The first thing that attracts any visitor to your blog and keeps him engaged in your website is its design. There is no doubt to the fact that “Content is the King”. But at the same time, in order for your readers to stay at your blog, your blog’s design has to be reader friendly.
What is the definition of “reader friendly”? How can you make it reader friendly? I am sure these are normal questions, if you are new to blogging. Read on as I talk about essential elements in any design. At the same time, I would also recommend that you keep noting down things that you found attractive and user-friendly while you were browsing other websites.
Essentials of a website design
Almost all successful websites have these elements in them. This is one of the main reasons why these websites have so many readers. They are successful in keeping their visitors glued to their sites, thus pushing them to become permanent readers to their blogs.
- Appropriate Navigation – The biggest flaw that I find in quite a lot of website is inappropriate navigation options. Website do not have a “Home” navigation button and if you want to return to the homepage, you will have to keep clicking on the back button or, if the option exists, click on the LOGO to go back to the home page. The lack of appropriate navigation buttons on a website breaks the flow of a visitor, normally called as visitor journey. So one of the most essential aspects of any website design is to have a proper page navigation in the form of buttons.
- Faster Page Loading – This needs no explanation. I have browsed through to numerous websites which has a loading problem. These sites have almost everything in place yet the reader experience is destroyed because the pages take too much of time to load. I do not have the patience to wait until the page loads and would normally choose browse away. There are numerous ways to resolve slow page load problems especially if you are on WordPress. One such way is to cache old pages by using a plugin like hypercache.
- Search Option – Your site should have a search option which is an integral part of any website design. I might not want to browse through the hundreds of pages on your website to find that one thing that I am looking for. I would instead prefer to search for it and move away in case I do not find it. If the search option is unavailable, I might just choose to browse away. It is here that a search option comes in handy. Place it somewhere it is clearly visible.
- A Contact Form – Your visitors might need to contact you. There could be numerous reasons for it. Feedback, suggestions, ad requests etc. are just a few such reasons. You would not want your visitors to be searching all over your website to find an email address to contact you. The easiest way to facilitate this is by using a contact form on you blog. There are a lot of plugins that can do the job for you in WordPress. Since there are loads of customization features available, you can create any kind of form. What ever you create, just ensure that you have a “contact” tab in your navigation menu which could lead your visitors to the contact form.
- Bookmarking buttons – Social media is the order of the day. There are thousands of social media and bookmarking websites which help you get more exposure to your blog or, website. When networking is what is in vogue, why shouldn’t your website have bookmarking buttons. Every visitor coming to your blog will be associated with some or, the other social media service and would want to share what he saw and read on you blog, with his friends. Bookmarking buttons help them do this. Hence it is essential that you have bookmarking buttons prominently showing up in each and every posts in your blog.
- Link Management – There are a lot of websites out there where you find a link on some useful aspect and when you click on it, you find that it is either broken or, leads to some irrelevant site. It is important to manage your links properly. I recommend installing something like a “Broken Link Checker” which can find broken links and help you fix it. It is also important that you link to correct webpages. While linking is extremely important, ensuring that these are relevant links are also essential.
In addition to the above, there are quite a few other aspects, like categorization of pages, ensuring that there are no obstructing ads, proper color combination for your website etc. that are to be kept in mind while designing your website.
What are your views? Do you think there is anything else that you might have noticed on some website or, blogs that leads to a poor visitor experience? Then, let us know of these by adding your comments below.
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If you’re thinking of ways to take your web site to the next level and attract more business, adding lots of Flash may seem like a no-brainer. But incorporating large doses of this technology into your site could get in the way of reaching mobile device users – especially those who have touch screen products like the iPad.
The Flash Dilemma
In case you haven’t heard already, there is a so-called “Flash war” going on between two technology giants: Apple Inc., maker of the popular iPad, iPhone and iPod, and Adobe Systems Inc., which owns Flash, a technology used to add video, animation and other fancy elements to web pages. The disagreement revolves around whether Flash is a suitable technology for mobile devices like the ones Apple sells.
Flash is well known for making your site look really pretty, and there are many companies out there that have invested a huge chunk of money in some very slick web sites replete with movie-like animations, in a bid to impress and influence current and potential clients while showcasing their products or brands. Many web site owners see these sites and immediately start thinking about how a Flash-based redesign could make their own sites look more dynamic and cutting-edge, and how products advertised in a “flashy” way could help drum up more business.
But as it stands, Apple – which, by the way, is notorious for its very cool-looking and functioning products – doesn’t allow Flash on its iPads, iPhones or iPod touches. In fact, in an open letter, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has listed a number of reasons the company considers Flash irrelevant for its devices. One of them is that Flash is “designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers.”
Flash and Touch Screens
Unfortunately, this is true. Flash, by its very nature, is meant for a computer that has a mouse attached to it, which enables you to hover over something and then click when you find what you’re looking for. Touch screens, such as the one found on the iPad, don’t work that way. There is no “hover” function on a touch screen; it only recognizes touch.
Therefore, some fundamental Flash-based functions that require hovering just cannot work on a touch screen. For example, a drop-down menu that requires you to hover over one item on the menu so you can reveal another sub-menu item won’t function properly. Neither will a video player that requires you to hover over the video in order to see and use the controls (Play/Pause/Stop).
Business Case for Moving Away from Flash
Various recent media reports have suggested that since some Flash-driven web sites do not work well on Apple’s mobile devices, some companies may have to construct new – or alternate – sites that run on other iPad-friendly multimedia technology.
That can get really expensive. But those companies may not have any other choice, considering how Apple’s iPad and other products have been performing in the market lately.
For its fiscal fourth quarter 2010, Apple reported the highest quarterly earnings and revenue in the company’s history – and according to the company’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer, that growth was fueled in good part by “record iPhone sales (and) the tremendous popularity of iPad.” Research firm Gartner Inc. also recently predicted that the iPad would be the primary driver behind the growth of worldwide media tablet sales to end users from 2010 through 2014, and that as prices drop, tablet devices would increasingly be pushed into the mainstream and would eventually become a popular item in the home.
Other Multimedia Options
So, as an Internet business owner, if you don’t want to alienate this important and growing base of mobile touch-screen device users, resist the temptation to demand that your web site company create a purely Flash-driven site for you.
That’s not to say you can’t incorporate bits and pieces of Flash into your site. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little Flash here and there to spice things up. It’s just not recommended that you base your whole web site, or any crucial functions (like your menu) on the technology. If you do, your site may look absolutely beautiful, but you’ll frustrate a whole lot of people who can’t see what you’re trying to show them – which could cost you business in the long run.
If you really want a web site that is rich in animation, there are other, more iPad-friendly technologies like HTML5, CSS and jQuery that can do the trick. Just ask your web site company; the experts there will be able to give you the scoop on what will work best for your site.
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One of the most common questions that I hear from people, is – How to make money online without investment?
We all want to start an online business but do not have the investment required to start one. Though most of the GURUS profess that you can start an online business without any investment, this often does not prove to be true. Any and all of the courses that promise you to teach how to make money online without investment asks you to pay for it. Isn’t that called as investment?
It is true that starting any business requires some investment. An online business requires investment in the form of time and some money. This monetary investment is to get your own domain name, hosting plan and some other basic logistics.
But the big question is, how will a newbie fund his new ventures even if this investment is this small. My personal recommendation to anyone starting an alternative source of income is to fund his newly started ventures from “Business Financiers“. You should never divert cash from your existing source of income to your online business.
What are Business Financiers?
There are numerous opportunities out there on the internet which can help you create small sources of income, which can in turn fund your business. The internet is full of such opportunities. Pay-per-post is one such business financier. The income I would generate from paid posts is not too huge. It cannot help me quit my day job. It cannot be called as a full time income source. But the income generated from paid posting can help fund your affiliate marketing business.
Income opportunities like paid posting do not require you to have an established blog. If you blog is relevant and you are ready to write posts for small payments, you can get a lot of paid posting orders.
One other such business financier is Fiverr.
What is Fiverr?
You can visit Fiverr at http://www.fiverr.com. Fiverr is a place where people volunteer to do a variety of activities only for $5.00. You will be surprised at the different things that people are willing to do for $5.00. Some are extremely funny whereas some are very interesting. Some can get you traffic whereas some can get you exposure.
Each such activity that people are willing to do is called a “Gig” in Fiverr’s terminology. When you browse Fiverr you will find a variety of such gigs which could also give you some idea as to what is it that you can do for $5.00.
How can Fiverr help you fund your business? I am sure this is what you are thinking.
All that you need to do is think on what all can you do for $5.00. You would want to write and article or, a pack of articles, or you might want to help design something or, anything on these lines. There are thousands of people out there looking to get things done for as little as possible. People are looking to outsource complicated tasks for the least possible payments. What can be lower than $5.00?
If you volunteer to do something that people are looking out for, you might end up getting quite a few orders. It’s been about 4 months that I joined Fiverr and I have about 10 different gigs that generate about $2500 per month. If you wondering, how is it that I get time to do all this, then that can be the topic of a later post. But the fact of the matter is that Fiverr can help you generate quite a good amount of money. This income can be used to fund you online business.
But even while you do this, I have an advice. Ensure you have a concrete business plan in place before you jump into any business venture.
I have recorded a short video to show you how to join Fiverr and earn money from your Gigs.
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What is Kajabi? Kajabi has been one of the most hyped about launches in the recent days. But there are quite a few people who are still wondering, what is Kajabi?
What is Kajabi?
Kajabi is a push-button marketing software that can make creating launch pages, membership sites, squeeze pages etc. a matter of a few button clicks. Almost all of the latest launches by the Internet marketing GURUS were done on Kajabi.
The launch of Kajabi was much hyped and it was supposed to be the next best thing in Internet marketing after affiliate Marketing. How justified was this hype?
A smart and quick review of the software showed that it was not something that any internet marketer could afford. You can see that in the video below.
Then what is the solution and why should one be so desperate to buy something like Kajabi? Is it the “Powered by Kajabi” factor?
What is Kajabi alternative?
I wanted something like Kajabi to smoothen the process of creating squeeze pages and launch pages and also to run my membership sites. What is Kajabi alternative? As I searched the internet for an alternative I stumbled upon what is called the “Optimizepress” wordpress theme.
Optimizepress is the alternative to Kajabi. Optimizepress can do everything that Kajabi does and has an added advantage to Kajabi.
- While Kajabi requires a monthly subscription, Optimizepress is a one-time payment.
- Kajabi hosts everything on their servers and has a bandwidth limitation whereas Optimizepress is a wordpress theme and is hosted on your own servers. Your server bandwidth is all available for you.
- You get limited accounts with Kajabi whereas you can use Optimizepress on unlimited accounts.
- Kajabi is not affordable whereas Optimizepress is affordable.
You can know more about this in the below video where I review both of these.
So, now that you are aware of the comparison, don’t wonder what is kajabi?