Archive for category Web Tips

HTML 5.0


HTML 5.0 is the latest upgraded version of what is known as the language of the web, HTML (HyperText Markup Language).

For those of you who are interested in learning HTML 5.0, you should have no issues learning this if you know HTML 4.0. Go to educator.com where I spent  the last 6 weeks teaching this before a camera. I’ve created several instructional videos that will make you an expert.

The one thing I must warn you about HTML 5, is that unlike HTML 4, is not as straight forward as it seems.
The creators of HTML 5.0 seemingly wants to integrate Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Javascript.
I was stunned that attribute Tags such as ‘cellpadding’ and ‘cellspacing’ has been removed. Instead the one must resort to using CSS to control the thickness of tables.  I personally did not like that.

I also found far too many tags that do the same thing, especially in text. There are several tags  that italicize a word.
<EM> Does the </EM>   <DFN> same </DFN>    <VAR> thing </VAR> add this together and it comes out to Does the same thing.
I prefer <I> which stands for Italics…easy enough.

May of the tags appear to exist as to replace ‘comments’.

For instance there is the <article> tag used to let the browser know that an article is to be created here.
You can do the same thing with <P> the paragraph tag, but it’s more clear to the programmer what the intention of the body of texts is.  I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, since one of the most important things on web development is communication within coding, or letting the programmers know the intention of a part of the webpage.

Now there are some things in HTML 5.0 I do like. I think the < VIDEO> and <AUDIO> tags are a great idea since it defeats the need to upload video to YouTube. The <VIDEO> tag can create controls (play/pause) and play the video well. I think the <CAPTION> tag is great and most needed to allow captions to appear under(or over) tables and images.

While the tags may have changed somewhat, the ultimate decider will be the browsers themselves. I found that the browsers will support HTML 5, but not ready to give up on HTML 4. I don’t see that happening. I experimented and found that a combination of HTML 5 and HTML 4 works well in the browsers.

Happy coding!

Jim Hague
http://www.crystaldi.com

Did You Find this Blog Helpful
(polls)

Advertisements

1 Comment

How Much Does a Web Site Cost?


I get this question all the time…out of the blue. Funny, is that people actually expect an answer. Well, let’s talk about this. How does a website cost? The answer is always the same… it depends. It’s like asking, how much does a home in the United States cost. The answer is always the same…it depends.

Depends on what?

  1. What kind of home? A condo, single family unit, town home, a shack, bi-level, stucco?
  2. Where? By the ocean, in the forest, at the desert…. In addition, which state, California, New York, Tennessee, Montana…?
  3. How? Built from scratch or purchase as it.
  4. How complex? Do you want everything modern such as climate control between rooms, a rotating driveway, solar panels, or do you want no driveway, rock garden, a fireplace, and simplicity.

You get the gist? There are several variables in choosing a home.

There are several variable when deciding to embark up building a website.

  1. What it he purpose of the website? (1) Social Media (2) Promotional (3) Shopping Cart (4) blog
  2. If E-Commerce, how many products? Do you need security?
  3. What kind of hosting is necessary?
  4. Who is your target audience?
  5. How many pages?
  6. How many emails?
  7. Will you be collecting names and emails?
  8. Do you need SEO?
  9. Do you need a social media presence? If so which, Facebook (obvious), Twitter, Pinterest?

There there other variables to consider about the webmaster.

  1. A webmaster with 15 years experience will cost different that one with 5 years experience.
  2. A webmaster in California will cost different than one if say, Alabama.
  3. How soon do you need the site done?

To get the best quote and the best result is not get the cheapest price, but rather the most cost effective price. Cheap is not quality. Just because a webmaster may charge you $10/hour for their services may not result in a quality work. Why are they charging only $10/hr ?  On the other hand a webmaster that charges $100/hr may cause you nervousness because you may want them to hurry on the job, something the webmaster may not want to do. Of course once the site is done, how often do you want to pay the price when updates are needed.

You may opt for a reasonable $60/hr webmaster, with descent experience and is willing to cut breaks here and there just to keep your business. They exist.

On your end to get the cost effective price here is what to do: Write down specification.  Write everything down  in the process called, ‘Specifications’

a. Create a FlowChart to describe the navigation of the site.
b. Explain what pages are need and their purposes
c. Explain functionality?
– What do you need programming.
– Do you need a shopping cart?
– Do you need way to collect information?
– Do you need password protected directories.

The more your write down and detailed you get, the better you can take bids for the best price.
Any questions, let me know. JimHague@hotmail.com

Leave a comment

HTML 5.0


HTML 5.0 is the latest upgraded version of what is known as the language of the web, HTML (HyperText Markup Language).

For those of you who are interested in learning HTML 5.0, you should have no issues learning this if you know HTML 4.0. Go to educator.com where I spent  the last 6 weeks teaching this before a camera. I’ve created several instructional videos that will make you an expert.

The one thing I must warn you about HTML 5, is that unlike HTML 4, is not as straight forward as it seems.
The creators of HTML 5.0 seemingly wants to integrate Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Javascript.
I was stunned that attribute Tags such as ‘cellpadding’ and ‘cellspacing’ has been removed. Instead the one must resort to using CSS to control the thickness of tables.  I personally did not like that.

I also found far too many tags that do the same thing, especially in text. There are several tags  that italicize a word.
<EM> Does the </EM>   <DFN> same </DFN>    <VAR> thing </VAR> add this together and it comes out to Does the same thing.
I prefer <I> which stands for Italics…easy enough.

May of the tags appear to exist as to replace ‘comments’.

For instance there is the <article> tag used to let the browser know that an article is to be created here.
You can do the same thing with <P> the paragraph tag, but it’s more clear to the programmer what the intention of the body of texts is.  I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, since one of the most important things on web development is communication within coding, or letting the programmers know the intention of a part of the webpage.

Now there are some things in HTML 5.0 I do like. I think the < VIDEO> and <AUDIO> tags are a great idea since it defeats the need to upload video to YouTube. The <VIDEO> tag can create controls (play/pause) and play the video well. I think the <CAPTION> tag is great and most needed to allow captions to appear under(or over) tables and images.

While the tags may have changed somewhat, the ultimate decider will be the browsers themselves. I found that the browsers will support HTML 5, but not ready to give up on HTML 4. I don’t see that happening. I experimented and found that a combination of HTML 5 and HTML 4 works well in the browsers.

Happy coding!

Jim Hague
http://www.crystaldi.com
http://www.webtipstv.com

Leave a comment

Apply Feng Shui to Your Website: Space and Fonts


by Jim Hague, CEO, CrystalDI Web Design (www.crystaldi.com)

Space and fonts are two important components that carries a hidden communication on the seriousness of not only your website, but your business.

Let’s start with fonts.

Back in the 90’s, when the world was just gaining familiarity with the internet, most computer system carried the basic fonts link Verdana,
Arial, Comic Sans, and San Serif.

The issue that challenged us webmasters at the time was matching the fonts we wanted to use for design to the fonts installed in our client’s computers. If the client’s computer did not contain the font used by web programmers, the browsers would display the text with a different font.

Today that conflict is no longer an issue. Most computer operating systems are installed with thousands of fonts. Webmasters are free to create using the fonts with little concern of on how text will appear on the client side.

Whatever font you use, the size and color are the most important attributes. Be sure headings, sub headings, and paragraph all use different sized fonts or styles and be consistent through out the websites. Like below:

Headings

Sub-Headings

The beginning of a paragraph.

It’s recommended to use a font size of 10pt – 14 pt with colors in complete contrast with the background (i.e. Black fonts with a white background, yellow fonts in a blue background, etc).

Now the type of font used on your website communicates, subconsciously, to the viewers the type of business you are. If your business caters to ‘events for kids’ you may want to consider comic sans or balloon fonts. If you are the owner of an elegant dining hall you may
want a website that uses an elegant font like Pristinaor Vivaldi.

How do you know which is the best font to use? Study your competitors?

Adding Pristina font to a website about beat up old Ford truck is like driving a beat up old Ford truck to your prom.

Now let’s talk about space.

Keep in mind that a computer screen is light! A very bright light. Turn off all the lights in the room except the monitor and you’ll still be able to look for those car keys.

With your face 24 inches away from the monitor your eyes will get tired after some time. When the eyes get tired the result is a 20% slower reader than paper!

To spare your viewers from this pain you must take into consideration of space, alignment, and clutter.

Alignment is an important influence on the way the view reads text. There are four choices for alignment:
left, right, center, and justify.

Paragraphs aligned to the left are the most common and are easy on the eye.

Paragraphs that are
center-aligned has its place

usually websites that are involved in poetry or art.

Right alignment is not
recommended at all. It’s okay if you are trying to collect data like

names and emails with respective entry fields, but people may find this
hard to read.

The most advisable
alignment is justified. We re-visit the Feng Shui concept of sharp edges
promoting bad energy. Left, right, and center alignment causes jagged
edges in the paragraphs it forms. Justify alignment limits jagged edges.
Both sides of a paragraph remain straight, promoting a good reading experience.

Let’s discuss clutter

What would you think about a person who’s closet looks like this?

Not to great.

Clutter denotes low self-esteem. A well-organized closet portrays self-respect and confidence.
Similarly, a cluttered website will communicate that you don’t care what people think. A well groomed and designed website will enhance your image.

Here are some tips on space and layout:Avoid scattering images all over the pages.

Here are some simple rules to follow about clutter.

  1. Keep columns of text about ¼ inch apart
  2. Pictures and text should also be at least ¼ inch part
  3. Links should be placed on top or on the left side of the page and maintained at the same place throughout the site.
  4. Use no more than two images embedded into a single paragraph.
  5. Keep reading zones narrow, not stretching from one end of the screen to the other. That only tires eyes

Lets look at the examples below. The company had us re-design the website from what it used to look like on the left, what it looks like on the right (much better).

 

Use appropriate fonts, paragraph alignment, and clutter. Make it easier for your clients to read your text and they will keep coming back.

Jim Hague
Comments can be sent to jimhague@hotmail.com

www.webtipstv.com
www.crystaldi.com

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Social Media Summit – 11/15


On Tuesday, the KNX1070 News Radio sponsored the Social Media Summit at the Hollywood Palladium.

Attended by close to 200 people (mostly non-technical small business owners), it was a brilliant display of experts from around the technical industry, thoughtfully arranged by KNIX. Regardless of how much of an expert I think I am, there will always be room to learn more to benefit my own clients.

KNX created a fun environment with two screens of displaying live feeds of Tweets by the attendees.

Here are some points that I have learned:

  1. The whole purpose behind social media , like search engines, is to increase visitors to your website for whatever purpose be it sales, awareness, etc.
  2. To build an audience is to build a potential customer base. The platforms of social media include:
    1. Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Tumbler
    2. Forums and Blogs
    3. Be aware that fastest use of the internet is coming by way of Mobile Apps or Mobile Optimized Web Sites.
      • Thirty-two (32%) of all mobile users utilize their devises for social media.
      • Forty-seven (45%) utilize their devises for games
      • The rest (27%) use it for news, entertainment, internet and email.

I have practically replaced my laptop with my iPhone for functions ranging from online banking to ordering pizza. Of course I love my apps!

The main message I got from the panels of experts is that social media is the fast growing trend in history. It’s the new Google Search and impacts Search Engines. Most social network age groups range from teenagers to early 30’s. However, the fastest growing populace is the 50 plus age group. With these facts businesses who are interested in keeping pace with these trends must integrate social media (for web and mobile web) into their marketing plans.

The recommended methods are:

  1. Start with ‘end’ in mind. Social media is the means to this ‘end’. It’s not just about attracting a general populace like the concept of search engines, but rather, a targeted populace more likely to have an interest in a specific business. In other words, instead of attracting an entire orchard of apples, focus on a few trees that bear the best fruit.
  2. Focus on what interest your audience. It’s the concept behind the franchise, ‘In and Out Burgers’ which focuses on their customers are most interested…hamburgers. Not shakes and not even their fries, but their burgers. The fries and shakes sell as a result.
  3. Communicate: The successful business always re-invents itself and adjusts to new trends.
    It is not always useful to pay attention what is being mentioned in the news which is often misleading. Rather, listen to your own audience. With Social Media, businesses can communicate with their audience, ask specific questions, and get answers.
  4. Lather, rinse, repeat: With communication and feedback available through social media, you can take action. If there are numerous complaints about something in your services, make changes. If numerous compliments, see you can do to make thing better. Then repeat the ‘ask and take action’ method over and over again.

Best techniques of Social Media

  1. Keep informing your clientele about your products and services. Tell them what is happening.
  2. If you are selling a new brand, communicate it. If you have a new service, communicate it. If you have a new product, communicate it.
  3. OFFER DEALS: The #1 reason why people associate with Twitter / Facebook are deals. Push out deals
  4. Deliver consistent messaging about your brand by doing it yourself or work with a local ad network.

Just remember the formula:
More “Likes” (FaceBook) + More “Tweets” (Twiiter)+Five Stars (Yelp,Merchant Circle) = Audience
Audience = SALES!

Jim Hague
www.crystaldi.com www.webtipstv.com  webtipstv@me.com

Connect With Us!

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

What is Social Networking?


In a nutshell, social media is a means to collect names and emails in an effort to draw that audience to a website.  The concept of social media is turning out to be more important than even SEO. I have people who disagree with me and that’s okay.

I’m not going to argue against the value of SEO because it most certainly is important. However, being on top of the search engine causes the these problems:

1. You are advertising your competitors: When a person types in specific search terms they will get a list of websites, yours and others! A prospect may not automatically click on the first listing. They will look at the description line and then make the decision to click.

2. Offers very little information: Here is where the description tag comes in very handy and can set it apart from the other websites. Otherwise, you become a commercial in the midst of a DVR fast forward. People will miss your message.

3. Does not guarantee a click through: I know people who’s website is on top of the search engine but no business. Why? Because there is no connection established between the viewer and the owner of the website.

Audience building aims to solve this issue. Connection is the key to business.  God made us to interact with each other.  The beauty of social media is that it brings that connection between you and the prospect before entering your site.

Here are some ideas:

1. Create a Name / Email collection form on the top portion of your website.
They say in real estate that the value of a home is location, location, and location.
Well the value of a website is database, database, and database. The more people coming into your website, the more value it retains. Facebook is worth well over $60 billion with its 750 million participants.

2. Establish a presence on all the Social Media websites and take part in the action.
Well we all know about the Facebook and Twitter, but people are not aware of the some 500 other social media websites such as Friendster, Bebo, and let’s still not forget MySpace.
Establish a presence in them and communicate your company news and products.  Have a Facebook fan box on your website and blog. Watch the audience grow!

3. Blogging
Yes I know. A pain to do. But then again so is driving in traffic. Blogging is a terrific way to communicate the latest happenings of your business and educate the public about your area of expertise. This article was written by me to you. It shows that I am an expert in the field.
You don’t have to write a book or even a 1000 word article. Instead just write a paragraph and share it. Share your thoughts, your ideas, and let the world build upon. WordPress and Google’s Blogger are the two recommended blogs.

When you are done blogging, copy and paste them on to the social media websites.

4. Link Exchange
Exchange links is to share an audience. Create a small banner and ask another website to place it on there. If not an ad banner then a simple text link. In turn, you do the same.
Now your both share an audience as the websites offer publicity to each other.

5. Mobile Communication
This remains to be seen how big it grows, but it’s pretty big now. Hand held devices is now climbing to be the number one most utilized devise to view the web. Sending out text messages for those who accept them increases the likelihood that your message will be read.

6. Market Place Integration
Selling items on the website and relying solely on search engines is like having a mini-part in the desert. You need to inside a mall with the foot traffic. If you have a product to sell then you’ll want accounts on the major sites such as Amazon, PriceGrabber, and ShopZilla. It’s where the people ready to bring out their credit cards.

7. E-Newsletters
With a growing email list you’ll want to send out a newsletter once or twice a month. It’s a simple way of saying hello. In my newsletters I often add my educational piece along with a private message specific to my clients. Keep sending and hope for the best. Chances are your recipients will forward the email to a friend or colleague.

Happy Networking!

VISIT:  www.webtipstv.com

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Mass Emailing the Right Way


Mass Emailing

The success of a website is measured in two ways: (1) by the number of visitors entering the site (2) the conversions such as sales, phone calls, and people joining your newsletter. While it’s one thing to drive traffic to a website, it’s a bigger challenge to have your visitors coming back. Businesses who consistently communicate with their visitors enjoy a successful internet presence.

The secret to retaining and maintaining visitors is communication by way of email. Mass emailing is the most effective method of marketing on the internet because it can drive traffic to your website; retain those who already visited the site, thus increasing the chance of conversion.

Methods of Collection
Have your webmaster create a form for visitors to enter their name and email. The form should be placed on a highly visible section of the website, perhaps the top right corner of the homepage. Add verbiage that encourages your visitors to add their information such as, ’Join Our Email List’, ‘Enter now and Win’, ‘Let Us Keep You Informed’.

Then we face the challenge of collecting names and emails. The hard way is to drive traffic to your site by standard marketing techniques. One such is search engines. Other ways is radio, tv, or other forms of print advertisement. These methods, while effective, can be costly, impersonal, and it does not guarantee that visitors will join the list.

The best way and most affordable way to add to your database is simple face-to-face networking.

Regardless of the advances of technology we still like the human touch of good conversation and a hand-shake. Once you’ve exchanged business cards ask the prospect if it’s okay to add their name to your email list. The newly added person will most likely want to hear from you and what you have to offer.

Designing the Email
1. Keep all emails short and simple.
An email already the size of this article will lose interest. Sending an email with too much text causes the reader to see in blocks. They don’t see words. Depending on their mood, they will not likely want to read. My suggestion is to keep it under 200 words and offer a link to your website where you can provide more detailed information.

2. Explain why the recipient is getting an email and how their emai was obtained:
This is an un-written rule but many mass email providers require it. At the end of the email add a simple line such as “You received this email because you opted into our list via our website” or “You received this email because we met at a networking event.” This way the recipient does not feel solicited.

3. Add your contact info
Any business or individual sending mass emails must disclose their address, phone number, and website. Its’ the law!

Find a Good Mass Email Service Provider

In order to send out mass email, you need to use the services of an email provider. Be cognizant of the rules. Many service providers will not let you send out large number of emails for the sake of it. They can lose their business license! Understand what their regulations are before utilizing any service.

Constant Contact is a popular service provider. So is iContact. Both are used by millions.
They offer templates, designs, and good customer service.

CrystalDI also offers affordable mass email services. Go to http://www.crystaldi.com or call us at 323.201.2184.

Now go talk to your contact list…they are waiting to hear from you!

Jim Hague
Comments can be sent to jimhague@hotmail.com
www.webtipstv.com
www.crystaldi.com

, ,

Leave a comment

11 Tips to Start an Online Business for 2011


by Jim Hague, CEO, Crystal Digital Images (www.crystaldi.com)

Some financial analysts declared that we no longer live in a bad economy.

Instead we are witnessing the emergence of a new economy, one that caters to online transactions. As a result, entrepreneurs are establishing more online businesses than any other time in history. Here’s why.

Consumers have grown accustomed to utilizing websites

The Internet revolution, armed with computers, hand-held devices, and eventually our televisions have taken away the old method of business and the way we live our lives. Once considered to be the playground of the younger generation, has evolved into a powerful business medium for all generations.

Little monetary risk involved

Creating an online business requires little start-up capital.  If one business does not work, it’s easy to pick up and start again. In fact, it’s not unusual for many entrepreneurs to operate multiple websites at once, thus creating multiple streams of income.

The resale value

The resale value of a website is not based on revenues, but by the size of the database of names and emails. Facebook generated revenues of 1.5 billion in 2010. With its nearly 600 million users Facebook’s net worth is estimated at $50 billion. Google’s revenue topped at $6 billion. The company estimated net worth is about $153 billion.



Here are 11 tips to start up a new Internet business in 2011:

  1. Create a Business PlanSome things never change. Like any business it all starts with a plan. Set goals and how to achieve them. Use the services of the Small Business Administration (SBA) for guidance or go to www.sba.gov. 
  2. Use a flow chartA flowchart is the blue print of a website (see illustration below). It is an illustration of connecting boxes and lines to define navigation and functionality.
  1. Hire a Good WebmasterThe Webmaster is the most important investment for an online business. Find a Webmaster who has worked with start ups and understands the mission of the business.
  2. Keep It SimpleDon’t overwhelm consumers with too many features, functions, and content. That’s like serving the appetizer, the main course, and desert at all once.  Add new content over time. It keeps the consumer interested and returning to the website.
  3. Collect Names and EmailThe key to a successful web business is not just search engine placement or social media. ‘Communication’ achieves success.  When new articles are published or products and services are added, inform consumers with a mass email campaign.That’s not to say that Search Engines and the Social Networking websites are to be ignored. However, without communication, the consumers will lose interest and move on to another website.

     

  4. Optimize for the Search EnginesAsk the Webmaster to code the site for the best search results. This takes some time, however, unless pay-per-click is utilized. It’s recommended to first exhaust all free forms of advertising on search engines ranking prior to taking out the credit card.
  5. Use Domain Names with Keywords. Search engines favor domain names with embedded keywords.  If a guy named is Jackie owns a donut shop in Cincinnati. Instead of Jackiesdonuts.com he should consider Cincinnatidonuts.com. More people search for ‘Cincinnati’ and ‘Donuts’ before they search for ‘Jackie’. 
  6. Use Videos more then TextGoogleTV is already a big hit and is expected to grow. Eventually Internet content is going to the TV. That means less reading and more watching. Use videos for special instructions and to communicate important facts about your online businesses.
  7. Blogs and Social NetworkBlogging is a powerful method of generating visits and top rankings from search engines. Viral videos can achieve the same results. Publish an article on a popular blog site such as Blogger or WordPress. If a video has been developed then upload it onto You Tube. Then inform fellow members Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo and any other social networking site with over a million registered users.

10. Use banner ads on popular websites

While a price maybe involved, advertise on a website with high volume traffic. This attracts a new audience independent of search engines and the social networking sites.

11. Regular Networking

Having an online business does not dismiss the notion of a one-on-one interaction with a prospective consumer. Create business cards, brochures, and go out and network. After shaking hands with prospective consumers, collect their business cards and add the information on your database.

Rare is a website that achieves overnight success. However, with patience, perseverance and a good marketing plan the return of investment will prove worth it.  Happy New Year!

Jim Hague

If I can answer any questions to you, email me at jimhague@hotmail.com

Visit my website at www.crystaldi.com.

Bookmark and Share

//

, ,

Leave a comment

Apply Feng Shui to Your WebSite


The art of Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway), developed over 3,000 years ago in China, promotes harmony and positive energy flow. “Feng” and “shui” means “wind” and “water” respectively. The ancient Chinese associated the relationship of wind and water with good harvest and good living, this positive energy exchange is known as ‘chi.’

Can ‘chi’ exist within our websites?  Yes!

While there is no way of covering a 3,000 year old theory within this article, I will touch upon some of the elements of Feng Shui that is relevant to websites such as color, shape, text, space, and positioning.

The Use of Colors

Feng Shui places an emphasis on the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element is associated with a color. I’m not saying that the colors mentioned below should be the ‘main’ colors on your website, but instead, should be included to some degree.

  • WOOD: Green, Brown
    Brown and green…a tree and it’s leaves. This element promotes seasonal growth and new life.  Businesses involved in landscaping, horticulture, maid service, and weddings may benefit from including these colors. Notable websites: 1800conroys.com, fertilitycommunity.com, Palmolive.colgate.com
  • FIRE: Red, Strong Yellow, Orange, Purple, and Pink
    Red: This color is hot, passionate, rich and celebratory.  If you want your clients to feel excited and important, red is it!  This color is very much used on dating and restaurant websites. Notable websites: verizonwireless.com, lavalife.com, valentines.com, and ruthchris.com.Yellow and Orange: Yellow is the color of the sun and orange is the color of the sun at sunset and sunrise. These colors offer life, new hope, and cheerfulness. Great for businesses that offer energy or investment services. Notable websites: edison.com, yesinsurance.co.uk, and ingdirect.com.

    Purple: A metaphysical color that promotes peace and serenity. Businesses such as spas, astrologers, and graphics designers should use purple. Notable websites: 365daysofastronomy.org, massageeny.com, and lovebeingwoman.com.

    Pink: The universal color of love and feminism. Perfect for family oriented and charitable organizations. Notable websites: mothersclick.com, babiesareimportant.com, and oprah.com

  • EARTH: Light Yellow, Sandy/Earthy Tones, Light Brown
    The earth is the home of all, living and non-living. It represents abundance. Grocery stores, abundant with food, may use these colors. Notable websites: safeway.com, vons.com, and theirc.org
  • METAL: White, Gray
    Metal, the element of ‘everything.’ Metals protect us and enrich us. It’s used to produce weapons as well as coins.  A metal rewards us for achievements and nourishes us in that it is included in most multi-vitamin tablets. A white background is the most commonly used color in websites. If white is too common for you, try gray: Notable websites: crystaldiwebdesign.com, dailyom.com, and mylivingdesktop.com
  • WATER: Blue, Black
    Water is the element of connection and emotion. It’s recommended for websites involved with drawing a large audience. Many entertainment studios use black or dark backgrounds while popular social networking sites use blue. Notable Sites: facebook.com, abc.com, twitter.com, myspace.com

The Use of Shapes

In most websites we see three shapes: square, rectangle and circles. The most accommodating shape is the rectangle. It can stretch long or wide, accommodating all content.

Avoid restrictive shapes
The Square is restrictive, because the size of height has to match the size of width. It may show too much (or too little) of content. Circles are even more restricting. Use a circle only if you wish to focus on a single part of whole entity, like a face, or a part of a home. Please don’t use triangles unless it’s used in a company logo. The triangle stars off narrow, and then expands…very limiting.

Curved edges

Most Feng Shui experts advise against buying furniture with sharp edges. Why? Because edges take the shape of arrows, and arrows hurt! Thus, bad chi. Ask your Webmaster to curve the edges of images or table borders.  This promotes good chi and the likelihood of returned visitors. For an example, view

The Use of Fonts

What fonts to use?
Only a few years ago web browsers limited fonts to Verdana, Arial, Comic Sans, and San Serif. Today most computers are loaded with hundreds of fonts, freeing Webmasters to be more creative. My favorite font is Trebuchet MS. It’s smooth, easy to read, and adjustable. Verdana is the next favorite because it’s wide and readable at a distance. Arial and Times New Roman are rather cliché by now but they are narrow and very pointy, thus bad ‘chi.’

Whatever font you use, the size and color are the most important attributes. Smaller fonts are difficult to read as well as fonts with color blended too much into the background. Use font size of 10pt – 14 pt with colors in complete contrast with the background (i.e. Black fonts with a white background, yellow fonts in a blue background, etc).

Narrow the reading area
Studies show that people read 20% slower on a computer monitor than paper! The eyes will grow tired and viewers will not continue reading.

Narrow the reading area of a single column so not exceed this very sentence.


Space and Layout

Alignment? Best to justify
Paragraphs aligned to the left are okay but only because it’s common. Center alignment has its place such as poetry or quotes. Right alignment is not recommended at all.

Why? We re-visit the concept of sharp edges promoting bad chi. Left, right, and center alignment causes jagged edges in the paragraphs it forms. Justify alignment limits jagged edges. Both sides of a paragraph remain straight on both sides, promoting good chi.

Avoid Clutter

Personal tip: Want to know a person? Look in their closets. Cluttered closet denotes low self-esteem. A well-organized closet portrays self-respect and confidence.

Web tip: A cluttered website will communicate that you don’t care what people think. Bad chi.

A well groomed and designed website will enhance your image.

Here are some tips on space and layout:

  1. Avoid scattering images all over the pages.
  2. Keep columns of text about ¼ inch apart
  3. Pictures and text should also be at least ¼ inch part
  4. Links should be placed on top or on the left side of the page and maintained at the same place throughout the site.

Brewing Some Good Chi?

  • Select the appropriate color for the vibe you wish to resonate to your audience
  • Make use of rectangular shapes and remember curve your edges
  • Small fonts + wrong color + stretched out paragraphs = BAD CHI
  • Best of justify align
  • Avoid clutterEnjoy the good chi and watch your web audience grow.

If I can answer any questions to you, email me at jimh@crystaldi.com. Visit my website at www.crystaldi.com.
Also visit www.webtipstv.com

, ,

Leave a comment

Choosing the Right Domain Name


by Jim Hague, CEO, CrystalDI Web Design (www.crystaldi.com)

A colleague once wrote to me, “I just discovered I’m ranked #1 on Google for (keywords) ‘Abundance and Prosperity’, and #5 for ‘Money Magnet!’ When the heck did that happen?”

I replied, “I rank #1 on Google for my name, ‘Jim Hague’ ”.  Only a month ago a search on ‘Jim Hague’ would display other Jim Hague’s, but not me.  When I registered ‘jimhague.com’, I shot straight to the top of the search engines in a matter of days! The website has no Meta Tags, no Title tags, no content, and is under construction. How did we achieve this?  Observe the domain names.

  • Jimhague.com
  • abundanceandprosperity.com
  • howtobeamoneymagnet.com

Notice the search terms are embedded into the domains!  That’s the trick! Most people focus on Meta Tags and Title Tags for search engine results when in fact, Google looks for domains first!

Should businesses purchase domains with embedded key words to be competitive on search engines? Absolutely! What kind of key words? It all depends on your business situation. Here are some important considerations when selecting a domain:

The ‘Location / Business Type Combo’
Businesses catering to local residents will benefit from key words that identify the type of the business and it’s location.

For instance, a donut shop owner in Fallbrook, Ca. can assume that visitors from out of town will enter “Fallbrook Donuts” on Google. That owner should register fallbrookdonuts.com.  Even though the store’s actual name is not mentioned on the domain, this strategy may prove valuable for top ranking on search engines for these key words.

Add Purpose to the Domain Name
The ‘not so well known companies’ should consider adding their purpose or mission in addition to the name, like ‘CrystaldiWebDesign.com’ or ‘HannasGiftBaskets.com’.  The domain will identify the business’ purpose without going into much detail.

Famous brands such as Toyota.com, Nabisco.com, etc don’t have that problem.

The right extensions (.com, .net, org, .us….oh my!)
All profit making companies’ main domain name should end with the ‘.com.’ extension since it’s the most widely used.

Let’s consider the following scenario where we bring back our Fallbrook donut shop. The storeowner discovers that his competitor registered fallbrookdonuts.com. Should he settle for fallbrookdonuts.net or fallbrookdonuts.org?  Short answer, NO!  It makes a business seem it had settled for second best.

The ‘.net’ extension’s original purpose was to identify technology companies. The ‘.org’ served non-profits such as churches.  Unless the donut store is selling bionic donuts or holds a bible studies, the ‘.net’ and ‘.org’ should not be used.

If the domain you want is taken, get creative. Instead of ‘fallbrookdonuts.com’, try ‘bestfallbrookdonuts.com’ or ‘tastyfallbrookdonuts.com’. The Meta tags are still embedded in these domains so search engines will find them, keeping the business competitive.

An acceptable alternative is the use of the ‘.us’ extension. Currently, ‘.us’ is the fastest growing extension with a 21% jump in registered owners since 2005.

Other tid-bits

Domains should be short, no hyphens, and up to a three-word summary of what the site is about. For example,’ joessportstores.com’, ‘bobsfishing.com’, ‘thestockanalyzer.com’.

Avoid using over extended domains or words difficult to spell. We had a client register ‘SouthernOregonBeachVacationRentals.com’ and another with ‘BhaghatSinghThind.com’.  Type those enough times and you’ll end up with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!

Keep in mind that domains are not just for website purposes, but also for emails. Having colleagues or clients typing long extensions is a turn off.

Buy a domain already established?
We had a client who owned an art gallery in Boston with the website, ‘BuyThomasKinkade.com’ a site selling Tom Kinkade paintings.  When the Boston art gallery folded, an art gallery in Folsom, California decided to purchase that domain.

The Folsom company currently enjoys the traffic and familiarity already established by the Boston art gallery. Established domains open for purchase or bidding can be found on several reputable websites like GoDaddy.com, snapnames.com, and eBay.

Statements Domains
These days, it’s easy to find domains that make a statement such as ‘BetterYourFICOScore.org’, ‘DontForeclose.com’ or ‘SaveYourHome.com’.

The benefit is that it clearly defines the business purpose, but there are flaws:

(1). No Branding. What company is this? Why conduct business with a company that fails to identify itself.

(2). The META tags are not embedded, thus the owner has to market more aggressively.

Business can get away using these domains if mentioned on television or radio ads since it’s easy for customers to remember.

Jim Hague is the Owner of Crystal Digital Images
Any questions email him at jimhague@hotmail.com
WebTipsTV: www.webtipstv.com
Crystal Digital Images: www.crystaldi.com



, ,

Leave a comment