Free isn’t better!
When creating a new website, it is important to include contact information. This information is the first impression your website visitors will have with your company. Therefore, It is important that your contact information is accurate, easy to read and professional.
If you plan to use an email address as a point of contact, create a custom domain email address. What is a custom domain email address; It’s an email address that includes your domain name after the @ sign. When you use domain email, it identifies who you are and the company or organization you are associated with. When you email using a Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook address, the message carries no identity other than the email provider you are using.
Top 5 reasons your site needs a domain email.
- Professionalism: If you decide against a custom email address because Gmail and Yahoo provide free ones, consider this. A customer is thinking about spending money with your company. Put yourself in their shoes which email would you feel more confident in IceCream@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org? Customers will judge your credibility; do they want to spend their hard earned money on a company that still uses a free email account?
- Control: All companies experience turnover. When an employee leaves your company and they were using a free personal email address the email leaves with them. If you set up a domain email the email will remain with the company.
- Unlimited Emails: Whether your company is large or small you can create as many email addresses as you need. Emails can be generated for the company such as (email@example.com or Info@domain.com), and they can also be created for specific people (i.e instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, create email@example.com)
- No Additional Cost: If you’ve purchase a domain name for your website, then you already have the ability to use that domain name to make email addresses.
- Domain Email Branding: Let your email branding work for you. When using your email it is not only seen on your site but also business cards and marketing campaigns. Consider your email address as your calling card, it needs to be respectable and memorable!
Need more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites are designed to be aesthetically pleasing.
A Website is created with an idea and comes alive with color and content. Websites are planned, from the font to footer, navigation, links, and images. The content pulls everything together, followed by search engine optimization. SEO collects website analytics and can be used to determine who visited, from where and when.
You hope all your website visitors enjoy the colors, images, and content that took many hours to create. But alas, not everyone will have the same experience. Some visitors will be visually impaired in one form or another, which may limit their enjoyment of visiting your site.
How then, can you develop a website that is appealing to everyone? Is easy to navigate and considers the physical impairments that some web visitors may have?
Design for the worst-case scenario.
We all realize not everyone is blessed with good eyesight. Even with the aid of glasses, contacts, and surgery. With different degrees of eyesight affliction, it may be difficult to consider all of them. Therefore we will consider the most common low vision.
as defined by medicineweb “A visual impairment, not corrected by standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, that interferes with the ability to perform everyday activities.”
The nature of low vision may change the way your website is perceived because of different visual acuities. People with low vision will have a more comfortable time on your website if you consider:
- The Contrast ration, as defined by Wikipedia as the ratio of the luminance of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the system is capable of producing. Accordingly, a good contrast ratio is 4:5:1. When the background color and letters vary its best to select solid colored letters. Gradients with the top being lighter than the bottom. Is difficult for the reader to see unless a thin black outline is placed to keep the contrast between the letter and the background color.
- The scale of text. Consider using bigger sized letters without going off the scale of the screen at 100%
- Link color for people with low vision or colorblind uses a link symbol (or underline) to indicate a link.
Other visual issues which may affect your website visitors experience;
- Tunnel Vision. Only certain elements are visible to the visitor, as their peripheral vision is limited.
- Blurred Vision, images and text will be fuzzy.
Keeping the visually impaired in mind, monitor settings and browsers include settings to change the visual presentation so the elements of your website are more usable and enjoyable. Changes can include text size and contrast.
You can change the settings, but should you:
Even with these settings available, it may not be feasible to change settings, therefore there are best practices to follow to assist the visually impaired:
- Start with the layout of your website by having structure. This includes a layout that provides spacing between the website elements. W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C states “developers must ensure that their code provides a structure that is independent of presentation.” This would include tags and separators for the headers and paragraphs so varying devices will understand the information. Therefore causing it to display in a different way than the actual webpage.
- Did you ever put an image in a website without alternative text? For those who have vision issues images may not be clear or seen at all. To interpret the image in lieu of seeing it, alternative text attributes describe the image to the visitor. The detail of which is left to the web designer.
- Do not exchange color for information. For example, a link in red to a color-blind person will go unnoticed. Use visual cues instead, such as an underline or icon.
- Stay away from using shades of a single hue.
- Contrast is important, if not used with the recommended ratio (at least 4:5:1) some people will not be able to see a text from the background it is on.
- Navigating around your site will be easier if you use a navigation menu. Browsers for the most part offer one-click keyboard functionality Combine the two with a keyboard shortcut legend
On the internet, you will find hundreds of tips for designing a website for the visually impaired, including plugins for WordPress,
Have a question or comment?
At one time the WordPress (WP) platform was synonymous with blogging.
That was a while ago. With the continual evolution of WordPress, this simple blogging platform has become a versatile content management system. Blogging continues to be a big part of the WordPress platform, but WordPress website development and WP mobile applications are taking over the lead.
WordPress is naturally easy to use, flexible and friendly. Its popularity continues to grow, and it does just about anything you would need it to do. With that in mind, look around the Internet, you will find more and more web developers turning to WP as their platform of choice. Websites from the BBC to Variety and everything in between has opted for a WordPress site.
The WordPress advantages:
- WordPress is free. Its open source, there are no restrictions or licensing issues using or modifying it.
- Free WordPress themes can be found to develop any type of business or venture you can think of.
- Supported by 100’s of free WordPress plugins (apps), your site should do anything you want it to do.
- To run a WordPress site all you need is a website hosting company like DWLI.
- Its community software, no one owns it but several people contribute to it. Support for themes and plugin’s is free.
- Did I mention it’s very easy to use.
- Free tutorials and videos.
- Search engine friendly.
- Safe and secure.
- Supports a variety of media: audio, video, images.
- You can embed files, such as Instagram and YouTube.
- Manage files and documents.
- And there’s so much more…
WordPress continues to grow day by day. It’s user-friendly, with the ability to be all that it could be. Each update to the WordPress platform improves its performance. It’s becoming the most popular feature-rich hosting platform around: Sign up today to experience the most versatile web platform available. And check out our free themes too.
Website Security With Digital Web Leprechauns Advantage:
Keeping your private information private in the internet age is extremely important. As a website owner, you want your customers to feel confident that the information they provide to you is kept secure. That being the case, the best way to offer your customers this is the addition of an SSL Certificate.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate also is known as a “Secure Socket Layer” is used to:
- Confirm the identity of a website.
- Encrypt information sent to the server.
To work properly an SSL Certificate authenticates the
- Name of the holder of the cert
- A unique serial number
- The expiration date (certs need to be renewed)
- A copy of the holder’s public key
- The digital signature of the issuing authority.
Once an SSL Certificate is successfully added to the website the URL will reflect this in the prefix, the Http will become an Https. As a result of this authentication process, the data being sent from the website to the server cannot be intercepted by an improper server.
Who needs an SSL Certificate?
Probably every website since there has been a significant change by the browser “police” in how a non-secure website connection is treated. As a consequence of this browser “policing”, the current version of Firefox returns a warning if that you are not connected over a secure connection. (HTTPS) in the web site’s URL, in fact, does not have SSL installed.
So, you need an SSL. Should You get a shared dedicated one?
Different SSL certificates are available, shared and dedicated. A Shared SSL is added to a server and can be used globally on that server to secure any sites. In fact, it is generated for the hostname of the server and may cause a certificate warning message pop up on your site when used as it won’t matching the domain name(s).
Shared SSL Certificates maybe
- Low cost.
- Must be renewed frequently.
- May reduce website loading speed.
- May not be as safe as you would like.
- Should never be used for a payment website.
A dedicated SSL, on the other hand, is added directly to your website and is not available for other sites to use.
- Costs can vary from $10’s of dollars to over $100.
- Allows you to maintain your website URL.
To some this change of URL is acceptable, however, if you have a large following changing your URL in any way will affect the way you conduct business. If the change of URL is unacceptable for your business, you may require a dedicated SSL. In contrast, this will allow you to maintain your websites URL, however, there can be a large cost associated with a dedicated SSL. In addition to the increase in cost for a dedicated SSL, your site may also require a dedicated IP address. these are the most secure choice when dealing with an e-commerce site that requires credit card information be exchanged.
WordPress is cool!
It was developed by a group of developers. They made it free and open sourced. WordPress seems to be in a constant state of change. Each time the program is updated with a new release, things happen. Bugs get fixed. New Features are added, and overall performance is improved. In the meantime, the bad people of the world are busy writing bots and code to break into WordPress sites. Only to be stopped by a new release which fixed a vulnerability – if you didn’t update your WordPress site, well you might be hacked and of course, you’ll be missing out on any nifty new features.
You might think, “gee my site is working great, I’m going to skip the new release”. Think of updating anyway, as WordPress grows in popularity, it has become a popular target for hackers, malicious code writers, data thieves and those who dare to make a name for themselves on the dark web. With this in mind, don’t give them the playground they need, leaving your WordPress site open without the latest updates.
Open Sourced doesn’t mean safe:
Remember this platform is open source, therefore, anyone can see and use the source code. Subsequently, this can be to your advantage, by creating a new feature or your disadvantage, by creating a new hack. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of good hackers out there too, which means security updates are totally necessary as new hacks are routinely discovered. More importantly, it’s not just WordPress that’s exploited, it’s the plugins too.
This means, yes you must, update those plugins too. In fact, this may need to be done daily. Once in a while a plugin and theme will not agree, and something will stop working. This happens if you updated the plugin and not the theme, or the plugin developer wasn’t following safe coding, so back up your site before you do anything.
Backup, plugin’s updates, theme updates, it doesn’t end. And all that time. Check out our WordPress Maintenance package, we take the Worry out of WordPress.
Your domain name is going to be the front door to anyone searching for your products and services on the Web.
The key to any online presence is the domain name. Choosing the right name that meets your company’s overall business and marketing needs typically requires some time and research. Here’s a list of a few things you should consider when choosing your domain name:
Choose the Right Top-level Domain (TLD)
The extension you see to the right of the dot (welovecats.com) is just as important to what’s to the left of it (welovecats.com). Learn more about TLDs to help you choose the right one for your business – Verisign powers several reputable extensions like .com and .net:
With more than 15 years of reliability, .com is the foremost trusted domain and where customers want to do business online.
An established domain with a strong legacy, .net validates your online business.
You can engage the world with your .tv domain and let them know it’s your channel, your passions, your stories.
Establish your online presence in a creative and memorable way with a .cc domain name.
Make it easy for others to learn more about you with a .name domain name and create the perfect place for promoting your personal profile, your interest, your links.
Your domain name should be memorable! Try creating your own word by compounding two whole words (YouTube), blending parts of two words together (Microsoft), tweaking a word (Tumblr) or using a phrase (ImLovinIt). Also, remember you don’t have to use your company name as a domain name, try your slogan or product name!
Know Your Audience
When it comes to choosing a domain name, consider what tone is appropriate and will resonate with your target audience. For instance, will using slang words be advantageous or disadvantageous to your business?
Don’t be afraid to have a longer domain name. In fact, the average domain name is 13 characters long. Descriptive names that are naturally longer in length can be memorable and great for branding. Some businesses even add in location or other words that help to describe their business in their domain names.
Domain names with hyphens can open the possibilities of what is available to you. Though you should take into consideration where you place the hyphen. It is best practice to place them at natural word breaks, as it will make it easier for a user to remember your domain name.
Ex. We-love-cats.com vs. w-elovec-at.com
Don’t Forget to Check Trademark Issues
To avoid infringing on a trademark, double check the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and do an online search of your proposed name to avoid legal issues in the future.
Consider Alternate Spellings of Your Domain Name
When registering a domain name that has more than one possible spelling, try to register all variations of the word to help ensure your customers can easily find your business online.
Consider Registering with Other TLD Extensions
Once you determine the domain name you like is available (welovecats.com), consider purchasing the same name but with other top-level domains (welovecats.net, welovecats.cc, etc). Then redirect those extensions to the original domain name to help protect your brand in the future.
Using the tips provided above, brainstorm a list of possible domain names you want to secure for your business. Then check the availability with our register a domain name tool.
Why do you think you need a website?
Businesses find that a website is an essential part of selling as it opens doors to opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist. With an idea and creativity, a website can be developed into an entire online business or be part of an existing brick and mortar industry. A website by its very nature makes it versatile for just about anything you can think of Applications to Zebra watching music and everything in-between.
People like the idea of a web presence and you want one because you have:
- Something to sell.
- Information to share
- To have a way to attract customers to your local painting service
- Lots of family photographs and the family is all over the country
- Lost a pet and want to set up a memorial for him.
- A following of people who need a place to play the new game you designed,
- So many cool ideas to make money.
Select a domain name. This is essential, as a domain name is your (virtual) online address, (website address) that allows existing and potential customers to find you on the Internet. There are many advantages of registering a specific domain name including,
- The establishment of your business online identity
- A way to build trust between you and your website visitors.
- Free listings in the popular search engines
- The use of domain email: an easy way that continually promotes your website every time you use it.
- Have a memorial web address.
BTW Some buy domain names because they sound cool, others to make money by reselling them. A long while ago a customer of ours, who was an AVON representative purchased beauty.com. She never set up the website as she intended, but held on to the name just the same. She eventually sold it for $5000. Who would have thought!
Decision Time – are you going to design your website yourself (we do offer easy to use tools), or you can employ our designer or hire someone on your own.
Where to host? Some hosting companies are free but beware when using a free site, most likely they will use their web address, not yours. In doing so, you typically lose the benefits of owning your own domain name.
Content As you develop your website, whether solo or not, you must determine what information is essential and valuable to your visitors. At the very least make sure you include your contact information, including your web email address and phone number.
Layout: The best way to plan out a website: use a storybook layout. Think about how to make the site easy to navigate. Consider the design, will a flyer type design work or a full-blown e-commerce site.
Promotion: Think about how you find websites and follow that lead. Put your web address everywhere, business cards, and social media. In face everywhere, you can. Setup a mailing list for existing and potential customers. To learn more about mailing lists visit: mailinglistservices.com.