Posts Tagged web tips

Online Business Tips for Beginners

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Nine Tech Terms You Need to Know Before Starting a Business

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10 Tips for Online Business Success

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How to Make the Perfect Website


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77 Business Tips For An Online Entrepreneur

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Apply Feng Shui to Your Website: Space and Fonts

by Jim Hague, CEO, CrystalDI Web Design (

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:



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
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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

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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!


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Online Profiles Are Important for Love and Business

Well it’s that special time of year again. For those of us fortunate enough to be in a happy relationship, Valentine’s Day’s a day of honoring the spark that brought couples together.

My wife and I will probably go to ‘Dave and Busters’ at the Ontario Mills Mall. Not the most romantic place, but it was the site of our first date. Nearly 24 months later, we married.

How did we meet? A little website called ‘Eharmony’. How did we know enough to give each ther chance before we even set eyes upon each other? It was our profiles.

As a small business owner I have my profile on various websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Plaxo, and Craig’s List. I meet potential clients at Starbucks or Coffee Bean. How did we know enough to give each other a chance to do business? It was our profiles.

That’s right, the internet is the place to be when trying to find new relationships, be it in business or romance. It’s all in the profile

The issue with online profiles is the competition. Everyone is doing it! If you don’t have a profile somewhere, you are like that one dark house ina neighborhood block with no Christmas lights while the rest of your neighbors’ homes are as bright as the stars. There are literally thousands of social media websites out there to generate interest for your goods and services. Here are some tips that can help your profile stand out more so than the others.

Be the customer you want to attract

Before you begin to contemplate on a profile, ask yourself who are you looking to associate with? Are you looking for upper class movers and shakers; the start up business owners; or those poor artists, musicians, and actors with little or no money. Whoever the audience you are targeting, that information must be conveyed on your profile. In romance, it’s said that opposites attract’. Just ask the divorce attorneys. In business, opposites do not attract, like minds do.

Your Profile Picture: Recent and Decent

If you are a white collar professional then upload a picture of you in business suit.  If you are a white collar professional representing blue collar or lower in come workers… upload a picture of you in business suit! Represent your profession before you represent your clientele. If you are a cook then wear a chef’s outfit. A police officer, wear a uniform.

Your smile should be welcoming, like you are ready to shake hands. Look right into the camera, stand straight, and display confidence. Thefield-of-view for most pics should be from shoulder length on up. Look good because you never know who’s looking at you. While it’s not necessary have professional quality photos (though I recommend it), the secret to good profile picture is good lighting. A dark picture subconsciously turns people off. Women, if you show more skin then necessary you may attract the wrong crowd.

Finally, do not post a picture from the past. All pics should be recent and decent. In romance, this is taboo and will cost you a second date, maybe even the second minute. In the business world, when you lie about your picture, how honest are you in business?

Your Bio or Professional Summary: The Three Paragraph Rule

Keep the bio short and to the point. In a business profile, write more about what you have to offer to a customer more than about yourself. I like the three-paragraph rule. The first two paragraphs should highlight your career.

I have been in web design and internet marketing field since 1996. In that time I have produced over 400 websites and over 90% of my clients are on the first page of the Google search engine. Visit my website,


    My company successfully employs 20 people. In 2002, we won anaward for

    outstanding achievement for a children’s website in

   We specialize in all websites, ecommerce, database, and SEO. 


Then finally, the last paragraph should list extracurricular involvement and your education, so as long as it involves business.

    I am a self-taught web designer but do hold a BS Degree in Liberal Arts from

   Arizona State University. I am an ambassador for my local Chamber of Commerce.

    I also enjoy teaching students the art of web design.

Your Portfolio or Resume:
For my work in web design, a smart customer will look at my portfolio. The more projects I list, the better I look. List all work activities performed over the years so as long as it ‘pertains’ to your current business. If you changed careers, list activities for your current career first. I was a microbiologist 14 years ago and have not worked in that field since…thankfully! My prospects may not find that information helpful so why waste their time reading and my time writing material that does not ‘pertain’.

List all professional groups you are involved with that‘ pertain’ to business or include business people. For example, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus will look great on a profile. On my Linked In profile I listed my being freemason. Now the Masons are not a business group, but many of the nation’s top business leaders are masons.

List your honors and awards that ‘pertain’ to your business, even if it was achieved years ago. When writing your accomplishment, show pride in your work, but don’t brag or put down your competitors. No one likes arrogance, be it business or romance.

Post Recommendations and Testimonials.

Finally, what other customers say about you is the final icing on the cake to land a project.

Call your clients, have them email you a testimonial, and post it up. Post several testimonials but don’t overdo it. Make sure you list the person’s first name and their positions.

Of course in romance getting testimonials from former companions may lead to more former companions.

If you have any questions, email me at or visit my website at


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Protecting Your Kids from Online Predators

by Jim Hague,

CEO, CrystalDI (

The predator has one goal and that is to have an intimate physical experience regardless if it’s against the child’s will.

a kid (anyone under the age of 17) or young adult is molested, the
impact cannot only destroy the innocence of a childhood, but causes life
long scars that may never heal.

experiences shame, guilt, and low esteem. Many experience intimacy
issues themselves or become sexually aggressive. Regardless, the
predator is a monster and should be treated as such.

can sympathize the fact that many predators were victims themselves.
Sometimes it may be necessary. After all, these people need help since
they have been victims themselves. However, the minute they act-out on a
child, they should get help ‘after’ they have the received the

Unfortunately, the predator has found a new tool in addition to their deranged mind…the Internet.

it’s a predator or a sexual addict, the Internet has become a haven for
those who can’t help but lurk after the innocent. To understand how to
protect your child from predators we must understand the mind of a

screen these predators can make themselves into anything they want.
Predators can be a 40-year man interacting with a 12-year-old girl and
know exactly what to say. They become your child’s best friend and build
the type of relationship that child has always wanted. That predator
will listen, offer advise, and build enough trust to the point where the
child will share the most intimate details of their lives, like phone
numbers, addresses, and eventually pictures. The child, unaware that
they are being hunted, may grow to value online relationships over the
reality of their family and friends.

know the lingo and the popular trends of the younger generation. To say
that they are wolves in sheepskin is an understatement. In the
Internet, the sheepskin is a username. Instead of open fields where the
sheep graze, the Internet offers chat rooms and social networking sites.

It’s very challenging to catch a predator at first because they hide behind their online profiles.

Protecting your child from the potential of being victimized is not only our jobs as parents, but as human beings.  There are some signs you should look out for:


  1. Talk
    to you kids about the dangers of online predators and encourage them to
    communicate with you. Don’t let your child have an online profile
    without first taking to them. 
  2. Limit your child’s participation on too many social media websites. Allow them just one, like Facebook. 
  3. Most
    social networking websites has a minimum age limit of 13 years old. Do
    not let you child create online accounts by lying about their age. 
  4. If
    your child is of age, oversee what they write be aware of check their
    list of friends. Ask them not to accept any friend request unless they
    know who the other person is. 
  5. Control
    their emails. For young children, make sure to create emails in which
    you copied on all their correspondence. Do not allow your kids to use
    their private emails for use of social networking. 
  6. Always know your child’s username and password. Go into their account and make sure that all interactions are safe. 
  7. Make
    sure your child does not upload revealing pictures of themselves that
    show too much skin. Teenage girls are most at risk for attack by
  8. Look
    for subtle signs such as (1) your child is quick to log on to the
    Internet especially at night or (2) your child quickly switches screens
    when you enter the room. 
  9. Have the computer in common room. A child who is involved with an online relationship with a predator wants privacy. 
  10. Obvious
    signs of your child being involved with a predator are (1). Child
    receiving and sending sexually explicit pictures or emails (2). The
    predator sends gifts as a way to lure your child. 
  11. Use online parental controls like the ones built into Windows 7 or Vista.

    Do a search on ‘parental controls’ and you will have plenty to choose from.

If you suspect that the person your child is communicating with is a probable predator, then gather the necessary materials:

  1. Printouts of conversations
  2. Screen captures
  3. Explicit photographs found on your child’s hard drive.

Gather all materials on a disk (or bring the computer itself) and report to police.

The reason why kids value online relationships is because they may be lacking a valued relationship at home and school.  In
the news we heard about young people committing suicide. The reason for
this is because the real world is too difficult to handle for some with
low self-esteem or relationship issues. The virtual world allows such
person to re-create himself. The virtual world is less painful and all
are equal.

So never ever scold or punish a child for attracting a predator. It is not their fault, it’s the fault of the predator.

The predators know this. Now you know this.

Using this article (as well as others) I hope we do something about this.



Jim Hague

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