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Providing Quality Design Feedback

A web project can be overwhelming for the first time client. There are a plethora of things to consider; usability, navigation, quality pictures, colors, layout, space, programmed features, content, and above all, your audience. Keeping track of all this can be quite a chore. The following is meant to help everyone from the inexperienced to the seasoned client get the most out of their website design.

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Things to consider when shopping for a web developer...

There are many things to consider when shopping for a web developer, here is a short list to name a few...

Will they build you a website that functions as well as it looks?

Are they cutting edge, always learning and creating new technologies?

Are they just graphic designers, or do they have an extensive knowledge of how to create websites that really WORK?  Improper site construction may lead to costly fixes later.

Do they offer website and email hosting along with these important elements?

  • Dynamic applications
  • Strong security
  • High speed bandwidth
  • Stability and reliability
  • Website traffic analysis stats at your fingertips
  • Advanced support
  • Unlimited email accounts (i.e., joe@yourcompany.com)

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SEO - Using Backlinks to Boost Search Result Rankings

Almost every client that walks through our doors asks how they can improve their search result rankings for the major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing.) The process of improving your search results is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO can be an extremely expensive and time consuming process. However, there are many ways that you can increase your website's ranking on your own. One way is by creating backlinks. Backlinks are links from an external website that link to your website. Investing the time to create relevant backlinks can have a profound effect on your web presence.

Below is a link to an article that describes several different ways to do this.

7 Ways to Legitimately Build Backlinks

Here's What Works for Us

Over the last ten years, we've tried many different methods of developing leads in order to find new clients. We've found one that REALLY works (finally!) and I wanted to share it with you.

We offer a very specialized service -- website design and programming, as well as print design and commercial photography. There aren't a whole lot of people looking for this type of service at any particular point in time.

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Local Search vs. Yellow Pages – Game Over

"Why are the Yellow Pages like nursing homes? They're shockingly expensive, few people under 70 use them, and many who do are just a little out of it." (from advertising company Killian & Company).

There can be little doubt that the rise of Local Search on the Internet has greatly disrupted traditional local Yellow Pages advertising. The once-powerful Yellow Pages is now a weak also-ran to Local Search. Ask anyone how often they use the Yellow Pages. An older person might say "a few times a year".

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Quality Images on the Web: Making the Sale

A picture is worth a thousand words, but is a thousand words worth a picture? In the world of the web, pictures mean everything. People have been and always will be stimulated by attractive images. When we go to the store to buy something, we typically gravitate to the items that our personality finds attractive. With this in mind, wouldn't it make sense to put attractive and meaningful images of products that we wish to sell on our websites?

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Web Application Programming

Now that we've finally broken free from the restrictions of dial up internet access, we have the ability to break free from "Application Software". Software installed on a single computer or on a single local network used to be the only way we could digitize certain business or personal tasks. Accounting, banking, client management, inventory management etc. was done first by hand (pen and paper), then eventually software companies like Microsoft developed spreadsheets and word processors and what not.

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Don't Be Held Hostage by a Password

"I need FTP access" or "Do you have a copy of the working files on CD?" or "In order for us to transfer your website to our servers, we will need to change the DNS, do you have your account information?"

These are questions I usually have to ask a new client who has an existing website. Usually the response I receive is not the desired one. In fact a great many business owners / managers do not have a clue what I am talking about. I wouldn't expect them to, but it would avoid a headache and some extra time spent if they had this information on file somewhere. I have had projects held up for lengthy periods of time just waiting for an elusive login account name and password.

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You Get What You Pay For -- But Sometimes You Don’t.

We've all experienced the downside of that cliché after buying something cheap. You think to yourself, "If I had only paid a few bucks more for the other one..." You know the feelings that can result. Not pleasant.

Paying for a website is no different. I often look back at the websites that we didn't get the opportunity to work on – the ones that got away. I want to see what the client got for his money. Morbid curiosity I suppose. There are many factors that determine a client's decision to use a certain web developer, but it often boils down to cost and capabilities.

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Branding for the Cattle

I wrote last month about some ideas for marketing your website, I thought it'd be good to follow up with a few things I've learned about people and the psychology of modern marketing. Now I'm sure some folks in the business may disagree, but we can't all be right about everything and this is a rather fluid industry with things changing everyday.

These are some basic rules that Paragon follows.

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