to your site for publication. This helps to build visitor loyalty, because everybody likes to see their name in print;)

seo links and optimizationS.E.O Links and OptimizationSearch Engines Love Links.

The second thing that you need to do is exchange links with other websites. Search Engines look to see how many links point to your site, and use this information to gauge the importance of your site. The more links you have, the better, but look for links that add value for your visitors. Make sure that you link to quality sites that are somehow related to what your visitors are looking for. In this way, you will get traffic that is targeted to what you are trying to sell. This will increase your chances of making sales, or signing up affiliates, who have a good chance of being successful in your business.

There are two basic types of links; reciprocal links and one way links. Reciprocal links occur when you trade links with another website. These are important because not only do they help in your rankings, they also generate traffic from the sites that you link to. One way links are a bit different. These are links that point people to your site, but do not point your visitors away from your site. As a result, they are more valuable. Not too many webmasters are willing to give away one way links, but there are a couple of good techniques that you can use to get them.< />

1. Write articles and offer them for publication. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of sites and Ezines that are looking for quality articles to use for content. By placing your resource box at the end of the article, and including a link to your site, you can generate dozens, if not hundreds of one way links to your site. To find sites that accept articles, simply do a search for 'Free Website Content.' You will find several good sites. Also think about joining the Directory of Ezines. Many of the publications listed there accept articles, and some of them will even invite you to write for them on a regular basis.

online forum platformsOnline Forum Platform2. Visit several forums and bulletin boards that deal with stay at home jobs. Especially, those that are directly related to your field of expertise. Many of these allow you to include your URL in your signature block. By participating in these forums, you will be able to create many more one way links to your site. Just make sure that you offer sound advice, and make relevant posts. If you don't, you could be considered a nuisance or worse, a spammer.

The addition of content in the form of articles, and links to your site should be an ongoing process. If you concentrate on these two things, and continually add to your site, you will not only move up in the search engine rankings, but you will end up with a site that has great value to your visitors. Add to your site every day. Remember, you are in competition with a lot of other related websites, and chances are, they are already doing this.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ' to request a free quotation.

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You Too Can Have an Amazing Website

how to build a websiteHow to Build a WebsiteIt is a well-known fact that a successful business depends greatly on how it is marketed. With an ever increasing dependence on the web, the use of a professional website is not only a necessity, but a priority. Although it is a common thought that only large businesses can have top-notch websites, with the tools available today, what seemed impractical, can now be a reality. Best of all, designing an extraordinary website can be done, without hiring expensive web developers to create your site from scratch. Usually the first comment I get from my customers is, “I have the idea, but not the tools.” In this article, I will recommend which tools are the most helpful, and where to find these tools, so that you too can have an amazing website.

So you say, “I have the idea, but not the tools. What are these tools, and where do I get them?” Let me answer that question with a question. Have you ever heard of web site templates? If not, they’re your answer to a professional website, at a very reasonable price, usually around R420.00 to R600.00. A website template is a ready-made website design, created for you to use as the foundation for quick and high-quality web development. There are thousands of templates available online, so you are virtually guaranteed to find something that suits your design, and format needs. It can be as easy as simply adding your text to the template, or rearranging photos along with your text, to produce the outcome you have been searching for.

Finding web site templates is easy, but be aware of the differences in template providers you will come across. Performing a Google or Yahoo search with the phrase “web site templates” will yield several vendor choices and not all of them offer the quality you demand. They all promise the best templates around, but that is obviously not the case. So, how do you find the right template vendor? First, visit some of the sites you come across and examine their templates. You will know you are on the right track if you answer “Yes” to the question, “Am I impressed with these templates?” Always trust your taste.

website templateswebsite templatesNext, explore how many templates the vendor offers and how often their database is updated. As a rule of thumb, the more they have the better they are. This helps assure you that your choice will be more unique than otherwise. If you choose a template from a vendor who only offers a few select quality templates then the chances are that a great deal of other customers have chosen that same template. You certainly don’t want a website that is practically identical to dozens of others online. You will also want a vendor who updates their site on a regular basis. Weekly updates are good, but daily updates are even better. This guarantees that they will have fresh templates on a regular basis for you to choose from.

Finally, you want to make sure that your template is editable. This means that your template will come with the appropriate files (PSD, HTML, SWF, and FLA) that will allow you to make the necessary changes to your template. Ask you vendor before making your selection. Most templates come with these files, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You should be able to download your selection immediately or your vendor will provide a link to do so.

web development technologyWeb Development TechnologyGreat! Now you have a really impressive template and can’t wait to make the changes that will get you a completed website that blows away your competition. Well, you’re halfway there. You have one more important choice to make. Who will do the editing? You will either have someone internally run with the project or you can hire someone and outsource the job. If you decide to handle things internally make sure you have the necessary software to edit your files and someone who is somewhat familiar with how to do the editing. This is what your template vendor probably didn’t tell you. Certainly it isn’t as easy as purchasing a template and plugging in text. If it were then there wouldn’t be a market for web design and development companies. If you’re confident about handling it yourself then great, but be careful. You might find yourself investing a lot of time and money trying to get your desired results.

Your alternate choice, hiring a development firm, will almost certainly get your site looking and functioning the way you want it, but for a fee, of course. It is easy to find a development firm to handle your needs and you can find several online. Simply search with the key phrase “web site design”. Call, or email a few of them, explaining your situation and needs, and ask for a quote to perform the editing for you. Depending on the amount of editing you will require, you should receive price quotes in the R4000.00 - R15 000.00 range. This is a very reasonable price to pay for a professional website design. Most likely, you will be glad you did.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ' to request a free quotation..

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Why You Need A Web Site

Small Business1Small Business"I have a small business with just a couple of employees and I don’t think my product can really be sold online. Do I need a web site?"

In this day and time, there is very little that can’t be sold over the Internet. There are over 20 million people shopping online, buying everything from movies to cars to real estate property. Research predicts that revenues will be over $200 billion in 2004 and will grow at a rate of 30 to 50 percent over the next few years. These numbers alone should be enough to persuade you that you and your business should be online.  This is especially true due to this lockdown.    You NEED to be online to be seen.

Regardless of whether you sell your product online, you should at the very least have an online presence so that customers, potential employees, partners and even potential investors, can easily and quickly find more information about your company, the products and services you have to offer, as well as how to contact you.

website requirementsWebsite RequirementsBut Can I Afford a Web Site?

Given the competition and current market trends, you can’t afford NOT to. Think of your web site as your new marketing tool, which, when applied correctly, will generate a return on investment. Your competition is probably already online, and you need to use every possible avenue just to keep up. You should look at having a web site as an investment, in you and your company’s future.So whatever time or money you currently spend on marketing, supplementing it with a web site is probably a good idea. Your site will help you expand geographically, and compete on a much larger scale.

Leveling the Playing Field

One of the most wonderful things about the Internet is that it has helped to level the playing field when it comes to competition with the bigger companies. With a professional looking web site, your small business can project the image, and professionalism of a much larger company. It’s also a good signal to potential customers that you take things seriously.

breaking iceBreaking the Ice into e-CommerceBreaking the Ice into e-Commerce

Taking credit card orders over the Internet is quite an investment, especially if you don’t already have a merchant account. There are several e-Commerce solutions that can be custom-built for you that use payment gateways such as PayPal, which only requires a bank account, and an email address. Customers can pay you through their credit card, or even their checking account, and it’s a great solution if you’re looking to test the waters.

your business needs a websiteYour Business Needs a WebsiteThe Bottom Line

To be taken seriously, it’s not enough that you simply have a web site, but you must have a professional looking web site. Many customers now search for information online before making a purchase; your web site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by Uncle Bob, your chance of making that good first impression will be lost.

No matter what size your business is, and even if you're not planning on selling online, a well designed web site is essential for any business. If you don’t have a web site, you’re already losing business to companies that do.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ' to request a free quotation..

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Guide to choosing the right web design company

judge the book by its coverThis Time DO Judge The Book By It's CoverChoosing a web design company can be a little tricky, and many times it's a gamble, but if you know what to look for, you can save yourself a lot of stress and frustration. If you don't, however, you could be stuck with poor service and empty promises, as well as being faced with ridiculous bills. Take time to empower yourself with the following knowledge, and learn to spot a bad choice in web design companies from a mile...

LOOKS

This is one of those times, that judging a book by it's cover is in your best interests. A web design company's website is it's book cover, so naturally, if their website is not stimulating...chances are that they will create an unstimulating design for your website...which in turn, is YOUR book cover. If your book cover is amateurish, your potential client may very well pass you by, imagining that your service, or product, would be as exciting as the site they've just seen...

LOOKS vs PRICE

If the client liaison of the web design company drives a Ferrari, there's a very good chance that they are overcharging their customers. Web design prices vary greatly. There are no set guidelines for quality ,nor are there any recommended pricing structures, so one must use one's own discretion here. I can't tell you that R 4000 is a good price for a small website, because it depends on the web design itself. If I may use a fine art analogy here. R 1 million is a ridiculous price to pay for a Trechikoff, but an incredible bargain for a Van Gogh.

EXAMPLES

If the web design company does not supply examples of their work or some form of portfolio, it can mean one of two things. Either the company is just starting out and has no work to showcase yet, or they are not confident enough to display their work because it is not very good. The other problem I've come across here is when a web design agency has a long list of clients that they have allegedly done work for, but no links to the work itself. In cases like these, you can rest assured that at least half of their clientele are made up and the other half of their clientele are upset by their shoddy workmanship. Bottom line is: If the company is any good, they will proudly display examples of their work. If the company just doesn't have any work to display, you're taking a gamble. It's your call.

lazy and unreliable manLazy and Unreliable ManSERVICE

There are three kinds of service you will come across in the web design industry. The first kind are lazy and unreliable, the second kind are very enthusiastic and will promise you the world, but won't deliver, and the last kind (which is the kind you are looking for) will get back to you promptly, and meet, or even exceed your expectations. The latter is very difficult to come by. Here's how you can spot the different kinds...Should you ask for a quote from a web design company or get in touch with them via email and they do not get back to you within twelve hours, then you can expect this kind of service for the entirety of the job. They are lazy and do not feel that you are important enough for them to reply promptly. The second kind is more difficult to spot. This kind are skilled in promotional talking but lack the technical skill/knowledge to deliver, so asking a few technical questions should do the trick. Instead of listening to the words they use to reply, watch their body language to see if they look uncomfortable with the question.

LOCATION

A good internet connection for both parties, in most cases, rules out the significance of where the designers offices are located. In fact, if you have a tight deadline, it is probably better to have an online relationship because when you send an email with instructions, the web designer is already at his/her computer to make the changes, as opposed to having to drive back to their premises and prepare themselves for work mode again. Even material for the job can be emailed because unlike their graphic designer counterparts, the files are low resolution, therefore small in size. One thing to keep in mind though, is that if their offices are in a very exclusive area/office park, you can probably expect to pay "exclusive" prices.

SEO

A good web design company will design your website with search engine optimization in mind. It is no good to have a beautiful website that no one is ever going to see because search engines can't read the format in which it was designed. Ask your designer about their website marketing options. A lot of companies say they offer this but really don't know much about it. If a designer can't tell you exactly how they have optimized your site for search engines, then they probably have not.

meeting a deadlineMeeting a DeadlineDEADLINES

The last factor to take into consideration is the web designers ability to work within given deadlines. In a deadline situation it is almost always better to deal directly with the person/s who are going to be doing the work. In many large corporations, they will send a client liaison to receive instruction from the client, but in many cases the client liaison is only trained to appease the client, by saying "yes we can do that", "sure, you will have it tomorrow", but does not have an inkling of what the work entails, and then will go back to the designer only to be told that there are problems with what was promised. This back-and-forth liaising lends itself to miscommunication and is ultimately a waste of valuable time. The best way to see if a web design company can meet your deadline is to give them a smaller job first, with its own deadline. The Bible says "Those who can be trusted with little, can also be trusted with much".

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' to request a free quotation

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