Archive for the ‘general’ Category
This email setup tutorial teaches small business owners how to easily create a positive first impression with GoDaddy email. Free GoDaddy email account options included with a www domain or hosting from GoDaddy include one direct email account (1Gb), plus 50-100 (100Mb) forwarding accounts.
Premium email accounts on GoDaddy for a monthly fee may be purchased by companies with larger staffs who want direct email for 10′s or 100′s of individual employees.
Solo entrepreneurs who manage email correspondence or delegate the task to 1 or 2 people do not need the premium email. The free account email options should be sufficient.
Some web design clients are more familiar with using other free email account services to send and receive messages with options like GMail, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail. Using those or similar free services as the email contact in your web design is a huge mistake. Here’s why.
First, this email setup tutorial references GoDaddy. Email with other domain, hosting, and paid email service providers should be just as fast and easy to set up.
To create a more positive first impression you need website email contact info that matches your www domain. Your web design is your 24/7 salesperson. The sales message (marketing) and call to action (sales) is more likely to succeed if you establish trust and credibility.
An email address to match your www domain as the contact email in your web design shows sophistication, and website visitors are more likely to buy or initiate contact if they feel comfortable trusting you.
Email Setup Tutorial Steps for GoDaddy Email
By default, using GoDaddy email from their server displays the sender as just your email address. That’s better than an address ending in Yahoo, GMail, etc. However, having your NAME as the sender plus the email address that matches your www domain is the ideal solution.
Here’s the email configuration setup tutorial in 10 easy steps that should take less than 5 minutes to complete.
- Login to your email account on the GoDaddy secureserver.net page.
- Select the menu tab Email, then Settings – Personal Settings – Identities.
- Note that the entry under the column entitled Name is blank.
- To the far right under Actions is an icon with a pencil to do edits.
- Click on that pencil icon and a popup screen appears for Modify Identity.
- Type your “from” Name in the first box with your actual name or company name.
- The second box should have your “from” email address already displayed.
- The next box may be left empty so replies return to the same email address.
- The next option is a “Default” checkbox to set this format for all email.
- Select the OK button and now emails will include your name and email address.
Look above the Name column for the button for Add Identity. You may want different names to appear depending on the type of reply being made to the inquiry. Perhaps you’re answering a sales related question and prefer to have the From address read “Sales Support”.
Select Add Identity and the same popup appears except all fields are blank. Enter the new name (ie Sales Support) in the first box, your email address in the second box, and click OK.
You now have two identities listed for sending messages or replying to incoming emails.
Compose an Email to Test Your New Email Setup
Next, compose a test email to confirm new emails will have a more professional look for a positive first impression with GoDaddy email.
While still logged in at your GoDaddy secureserver.net email, select the option for Compose under the top Email tab. The outgoing From: information will now read your name with the default email address in brackets.
However, the From: box will now have a down triangle to the right.
Select that triangle and a dropdown menu appears with a list displaying your default email address plus any additional identities you have created.
Click on the appropriate identity for your type of message being composed, and that custom From: will now appear as the sender.
Conclusion and Tutorial Download Link
This blog post has been published as a GoDaddy email setup tutorial in pdf format (74Kb, 4 Pages). Select that link to view online and then download to your computer for reference later.
As with other free downloads I offer, you do not need to register or reveal an email address to download the pdf. You’re welcome to email a copy to friends or business associates, as well.
That’s it for this tutorial for how to create a more professional and positive first impression with GoDaddy email.
The catchphrase is “Add original quality content often, and get social”. This new 2012 SEO strategy for attracting traffic from Google may seem simple, yet each word in the entire phrase is important. You cannot drop words like “original” or “quality” and achieve better results than your competition if they implement the search engine optimization strategy that I advise.
My specialty is custom cms web design that allows a site owner to take over their website to manage content and add, edit, or delete material without advanced technical skills. This gives them the ability to control the growth of their website to help meet the goal behind “Add original quality content often, and get social”. The cms, or content management system, is ideal for small business owners with limited time or resources to keep their website updated.
The strategy is based on more than 15 years of web design experience, and depends on natural methods of attracting search engines. Google publishes resources to describe the type of website that will succeed. Design for visitors not search engines.
Google further warns website owners against hiring SEO experts who make outrageous claims or any promise to get your website on Google page one. If you ignore the advice in this new 2012 SEO report and launch a small website that doesn’t grow, you may have problems with high ranking no matter how many experts you hire.
Unlike the natural methods I use and recommend, those self proclaimed SEO experts likely use deceptive methods that may work short term but could eventually get your website blacklisted. Google advises website owners to create content that provides a positive visitor experience. Original quality content will do that.
Read the 5 page illustrated 2012 SEO report (pdf, 226Kb) online or download a copy to read later or share with friends or business associates. View the graphics to see the big difference in traffic between that 10 year old aged website and that 7 month old new custom cms site.
The Catchphrase Secret for Online Success report ends with an invitation for readers to have me evaluate your website with a no cost or obligation review and summary report. Contact me today to request the free review.
Flamer is a sophisticated viral toolkit that remained undetected for nearly 2 years, and was recently exposed to become a high profile media topic.
Should the average web design client be concerned? Most likely not.
The primary targets being infected are not individuals or small business owners but sophisticated networks, and more specifically computers in the Palestinian West Bank, Hungary, Iran, and Lebanon. Some reports indicate smaller outbreaks elsewhere.
The apparent purpose of the virus is cyber warfare to disrupt Middle East threats to worldwide interests.
File types being infected include documents, graphics, and CAD or Computer Aided Design drawings. One component of the sophisticated Flamer Virus controls the spreading mechanism via USB sticks. Another will erase the digital trail needed to track down the source.
The best antivirus advice for web design clients to protect their computer systems is keep their programs, operating system, and antivirus software patched and updated real time. The Norton Security flamer graphic illustrating this post is similar to one received today via email from Norton to assure its users that their computers were secure against the Flamer threat.
Most advanced antivirus protection software costs less than $100 a year. If not already using a top brand, my advice to web design clients is investing in one today and keeping it up to date.
Your website or computer may not be the target of Flamer, yet 1000′s of other hackers are actively trying to get around security software for malicious reasons that do require prevention. Avoid identity theft. Protect your accounts and passwords. Use common sense before following links from unfamiliar sources.
Finally, besides protecting your web design content from hackers, avoid losing data from a hard drive crash and install some form of automatic file backup system. A redundant copy to store off-site in case of fire or natural disaster could be a lifesaver for your business, as well.
The wSecure plugin is a good choice for hardening WordPress admin security to prevent malicious visitors from your login page. The first defense to protect your admin login credentials is creating a unique user name instead of the default login name “admin”.
Using the term “admin” for a user name gives hackers half the info they need to access your WordPress site, so all they have to do is guess the password. Don’t be cute about your password either. Make it difficult to guess, and don’t have a universal password for every online account you own.
People crying in forums about their website being hacked are usually to blame because of poor security strategy. Check out the top 500 worst passwords of all time to see if yours is listed.
Hacking a site is not about a person going to your site and manually trying to gain access. They’re automated with scripts to input millions of user name and password combos without pressing a key. Pick unique names for your user and password to avoid getting hacked.
The culprits are happy to gain entry to a handful of websites and don’t mind if their robot has to try a million to get access to just a few.
Go beyond picking hard to guess user names and passwords. The wSecure plugin free download creates a secret pathway to the admin login page. It’s hard to disguise the fact you have a WordPress based site. Nearly all use the standard login page at [your domain]/wp-admin/, so getting to the login boxes is easy.
The wSecure plugin allows you to easily “disguise” the path with another level of security, so people going to [your domain]/wp-admin/ login page to attempt to gain access are automatically and instantly redirected to your home page. Follow the link in the previous paragraph to learn more about wSecure, and then consider adding the extra level of protection for hardening WordPress admin security.
Learn web design solutions for email in your web design to give a professional first impression, add credibility, and avoid spam. Nearly half the websites for custom web design clients I’ve helped over the last 15 years use a free email service like AOL, GMail, Hotmail, or Yahoo because it is familiar and easy to use.
This tutorial is intended for small business or sole proprietor owners where one person handles email.
My advice is having email links in your web design that send email to info@[your domain] as the primary. Having multiple email addresses on your website like sales@, service@, or even employee names is fine, too.
The key to giving that positive first impression that adds credibility is having an email address that matches your www domain name.
An email address to match your domain is more professional and shows sophistication.
Internet service providers who provide www domain name registration and monthly hosting include email packages. Choices are direct email where you select the prefix like info@ and a password to access email, or forwarding where your email is set up to be sent to another email account.
Whether direct or forwarding, you can have an email link in your web design that matches the domain.
With a direct email account that requires a password, the site owner can then use whatever email program they have on their computer to receive incoming email and reply directly without logging on to a website to view email or reply.
If you only use forwarding, your incoming email arrives automatically to the forwarding address, so if using one of those free email services, you would log on to their website with your existing password to view your inbox. Using Yahoo as an example, the downside is you can only reply with that Yahoo address.
Email replies with an address from a free service are more likely to be sent to your spam folder, or marked as spam by the customer because it is suspicious. Why risk losing a sale because your email reply address was unfamiliar?
Personally, I prefer using both direct and forwarding.
By using info@ as the primary direct email address you only have one email account to set up on your computer. Additional forwarded addresses used as email links in the web design for sales, service, or other departments are forwarded to the info@ automatically.
As a result, when I click the receive button on my computer, emails from any links on my website all arrive in one inbox. Regardless of the incoming prefix, all return replies are sent from that one info@ address, so the matching domain will be familiar, more credible, and less likely to be trashed as spam.
If you never bought premium email software, not to worry. All computers have at least one free email program that you can use. The most common email software packages for free from my experience are Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail.
Your domain, hosting, and email service provider likely has written step by step instructions with settings for creating the email account on your computer. Search their help files or contact them for assistance.
Finally, don’t make the mistake of hard coding your email address in your web design.
Spammer robots surf the internet looking at code and will recognize email addresses to harvest and use, or sell to other spammers. You should cloak your email so it cannot be recognized. View and download this PDF, 4 pages, titled web design email link tutorial to begin protecting your website from spammers.
Having a web design that gives a professional first impression, adds credibility, and avoids spam is not difficult. Work through the advice given to enhance your website email links, and ask for assistance from your service provider if needed to start using an email address that matches your www domain.
The key to search ranking in a phrase is still “add original quality content often”, and a recent article on the official Google Webmasters Blog provides advice to implement this strategy. Read the post entitled More Guidance on Building High Quality Sites, and then compare your website content to the Google web design quality list plus the analysis here.
Rather than list each question or duplicate that portion of the Google blog post, readers may follow the link above and read for themselves.
Instead, our analysis will pick out the negative web design and seo search engine optimization factors as mentioned to highlight strategies to avoid that violate best practices.
The photo shown is a Google logo bumper sticker that I received by mail. Google represents more than 80% of search engine traffic to my website. It makes sense to follow their quality advice. Here’s my analysis.
Avoid the following seo or web design strategies:
- duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles
- spelling, stylistic, or factual errors
- attempting to guess what might rank well
- content mass-produced or outsourced
- sloppy or hastily produced content
- an excessive amount of ads
- lacking in helpful specifics
- content that might cause users to complain
Knowing the negative factors and realistically evaluating your website content to eliminate violations is key to ranking well in Google. Each item listed above violates the words “original and quality” in the phrase “add original quality content often”.
Apply this analysis to your plan for creating new web design content as well as evaluating existing site articles or pages. Older sites may have outdated content published years earlier that may not accurately present facts about information that has subsequently changed.
If adding content often is important, some website owners may be reluctant to remove previously published information thinking more is better. However, outdated or inaccurate content violates the word “quality”, so reasonable choices are to edit the information and republish, or remove it entirely.
Important: Negative ranked content can impact and lower the ranking of all pages on your website including quality content pages.
Our advice? Edit or delete poor content that violates the rules for a high quality website design, and then follow the advice from the Google blog and our quality analysis presented here.
This tutorial is for custom web designers looking to offer clients optional QR codes, those square barcodes that link mobile devices to websites. The target market to reach is users with an iPhone, smart phone, or other capable mobile device when thinking about adding mobile app QR codes in web designs.
After “What are QR codes?” and “How do you create QR codes?”, the big question becomes “Are QR codes appropriate in web design?” This tutorial answers those questions.
What Are QR Codes?
You’ve likely seen print ads with a box of complicated black and white coded squares and rectangles that remind you of common line bar codes. Perhaps you’ve wondered how to create the complex mobile app version that people scan with their camera, and exactly what data you can embed.
The graphic above shows two versions of QR codes as examples of what designers could use in a custom web design. The left one with the blue background decodes as a clickable hyperlink to the home page of this blog. The right one with a green background will display a simple text message of that same link though not clickable.
The background color is for illustration only and is not required for the QR code to function. The graphic could be further enhanced in a variety of colors for aesthetics, yet that doesn’t improve the ability to scan and decode them with the camera on your iPhone, smart phone, or other mobile device.
At least 7 types of data may be encoded in a custom QR code including: URL website link, text message, phone number, SMS message, email link, contact entry, or calendar entry. At present, and in addition from research I’ve done, less than half of mobile device owners know how to scan a QR code.
How Do You Create QR Codes?
How can you create the customized QR code graphic? This online tool to generate a custom QR code was used for this blog post illustration. Visit that link to try theirs or search Google for others, as well.
The example QR codes above were purposely put close together to make them difficult if not impossible to scan. Think about hyperlinked QR codes in a web design for a moment. That link is viewed while on your website, so it doesn’t make sense to force a site visitor to take the extra time to scan the graphic when a simple text hyperlink will do the job.
Are QR Codes Appropriate in Web Design?
Before adding a QR code to a web design, consider the practical point of view of your website visitor. They don’t need links for navigation. A well designed website will have contact methods to include mailto: links for emailing, your physical address, and certainly phone number info on every page.
A mobile device owner on your website likely has an app to use those links or copy/paste text of contact info. The other data options are secondary until an introduction is made and the casual prospect shows genuine interest in becoming an actual customer.
For those web designers staying in touch with the latest in technology, and hoping to justify adding mobile app QR codes in web designs, all is not lost. Whether you provide graphic design services or your client takes care of artwork for print, you can still use the advice in this QR code tutorial including that online tool to supply the “artwork” of the custom QR code.
Conclusions and QR Code Tutorial Tips
My advice is avoiding QR codes in web design, yet web designers can demonstrate sophistication by teaching clients how to use a QR code with an embedded link to their website for print ads, brochures, and more. Don’t try embedding a lengthy amount of data in a QR code. It may be too complex to scan for some devices and others might give up trying.
Bonus QR code tutorial tip: Before adding mobile app QR codes in web designs or providing a custom QR code graphic for print, make sure to test the artwork to confirm it actually works. Test on a variety of devices, not just top of the line mobile phones.
Don’t offer QR code artwork for print if you do not have software to generate a high resolution version at 300dpi or better. It would be a disaster and likely ruin your reputation if the client pays for 10,000 post cards or 500,000 newspaper ads with a defective QR code.
Back by popular demand, readers may now download free custom business card artwork with the release of my free 2012 business card artwork download.
New BONUS! I’ve added 3 new colors for 2012, so besides the original grey marble, white granite, and plain white, take your choice of marble in pale green, light blue, or pink salmon for 6 versions of the free business card artwork.
Click on the graphic to the right for an enlarged (low-res) view of all 6 colors!
FREE ARTWORK LINK
Use this link for free 2012 business card artwork to download now. (zip folder, 2.9mb)
Artwork is enlarged 300 dpi high resolution in CMYK 4-color for at home or professional printing.
Unlike some free resources, you do not have to register or reveal your email address to enjoy another set of free business card calendar artwork to add to the back of your 2012 business card.
Questions or blog comments are welcome.
UPDATE AUGUST 2012: 2013 Business Card Artwork Released!
Go to this blog post to download 2013 Free Business Card Calendar Art now.
When your personal computer performance slows down and makes you miserable you may want to consider CCleaner and Defraggler to boost pc speed. A custom web design client recently asked us to replace a few photos on their website, then couldn’t see the new graphics later after the work was done.
The reply and pc speed tutorial and review of CCleaner and Defraggler from Piriform may help other website owners, so here’s the email to the client explaining what happened, why, and the solution when old web page graphics persist after replacement photos are uploaded:
Those new photographs are there as referenced. Your computer is displaying old versions stored on your computer. Here’s why, and the solution.
Your computer stores temporary text and graphic files or cache, of web pages you visit, and displays those on return visits. Some genius software geek at Microsoft decided saving a nanosecond a billion times over a lifetime was important without realizing a billion times is just one second.
What makes things worse with all those temporary files is over time your computer speed becomes sluggish.
Follow this tutorial to view missing replacement website graphics: For a fast solution press the browser top menu refresh button or the shortcut top row F5 key once. If still missing, or do this first, do a hard refresh. Hold the CTRL key and press the F5 key once. When I encounter a graphic that doesn’t update to the latest when doing changes I jump right to the hard refresh.
Computers come with built in software tools to clean up cached temporary files and other fragmented file storage that slows down computer speed and performance. I prefer third party methods rather than the default Windows tools, and use CCleaner and Defraggler free computer maintenance software from Piriform. Learn more or download those (not just trial software – actually free) at http://www.piriform.com/products.
Running those 2 programs every 3-6 months helps keep your computer up to speed.
Piriform offers other computer related informational or maintenance software including Recuva and Speccy, as well.
Each page META Title on your site is like a newspaper headline to grab attention. A single sentence that web designers use is the META Description that states the essence of the content on that page. These elements appear in the code and require key words to optimize the seo value and rank well with search engines. This strategy is part of the technical aspect of writing for the web.
The title of your page is usually the visible headline at the top in the on page content, plus if properly used as the META title it will appear off page at the very top of the screen next to the logo of your browser brand. If bookmarked as a favorite the title becomes a summary or reminder in your visitor’s bookmarks, too.
The page title continues to be THE most important seo high value item on each website page. It makes sense to give extra thought to your equivalent of a newspaper headline to capture the interest of readers and motivate them to continue exploring your site.
A good website page or blog post title often takes as much time to write as the actual article. Keep the POW factor in mind as you write title headlines. Less is more is an old yet accuracte advertising adage. In the case of titles my advice is using 6 words or less for website page or blog post titles. “Man Bites Dog” is a favorite example of a short headline that grabs attention.
This advice bears repeating: The page title continues to be THE most important seo high value item on each website page.
If you take all the advice written by dozens of experts, the ONE top key seo factor for ranking well is something you can learn to your advantage over competition to attract search engine traffic to your website.
Interested readers may want to learn more about seo for META Descriptions and search engine strategy in a blog post written last week at my collaboration web design site opened earlier this year with my son.