Why You Need A Website

All about websites a beginner’s complete guide

In Startup Company, Web Design, Website Design by Mark Guertin85 Comments

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Impact Social Media All About Websites

Impact Social Media Website Design URL: http://impactsocialmedia.net/startup-company/all-about-websites-a-beginners-complete-guide/

Description:  Website design is a collaborative effort between a client and web developer. The goal is to produce a finished product that will effectively communicate a specific message and create productive interaction with the intended target audience. This requires productive collaboration and effective utilization of the various web design fundamentals. In order to give you a better understanding of websites we would like to take some time to briefly discuss some of the key concepts, ingredients and peripheral elements.


I.  Website Overview

    1.  Why should I have a website?

         Nearly all consumers (97%) now use online media to shop locally and to research available products and services. By typing a few words into Bing, Google or Yahoo the consumer can quickly pull up websites with relevant information on the products and services they are interested in.

         In North America there are around 300 million internet users. This correlates to roughly 80% of the population. According to research by Nielsen, branded websites are one of the top most trusted forms of advertising coming in at number two and only out ranked by recommendations from people they know!

         You simply cannot afford to overlook the potential benefits of having a website for your business or organization. If you do decide against having a website this equates to giving an upper hand to your competitors who do have an online presence.

Adapt and survive or become extinct!
Adapt, evolve and survive or become extinct!

         Do you remember the Tyrannosaurus Rex? How about Dodo birds and horse drawn chariots? By chance do you still use an outhouse? Maybe you still enjoy black and white TV and 8 tracks?

         To be blunt, things tend to evolve as time moves forward and you can either become extinct or you can adapt and survive. We strongly suggest the latter of these two options!


II.  Website Design Fundamentals

    1.  ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance

         The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) enforces Title II in an effort to keep the internet and its contents accessible to those with disabilities. Many people with disabilities use technology to assist them in the use of digital media such as websites. This must be factored into the website design in order to not create a barrier or undue hardship on this group of users.

         Some examples of website compliance with ADA would be:

  • Add a text equivalent for every image
  • If using PDF offer alternative text based formats
  • Include audio descriptions and captions for videos
  • Forms should have descriptive tags to aid in filling them out
  • Use flashing or blinking features minimally or not at all
  • Do not use navigation buttons with text as an image
  • Use sufficient anchor text, titles and headings on complex pages

         We need to do our part to make sure that the web is accessible to everyone. Not just because it is the law but even more importantly because it is the right thing to do. You can read more on this topic at the following URL: http://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm

    2.  Branding, theme and appearance

         Your website needs to effectively project your branding and theme. It also needs to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. A color and graphics scheme should be developed that will help your users know they are in your house. Once this is accomplished, the same formatting should be uniform and cohesive between your website and your other social media sites and pages.

         This gives a seamless connection to all of your digital presences. It also helps your users to know that they are in your house whether they are at your website or some other social media site. When properly done, your branding and theme will help your users to remember and recognize you.

    3.  Browser compatibility

         When developing a website it is important to realize that end users employ a wide variety of browsers when viewing web content. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and Navigator are the most common but countless others exist.

         A website should be written in W3C compliant code and then cross-tested on the most common browser platforms to ensure proper display. When problems are discovered they should be fixed immediately. You can quickly check any webpage for coding compliance issues free of charge at the following URL: http://validator.w3.org/

    4.  Canonical URLs

         Frequently, websites may have duplicate content or multiple different URL’s that route to the same page. E-Commerce sites and CMS sites seem to suffer the most from this dilemma. This has the potential to detract from your search engine performance and so a properly designed site will factor this in.

         By installing the proper code into the head section of webpages it becomes possible to “tell” the search engines which URL is preferred. This is a relatively minor and simple implementation that is well worth the effort.

    5.  Coding practices

         Proper coding practices are an integral part of a professionally developed website. This ensures browser compatibility and helps to eliminate various types of errors. Proper coding practices also implement techniques that will enhance search engine optimization.

    6.  COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliance

         The COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) governs the collection and use of personal information from children who are younger than 13 years of age.

         If a website is being designed and the target audience is for this age group then it becomes imperative to follow each and every COPPA guideline. Even if a website is not specifically targeted to this audience but may still have some users in this age range it is still necessary to follow the COPPA rules.

         You can read more on this topic at the following URL: http://www.coppa.org/comply.htm

    7.  Importance of content

         Arguably, the most important element of any website is the content. The most awesome domain name, logo, graphics and bells and whistles will do little good if the site lacks on content.

         Tips for good website content:

  • Make sure it’s useful, relevant and regularly updated
  • Use variety i.e. text, links, images, videos, charts, graphs, etc.
  • Include a proper ratio of key words and key phrases
  • Include useful links to other helpful and relevant content
  • Communicate in the language of your intended audience
  • Use proper grammar and spelling

    8.  Mobile version

         When developing a website it is always a good idea to at least consider creating a mobile version. According to IDC’s Worldwide New Media Market Model, “more U.S. internet users will access the web through mobile devices rather than through PC’s or wireline by 2015.” Furthermore, “between 2010 and 2015, the number of U.S. mobile internet users will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 16.6%”

         Regardless of where you get the statistics, it is clear that web access by mobile device users is climbing rapidly and there is no reason to think the trend will do anything but gain momentum.

         A mobile version of your website gives you the flexibility to cater to this group of users. When you compare the potential benefits to the cost of implementation a mobile friendly website is a great investment.

    9.  Navigation issues

         A proper website should make use of easy to use navigation features. This would include having an additional navigation menu at the bottom of pages. Another important consideration is making sure that broken links are caught and properly redirected to either the landing page or a branded and themed error page. Also, always include a sitemap page with a directory of all pages.

         Always be sure to avoid using navigation buttons that have the text as an image. This is not effective for search engines and it is not compliant with ADA guidelines. Navigation links that leave the website should display the destination URL on mouse over and should also open in a new browser window so that users do not inadvertently leave the site.

    10.  SEO (Search engine optimization)

         Essentially, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the steps that must be taken in order to maximize the performance of your website in the various search engines. SEO techniques should be incorporated throughout the entire process of designing the website. It is more efficient to include the SEO elements during the design phase than it is to add them in at a later date.

         There are so many different SEO techniques and strategies that we cannot possibly cover all of them in the scope of this discussion. If you wish to read a more comprehensive description of SEO strategies and implementation please visit our web page at: http://impactsocialmedia.net/seo/

         Also, we highly recommend you research many SEO tips from the Google Webmasters channel at YouTube which you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp?feature=watch

         26 of the top SEO elements are:

  • Avoid any practices that could get your site blacklisted
  • Avoid excessively long page loading times
  • Descriptive page titles and descriptions with key words and key phrases
  • High quality, useful, relevant and regularly updated content
  • Implementation of Bing and Google analytics
  • Implementation of code compliant coding practices
  • Implementation of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising
  • Inclusion of an XML sitemap
  • Interconnectivity to a variety of social medias
  • Proper inclusion of key words and key phrases in content
  • Proper setup of robots.txt
  • Proper use of alt tags with key words and key phrases
  • Proper use of heading tags with key words and key phrases
  • Proper use of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords
  • Proper use of meta tags with key words and key phrases
  • Proper use of micro-data to encourage rich snippets
  • Proper use of content title tags with key words and key phrases
  • Quantity and quality of backlinks with no use of link farms
  • Reduction in the bounce rate
  • Submission of site to Bing and Google Places For Business
  • Submission of site to Merchant Circle and Manta
  • Use of canonical URL’s
  • Use of friendly navigation design
  • Use of sitemap directory page
  • Diversity of content in text, images, videos, tables, charts and links
  • XML sitemap submission to the top search engines

    11.  Security

         Website security is an important element of website design and should be incorporated during the design phase. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) should be mandatory for any type of E-Commerce site or other site that may utilize credit card payments or store important customer data.

         SSL can also be implemented to help protect users from being tracked. SSL simply means that the communications and data being sent between the site and user are encrypted.

         Another security measure revolves around the protection of certain folders and data. This can be achieved through several methods:

  • The folder or item can be moved from the public view by removing it to a directory that is outside and above the public HTML folders.
  • The folder or item can be User ID and password protected. This will require anyone trying to access it to provide an authentic login. This can be setup in the cPanel interface.
  • The folder or item can be setup to only be accessed by a specific IP or specific set of IP’s. This also can be setup in the cPanel interface.
  • The folder or item can be denied access via the details that are included in the .htaccess file.
  • A folder’s contents can be kept from random directory viewing by including a blank index.html or default.html file within the folder.

    12. Site search

         Every site can benefit from the inclusion of a “search box.” This gives users a quick and easy way to search for specific key words and key phrases that are contained within the site.

         If you use WordPress the search box feature is already included for you. If the search box feature is not already included in your platform you can add it by inserting a code snippet from Bing or Google. As of the time of this writing the Bing search box is free while the Google search box ranges from $100.00 to $2,000.00 + per year depending upon the quantity of searches.

    13. Sitemaps

         Sitemaps are a critical element of your overall website design and you need to be aware that there are two different types of sitemaps and both are equally important.

         The first type of sitemap is an XML sitemap. This sitemap resides in the root directory of your website and is utilized by search engine robots for the indexing of your site. This XML sitemap will tell a search engine robot all of your URL’s, the last time they were updated, the frequency at which they are modified, and the page priority as compared to other pages.

         Your guests do not view the XML sitemap. The XML sitemap can be made manually with a tool such as Microsoft XML Notepad which you can download for free at Microsoft. If you find it easier to have one created automatically, you can have one made for you and download it to your desktop at http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

         The second type of sitemap is a directory listing sitemap that is actually a webpage that resides within your website. This sitemap is viewed by your guests at will. It can be coded in HTML or other languages as you prefer.

         It should include a listing of every page within your site along with a short description of the contents of each page. Also, each page should be a clickable URL that will take the guest directly to the page of their choice.

         One way to describe the directory sitemap is a “table of contents” for your entire site. This can greatly aid your users to quickly see, find and navigate to everything that is contained within your entire site.

    14. Social media

         Social media has become a significant force in recent years. Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others have become common household words. The users of the most common social media platforms number in the billions and span the entire globe. For a comprehensive discussion on Social Media platforms visit our webpage at: http://impactsocialmedia.net/social-media-marketing/what-is-social-media/

         When you decide to design a website I highly recommend that you begin that web design process by choosing which social media platform(s) you intend to utilize. Each platform has strengths and weaknesses and each platform has a slightly different user demographic.

         For instance, if your focus is music, you should have a presence at MySpace and YouTube. If your focus is online products, you should have a presence at Wanelo. Regardless of your focus, sites like FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, WordPress, Pinterest, Plurk and others should be considered.

         Not only do I recommend choosing your social media platform(s) before doing the web design, I also recommend that you also create your presence there. This is because you will need the social media account names and linkage data in order to install all of the social media interconnectivity that will be present in the website. In other words, the actual layout and development of your website will incorporate all of your social media presences.

    15. Website design software

         Website design software can be a productivity enhancer for the skilled developer as well as a learning tool for the beginner. In this regard there can be benefit to all users.

         Website design software does many things that help to alleviate the mundane and time consuming task of doing everything manually. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is either involved in web design or desires to learn the art of web designing.

         The two biggest packages on the market are Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression Web. Both are very powerful and offer an enormous amount of built in functionality. If you would like to try them out check into the free download and take advantage of the free trial period!


III.  Website Types

    1. Dynamic – Scripted

         Dynamic-scripted sites are those which rely heavily on some form of scripting language such as AppleScript, ColdFusion, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, VBscript and others. This type of site can be very powerful with the ability to offer up dynamic content.

         This type of site can also interact with a database to query and display data in real time. Typically, the scripting is intertwined with HTML and CSS. These types of sites are the most complex and difficult to modify and customize. Because of this most of them contain a “back end” user interface that aids in adding content and making modifications and customizations.


         Examples of dynamic scripted platforms that we work with:

Name Focus
4images Gallery Photo Display
AccountLab Plus Web Host Billing
Advanced Poll Polls and Surveys
B2evolution Blog Platform
bbPress Discussion Board
Chatwoo Live Help Chat
Claroline Educational
Concrete5 Content Management System
Coppermine Photo Gallery Photo Display
CubeCart Shopping Cart
Dada Mail Mail
dotProject Project Management
Drupal Content Management System
e107 Content Management System
Elgg Social Network
Gallery Photo Display
Geeklog Content Management System
glFusion Content Management System
Help Center Live Live Support System
Hotaru Content Management System
Jcow Social Network
IT Dashboard Dashboard Builder
Joomla Content Management System
Lazarus Guestbook Guestbook
Life Type Blog Platform
LimeSurvey Surveys
Live Site Content Management System
LogicNow Help Desk
Magento E-Commerce
Mahara E-Portfolio
Mambo Content Management System
MantisBT Customer Management
MediaWiki Online Wiki
Modx Content Management System
Moodle Virtual Learning Environment
MyBB Discussion Board
Noahs Classifieds Online Classified Ads
Nucleus Blog Platform
ocPortal Content Management System
Open Atrium Content Management System
OpenDocMan Customer Management
Open-Realty Real Estate Listings
OroCRM Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
OS Commerce Shopping Cart
OsTicket Support Tickets
OxWall Social Network
Pernookie Dashboard Builder
Php COIN Web Host Billing
phpBB Discussion Board
phpFreeChat Chat
PHPlist News Letters
PHP-Nuke Content Management System
phpWCMS Content Management System
phpWebSite Content Management System
PhpWiki Online Wiki
Piwigo Gallery
Pixelpost Gallery
Pligg Content Management System
PmWiki Online Wiki
PrestaShop E-Commerce
punBB Discussion Board
Saurus CMS Content Management System
SMF Discussion Board
Sugar CRM E-Commerce
Textpattern Content Management System
ThinkUp Social Network
Tiki Content Management System
TikiWiki Online Wiki
Trendy Site Builder Content Management System
TYPO3 Content Management System
Vtiger CRM E-Commerce
Web Calendar Calendar
WHMCS Client Management
Wikka Online Wiki
WordPress Blog Platform
X7 Chat Chat
Xoops Content Management System
YaBB Discussion Board
Zen Cart Shopping Cart
Zenphoto Gallery
Zikula Content Management System


    2. Flash

         Flash based websites are best known for their amazing and dazzling effects. Flash websites use .SWF (Adobe Shock Wave files) to create dynamic and interactive content. Flash websites are more difficult for search engines to index but search engine technology has improved and indexing is better now than in the past.

         Flash websites can be expensive to develop due to the time consuming nature of the required labor. In essence, the building of a flash site involves creating a “video” whereby objects are put to motion and animated. Also, flash websites can have events that are triggered and these events can be graphic, audio and video or a combination of the three.

         Flash based websites can be a very excellent way to develop interactive games for deployment online. To properly view and interact with a flash based website the end user must download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. Flash sites are developed using Adobe Flash.

    3. HTML – CSS

         HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the long standing work horses of website design. Even the fanciest of scripted or flash sites will require themselves to be intertwined with a portion of HTML and CSS.

         With the advent of HMTL 5 this technology now has enhanced capabilities for interactive multimedia and other functions. HTML websites are typically static but they can also include dynamic content.

         When designed properly HTML websites are extremely stable and not prone to spam bot traffic and attacks. Additionally, when designed properly they are very search engine friendly and are easily indexed. HTML is a favorite for the design of websites that are targeted at being displayed on mobile devices.

    4. Blogs

         A blog is a type of website that is fabulous for creating, displaying and propagating useful content. Blogs allow you to use text, images, videos, links and more to effectively communicate to your viewers.

         A blog’s versatility can be enhanced by adding a variety of plugins. Blogs can be setup to automatically send out updates to members. Blogs can be setup to propagate new contents to various social media outlets.

         A blog is a great choice for any type of website due to the versatility and ability to easily create all types of new content. When it comes to blogs WordPress is the reigning champion and can be found in use everywhere.

    5. Classifieds

         A classified website is one that allows for the display of classified ads. This can be a great choice if you would like to make sellable items available to internet viewers. Craigslist is the undisputed king of classified websites.

         The classified style website can be branded and themed to a specific target audience. It can also be setup for specific categories and can incorporate an RSS feed to keep your users updated on the latest entries. When it comes to the classified ad platform Noah’s Classifieds is at the top of the heap.

    6. CMS (Content Management System)

         A CMS or “Content Management System” is often referred to as a “portal.” The CMS platform is a very powerful and versatile platform for the creation of any website.

         The CMS gives the ability to upload, store, edit and display all types of media. This is accomplished through a user friendly backend interface. The CMS gives an amateur the ability to run a very sophisticated website with little to no knowledge of HTML, CSS and programming.

         CMS’s come in many flavors and my favorites are the open source varieties because they can be had free of charge. Also, the open source platforms have great support communities and the code is all openly available to freely modify as one pleases. When it comes to CMS’s my personal favorite is Drupal.

    7. Community Building

         A community building website is one which offers a way for users to have their own unique presence while also interacting with other members. The greatest community building website of all time is FaceBook.

         FaceBook clones are available in the open source variety and can be an amazing asset for building your own internet community. These sites allow for users to make posts containing text, images, videos, links and more. They also allow for communication between members in the form of internal messages and private chat.

         Additionally, members can create their own unique user profiles with whatever information they desire. These sites allow for the building of internet communities on any topic or interest that you can think of. If you are interested in this type of a website I would suggest that you consider using OxWall. OxWall is secure and powerful and has the ability to include every feature you could ever want for community building.

    8. CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

         CRM or Customer Relationship Management websites are similar to CMS’s in having dynamic content and a user friendly back end interface. The difference is that CRM’s are focused on customer service.

         CRM’s offer a variety of features to include; live user signup, user login, help chat, support tickets, FAQ’s, documentation, payment gateways and more. CRM’s can be a great way to provide a positive way to interact with and provide professional support for your clients.

         If you are in need of a CRM I would suggest that you use WHMCS. I have had fabulous results with it and the community support is awesome. I have found it to be stable, secure and regularly updated. Also, it is very versatile and can be readily adapted to a wide variety of needs.

    9. Dashboards

         Dashboard websites are essentially a dynamic display of a variety of data. The data is typically pulled from databases but can also be extracted from spreadsheets, text files, internet locations and other sources. The data can be displayed in text format or can also be shown as charts and graphs.

         Dashboard websites can be stand-alone or they can be included within another website as a user feature. Some people refer to dashboards as Business Intelligence since they are such a great tool for that purpose. Dashboards are not limited to Business Intelligence and can be used to display any type of data that serves your purpose.

         If you are building a dashboard site to display a collection of RSS feeds from other sites and sources I would steer you to the open source solution called Pernookie. If you are looking to display a variety of data pulled from databases such as Access, MySql or SQL I would advise you to go with IT Dashboard which is also open source.

    10. Discussion Boards

         Discussion board websites can also be considered as a type of community building site. Discussion boards are sometimes referred to as bulletin boards or forums. As with other community building sites the discussion board can focus on any subject matter you can think of.

         These sites allow for the users to create unique profiles and upload a variety of content for sharing with other members. The boards are usually divided into different topics and the users can read posts and respond with their own thoughts and content.

         There are many different discussion boards available. Some are open source and others are for a fee. They vary in scripting language as some are coded in PHP while others are in Perl or other languages.

         After many years of working with a variety of discussion boards my personal favorite is YaBB. YaBB stands for Yet Another Bulletin Board. I favor YaBB due to its security, stability, wide variety of plugins and its robust user support community.

    11. E-Commerce

         E-commerce websites are clearly focused on the display and sale of products online. The products may be tangible or intangible. One identifying feature of an E-Commerce site is the shopping cart. The shopping cart contains a user’s items for purchase and also will include a payment gateway.

         Amazon and Ebay are probably the most successful E-Commerce sites of all time and garner an enormous amount of transactions. E-Commerce sites are not limited to merely the display and sale of products but can also include user involvement. User involvement may be in answering questions, providing feedback, and the sharing of comments.

         Recently, a new twist has been added to the E-Commerce lineup with the advent of Wanelo. Wanelo stands for Want-Need-Love and is a very unique social networking site that is focused on the social sharing of E-commerce products.

         If you are considering setting up an online store for products or services there is great opportunity as your potential customers can be worldwide. For an E-Commerce website I would personally recommend OSCommerce for a variety of reasons. It is time-proven, has a vast quantity of plugins, has an enormous support community and is open source.

    12. Education

         Educational websites are just as the name implies and are focused on the purpose of educating the users. This may be for profit or it may be also done free of charge. Education websites may also be referred to as a CMS (Course Management System), LMS (Learning Management System) or VLE (Virtual Learning Environment).

         Possibly the most advanced and successful online education website of all time is Kaplan University. Educational websites were once considered out of reach and cost prohibitive on a smaller scale where minimal funding existed. Today that is no longer true with the advent of the amazing Moodle platform.

         Moodle is an open source platform that has created enormous opportunities for those who wish to offer online education. Moodle can be scaled for use by hundreds of thousands of students or is just as well suited for only a small handful!

         Moodle incorporates robust features such as forums, databases, wikis and more. Moodle is well suited for implementing course modules, learning materials, quizzes and assignments. It can be used to feature entire blocks of online courses or is just as well suited for face-to-face blended learning.

         Moodle has an enormous and supportive community, is full of powerful features and is free of charge. I simply cannot say enough good things about this platform and I highly recommend it if you desire to implement any form of online education or internet learning environment.

    13. Galleries

         A gallery website is focused on displaying images and artwork. This is a great platform for the sharing of images and art. It is very adept for use by the likes of architects, artists, designers, musicians and photographers.

         The gallery website will include an interface for the viewing of images singly or in slideshow form. The images can include descriptions and tags that allow for the users to easily search and find specific types of photos.

         If you need a really lightweight type of gallery I would recommend that you consider using Gallery. If you would prefer a full featured gallery with all of the bells and whistles then you should look into using Coppermine Photo Gallery.

    14. Mobile

         A mobile website is simply a site that is specifically designed to display on mobile devices. Smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices have become common and many of them are used to access the internet. Since a great many people are using these devices you may be missing out on users if you do not offer a site that is suitable for them.

         Mobile websites are essentially a much scaled down version of a full website like you would view on a desktop computer or laptop. They offer all of your essential information but with a minimalist approach.

         A mobile site can be stand-alone or it can be intertwined with the full version of the site. By using scripts it is possible to detect the type of device which is accessing the site. These same scripts can then redirect mobile device users away from the full site and into the mobile site. This technique gives the best of both worlds as the site seamlessly adapts itself to the user’s device.

         Mobile sites are best designed with HTML and CSS. This is due to the fact that some devices may or may not be enabled to run scripts. Also, HTML and CSS are less resource intensive and therefore will load quicker and display correctly with less memory and processor power.

    15. Polls

         A poll website may also be referred to as a survey site. These sites are focused on asking users questions for which there are multiple choice answers. The users participate at will and the data is collected and then displayed in text, chart or graph format.

         Poll sites are a great way to gather feedback and opinion statistics on a wide variety of topics. They can also be used to determine the quality of products or services. Another great use for polls is for political purposes.

         My favorite poll platform is LimeSurvey. LimeSurvey has many powerful features such as, custom polling, answer statistics and analysis and custom layout and design. Also, LimeSurvey has the ability to ensure that pollsters are only allowed to use the same poll one time. This helps to prevent from people skewing the data. If you are in need of a lightweight platform for polls and surveys I would suggest that you use Advanced Poll.

    16. Project Management

         A project management website is focused on the tasks associated with project management. The projects could be related to many different industries as the elements are similar. This type of site can be of great benefit to project managers, teams and other involved project participants.

         The most impressive platform is DotProject has plenty of capability and contains an excellent implementation of Gantt charts.

    17. Ruby on Rails

         Ruby on Rails websites and applications are developed upon the Ruby programming language and can be installed quickly with the RubyGems package manager. Ruby websites are for the display of dynamic content and the website or application is interconnected via Ruby to a database such as MySql or PostgreSQL.

         Years ago, Ruby had detractors who tried to emphasize its lack of scalability for heavy usage applications. These claims have been proven unfounded even recently with large scale Ruby performance being achieved by the engineers at Wanelo and Yammer.

         If you are contemplating a mid to large scale E-Commerce site or social site Ruby on Rails is a great choice. It offers a quick launch time, easy modifications for the data model and reasonable cost implementation.

    18. Wiki

         A Wiki website is a platform wherein users can add, modify or delete content. Wikipedia is the undisputed top dog of all Wiki sites. In one sense, a Wiki is akin to a digital encyclopedia or library of knowledge and information.

         Wiki sites are a very efficient way to build collections of knowledge stemming from people in all walks of life. Users with knowledge on specific subjects can evolve topics over a period of time as additional information is added.

         The nature of a Wiki platform makes it well suited as a stand-alone site. The Wiki also is a great enhancement when added into an existing site for the purpose of gathering, storing, and making available a wide variety of knowledge.

         If you need a full featured and fully capable Wiki I would recommend that you build upon the TikiWiki platform. The TikiWiki has many built in features and also works great for building intranet type sites. If you are in need of a very lightweight Wiki version I would recommend the PhpWiki platform.


IV.  Website Promotion

    1. Advertising

         An advertised website is a happy website! Traffic flow into a site is essential for its overall success. A good way to enhance this is through a variety of advertising methods. This can be especially helpful upon the launch of a new site which has no previous exposure.

         Ads in a variety of media can be effective especially if you pinpoint the specific Medias where your target audience is. Options include but are not limited to B2B (Business to Business) canvassing, B2B groups, billboards, brochures, chambers of commerce, Craigslist, emails, flyers, Manta, Merchant Circle, radio, television, trade shows and word of mouth.

    2. Backlinks

         Backlinks are when other sites have clickable URL links which lead back to your site. The best way to get good quality backlinks is by simply providing exceptional quality content. Once the good content exists you will need to promote if via a variety of methods.

         Whatever you do, avoid using “backlink farms.” These are sites full of links and not much else. They serve no real useful purpose other than to be a link farm for other sites. Using backlink farms can get your site blacklisted with the search engines! If some firm advertises or contacts you claiming to give you lots of links very quickly I would be highly suspicious and proceed with great caution.

    3. Blogs

         Blogs are a fabulous way to promote any site. A blog which has useful and regularly updated content will bring in viewers and repeat viewers. It is also possible to get write ups for your site at other popular blogs and this can also bring in site traffic.

         If you do not already have a blog at Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger or LiveJournal I recommend that you develop one. These four social media sites have an enormous community and offer for you to have a blog there for free! It is a great opportunity to network to others and to also promote traffic into your site.


         Website bookmarks allow visitors to “bookmark” your site so that they can easily remember it and return to it. Another method of using this same principal is for visitors to “add your site to their favorites.”

         The best way to encourage bookmarks and favorites is to simply mention it in your site content and suggest to your visitors to bookmark or add your site to their favorites. You might be amazed at how many people will take you up on your suggestion.

    5. Newsletters

         Newsletters can be another effective way to promote your site. Sometimes people get busy and distracted and may forget about visiting your site. Newsletters help to give them a courteous reminder that you have new content which has been published.

         Newsletters can be sent out from your email client or you can use software programs such as PHPlist which are designed specifically for this task. Your newsletter should contain a summary of recent updates or offers and promotions. Be sure that your newsletter includes a clickable URL link back to your site or content.

    6. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

         RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds are a great way to bring traffic into your site. RSS feeds send out a stream of summarized updates of your content. This allows people to subscribe to or embed your RSS feed.

         Subscribers can receive your RSS feeds into their email and those who embed your RSS feed will have a listing of your feed in their website or blog. If you use WordPress or some other CMS it is very likely that the capability to transmit RSS feeds is already built in.

         If you have a website or CMS that does not have the RSS feature you can download an open source program called Easy Feed Editor. Easy Feed Editor will give you the ability to easily create and transmit an RSS feed from your website.

    7. SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

         SEM or Search Engine Marketing is the strategy of using PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising with search engines. SEM can be very beneficial especially when your site does not have good ranking in the organic search engine results. The organic results are simply the search results which are not paid for.

         Bing, Google and other search engines offer wide flexibility in PPC advertising and will even give you over the phone assistance in how to best achieve your objectives. You can also contract a specialist such as Impact Social Media to help guide you and to help setup your entire PPC campaign.

         A proper PPC campaign requires the tracking of the performance of the PPC advertising so that it will be possible to adjust the ads for maximum impact. This can be done with the use of Bing Analytics, Google Analytics and other software. You can read much more detailed information concerning SEM at our following webpage: Kansas City Digital Marketing

    8. SMM (Social Media Marketing)

         SMM or Social Media Marketing can be implemented to help drive traffic to your site. SMM first requires that you decide which platforms to use and then create a presence at places such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest, Wanelo, Plurk or MySpace.

         Once you pick your places and then create a presence there your SMM can begin. This involves gaining followers and connections and then promoting to them the contents of your site. With some social sites and for a fee you can increase the reach and impact of your SMM.

         SMM is something that you could tackle yourself but keep in mind that it can be a time consuming endeavor and may require a span of time before it really gains momentum. For many people it is a better option to hire a specialist to do the presence development and subsequent SMM.

         You can read much more detailed information concerning SMM at our following webpage: Kansas City Social Media



Impact Social Media Logo

Impact Social Media


         Impact Social Media specializes in professional and effective websites for startup companies and small to medium sized businesses and organizations. We offer affordable service with a focus on who you are, what you offer and who you offer it to.

         We are expert at developing a digital presence that will effectively communicate to your target audience. We are adept at seamless integration of your branding and theme across multiple platforms from your website to FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest, Wanelo, Plurk and MySpace.

         We alleviate your need of having to deal with multiple entities to achieve your objectives. This is because we offer all of the services you need under one roof. Our services include logo design, graphics design, domain names, web design, web hosting, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media development and social media marketing.

         We are uniquely qualified to develop, implement, host, SEO and market any of the various website platforms previously mentioned. We will develop your site with all of the key SEO ingredients and best coding practices. Cross-testing on multiple browser platforms will ensure that your site always displays properly for your end users.

         We take great pride in our work and our goal is your satisfaction and overall success. We will work closely with you to implement a comprehensive media saturation strategy that will give you maximum IMPACT. We are truly passionate about the art of web design. Contact us today and let us show you why we are called Impact Social Media.

You can access our webpage for website development at the following URL:

Kansas City Web Design

If you have questions or need assistance you can email us at:


You can also call us at 816-743-0525

Download the information on this page in a Microsoft Word Document

Download the information on this page in an Adobe PDF PDF document

Download the Adobe Document Reader on this page PDF Reader

Got Impact? Get Impact! How? With Impact Social Media!

Company: Impact Social Media
Author: Mark Guertin marky@impactsocialmedia.net | Marky was here xoxo
Title: All about websites a beginner’s complete guide
Description: A comprehensive learning tool for websites and website design
Category: Web design
Published: 10/1/2013


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