Accepting Credit Cards on your Website

If you are building an online shop, you will need to address the question of taking payments for orders. You can, of course, request that a check payment be sent to you in the mail. Most shopping basket software allows you to select this option when you are setting it up. If you already have an offline, bricks and mortar business, you may simply wish to accept credit card payments over the phone.

However, there are some basic problems with these solutions and it all comes down to the way people shop on the internet. Customers expect to be able to add items to their basket and proceed to the checkout to pay. If they then find they must telephone you or print out and send their order, they may simply abandon their order and hop over to another website. Shopping online is all about convenience and if you are unable to provide this, you may be losing customers without even being aware of it.

So, what are your options and what is it all going to cost? Well, the good news is you can do it all very simply and cheaply. Paypal does not have a set-up charge and is a large and trusted online payment processor servicing 78 million accounts worldwide in 56 countries. Your only cost is a small percentage on each sale; a transaction charge. Payments from your website go straight into your Paypal account from where you can transfer amounts to your bank account with the click of a button.

Once you sign up with a payment processor, you can either link to their secure server from your shopping basket facility or build ‘add to basket’ buttons via a simple web query form. The html generated is then pasted next to items on your web page and your customers will be transferred to a secure server when they go to checkout.

Traditional merchant accounts are normally set up through your own bank and will become integral to your business account. Having your own merchant account gives you the choice of many different online payment gateways. Most, however, do charge a set-up fee, monthly fee and transaction charge. Just as you would offline, do make sure you research any company you sign up with on the internet. Print out and read their terms and conditions. Take particular notice of where they are operating from, their fees, when and how you will receive your money into your account.

Another point to consider is the question of chargebacks. This happens when a buyer requests a refund of an amount already paid to you. Reasons include not receiving goods ordered or items arriving faulty, damaged or not as described. Sometimes requests are made if the buyers card was used fraudulently.

If the chargeback request is successful, your merchant payment processor will charge you a processing fee. However, some companies will now provide you with insurance against chargebacks inclusive in your monthly fee. It’s certainly worth shopping around for the right solution for you but knowing you have done your research will give you some peace of mind.

Website Promotion Tools ,Niche Knowledge

The delivery of relevant information is an important key to the success of any website. However, if you are an netrepreneur and you have come to terms with your inability to develop new content for your website there are a couple of options you should consider.

1) Freelance Writers

You can work with an existing writer in developing content for your website that enhances the quality of the overall site and works to improve your site rankings with the various search engines.

Many freelance writers can provide original content that matches the keywords or phrases you require. They are adept at working on deadline and can help link a series of articles that can be developed into an ecourse or ebook.

A freelance writer can also assist you in developing content that is Search Engine Optimized (SEO) throughout your website. The entire content of your site can work together to provide a fully comprehensive means of setting the tone for both visitors and search engine spiders.

2) Free-To-Use Articles

If you can’t write your own original content and you aren’t able to pay for a freelance writer to help you then you might do well to consider the use of free-to-use articles. This growing phenomenon allows the use of an original article from an expert in the field at no cost.

The common proviso is that a link to a site of the author’s choice is the standard means of repaying the author for the use of the content.

There are sites available that are filled to overflowing with free-to-use material. The owners of these sites have determined they can glean an informational resource on a subject from these free-to-use sources. In turn, the site owner would apply for Google Adsense and derive an income from these free-to-use articles. The income from this process generally exceeds the cost of developing and maintaining the site.

No matter what some site specialists may say, there really is a no one-size-fits-all approach to site promotion. Some site owners can develop their own material, others will rely on a freelance writer and some will gain the content they need from free-to-use sites.

The key to success in site promotion is to simply find the things that work best for you and then – use them.

You don’t have to think outside the box to promote your site. Sometimes staying with tried and true techniques may provide exactly what you need to get your business noticed.

Niche Knowledge

Do you have a website that has spurred numerous knowledge-based content on a very specific subject? Did you know that the use of your old knowledge-based content can be used to promote your website in a new way?

There are numerous site promotion tools at your disposal; however there may be one that can be successful in converting knowledge seekers into viable prospects.

As you continue to develop new material for your website, the old content is often relegated to a cyber dust bin and forgotten.

If, for example, you have a significant library of articles on ‘needle-nose pliers’ you might consider a secondary site dedicated specifically to articles related to this tool. The website should have a web address that is easily remembered and one that will connect with your audience. In essence this specialized website should be able to rank well on a niche topic.

The acceptance of Google AdSense or other PPC advertising on this site will likely pay for the upkeep of the site while you use a link building mentality to send customers to your primary site.

In the end you have a primary website that benefits from link exposure and a secondary site that will likely rank very well with a niche keyword of phrase.The use of a template rich web hosting service can allow this type of website to flourish with low cost, maximum exposure, ease of use and rapid implementation.

Many site owners have come to understand how effective multiple sites can be to the total success of their primary site. Essentially the secondary sites can be built and fine-tuned only on occasion. These sites are simply designed to drive customers to your primary site and provide multiple tools to assist in developing prospects for your primary online business.

As each secondary website is built you can further assist your site promotion objectives through the use of a press release. Let others know that you have launched a new knowledge-based website and allow them to catch a vision for why this secondary site is a benefit to the online community.

It is relatively easy to build a forum into these secondary sites to allow your niche customers to find others who are equally interested in the product, tool or service you may be offering. The knowledge-based content provides a springboard for interaction with these potential customers. The use of free membership to the forum can also provide list-building opportunities for your business as well.

A secondary site may be just the site promotion tool you need to move your site to a whole new level of profitability.

How To Optimizing Your Web Page

Meta tags are not a magic solution. Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the header on a web page, after the title tag. Meta tags are contained in the HEAD section near the top of the page. Meta tags are HTML tags that help you control how some search engines may index your site, by using the keywords and descriptions you provide. A good question to ask is if meta tags are still necessary. Meta tags are useful in getting better listings in the search engines. The title, keyword and description meta tags are standard HTML tags and should be placed within the HEAD section of a Web page.

Some believe that HTML meta tags will bring you to the top of the search engine rankings. Many vendors of software that generates HTML will make use of their own custom Meta Tags to identify different pieces of information about the document. You can define your own search fields with HTML meta tags. While many search engines are placing more and more emphasis on the keywords used on your actual HTML page, some are still looking at your meta tags.

Everyone knows that to obtain high search engine rankings all you have to do is put the keywords that you want to rank high with into your meta tags, right. You know that keywords should go into your HTML title and meta tags, but did you know that you also need to place them in heading tags. The description meta tag explains your site’s content and data, giving the search engines’ robots and spiders a brief summary of your site. Use the keywords in the META tags in your ALT image description for a boost in some search engines. Being specific and accurate are the ingredients to success with keywords. At the present time, most search services extract keywords from the page text, but some services may use the keywords meta tag. It’s important not to repeat words in the description or keywords meta tags; Meta is not the only way to have your site seen by search engines. Keywords may be separated by a space or a comma or a comma followed by a space. Never, repeat the same word over and over in any single one of those places.

The meta description tag describes your site’s content, giving search engines’ spiders an accurate summary filled with multiple keywords. In search engine listings you see a title and a short description. Titles and Description tags are the most important meta-tags that search engines consider to determine relevancy. Try to always include your keywords within the description tags, if you can put the keywords near the beginning of the meta tag. We recommend keeping your description tag to 170 characters or less. Some services obtain descriptions from the text of the page, while other services use descriptions given in description meta tags. Just a few years ago, good META description and keyword tags were a ticket to success for many sites and many spammers. The Keyword and Description Meta Tags are the two principle META tags that search engines look for when indexing your website. The keyword, title, description tags, have been abused by many seo gurus, because of this many search engines do not pay attention to the meta tags.

Meta tags are used to provide structured data about data, similar in many ways to the information provided in traditional library catalogue records. Meta Tags are most commonly used to distinguish the keywords that are relevant to a page’s content. The robots meta tags are used and respected by all major search engine robots. META Tags are still important today.

SEO – How To Optimize Your Site Navigation

Discussions of the techniques that can be used to search engine optimize your site navigation so you can make more money from programs like Google Adsense.

Sometimes you have optimized your website with high-paying keywords (for a program like Google Adsense) but you can’t seem to get any one to visit them. What is the problem? When nobody seems to be visiting your site it’s big bad news as it means that you will not be making any money from your pay-per-click programs. Optimizing your site navigation is all about enabling visitors to move about your site. The more your web site visitors have the opportunity to click on something that interests them on your site the more of a chance you have of making money off of them.

The best way to increase your earnings is to somehow get your readers off of your lower earning pages and onto your higher earning pages. Writing persuasive ad copy and providing a link on each of your website pages to your highest earning page is a sure way to get them to move to where you want them to go so you can make some Google Adsense earnings. Copy that convinces people to click on these links include words such as “free” or “limited time offer.” Studies have also shown that people respond to the words “free download.”

Perhaps the hardest part of this is to come up with a phrase that makes them want to click on your website. This involves using your ingenuity. It is also not necessarily one of the most intellectual of exercises. One of the most successful catch phrases used to get people to click on the Internet was the Fart Button. The caption was “Click to hear this fart. You know you want to.” If something like that works to get a website droves of business then you might have a better chance of finding a buzz phrase that makes you click by consulting your twelve year old kid rather than a professional advertising copywriter.

Mistakes in Web Design Avoid These Design Mistakes

Mistakes in Web Design Avoid These Design Mistakes That Will Shy Viewers Away

When creating your Website there are many things to think about, but lets not forget the basics. This includes your primary design plan or rather the first colors, background and words the visitor sees. Discussed below are ways to successfully execute those three components.

Color Scheme

If you already have a company logo with designated colors, use those and continue the theme. Otherwise choose two to three colors for use on your Website. Stick with these colors and use them on every page. Once you assign a pattern to those colors stay consistent on each page. Example: White background, blue writing and orange bordering. Pull out or download a color wheel. This will help you choose colors that naturally accent one another. You want to catch your viewers’ eye so shy away from dark colors on top of dark colors.

Most commonly used color schemes:

~Red, yellow and white
~Blue and white
~Red, grey and white
~Blue, orange and white
~Yellow, grey and white
~Onion shade, Tan, white

Page Background

The most common mistake here is having a dark background with dark writing or white background with yellow or light pink writing. This is very strenuous to the viewers’ eyes. White backgrounds are used most often and are safe with darker writing. If you have a pattern as your page background, make sure the colors stand out from all the background patterns colors, if not done in black and white. Be sure that your hyperlink doesn’t blend before or after it has been clicked. Links most commonly appear blue before clicked and burgundy after.

Grammar and Spelling

We’re all aware of the spelling and grammar tool on our computers, but sometimes they don’t catch everything. It’s helpful to print the page out and review it from a hard copy. The eye sometimes catches mistakes it may not have seen on the computer screen. Have a peer look over your work – this will help in finding mistakes. Watch out for grammatical and punctuation mistakes your computer may not pick up on. Ex: your, you’re, there, their, its, it’s, viewers’, viewer’s and some time, sometimes.

Think simple with these three components. Complex colors, backgrounds, or words will lead your viewer away. Be inviting to your audience by making your site ‘easy on the eyes.’ Don’t forget to proofread – and remember that two heads are better than one.

Fixed Font Size
CSS style sheets unfortunately give websites the power to disable a Web browser’s “change font size” button and specify a fixed font size. About 95% of the time, this fixed size is tiny , reducing readability significantly for most people over the age of 40.

Respect the user’s preferences and let them resize text as needed. Also, specify font sizes in relative terms — not as an absolute number of pixels

Violating Design Conventions
Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience. Every time you release an apple over Sir Isaac Newton, it will drop on his head. That’s good.

The more users’ expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it. And the more the system breaks users’ expectations, the more they will feel insecure. Oops, maybe if I let go of this apple, it will turn into a tomato and jump a mile into the sky.

Benefits Of An Accessible Website- Increase In Reach

Benefits Of An Accessible Website- Increase In Reach

The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) states that service providers must not discriminate against disabled people. A website is regarded as a service and therefore falls under this law, and as such must be made accessible to everyone.

Some organisations are making accessibility improvements to their websites, but many are seemingly not making the accessibility adjustments. Disabled people don’t access their website, they say, so why should they care?

Why you should care about disabled Internet users

The statistics on the number of users who may face difficulties due to your website’s accessibility are quite startling:

  • There are 8.6 million registered disabled people in the UK – 14% of the population (source: DRC)
  • One in 12 men and one in 200 women have some form of colour blindness – 9% of the UK population (source: Institution of Electrical Engineers)
  • Two million UK residents have a sight problem – 4% of the population (source: RNIB)
  • There are 12 million people aged 60 or over – 21% of the UK population (source: UK government)

Although there is inevitably some overlap between the aforementioned groups, adding up these numbers provides a total of 48% of the UK population that could potentially face problems with your website’s accessibility. That’s an extraordinarily high number.

It’s not just disabled users who can’t access your website

Non-disabled people may also experience difficulties with your website’s accessibility. Not everyone is viewing your website on the latest version of Internet Explorer, with all the plug-ins and programs that you may require them to have for optimal access.

If your website relies on images, Flash or JavaScript, and fails to provide alternatives, then your website won’t be accessible to a number of web users. The following examples are a common occurrence:

  • Users on slow connections regularly turn images off to enable a quicker download time. Some browsers, such as the text-only Lynx browser do not display images at all.
  • Not every user has downloaded the latest Flash program that’s needed to access your site. Additionally, the download time on Flash websites often takes so long that users lose patience and don’t even wait to see the content. Just 25% of web users in the UK are connected to the Internet via broadband (source: National Statistics).
  • JavaScript is a scripting language that can cause changes to a page, often through mouse functions, buttons, or other actions from the user. For example, pop-ups are opened using JavaScript. JavaScript is unsupported by about 5% of web users, either because they have turned it off to prevent pop-up adverts or because their browser doesn’t support it (source: The Counter). Any JavaScript-driven content provided on your website won’t be accessible to these users.
  • PDAs, mobile phones and WebTV have limited support for large images, Flash and JavaScript. You can test your website by downloading the free WebTV viewer. You can also check how your website looks on a mobile phone with the Wapalizer. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: in 2008 alone an estimated 58 million PDAs will be sold (source: eTForecast) and one third of the world’s population will own a wireless device (source: ClickZ)
Quality Website Design and Development

Quality Website Design and Development

There’s two ways to get a website developed – pay, or design it yourself. If you’ve chosen the latter, you’ll need several things. First, you’ll need web hosting. Web hosting can range from $2 to $200 per month, depending on your needs. Consult a web hosting review site for more information. Next, you’ll have to have some background in computing or internet programming. You’ll need to know at least HTML. Thirdly, you’ll have to have a way to upload your files. Some hosts have online uploads, others require FTP.

Today’s web design encompasses many different technologies that must blend seamlessly to allow for the best combination of form and function in a site. If you’ve decided to design your first website, it can be a daunting task. Rather, most professionals suggest finding a low-cost alternative. Many web developers have a forte – either design or programming. Finding a well-rounded website design firm or individual is difficult, but the business’ portfolio is the best indication.

website design company that offers a wide range of Website Design solutions specializing in construction of quality websites for today’s challenging internet market. We specialize in custom quality web design, web development, search engine optimization and ecommerce websites.By providing a full range of website design services including custom web design from a simple web page to the complex internet solutions including content management systems, portals, ecommerce websites setup and SEO. Our web design team will deign you a fully functioning website that enhances your business that will improve customer awareness of your products and services.

Whether you are developing your existing website or considering developing a brand new website designed to deliver genuine business benefits Suncoast Internet can manage and implement the entire project, the end result of which is an effective, fast-loading, easy-to-use quality web design that will yield results.

How to Optimize WebSite Navigation

How to Optimize WebSite Navigation

Make no mistake. the most impressive looking and product rich web site will fail to convert visitors into paying customers if they are unable to more quickly and easily find what they are looking for, that is, proper web site navigation. There’s a lot of competition out there. Develop and design a web site that’s easy to understand and use, and you’ll attract more than your fair share of visitors – visitors that will return, and buy, again and again. Fail in this, and the only one’s smiling will

How do we accomplish this? By utilizing intuitive navigation techniques. Use them in the development and design of your web site; then sit back as hordes of satisfied customers return to your internet business on a regular basis. And you’ll find when marketing online, return business is your key to significant and effortless profits.

Ok, so what exactly is intuitive navigation – and how do we design it into our web site? I can tell you what it’s not. It is not flashy, creative designs that entertain and distinguish you from the other ‘dull’ web sites out there. Simply defined, intuitive navigation implements a familiar and consistent look and feel across all the design elements of your web site. These elements include;


Your website menu – the table of contents if you will – that directs visitors throughout the various pages of your site should be consistent, and included on every page. Websites that contain a menu on the home page only or certain select pages on the web site (and I’ve seen far too many of these), force visitors to use the Back button (or click on the logo to return to the home page). The common result, visitors do more clicking and visitors get lost. And visitors who get lost… well, ‘get lost’.

And for Pete’s sake, keep your menu style and placement consistent from page to page. Again, fancy and different equals confusion. Confusion equals frustration. And frustration equals ‘no sale’.

Site map:

Another useful website element, and one that’s missing in many business web sites, the site map is a web page that contains a hierarchical, top-down, organized list of all the sections, or pages, on your website. It’s a road map through your web labyrinth, which can get you where you want to go more directly, that is, quicker (especially to access links). It can also make up for any design ‘sins’ on your menu. And for many left brainers, like myself, it is sometimes the preferred route.

Subtitle index:

For those large pages on your web site, which require page scrolling, it is preferable to include subtitles in your copy, for readability. Repeating these subtitles at the top of your page, linked to the subtitle in the copy, makes it easier for visitors to access or return to those sections of the copy that most interest them.

Back to top link:

Again, for large pages on your web site, having ‘Back to top’ links, between subtitles, or at the very least the bottom of your page’s copy, allows visitors to return to the top of your web page with one click, without the need to scroll.

Text links:

Whether it’s a menu item or other link throughout your web site, the use of simple and efficient text links is the preferred navigation method in most instances.

Yes, there’s an overabundance of fancy and impressive buttons, graphics and rollovers available for navigating your web site. However, this is an area where it is mindful to employ the well-known K.I.S.S. method for keeping things simple. Text links are much faster loading than images. Now, for fast broadband internet access, the difference between text and image load may be negligible. However, there are still many potential customers out there still surfing on slow connections. For them, the difference can be significant. So, until we are all on the same connection page, you would do well to accommodate all visitors.

In addition, text navigation menus can contribute relevant text for the search engines, which image navigation bars cannot. And of course, text is often easier than an image for understanding the purpose of the link. Just remember – on the web, and for your internet business, it is always preferable to err on the side of efficiency over impressiveness.

Page Footer Menu:

Ok, we have our menu items at the top (or side) of all our web pages. So, why would we want to repeat them at the bottom of every page? Well, in addition to providing your visitors with just another, alternative, option for navigating your website, there are two instances when placing your menu on your page footer is more an essential, than a ‘nice to have’.

(1) If you insist on using graphics for your main menu items, the inclusion of a text menu on the page footer aids both reader viewability and understanding, and ensures that search engine spiders can see you.

(2) Placing your menu on a frame is an easy way to ensure that your menu items stay fixed and in sight, even as you’re scrolling through a long web page. However, although there are many advantages to using frames on your web site, there are disadvantages as well. Although more detail on the pros and cons is fodder for another article, let’s just say there are many web sites that prefer not to use frames. In such instances, scrolling down a long page will also scroll your menu items, sometimes out of sight. A page footer menu provides a convenient way to access these items without the necessity for scrolling back up the page.

Containing an abundance of particulars, a context-rich web site can be a dense, confusing and intimidating jungle of information for internet visitors. However, by using time-tested intuitive navigation techniques, you can turn potential chaos (and lost customers) into a smooth and pleasant ride across the web superhighway.

How to choose a web design company

On the Internet today, there are many people who call themselves web designers and web design companies. Some people do it for fun, as a hobby or part-time. Web designers that design full-time are the way to go.. Someone who does web design in their part-time tends not to take it as seriously as someone who does it for a living. There are also people who do web design, who have no formal training. Make sure your web designer has some formal training from a recognized school. People who are self taught, although I applaud them for doing it, have relied on the Internet for all their information, and as you know information on the Internet can be inaccurate.

Relevant Experience

The web design company you choose for your project should have relevant experience. If you would like them to design a e-commerce website, it is best to choose a web designer who has e-commerce websites in their portfolio. Your web design company should be ready to submit a proposal for your website project along with a contract. Beware of companies who don’t give you a formal contract. The contract should outline exactly what the web designer will do and how long it will take, the price, and what you have agreed to supply. A formal contract is the best way to avoid disagreements between the web designer and you. Make sure your contract outlines every possible problem that can happen.

Different types of websites

There are different types of websites such as: static HTML (brochure type), e-commerce (with a shopping cart), database, Flash and a website with your own content management system. All of these must come into perspective when you are looking for a web design company. For example if you are looking for a fully interactive Flash website you better make sure that the web design company you choose has done many Flash websites. There is a difference between companies who can do Flash headers for a standard HTML site and web designers who can create a full flash website. Your best bet when choosing a web design company is to have a face to face meeting when discussing what it is you would like to have your website look like , also some sketches and some addresses of websites that you like. This gives the web design company the chance to fully understand what you are looking for and a better chance to give you an accurate proposal.

Things to take into consideration

Does the web design company have an update package? You must know that after your website has been created, from time to time you will require updates. Maybe they will be small maybe not. If the web design company you are choosing does not have an update package, you should inquire about the price of updates after the initial design. You should take the price of updates into consideration before you begin the design process. Make sure the web design company or web designer you choose sets realistic goals for the timeline. Usually if it sounds too good to be true then it is.

Many web designers have their own personal style. For example my personal style is clean and bright colors. Some web design companies love Flash and always build Flash websites. This would not be ideal if you are looking for an extremely search engine friendly website.

You would also have to consider guarantees. Does your potential web design company offer a guarantee? Most web design companies do not. So when you find one who does, you can know that they feel very confident in their capabilities. Another thing to consider is: Does the web design company display a phone number that they can be contacted at. Sometimes as a client you would like to speak with someone, not just get a reply to an e-mail the next day.

How to a find a web design company

There are a few ways to find web design companies in your area. One way is to search the web for: “Vancouver web design” or “Sarasota Web design”, obviously depending on the city closest to you. You could also search the Yellow pages for web design companies. Most web design companies who can afford to advertise there have already built a pretty go reputation and have been in business for a while.
Another option is search the web and when you see a website you really like, check for a link on the bottom of the page or on a contact page.

Hiring a Web Design Firm vs. Freelance Designer

A web site is more than just a tool for business. It’s part of your “brand” image, your storefront and a measure of your professionalism. A good web site is navigable, provides easy access to goods, services or information and effectively serves the purposes of it’s owner or owners. As you might imagine, developing sites that meet these criteria is no easy task. While there are thousands of freelance web designers available to choose from, few of them have the experience and skill necessary to tailor a site to fit an individuals specific needs.
Many business owners simply use price as a comparison point, which somewhat favors freelance individuals. Those who are savvy enough to ask for a portfolio of multiple sites, however, usually decide to go with a firm after doing so. It’s important to understand that the development of one or two sites is little indication of the ability to know and be able to construct a site that is beneficial for your business.

The benefit of going with a firm as opposed to a freelance individual is simple. Firms usually have specialists who work on the a particular part of your web site. The person creating your layout isn’t likely to be the person working on HTML or scripting. When specialists handle individual aspects of a project, those aspects get more individualized attention. Still, unless a web design firm has a fluid production protocol between departments, delays can occur. Looking at a portfolio won’t indicate the amount of time or cost overruns that occurred when developing a site. When assembling bids from various firms, it’s important to remember to ask for at least a relative time frame for completion so that you can have an idea of when the work will be done.

In the grand scheme of things, firms can offer business owners more experience and greater attention to detail than most freelance individuals can. Your business is unlike any other and deserves a team of professionals dedicated to making the most of your web site. While a freelance individual may be adept at building one type of site, who’s to say it’s the right type of site for what you have to offer?

Monetize Your Website - Adsterra            Alexa web rank