Category Archives: Website

How to Improve your Website Load Time?

In the modern era of web design, when improvement in internet speed and web browsers’ efficiency has raised the bar of user satisfaction, in order to provide the demanding audience with the optimal experience they expect, the web designers need to update their designs and improve their websites’ load times. Statistics show that website load times and winning the trust of your website visitors are so interrelated that you can’t ignore the importance of improving your website’s load times. Who can afford the loss of 40 percent of one’s website’s traffic, the de-ranking punishment that the google has announced for such owners is only going to add to the difficulties. That is exactly one of the reasons, so many businesses, if not solely, partially dependent on the online sale/purchase/advertisement, are getting inclined toward hiring professional developers that could not only keep them aware of where they stand in the world of online business and competition but could also use their expertise and experience to do whatever it takes to win the trust of more visitors and avoid the loss of existing visitors. This article’s purpose is to let you know those simple ideas that do not require much technical background in order to understand them and implement them and yet are sufficient and efficient enough to improve your site’s speed by a considerable amount.

First things first, in order to get rid of the problem, one needs to know the extent of problem, online tools like “Pingdom Website Speed Test” and “Google Analytics” allow you to know your site’s speed through easy to understand, color coded, charts. These tools help you know whether your website is in need of maintenance or which part of your website needs attention e.g. if the *.GIFs are the source of problem, it’s going to point out the very image that’s taking unusually longer length of time to load.

You might have heard the expression “Server’s down!”, this is how tech people convey that the demand of the website under consideration is more than the demand it could accommodate without slowing down the website. The more the simultaneously made HTTP requests such as requests for loading CSS style sheets, JavaScript snippets and images etc., the longer each of these elements take to load, the slower the website becomes. Among other factors that may significantly affect the load times of the website are: the size of individual files/images, inefficiencies in the code, browser caching, content delivery system you are using, content management system you are using and the hosting service you have signed up for. We are going to go through each of these contributing aspects one by one and suggest steps that could help in solving the problem at hand.

While it may seem convenient to make use of tools provided by your content management system e.g. “WordPress” to adjust the full-sized uploaded images in order to display them on your webpages, it overburdens your web browser by demanding the execution of multiple commands such as fetching the original images and resizing them to the desired size within a limited slot of time, causing the slowdown of your site. In order to avoid facing such problems, use image editing software to adjust your images to the right size before uploading them to your site.

One very useful and effective method that could help speed up your website’s loading speed tremendously and reduce server lag is that of browser caching. Browser caching allows your web page visitor’s browser to store cached versions of static resources; calling up the content from within the cache would be lesser time consuming than reloading the entire page every time the visitor feels like returning to your page in the future. Installing WordPress’s “W3 Total Cache” Plug-in is the easiest way to integrate browser caching to your website.

As the number of freely available plug-ins and scripts increase, so does the inclination of the web developers towards stuffing their websites with as much plug-ins as possible. What they don’t understand is the fact that each of these plug-ins, free or worth a few bucks, consume some resources in order to keep benefiting their user and the more the resources of your site get consumed by them, the slower it would perform. Do not add any new plug-in to your site until or unless the functionality it offers is worth the compromise with your website’s speed. One another option you could consider in order to avoid stuffing your site with too many plug-ins is that of coding the plug-in’s content in to your site’s theme.

Loading 5 images would always take more time than loading an image that is made up of those five images. In order to lower down the number of images to load and thus speed up your website, combine your images in CSS sprites. One way to create such image sprites is to use “Spriteme”, a program offered by “spriteme.org”. Make sure that you go through all the necessary installation instructions before you jump on to installation and do not forget to go through your CSS and make appropriate changes once image sprites have been created.

You can’t speed up your website considerably until or unless you get rid of coded road blocks that prevent your site from loading quickly. In order to make sure that your website’s scripts are up-to-date, you would need to keep looking for new and updated versions of these scripts. Script developers never stop developing and improving their scripts in order to meet the growing demand of efficient scripts and usually these new releases are accessible through the website of the CMS or e-Commerce platform you are using.

Last but not the least, while working with raw html pages, make sure that you keep your site’s code neat and put CSS files at the start of your code and JavaScript snippets at the end. The advantage of putting CSS files at the top of the code is that it saves the resources your website would use in progressive rendering and would thus lower the time it would take it to load. Calling JavaScript snippets at the end of your html document which is also known as deferring JavaScript parsing would prevent blocking of page rendering and would thus help speed up your website.

How to Make Money Online By Running an Online Business

Running an online business is one of the most efficient ways to make money online. Although there are many ways to earn an income through the Word Wide Web, nothing beats the efficiency of business.

In order to earn money through the internet, one must dedicate most of his time and effort in it. Otherwise, you will never earn even a single cent. Some people chose to become a freelancer while others entered the online marketing. On the other hand, some people managed to earn large amount of money by establishing their own online business. How do they do it?

Build a Website

The first step in establishing an online business is to create a website. A website will serve as your business’s identity on the World Wide Web. Without it, a business will never be called an online business.

When creating a website, people must think of a domain which will serve as the website address. They may opt to choose a certain phrase that will describe the business in two to three words or they may use a single name for their business or company. Whatever the domain is, it should have two characteristics: business related and easy to remember. The second characteristic is the most important element of a domain. What is a website if customers cannot easily keep it in mind?

As you create the website, you will meet a phase when you need to choose a theme for your website. Although this step emphasizes the site’s appearance, web developers still take this element seriously. Appearance is one way to catch people’s attention and this is one part of a website that must be used efficiently. People’s interest is the main target of any website’s theme. However, the theme should always be in accordance with what the business offers. For instance, if the business sells kids’ toys, then, it is only proper that you choose a theme suitable for what your business sells. When it comes to kids’ toys, a website should have a fancier look than a website that sells pets.

Add Content

The second step to run an efficient online business is to add content to the newly built website. Content is what makes your site reliable. The first content that online business owners should add is a description of what their site is. The content should introduce the purpose of the site and what products or services the site offers. Of course, one content is not enough. Online business owners should prepare a couple of contents and they should always be ready to update the site regularly.

There are two pages needed once the website runs: the homepage and the about page. The homepage will serve as introduction of the business. This is the very first content that visitors will be able to see once they access the website. It should contain an interesting description about the site and what visitors can expect from the site. On the other hand, the about page must contain information that will prove how reliable the site is. Credibility and history of the site must be on this page. With these two pages, visitors will never find it difficult to check the purpose and credibility of the site.

Add Products or Services

The last step to start earning money online is to add the products for selling or services to offer. Online businesses do not merely focus on selling; rather, some businesses offer services for their customers. Remember that products and services are the elements that make income. In other words, online business owners should focus on promoting them to visitors. By following these tips, you will be able to make a lot of money online without any hassle.

How to Design a Travel Website

Believing it or not, the design of any website (no matter its subject) will have a direct impact in the way visitors perceive the website and what they think about it. What is the first thing a visitor will see as soon as he enters your website? Exactly, he sees the images, the background, the photos, in other words, he sees the design of the website. When you meet someone the first impression that person caused in you will be very important and the same happens with websites. The first impression that your website causes in the visitors will be very important and the unique tool that you have to cause a good impression with your website is the website’s design. A good design has the power to keep the visitor interested in the website from the first glace; and when the visitor is interested he will take some time to read the content.

Naturally, the content is very important but the design will be essential, a good design will invite visitors to read the content; a bad design will do the opposite. Let’s pick an example so you can have a better insight about all the importance of a website’s design. Imagine Facebook, YouTube and other famous websites with a poor design. Who would visit them? With lack of design, all these websites will become uninteresting. Wouldn’t they? Of course they would, their visitor’s rates will decrease at an alarming speed. More and more people who want to have an online presence are becoming aware of the vital importance of website’s design and how that can help them.

Here are some tips of website design related to a travel’s website.

  • What is your objective?

The first thing you must do in this case is asking yourself about what your objective is, providing information about places to travel, open an online travel agency, etc. These are the sort of problems you must ask yourself. After your objective is fully planned you can build the content and then you will move to the design.

  • Choosing The Theme

At this point you already have all the content ready, it is time to select a theme for your website. In this particular example you want to open a website about different places to travel; it is imperative that your selection is related to the content and the main purpose of your website. Give preference to light colors (blue, yellow, green) it is not advisable to use dark colors for a travel website (remember, you are not building a website about funeral services).

  • Photos

The photos you are going to use in your website are very important; there is no need to say that the photos must be related to the topic of your website. You can use photos of key monuments that are well-known by most of the visitors or you can use appealing photos of magnificent places. The main purpose of the photos is complementing the content.

  • Videos

Static images can be very beautiful but videos are much more interesting because they have movement and they can give the visitor a better insight of the place. You can post videos about hotels, places to visit, tours, etc. If the videos are made by you it will be a plus; anyway you can edit the videos to assure a better quality and assure that visitors do not get bored; avoid by all means long videos (less than 5 minutes are more than enough).

  • Intro

The intro for your website can be a video, a gif or an animation; what really matters in your intro is presenting the users with a brief summary of what they will be able to see in the website. Make sure your intro is attractive and interesting, make sure your intro is made with the top quality and explains the visitor the reason your website is there. Add your personal touch to your intro, dedicate the necessary time to turn you intro extremely effective and you can be sure it will attract more and more visits to your website.

  • Trigger Images

These images have the objective to trigger interest on your visitors; it can be multiple images all in one unique .gif image; the images must be very beautiful, attractive and trigger the desire to travel in your visitors.

  • Widgets

Widgets (if well selected) can be a great extra that you might want to add to your website; they can improve your website’s design, provide useful information and give your website a more professional look. Be very careful when you are selecting widgets, make sure they are useful, make sure they are related to your website topic, make sure they complement your website and make sure they are well-designed. Many webmasters tend to put widgets all over the website and that is not the right way to act; two or three widgets are enough, it is your website, not the Widget’s website.

  • Organize

Keep your page organized; all the images must be ordered, everything must be in its correct place; bad organization can transmit lack of professionalism to your visitors. Make sure your website looks perfectly organized.

  • Text!

When talking about website design, most people think about images, videos, photos, colors, backgrounds but a good website design will involve the text too. Most of your content will be expressed by text, make sure it is not difficult to read, make sure the text has the proper paragraph structuration; make sure all the text has the same font type and the same font size (naturally titles may have a bigger font but never a different font). By doing this the text will contribute for a more professional and cleaner design.

These tips about how to create a travel-related website design can be used to create other websites with different topics you just have to apply this knowledge to your topic. Now you are perfectly aware of all the power of an excellent design. You can now design your website whenever you want.

How to Earn Extra Money through Your Website

People who make money through their websites do it in lot of ways. It’s similar to people earning money by having a local office. They could be doing anything in the office; similarly a website could be engaged in anything and making money doing it.

There are hundreds and millions of websites out there that are making their owners rich, some super rich. However having a website has not made any difference to the business or work for some people. The difference in performance lies in the level of awareness that these people have.

The successful website owners know that the website is suppose to work for them and they tend to do everything within their control and budget to help their websites reach greater heights; while the ignorant lot just designs and puts up the site and forgets about it. They don’t realise that putting up a website is the new beginning and can get you far if worked upon.

I have purposely begun this post highlighting this aspect because, I want all you guys interested in getting a website to understand that you need not become egoistic or be relieved after putting up your website online; because unless it drives business for you its of no use. Now we will come to the core topic of earning income via your website.

Any career that you are pursuing, online or offline can be extended on the web to reach your business to a wider set of audience; to get you noticed by more people, get you an additional income, more enquiries and business and so on.

Whether you are selling your skills as a writer or life coach; or you are a consultants in any field, an agent, or you may be selling any kind of products or service as a wholesaler, retailer or manufacturer, or you may be running a crèche or available to work as a mystery shopper – what ever that you may be doing you can take it online by building a website. The website will prove to be a powerful tool if put to use and will help your business reach greater heights.

But building and maintaining a website is a task in itself, which you will either have to do yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you decide to do it yourself you will have to learn the craft of designing and marketing a website, which is a huge task but very interesting and not very difficult; plus something that can be learnt online if you can spare some time for it everyday. Once you get confident you can build and put up your website anytime and sell whatever you want through it.

If you can maintain a website for yourself you will never have to chase work or costumers because through your website they will find you. All you have to do is promote your site amongst its target audience. Once it’s high up on the popularity chart you will get more business than you ever imagine, one website can bring you.

Another note of caution, while you are starting your website don’t allow people to fool you into `more the websites – more the business’ philosophy. Because this is a hog wash. You’d do much better with one good website than ten average websites. A good website means a website on which efforts like SEO marketing strategies have been taken.

Building and maintaining a website is the most amazing skill to have because once you know it you can work wonders with your life and career. Or you can take it up as a profession and start designing or building sites for others. Learning the skill has dual advantage. It can help your business to take off as well as you can take it upas a profession and help to build other’s business.

How to Do It: Learn to design and popularise your website and sell anything you want through it
Qualification: web designing (optional, you can hire someone), SEO, web marketing
Skills: Analytical skills, focus, patience, designing skills, SEO and web marketing knowledge
Equipments: computer, internet, website building software
Who can’t do – no knowledge of any aspect of building a website
Traditional Education: none

How to Become a Good Web Designer

A carefully designed and well structured website is of keen importance for any business. Website designing is significant in making a website, which can attract several regular and new visitors to your website. A good web designer should provide attractive web colors, elegant design, easy navigation, and informative content to your website. It is necessary for you to have a good web design that can attract numerous visitors from every corner of the world. This will ultimately improve the rank of your website in the search results of popular search engines. However, you must consider some facts that are necessary for making a successful website. Regardless of industry or subject matter, there are some key elements that are necessary for making a website successful as well as popular. Here are some web designing tips that can lead your website as a successful one:

1. Great Look: Your website must look modern, fresh, and elegant so that it will be easy for a visitor to find whatever he is searching for. You must give keen importance to the colors of your website and logo you are using in your website. The website must be visually appealing and have plenty of interesting features that attracts new visitors again and again. The look and color of your website should match according to the type of business. The layout should be simple and easy to understand that helps the visitors to easily navigate the pages of your website.

2. Customers benefits: From a point of view ranking in search engines, your page rank will be of no use, if your visitors do not find anything interesting in your website. Your goal is not just bringing new visitors to your site, but the visitors must spend some time in your website by clicking several pages, doing comments likes, etc. You must have to make a customer friendly website, which is helpful to your customers. Keep trending items and your contact details, and avoid using multiple menus in which the visitors have to make several clicks before finding the desired information.

3. Don’t Be Spammy: You must have to seriously consider this fact that a spammer can never be a successful website holder a blogger. Your website must be designed specifically for visitors in which search engine optimization would be the secondary consideration. You must not stuff your website pages with several keywords which results in senseless content. You must also not us bad tactics like adding several keywords down the page, cluttering website with excess advertising etc. in your website.

4. Easy navigation: You website should be designed in a way that enables easy navigation to your visitors. Your visitors may not find any problem in searching content or item from your website. You can also take help from a website building firm that are specialized in designing decent and productive websites. They can offer you wide range of choice from which you can select the best one according to your needs. For finding a good web designer, you can take the help of internet too. You can easily find a number of good web designers from internet that can help you to build an excellent website that can bring quality traffic to your business.

5. Make it Fast and decent: Online visitors want fast information and do not wait for any fancy graphic or image loading for any information. Make sure that the pages of your website load quickly without creating any difficulty or time waste to any visitor. Your website pages must be properly linked to each other with target URL, so that the visitors may jump from inter-related pages.

How to Design a Stunning Website

A stunning website is essential for businesses today. There are several types of sites that can be created from templates, and there are plenty of site builders to support business owners. However, creating a professional site is not the easiest thing at all. Fortunately, there are many tutorials online to learn the ins and outs of web designing. From fully coded HTML sites to blogs; many options are available. As the cost of web design is quite high, it is always a good idea to learn some tricks on the go and save money. The below article is giving starting up businesses and internet marketers a guide to web design.

Check the Internet for Ideas

It is not easy to create a site from scratch, and the first step should be looking out there for ideas and tips. It is not considered stealing if someone wants similar features they saw on a site; for example the style, font, header or graphics. Making a list of all the page elements the owner would like to feature on the page is a good starting point, too. Once it is done, website and blog directories can be searched. The top performing sites are good to look at first to get ideas for the design. One might only get inspiration for colors or background, but it is still a great help. However, it is also important to check if it is simple to create the same appearance from a template or with simple codes.

HTML Editors

There are many html editors that come with a template. These are good for starters. One of the simplest and at the same time most advanced free programs is Kompozer which comes with simple features. The code of the site after the view design can be saved; files can be created in HTML and uploaded to the server. It is possible to design the pages individually or use a template and modify it in this program. Obviously, there are other, more advanced programs, too, but for starters this editor should do the job. There are simple ways of adding pictures or html codes to the content. The best option is to search for html codes online for the functions the owner would like to display. For example, the Quackit website (http://www.quackit.com/html/codes/) contains a collection of codes for borders, text boxes, forms and many other functions of the stunning website. There are some online real-time editors, as well, however, they are really designed for the advanced webmasters.

Clear Templates

It is important to start with very simple templates initially, as there is less chance to mess up the site. There are some of these included in html editors, as well as online. TemplatesBox.com has many html templates to choose from for free. These can be downloaded as an html file and edited in the program. When it is the first time the owner designs a stunning website, it is recommended to select one of these and customize the content. This way there is no need to learn coding and programming, and still great results can be achieved. There are some sites allowing webmasters to create a site online using templates and an editor for a fee. Moonfruit.com and One.com are good for starters, but the number of templates is limited.

Coding

When designing the first site things should be kept simple. A basic html coding with some JavaScript elements would do the job and provide a good site performance and fast loading. The advanced functions should be done by web design services only. CSS templates can also be used once the webmaster is familiar with them, but working with html is simple because there are many guides and reference sites to support the learning process.

Colors, Contrast and Readability

When selecting colors, website owners need to look at the site content, topic and the logo. There should never be more than two main colors in order to make the site appear clear and organized. One of the colors should lead the reader to the content, the other would only complement it. Font colors usually match the one of the header, and the font used needs to be readable. It is not advisable to use fancy fonts just to make the stunning website special; a simple and readable one would make visitors stay. The background color should always be in contrast with the fonts. Text needs to stand out the most, if the owner wants the message to get across.

Images and Media

Pictures and media files always need to be resized or optimized for display in order to speed up the site. Too many flash images and videos would make it painfully slow to load and visitors would simply click away. For background images, a low quality can be applied to reduce loading time. For images to be visible in the site, a high resolution needs to be selected. Background file sizes should not exceed 5KB, while layout headers can be up to 40 KB. The editing can be done with Photoshop or PhotoScape. Photoshop is more for the advanced designers and the license costs a bit, while PhotoScape has almost the same functions and a simple control panel with a free license.

Security

It is important to insert security features into the website and ensure that the host server has maximum protection. Spam and hacking need to be prevented, and there are many simple codes that can be inserted in the pages. One of the anti-spam codes is CAPTCHA, which prevents bots from submitting comments or sending emails to the admin. There are also some website security codes include the protection of the site and visitors alike. Some e-commerce pages hosting financial transactions might require an SSL certificate, available from the hosting company. This seal encrypts all the information submitted through the pages. There are some simple scripts that save the site and back up the content on the server automatically. They are useful for all webmasters worried about server errors and hackers. Simple PHP codes can be inserted in the code of the page to carry out the task.

How to Choose a Proper Domain Name: One of the First Steps of Starting an Online Business

Choosing a proper domain is one of the first steps of running an online business. Some people prefer to start their online business with free websites/blogs, but that is not a good idea at all. I got burned once because of this mistake. Therefore, if you are serious to start an online business, you have to register your own domain name. This is the first and most important thing you have to consider. In this article, I am not going to explain why you should register your own domain, because I am sure most people know it. While nowadays you can register a domain for $10-15 a year, which is almost nothing to be considered as an expense, why should you not to do it, and go through the hassle of spending your valuable time on the free websites or blogs?

So, if you are serious to start and promote an online business, choosing and registering a domain name is the first and one of the most important steps. It is much easier than what you think. You can easily choose a domain registration service like GoDaddy, sign up for an account with it and then search for a domain, choose a proper domain which is available to be registered by you, and register it. This is very easy to do, but, what is a proper domain name for a business, or an online business? This is what I am going to focus on, in this article.

Before you think about choosing a domain name, you have to decide about the nature of the online business you want to start. If you have not decided about the nature of the business, and you have not chosen a niche yet, then you have to do it first, and choose a domain name after that. It needs several articles to talk about choosing an online business and niche, in general. In this article, I am talking about choosing the domain names.

What Are the Most Important Factors You Have to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name?

Although choosing a domain name is highly dependent on the nature of the business, there are several general factors that you have to consider, no matter what kind of online business you have:

1. You Domain Name Should Be As Short As Possible

Long domain names are too hard to remember. You may say that nobody is supposed to remember your domain name, because whenever someone wants to refer to your site, he can easily google and find it. This is true, but still it is better to choose a short domain name. It has several advantages:

  • It is easier to memorize and remember a short domain name. Therefore, your website users, customers, subscribers and… can easily visit your website whenever they want, without having to refer to the list of their bookmarked sites.
  • When you have a short domain name, it is less likely to make a typo and going to a different site, while entering the website address in the browser address bar.
  • A short domain name looks and sounds more beautiful and professional than a long one.
  • When you have a short domain name, people can talk about your site on the other sites and discussion boards more easily. For example, now everybody knows this website as HowToee which is very easy to remember and talk. What if I had registered a domain like this: LearnToStartAnOnlineBusiness.com? I don’t think that people  would show any tendency to discuss about the site on the forums and other blogs.

Therefore, the shorter and simpler the domain name, the better.

2. A Domain Name That Describes the Business Is More Preferred

This is possible by having the main keyword/phrase in the domain name, while you are aware that you should not make the domain name too long and have too many words in it. For example, if your site/blog is supposed to be about swimming, a domain like HowToSwim.com would be perfect (if it was available of course). Although it is a short domain name, it describes the business properly and precisely. This will be a great domain name, however, it is somehow impossible to find such domain names available for registration, unless your business is very new, and it is not too competitive yet, and so it is still possible to find some free domain names with its related and on topic keywords/phrases. You have to spend some time and find the best possible choice. Sometimes I spend several hours to choose a proper keyword/phrase to register a domain name.

While looking for a free domain name to register, you find so many other options. For example, if you choose GoDaddy to search for the domain names, it always lists the for sale domains (premium domains), and also the domains that are listed on GoDaddy Auctions. Sometimes you are lucky enough to find a good domain name, which is short, descriptive and meaningful enough with a low and affordable price. However, keep in your mind that although a good domain name is very important, in most cases it does not worth to spend thousands of dollars on it. Maybe it was good in the past, but not anymore. For example, when I was searching for a domain for this website, and I used different derivatives of the “how to” phrase, I found out that howtohowto.com was available through GoDaddy auctions for $4000. I wanted to buy it, but then I asked myself why? Did I have to, or would it have an important role on the success of the site? The answer was no. The success of the website I wanted to create was dependent on the content of the site. Although howtohowto.com is a relatively good domain name, it did not worth to spend $4000 on it. I see that it is still available through GoDaddy auctions, and its price has gone up dramatically and is $8700 now. Even if it was $1000, still I would not buy it.

However, there are some cases that it really does worth to spend money on a domain name. For example, I see that HowtoGetPregnant.com is for sale for $34,377.00. It looks too expensive, but it does worth the price. I tell you why:

If you refer to Google keyword tool, and enter How to Get Pregnant, and check the [Exact] at the left side of the page, you will see that this key phrase has a global monthly search of 1,000,000 which is amazing:

google keyword tool

Now, if you refer to google.com and search for this phrase, you will see that there are only 52,400,000 pages listed, which means How to Get Pregnant as a popular key phrase is not too competitive, and so it is not too hard for HowtoGetPregnant.com to be ranked on the first page, and even as the first link. Of course, in addition to the domain name, ranking depends on several different factors like the quality of the content of the site, back-links and…, but if designed and promoted properly, HowtoGetPregnant.com can easily be the most eligible site to be ranked as the first site on the Google search result page. It is a very strong domain name, with the a very popular, yet not a very competitive key phrase, short and meaningful enough, both for the search engines and internet users.

google search

Please don’t get me wrong. This domain is not mine, and I am not trying to convince you to buy it. It is possible that I buy it myself 🙂

Now, lets get back to the howtohowto.com and compare it with HowtoGetPregnant.comHowtohowto.com is too general. People will not google for “how to”. With having this domain, I am not going to be listed on the first search result page even for “how to” itself. If the domain was howto.com, I would be on the first page after few months, but not with howtohowto.com. The only advantage it has is that it looks like a cute and beautiful simple domain name. That is all. So does it worth to spend $7800, $4000, or even $1000 on it? Of course not. HowToee.com or similar domains can easily do the same thing. Maybe even HowToee.com is a better domain name that I registered for $10.

You have to be careful not to waste your money on this. If you find a premium domain name and it attracts your attention, you have to be careful, think twice, and ask for the more experienced people about it. Sometimes you spend lots of money on a domain name, but then you will realize that you have wasted your money. Happened to me several times, before I learn. Sometimes I easily allowed a domain that I had bought for hundreds of dollars, to be expired, because it did not even worth to renew it for $10 for another year. But I was lucky enough to find great domains too, and I have been able to recover my mistakes. I hear some people make terrible mistakes in buying domains. They pay thousands of dollars for worthless domain names, just because they are listed as premium domains on GoDaddy. That is pure stupidity. For example, I see that a worthless domain like Wtocom.com is for sale at the price of $21,788!!! Or HowtoVideo.org is $4,800 to buy. I would not spend even $10 to register a domain like Wtocom.com. Is there anything valuable in this domain, while I can register a similar domain like Dtocom.com for $12.99 which is of course a meaningless and worthless domain too (it is available to register. You can check and see it). In spite of this, I know that some people will be fooled, and will buy such a worthless domains like Wtocom.com.

Anyway!

The conclusion is that, if you can register a domain that describes the business while it is still short and meaningful enough, go for it. And while you are looking for a domain, if you find a good and strong premium domain with an affordable price, go for it. Otherwise, just choose a short and meaningful domain name and start your website.

The other thing is that, although it is better that the domain name describes the business, it is not a must. It is the website content that tells the search engines about the theme and topic of the site. If the domain helps the content in this, that is even better. If not, it is still ok, because the content is the main thing for the search engines. For example, a domain like SirLook.com can be focused on search engine optimization, or internet marketing, while there is no word in the domain name that describes such businesses. It is the content of the site that will categorize the site under a special sector, or will focus on a special niche. If the domain helps the site content in this, that is even better, but it doesn’t mean that we have to spend thousands of dollars just on the domain name.

3. Avoid Having Numbers and Hyphens In Your Domain Name

For example, do not register domains like work-at-home-business-opportunities.com, or blogging123.com.

Nowadays, it is a little hard to find 5 or 6 letters domain names, specially if you try to choose meaningful words. Most of them are already taken. Therefore, you are forced to try the longer names, or add numbers and hyphens to it. You’d better to search more and find a domain name without any hyphen and number. You can try a little longer domain names. It is still better than having hyphens or numbers in your domain names.

4. Try to Register .com Domains

.com domains are the most preferred ones. Try to do your best to find a suitable .com domain. However, there are a few things that you have to consider:

  • If you have a local business, and your customers are local customers, then it is strongly recommended to choose the  related localized extensions. For example, if you have a Canadian business, you should register a .ca domain. Google trusts and ranks local businesses’ websites faster than .com websites. You can then register your business at Google Local and add your website address to your listing. It is free. If you do so, in addition to the organic listing you will have on Google search result page, you will have a special listing on Google maps, and you will receive loads of targeted traffic for free. Free targeted traffic is MONEY!
  • If you have a non-profit organization, then you can register a .org domain, although a .com domain still works for such an organization too.
  • If you could not find a good .com domain, but the same name is available with a .net or .org domain, you can go for it, but it is not recommended. You can still search for a good .com domain. There is no limit. If a keyword/phrase doesn’t work, try another one. Each business has too many related keywords/phrases.
  • Forget about the domains like .info, .biz, .ws and exotic extensions like that. Although some of them work and are ranked by the search engines sometimes, but nobody knows what will happen in future. For example it is possible that Google suddenly decides to remove .info domains from its index, and if this happens, thousands of hours of hard work can go down the drain. I have proofs for what I say. Google was used to disregard .info domains. It is a while that I see them on Google search result pages more frequently. However, it doesn’t mean that now Google has fallen in love with these domains. It is possible that they become totally banned next month. It is the same with .biz domains. When you don’t know what will happen, and when you have no control on the search engines like Google, then it is better not to do anything that can cause problems in future. I have never registered any .info or .biz domain.

5. See the Future Now

What do I mean by that? If you want to start an online business seriously, you have to see the future and the time that your site/blog will become popular. When you have chosen a domain name and you are about to register it for your online business, ask yourself does the domain deserve to be used as the domain and address of a popular and well-known site/blog, or I will have to change it in future. Some domain names are ok to start, but they do not look professional if the website becomes popular. For example, the howtohowto.com domain I already talked about. It is good to start, but it doesn’t look good to work as the address of a popular website. I think HowToee.com looks better and more professional.

If you want to start a blog which is not focused on any special business and niche, then it is recommended to use your first and last name for the domain name. For example, JohnSmith.com.

If your blog is focused on a special niche, and you have not been able to find a good .com domain name with the related keywords/phrases, you can still use your first and last name to register a domain name for it. The reason is that, one day your blog will become popular (of course if you keep on working on it and promoting it seriously), and people will know you as the owner and writer of this popular blog, and also as an expert in that niche. Your name will become a popular key phrase in that niche. Then your blog will look much more professional when the domain carries your name, because it not only says that it is you who promote the blog, but it also emphasizes that you are an expert in that sector, and will help more people know you and refer to you and your blog.

6. Don’t Worry If You Don’t Like the Domain You Have Registered

It is recommended to do your best to choose the best possible domain name for your online business, as one of the most important initial steps in starting an online business. However, if you made a mistake, or you came to this conclusion later that you do not like the domain, or it doesn’t look suitable and professional, you can easily register/buy another domain name, and redirect the old domain to the new one through an htaccess file (Redirect 301 command). The redirect 301 command tells the search engines that the old domain is permanently redirected to the new one. Therefore, search engines will easily and automatically update their index within a few days, and the old links will be substituted by the new links. Additionally, whenever someone enters your old domain name in the internet browser address bar, or clicks on its links on the other sites, the htaccess file redirects him to the new website in less than a few milliseconds. Therefore, you can easily switch to the new domain name at any time, without having to be worried about losing any of your website visitors, traffic, and even search engine ranking.

While you are working under one domain name, you can always look for better ideas. If you find a great opportunity to buy a good domain name with a cheap price, go for it and switch to it, but if it is a really great opportunity, otherwise it doesn’t worth the time and money you have to spend on it.

If you have been able to register a good domain name, then just focus on promoting the site, and do not spend any more time and money on the domain name (unless you want to run a new website and business under a different domain name).

Ok! 🙂

Do you want to run an online business, and you are thinking about the domain name?

Or you already have a business and you want to create a website for it, and so, you need to register a domain?

As it is explained above, domain name is very important for an online and also offline business. A good domain name chosen properly and professionally can boost your business dramatically. If you are at the stage of domain registration for your business and you need help, you can leave comments and ask for advice. Even if you are confident enough that you are choosing the right domain name, still you’d better to ask for the professionals advice and opinion.

What is your business about and what are the related keywords/phrases? Have you found them? Are there any good domain name with the related keywords/phrases available to register?

Let us help you with that 🙂

How To Do Affiliate Marketing Without A Website

Most people know the internet from two things: email and website. Emails and websites are the basic units of the internet. Websites are the most important tools for internet marketers but there are many who are not able to run a website. It can have different reasons but what I want to say is that having a website is not necessary for running an online business and making some extra money.

How can you make money online without a website?

When you have a website, users visit it and order the products or click on the ads and this will make money for you. So a website that has no user and visitor, will not make any money for you. So something that gives value to a website is the visitors and traffic, not just the website pages, design and … .

So you should drive traffic to your website. You can do this by advertising. Fortunately some of the advertising programs let you drive traffic to the affiliate links and you can use this opportunity to make money without having a website. For example, with some of the pay per click advertising programs, and fortunately with the most famous one, Google AdWords, you can advertise your affiliate links and send the traffic directly to the websites that the products can be ordered.

To start an online business without having a website, you need to join an affiliate program and then promote the products. One of the best affiliate programs to join is ClickBank. ClickBank has more than 10,000 electronic products that are downloadable instantly after the order. When you join the ClickBank, you will be allowed to promote all the products and earn commission. It is free to join the ClickBank.

There are many other affiliate programs that you can join: Amazon.com, LinkShare.com and CJ.com. Each of these these affiliate programs have thousands or even millions of products that you can promote. So you will have no problem in finding suitable products to promote.

If you are a beginner, it is recommended to start with the ClickBank because it is easier to choose good products with it. Products are listed in the ClickBank Marketplace according to their popularity. The top ranked products and are hot and have higher demand.

Then you will need to choose the related keywords and key phrases for the product you want to promote. Most of the vendors have the list of the keywords on their websites affiliate pages. So you should check their websites and read their affiliate pages. If you can not find the related keywords of a product on a vendor website, you should find the keywords on your own. It is not that hard. You just need to know what the product is about. Then you can use the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool and find all the related keywords.

Finally you need to advertise the product in a pay per click search engine.

You should be careful and keep the track of the amount of the money you spend for advertising and the amount of the profit you make. If you see that you make less than what you spend, you should optimize your ads and find more focused keywords.

You can use other kinds of advertising methods too. For example classified advertising but pay per click is the best and fastest method.

When you learnt what to do, you can promote more products and expand your activity. The most important thing in online business is keeping the track of everything and measuring the rate of success and failure and then optimizing the methods according to the results.

7 Steps to Run a Website that Makes Money

Everyday, several success stories about webmasters and bloggers encourage thousands of people to start their own websites and weblogs. Like many others who decide to become a musician just because they know of someone who is making a lot of money with a guitar and a “hit” CD.

The internet and music super-stars show us that it can be done but this is the only thing that most people see and then ignore the rest of the story. Yes, it can be done but how? I have written this article because every now and then, one of my friends or relatives ask me “how can I run a website that makes money?”. In most cases this question is asked via a phone call or just in short family meeting. They expect me to answer this question in a few sentences and then they go and run their website and after a few days, it starts making money like an “oil well”.

In fact, there is no top secret in the internet business and you can find all the information you need about running a successful website but the most important part which is always ignored by most people who ask such questions is that first they should learn and then have to implement what they have learnt. Both of these two steps are important.

To start a website that make money:

1. Choose a niche

Before you run a website, you should choose a niche or a topic for it. What your website will be about? What do you want to sell on it. Websites should be focused on one special and specific niche. Most people think that they have to have a website like Yahoo or MSN that have everything to read or buy. This is absolutely wrong. Do not compare yourself with big companies like Google, Yahoo or MSN. You can not have a website like theirs. You can not promote a website that is not focused on any special subject. Such websites will not receive any traffic from search engines because search engines can not know what they are about exactly.”How to choose a niche?” is a big question and I will talk about it in other articles but you’d better to choose something that you know about it. Everybody knows about something that others may not know. You can be an artist, painter, musician and … or a good repairman who can give hundreds of “do it yourself” tips. So you can have a website or weblog related to what you know. Such a website will make money for you because you know what to post on it. It will attract visitors if promoted properly and search engines will love to rank it because it is a focused and specific website that can help search engines users to find the answer of their questions.

2. Register a good domain name

Try to register a good domain name that people can easily remember it. It is a long time that having the keywords in the domain names doesn’t work. So do not make your domain name long with having the keywords in it. Register a domain name as short and meaningful as possible.

3. Buy a good hosting service

A good hosting service should be fast and always up and running. Do not buy hosting from un-known companies just because they are cheaper than the others. When you become fully involved with your website and online business, you will get angry when you see that your website is down and you will get mad when you see that the support doesn’t reply your emails or support tickets.I know many of hosting companies that don’t even have a support team or someone who even restarts the servers when they have problem but when you visit their websites, you will realize that they are a professional company. So do not judge a hosting company by its website as you do not judge a book by its cover.

4. Design your website/weblog

This is the most important part. You may know nothing about web designing and so you will have two options: Learn how to design a website OR ask and pay a web designer to do it for you. The first option was what I chose. I attended several web designing and programming classes. That made me a professional internet marketer. I learnt to design and manage my own websites. I know website owners who even do not know how to upload a file to their websites. It is obvious that they will not be able to make a single cent from their websites and will not renew their domain names the next year because they will come to this conclusion that “they are not the man”.

My most important success secret is that I know everything that an internet marketer and a webmaster should know. Of course I hire programmers for some of my projects but that is a different story. I have never asked or paid anybody to help me in my routine online job because I have been able to do that myself and when I didn’t know about anything, I researched over the web and found the answer. Even with the thorny and highly technical problems like hackers attacks to my server (I have my own server and most my sites are hosted on it) I was able to manage and resolve the problems on time.

So if you ask me and you need my honest opinion about it, I have to say you should learn to design and manage your own website without asking for any help from anybody otherwise you will not be able to have any success.

5. Promote your website

This item is something that this weblog is created because of it and if I want to write a book about it, it will have thousands of pages and when I finish this book, I will have to rewrite it because everything I have written should be reviewed and updated. Internet is growing so fast and you should keep yourself updated. You should learn about new techniques and opportunities and be the first to use them.

You should enrich your website with the new content and information everyday and let other webmasters and bloggers know about them. They should link to your website because of the valuable information it has, not because you have paid them or have placed their links on your website. Such a valuable website will grow and grow and will have more visitors day after day.

If you like to spend some money on advertising, you should also learn about them otherwise you will just waste your money. There are different methods of online advertising and each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages and as they are not free, you should be able to make profit through them and this is impossible unless you learn everything that you should know.

6. Monetize your website

Your website will not make any money as long as you don’t monetize it. A website or weblog should be helpful and informative for the visitors and be monetized with the products and services that help the visitors to learn and gain more. Google Adsense is one of the best ways to monetize your website but you have to have more paid products and services on your website.

7. Keep on your good work

When your website starts making money, it will be just the beginning of the work. You should keep on your good work and improve your website situation. If you see your website is ranked in top search engines, it means you are on the right track and your website is well-designed and promoted. You should keep on promoting your website but should not make any big changes on it because it may hurt your website ranking. For example do not change its keyword density when you see search engines like its current situation.

But if you have been working on your website or weblog for a few months and you don’t see any significant increase in the traffic, you should know what something is wrong and you have to check everything and consult with others.

I have to repeat again that when you see your website is improving reasonably, just keep on what you have been doing and do not make any changes. When most webmasters see that their websites are ranked highly in search engines, try to improve their ranking for example by increasing the keyword density or over-optimization of their websites and this will result in their website penalization and losing the ranking it had.

Ok, now you can decide about having a “hit” website. I know it is hard to start and learn everything you need to know but this is what I did. You can do it too.

Is Alexa Traffic Ranking Reliable and Accurate for All Websites?

Before I answer this question, please let me explain what Alexa ranking is.

As far as I know, Alexa ranking tool is the currently the most popular tool on the web that you can use to compare the traffic of different websites. Alexa just keeps the track of the hits that each website receives from different resources.

How Alexa can do it?

Alexa do it through the Alexa toolbar that some of the internet users install on their internet browsers. When internet users install the Alexa toolbar on their internet browsers, Alexa will keep the track of all the websites that they visit and so Alexa knows that how many times a website is visited by an internet user who has the Alexa toolbar installed on his/her browser.

What Does It Mean?

Alexa Traffic RankingIt means Alexa can only track the traffic of the websites through the browser that the Alexa toolbar is already installed on them. As the Alexa toolbar is not installed on all the internet browsers on all of the internet users computers, therefore Alexa is not able to track all the traffic of websites.

Some websites are more visited by the users that majority of them equip their internet browsers with Alexa toolbar. For example many of blogging or SEO related sites are mainly visited by users whose internet browser is equipped with Alexa toolbar, because they know and need Alexa and its products and services more than the other internet users.

Those who install the Alexa toolbar on their browsers are among webmasters, bloggers and internet marketers who know Alexa and the information it gives is important for them. For example they want to know the traffic ranking of their competitors websites and compare them to their own sites. They also like to keep the track of their own websites/weblogs traffic improvement and know if it is increasing or decreasing.

The websites that are usually visited by these internet users are different. For example they don’t visit health or beauty related sites unless they have such websites or weblogs to promote health or beauty products. They visit the marketing, programming, web designing related websites more and participate in related forums. They read the internet marketing and blogging related blogs more than the blogs that are related – for example – to cars. So they increase the Alexa rank of some special websites and not all websites. Whereas the other internet users do not even know about Alexa and they don’t care about it, and so they do not bother to install the Alexa toolbar or ranking tool on their internet browsers.

It means if you see that a health related website’s Alexa traffic rank is 200,000 and a SEO related website’s Alexa traffic rank is 20,000, it doesn’t mean that the second website traffic is 10 times more than the first website. The second website is mainly visited by those who have the Alexa tool bar or Alexa rank toolbar on their browsers, but the first website is visited by the users that most of them do not even know what Alexa is and what traffic rank means.

This is what you have to know if you want to buy a website or advertise on a site. Do not be fooled by a high Alexa rank. Although Alexa traffic rank is important but you have to check so many other things too.

Also consider this that most webmasters and bloggers have the Alexa toolbar on their browsers to increase their own websites/weblogs Alexa ranking. Because they browse their own websites pages several times a day and this will also increase the Alexa ranking.

Generally Alexa ranking is a helpful and good tool to compare the traffic of websites but it is not accurate. We don’t know that how many users have the Alexa toolbar installed on their browsers because Alexa doesn’t disclose it. They just say “millions” but it can not be true because Alexa is not a popular website among internet users. They even don’t let you know their own website Alexa ranking.

If one day a popular website like Google (which is the most popular website indeed), runs something like Alexa toolbar. If so, the statistics of this tool will be much much closer to reality, because the number of users that use Google and its services and tools are much more than the number of users that use a website like Alexa.