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RESPONSIVE DESIGN WEB DESIGN

10 Reasons A Standalone eCommerce Website Is Better Than eBay

eCommerce Website vs eBay Shops

It is safe to state that every eCommerce Website business exists solely for its own good. The very first order of business, no matter what their motto states, is for the business to take care of itself and basically survive. This is the harsh, but necessary truth.

And for that very reason, it is always better to have a standalone website such as the eCommerce Website Package developed HD1 Web Design as opposed to relying on eBay for all your sales.

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10 Reasons a Standalone eCommerce Website is better than eBay

1. Self branding
With your own stand alone website, you can brand yourself online. eBay, brands only eBay.

2. Operational doctrines
With a big platform like eBay, there are a lot of formalities and processes that go into running it. And in order to make more profits or position themselves in the market better, they could make operational changes that could adversely affect your business.

Say for example you are a children’s book merchant and eBay decides to form a partnership with a children’s book publisher thus rendering all third party children’s book merchants obsolete. How badly will that affect your bottomline?

3. You live by your own terms
With any platform, you have to live by the administrations terms. Whether or not you like them or they adversely affect your business is too bad.

4. You have full control
You decide what to promote and what to unlist on your stand alone website.

5. Less competition
On eBay, there are hundreds if not thousands of merchants selling the same thing you are, thus making the competition a little stiff. This is not to say that there will be no competition with a standalone website, because there will be. But at the very least, you only work to promote your business and not risk the chance that after all promotions, your buyers will click on the wrong item since there are many look-alike listings.

6. Better rates
Since there are no on-platform competing vendors, you can decide what rates to charge, as long as you keep within the market margins.

7. Better commissions
On your own platform, you get to keep all the commission. Well, at least there is one less party to split it with.

8. Your own design
With your own platform, you can let your personal taste show. Better design, a better user interface and better customer relations may be some of the few things that bring buyers to your platform.

9. Direct Traffic to your eCommerce Website
This will be one of your biggest challenges since eBay already has a built in following of millions. But once you have done enough promoting and your business has picked up, you will develop a loyal following of your own. This is much more satisfying from a personal achievement point of view.

10. It’s Liberating
This is the true definition of being your own boss. With your own platform such as the eCommerce Website Package from HD1 Web Design you are officially not piggybacking on anyone else’s hard work. This is one of the most liberating of feelings.

Every business needs to stand on its own feet. This is what your own stand alone website does for you and your brand. It liberates you and eventually makes you bigger and better.

Categories
MARKETING SEO SOCIAL MEDIA

4 Tips for Great Content Creation For Blogs and Landing Pages

Content Creation & Getting Results in Search Engines

Not everyone understands the connection between getting results in Google and the art of content creation, its important for you as a website owner understand the two go hand in hand, improving your search engine results and creating great content.

Every website owner knows that good content creation is essential for a successful website. Content entices visitors, drives sales, and enhances the likelihood of your site garnering links. While there are many companies that claim to create good UK content for the landing pages and articles for your business website and blog, not all of them can be trusted to give you the results you desire and a rewarding return on investment.

Need help with a new website? We can help you! >>

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However, HD1 Web Design focuses on creating content with a purpose, from highly persuasive sales copies to blog articles and content purely made for link purposes.

The process of content creation involves researching the client’s website and the business’ target audience, in order to understand the kind of content that is required, and keep the end user at the forefront of any ideas.

Typical services include copywriting for sales, press releases or ebooks; website content creation for articles, blog posts or product descriptions; link asset creation; and guest blog posts.

Businesses need high quality landing pages and website content to avoid high bounce rates. To achieve this, the website needs to create trust, understanding, and credibility, fast, before the prospective client decides to check out a competitor. Some guidelines for creating great content include:

Include custom infographics or videos for different kinds of visitors

It is important to create an infographic or a video that resonates well with your company’s target audience. Some of the things that HD1 Web Design would consider include: whether your market would prefer an animated explanation or the CEO on camera; or they prefer audio with personality or just someone to state the facts.

By customizing content to a certain type of visitor, you will be addressing the needs and questions of a specific, prospective customer. This is actually why your landing pages exist. The video or infographic should be designed to respond to a visitor’s queries quickly and satisfactorily.

Include one call for action at a time on your website

First time visitors to your site want quick answers, so you need to convey your products, service, benefits of your site, or business ideas within 45-90 seconds of your content. Include only one call for action from your visitors, so it is clear what they are expected to do.

If you give people too many options, they will probably end up not making a decision at all.

See it from the consumer’s perspective

Basically, content creation and creators need to ask themselves how they would rather receive some information from a website: would it be better to read a lengthy chunk of text, bullet point or numbered list, or watch a video?

Videos and lists are easy to break down and grasp. Once you choose a format, you need to determine its length, like a short 2-minute video; 1 minute primer; or a 300, 500 or 700 word article.

Optimize and track analytic data on your Website

Your landing pages and content are probably aimed at lead-generation or sales, so you will want to optimize them for search engines – Back to how do I get better search engine results. There are different SEO strategies for articles and videos, but what is common between them is the need for relevant keywords, and never write content without your client in mind, content for search engines only has very little point to it..

The keywords are determined based on the objective of the marketing campaign or website project. It is also important to look at page analytic’s to see who is viewing your content and how long they stay on a page, in order to adjust the content accordingly.

When creating content, it is important to remain focused on delivering the right content, or else the conversion rates will remain low. Testing different bits of information is slow, so it is best to get it right first time by working with professionals, like HD1 Web Design.

Categories
WEB DESIGN

16 WordPress Tips For Beginners

WordPress Tips and Tricks to Get You Started

WordPress can be a wonderful tool for web developers and website owners. Its easy to use, flexible and used by many large companies like the Wall Street Journal, Energizer Batteries and Universal Pictures! All you need is a few WordPress Tips and you can master the WordPress system like a pro!

Need a Custom Designed WordPress Website? Get in Touch >>

1. Easy HTML & the Text Widget – WordPress Tips

The text widget is pretty handy that comes with WordPress. You can easily create a widget of text in a sidebar or footer area. And if you tick that box, it will break the paragraphs for you.

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But what if you want to do something a little fancier? Maybe a simple link to purchase your eBook. The good news is that the text widget works with HTML. The bad news, not all of us know HTML. So here’s a workaround.

Open a new post or page. Don’t worry, you won’t be publishing it or saving it. Now go in and format the text, add an image, add links, all that good stuff. Remember, as you are doing this, it’s going to fit in a widget area, for instance, a sidebar, and will only be so wide. If you are adding images, keep that in mind. What you end up with might be something like this.

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Now that you have formatted it, simply click on the text tab and copy the HTML or what I call the blob of code.

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Now we head back to your widgets. Place the text widget where you want it. In this example, I am using the primary sidebar.

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Now if we go and look at our site, we will find a nice little formatted widget, ready to go!

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Here’s an extra tip. If you have a lot of images you need to put in various sidebars or widget areas, and don’t want to go through this each time, I highly recommend the Image Widget.

2. What Homepage? – WordPress Tips

When you install your theme, you often get a homepage by default. And depending on your theme, it will decide what that page looks like. In a lot of themes, it just defaults to the list of your blog posts, like this homepage:

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Or maybe it looks like this.

 

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But what if you have decided you just want a simple homepage. Maybe something like one of your inside pages. You looked at the demo and thought something similar to the content with the sidebar on the right would work. But how the heck do you do that? And what about your blog? You want that to go inside somewhere.

First, you will create your page. For the sake of ease, I am naming it homepage.

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I save that and of course could have added any images or video as well. Now I go in and create my blog page. Name it, choose blog over on the right hand side under Template, and save. No content needed. This will automatically make it your blog index page.

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Now you are going to do your magic. Choose Reading under Settings and you will get this page.

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Now you are going to do three things:

  1. Tick A static page
  2. Choose Homepage or whatever you titled your homepage from the Front page drop-down menu.
  3. Choose Blog or whatever you titled your blog from the Post page drop-down menu.

Save, and go check out your brand, spanking new homepage.

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3. Underscores vs. Underlines – WordPress Tips

When you are naming files, some people tend to use underscores instead of dashes. Something like this:

Wrong Way

http://www.domain.com/sub_folder/file_name.htm

Good Way

http://www.domain.com/sub-folder/file-name.htm

Your media files would be an example of this as well. In any case, it’s best to keep it to dashes. Why? Because Google looks at underscores as joiners. That means it looks at it as one word. And that sucks for the Google search engines.

4. !#%!# Doublespace

You are typing along in your editor in WordPress, and you do a return. Damn, just this one time you want no space between the lines.

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There are two simple solutions.

  1. Click on your text tab, now delete the space.

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Or use the old standard key combination of:

shift > return

5. Bad “Admin,” Bad

Are you still using Admin for your username? Or maybe someone else on your site is? In any case, time to get rid of that bugger. You see, anyone can easily find out your username if they know how. But those bots that roam in packs on the internet looking to break into WordPress sites, they are set to try Admin first. So in reality, you are giving them half of your login by using it.

There are a few steps to doing this, as you cannot change a user admin.

Create a new user name

While you are logged in, add a new username. Make sure that you give it an Administrator Role. Also you will need to use a different email, because two users cannot have the same email. You can always change that later on.

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Log Out and Log In

Now log out and log in with your new user name. Once you are back in, go into your User list and find that old Admin user.

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Time to get rid of it.  But there is one very important step here. When you click on the delete, this screen will show up. Now since you may have already created various posts and pages while using that Admin user name, you don’t want them to go away. So make sure to tick the box “Attribute all posts and links to ” and this will be your new user name and the one you are logged into now.

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That will do it.

6. Who Gives a Damn About You?

This isn’t so much a functionality of WordPress, but an important tip. I have had people who either choose not to create an about page or if they do, decide to hide it in the navigation. Make sure it’s prominent! These days visitors to your site want to know who is behind the blog or business. In fact, I know many sites where the About page is the second most frequently visited page.

7. You Said It’s Where?

Here is a story for you. Someone is using WordPress. They have comments open on all the posts. But they are creating one post where they want the comments closed. When they Google it, they find all they need to do is untick the box on the post editor page, under Discussion, where it says Allow Comments. Well, they don’t see that. They look and they look and they look. Google it more, same answer. It’s driving them nuts. Maybe a stiff drink will help.

Whatever the end results are, they typically find that somehow it got unticked in the Screen Options at the top of the page.

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A lot of pages in WordPress have Screen Options. This allows you to declutter what shows on that screen. You can hide the stuff you don’t care about or need to see.

For example, on the page when you open the dashboard. Don’t care about WordPress news? Or maybe something else there that just clutters the page for you? You can do the same thing.

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Or on your Post page. As you add plugins, more stuff shows up in each row. Maybe it’s time for some cleanup there as well.

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Just remember, if you can’t find it, before you grab that nearest bottle of booze in frustration, check out your Screen Options.

8. Where The Heck Are They All Coming From?

Are you finding a lot of new users showing up in your user page? People who are subscribing to your blog through your RSS? Well, unless you have a plugin that requires this box to be checked, make sure it’s not.

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9. Full Posts Are Not Meant For Your Blog Page

Have you ever landed on a blog index page, or blog page that has the full posts listed and the page goes on and on? For example, look at this theme demo.

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To make your blog page more user-friendly, try placing excerpts or the first several words of the post instead, so people have to click through.

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Why?

Let’s look at this single post that is pulled out from that first screenshot.

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Do you notice something missing? First off, there are not share buttons if you are using them. Likely you don’t have them on your blog page, just on single posts. And where are the comments? What if I want to leave one? As you can see on this screenshot, both are there, resting at home nicely on the single post page.

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You want people to click through from the blog page to the single post page for this very reason.

10. Don’t Have Share Buttons or Open Comments on Pages

I see this all the time: people putting share buttons on the service pages or about page. Or even worse, comments. Those two tools are primarily meant for blog posts. You don’t need them there. Likely no one wants to comment on a static service page. And I doubt very many people will choose to share your about page. In fact, they are just additional distractions and will tend to lead people away from your important content.

Worse case scenarioL  The Contact page.

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Can you imagine someone sharing your contact page on Twitter?

“Hey folks, go and look at Bob’s contact page. I think you should contact him.”

Or leave a comment

“Cool contact page you have here. I think I’m going to use it to ask you something. Oh, and by the way, what contact plugin do you use?”

11. Don’t Get All Permalinky

You will be likely setting up your permalinks when you build your page. If you choose to change these down the road, likely all in-bound links will be broken. Sure, you might think that you can do redirects, but on all your pages? Not! So set these in the beginning and live with them. By the way, the most commonly used permalink is Post name.

You can also edit the permalink for posts and pages. Again, same warning. Do this if you want when creating the page or post. If you really have to change it here later, consider doing a redirect.

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12. Creating a Dead Link in Your Navigation Bar

Have you ever created a navigation bar with the main button acting like more of a header while listing your services below that? For example, here I have services and then links to all the separate services. But when doing it this way, often you find you need to create a Service page. What happens is that you create this page and basically add content to it, explaining these services and links to them. Sometimes that can be okay. But other times it’s just one more click-through for your weary reader.

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So let’s create a dead link, at least that is what I call it. You will go into your menu and we are going to replace that WordPress Services page.

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Under Custom Link, put a # in the URL field and then label it services. Note, you will not be able to add it to your menu unless there is something in that URL field.wordpress, wordpress tips, wordpress help, wordpress tricks, wordpress web design, wordpress website design, web design, website design, cms website, cms website design, cms web design, wordpress design, wordpress installation, wordpress woocommerce, woocommerce, wordpress templates, wordpress custom design

Now delete the WordPress Services page in the menu, and move this custom link to its spot.

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If we go back to the site, you will see that when we roll over it, it no longer links to a page, but becomes the header for the services listed under it.

But wait! Do you notice that little icon that shows it’s a link still appears when you roll over it. So someone might still try to click on it, only to be frustrated that nothing happens. Ugh! From what I have heard, this is the best practice of doing this. But I take it further.

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Go back into your menu, open that custom link, and remove the #.

Now when you go back to the site, and roll over it, no longer is that link icon going to appear.

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Now I do admit this can cause some issues for accessibility, but sometimes I feel you just gotta do what you gotta do.

13. Those Nasty Buttons

There are really two buttons that bug me in the post and page editor window:  underline and full justification. There they sit, next to each other, like partners in crime.

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The reason is this:

Underlines: What do you think of when you see text underlined? You think link. It’s pretty natural. And there is nothing more frustrating than clicking on it and only wondering it was a screw-up. And the site owner person gets emails telling them their link is broken. In fact, you may have been tempted to click on the underlined words two buttons. Typically underline is used for emphasis and you are better off bolding or italicizing.

Full Justification: In print and magazine newspapers, it worked. But it makes for hard reading on the web. Compare this paragraph with the others on this page.

Since 2008, I have taught thousands of people in groups and individually—online and in real life. But what most people don’t know about me is that I owned my own marketing firm for more than two decades. So when you attend one of my workshops, or hire me to for online or in-person one-on-one coaching or training or provide you with group training, you also get my 20+ years of marketing, design, and entrepreneurship experience—all at no extra cost.

And even worse, on mobile it can really suck.

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14. Avoid Abandoned WP Installs

Again, not so much a feature, but something to be aware of. In a nutshell, all those sites you started, or used for testing on a live host, need to be either deleted or kept updated. The reason being, especially if they are sub-folders, if you let WP and plugins and themes become outdated, they are easier to hack. And as a friend in security told me, “If they can get in there, they are more likely to be able to get into your main site, no matter how secure you have it.”

15. Don’t Muck Up Image Names and Alt Text

If you want your images to play a role in your SEO, make sure you do it right. This is not an in-depth explanation, but rather something to make you aware.

  1. It’s best to name your image file something relevant before uploading it to your media library. As you can see here, the original File name is: iStock_000004659301XSmall.jpg. Not much good there unless someone is searching for that (and that is highly unlikely).
  2. You can add a title, which is important, but it won’t change the file name.
  3. Do include an Alt Text no matter what. Google frowns on empty Alt Text.

Beyond that, what you decide to put in there will depend on several variables. So you might want to do a little research.

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16. How Long Should My Posts Be?

Okay, I changed this last one from my presentation because I wanted to quickly address this issue. We all struggle to find that perfect blog post length. It can be argued till the end of the world. In reality, there is not perfect length. Here are two things to know.

  1. Up to a limit, longer articles have better chances with Google. But they should still focus on style, structure and quality content.

2. Google does not like posts or pages that are less than 300 words.

So that’s it: 16 random tips. Of course there are a ton more, and you may already be aware of most of these. But from having worked with hundreds of beginners, I can tell you that these float to the top of the list.

Categories
RESPONSIVE DESIGN TIPS & TRICKS UX/UI MOBILE FIRST WEB DESIGN

8 Awesome Web Design Tips to Grab Your Visitors’ Attention

Powerful Web Design Tips

When you’re designing your website, one of the first things to consider is how you will grab your visitors’ attention. For example, your homepage, header and template are just some of the aspects of your site that you can customize to really leave a lasting impression. You can use animation, parallax scrolling and lightboxes to really wow and woo your visitors so they keep surfing your site. There are so many web design tips and tricks you can easily implement and we’ve compiled some unbelievable WordPress websites to help inspire you to take your website to a whole new level.

The Power of Animation – Web Design Tips

Footwear designer, Tamar Shalem, uses the power of animation to really hook her site visitors.  The minute you arrive to her website, you quickly realize it’s not just another shoe store. From an animated header with adorable menu icons, to the snazzy, moving shoes and flashing message indicating her blowout sale, it’s safe to say we won’t forget about this online store.

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Captivating video backgrounds – Web Design Tips

This website, a full service concrete specialist service provider, features a unique video background specific to their business. If you want to make sure your site visitors understand what your business is all about, try adding a video background or a little bit of animation to your website. Be sure to choose media that accurately represents what you do or is vague enough to keep your visitors curious.

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The alluring effect of parallax scrolling – Web Design Tips

Adding dimension to your site is a great way to lure your visitors in.  Take notes on this fashion photography website that incorporated a parallax scrolling effect. Parallax refers to the popular scrolling effect when your website background image moves slower than an image placed in the foreground. Here at HD1, we just can’t get enough of parallax scrolling and this website is just one example of parallax implemented to perfection!

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The thousand word gallery – Web Design Tips

Since images are often far more powerful than words, a beautiful gallery  within your website is an excellent way to demonstrate what you do and capture your visitor’s attention right away. Photographer Joern Pollex artfully uses a gallery to show the breadth of his photography skills.

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The clever duet between text and image

Can you make your visitors laugh within seconds of viewing your site? If so, you’re sure to get them interested in you and your brand. This website implemented a brilliant collaboration of text and image to make an instant and lasting impression.

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Include high quality images

You don’t have to have a photography portfolio to have high quality images. As we’ve stressed, a photo gallery is the ultimate way to appeal to your site visitors.  From an impressive full-screen image on his homepage, to a breathtaking photo gallery, Dory Younes transported us into his world in minutes. Another neat trick? Fixed headers.  Fixed headers stay put at the top of the page, even as your site visitors scroll downwards. This nifty trick is great for your UX, or user experience, since it helps users easily navigate your site.

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The musical header

We talked about having a video background or animation that clearly shows off the purpose of your website. On the same token, if you’re a musician, why not greet your site visitors with a taste of your music? Musician Mickey Factz has one of the most creative headers we’ve ever come across. A personal touch like this goes a long way.

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A splash of colour

This Florida-based beauty salon used a few different elements in their website that make it a total success. From a logo that stays put (and always reverts back to their homepage) to an attractive turquoise overlay, their website is striking and fierce, like a hair salon’s site should be. Bonus? Their informative blog!

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