Archive for September, 2012

Starting An Online Store

So, you are considering to buy one of our e-commerce templates: Magento, Virtuemart, ZenCart, Prestashop, OpenCart or osCommerce!

Before getting started with your online store, you should get ready and double check many things. And if you want your online-business to be successful, you should put much thought and effort into building your website.

Rachel Andrew, a web developer from UK, suggests in her article “Getting Started With E-Commerce: Your Options When Selling Online“ a few tips, which might be very helpful for you.

The article responds to some questions you should be asking yourself or your client before putting together a proposal for the development of an e-commerce website. Rachel Andrew explains the most important things to think about in terms of taking payments and credit card security. It should give you enough information to be able to guide your client and to look up more detailed information about the aspects that apply to your particular situation.

Every online business has different needs, so one solution is unlikely to fit all. Before writing any code or trying an off-the-shelf package, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

What are you selling?
What shopping functionality should you offer?
How will you take payment?
How will items be delivered?
What reporting and other functionalities are required?

We will gladly help you to customize a template to achieve your business goal. We will take care about design and functionality.

So, feel free to contact us via chat or get a free quote.

Please, continue reading a useful article by Rachel Andrew here. It will, for sure, help you to understand better your aims, needs and purposes, and, as a result, to build a profitable fully-functional online-store!

Quote Of The Day

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Blogger’s Checklist (Tips From Jennifer Slegg)

So, you’ve got a WordPress theme from us, and you are going to publish posts on a regular basis. Great!
Jennifer Slegg, a longtime member of the SEO community and an expert on social media, content marketing, Google AdSense and search engines, shares a quick checklist of what you should do before you hit the button publish on a blog.

Did you type what you meant?
Avoid the temptation to write and then immediately hit publish. Always go back and reread your blog entry to make sure what you had in your head actually ended coming out of your fingers on the keyboard. You can also catch grammatical errors and little accidental typos that still make an actual word or where you wrote the same word twice in a row.

Do you have a hook?
The first paragraph of your blog entry is crucial. If you have a poorly written opening paragraph, readers have to be pretty motivated to read beyond that. So think of the opening paragraph as the most important part of your entire article. Make sure it is well written and enticing enough, usually with a hook – to encourage people to continue reading through to the end.

Spellcheck
There shouldn’t be an excuse for not spell checking, and you should always do it, although even I often forget. Someone needs to create a plugin that has an auto-spell check function when you hit publish.

Double check your links work
Make sure you haven’t accidentily forgotten a http:// or forgotten a critical period. You should double check each and every link to make sure it works, and make sure you didn’t put something else from your clipboard in place of the URL you intended.

Related articles you can link to?
Are there any previous blog entries that you can link to as relevant to the topic? If so, definitely lead your visitors in that direction, especially if the blog entry is an oldie but goodie and not one that you published just two days ago.

Other blogs you can link to
Share the link love. Are there blog entries that others have written that are related to the topic. Even if they are friends, as long as the content is relevant, include some links to others.

Did you source your sources?
Reporting on a news story or commenting on someone else commentary? Be sure you include a link to your source, whether it is linking to Joe’s New SEO blog or the likes of CNN or Forbes.

Check your post slug

Wordpress 2.5 makes this a bit easier, by highlighting the post slug underneath your title, but I still sometimes forget to do this (although I usually remember between the time I schedule a post and the time it actually gets published. Shorten the length and make sure you are including the important keywords from the title.

Check your alt tags
Are you including alt tags on your images? Be sure to tag all your images when you blog with the relevant keywords specific to the photo. And yes, avoid the temptation to keyword stuff those as well.

Did you include categories?
Now that categories seem fairly hidden below the blog entry field instead of next to it in the new WordPress, I keep forgetting to tag blog posts with categories. But looking at analytics, I can see just how many people come to the blog on a social media or pay per click post and then go to the category level to see the other articles I have written on the same topic. So be sure you are including categories and that they are relevant to the topic.

Did you tag it?
Along with categories, be sure to tag relevant topics and keywords on your blog entries to, if you are new to tagging, also make the time to go back on previous blog entries and tag them.

Check the vibe and flow
Sometimes you just don’t have the flow going, no matter how hard you rewrite the blog entry. And a missing vibe or flow of the piece can make a blog post mediocre when it could have been great. In this case, hit save instead of publish, and go back to it another day. When you look at it again after a few days, you can rewrite it to capture that previously ellusive vibe.

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Things That Can Ruin Your Website

Recently I came across an amazing article by Brad Shorr, Director of Social Media for Straight North, a Chicago web development company.

The title is Five Copywriting Errors That Can Ruin A Company’s Website.
Brad analyzes in detail the factors, which can ruin your website (to be precise – he focuses on your content imperfections, which may destroy your relations with website visitors and your potential customers).

I would like to share with you some abstracts from his informative and perfectly structured article “Five Copywriting Errors That Can Ruin A Company’s Website”.

So, here are these 5 typical errors and tips to avoid them:

1. Writing Inwardly

A well-written category-level product page talks a bit about features, a little more about benefits and a great deal more about the experience.

Tips:

Before you start writing, collect feedback from customers and prospects. Ask them why they buy from you, why they don’t, and how doing business with you has affected them.

Start with an outline. Associate every feature with a benefit and every benefit with an experience.

Have a customer read a draft and then explain to you why they would want to buy the product. If the customer “gets it,” you’re a star.

Do the same thing with a person who knows nothing about your product and industry. If that person gets it, you’re a rock star.

2. Burying The Lead

Visitors decide whether to stay on your website within a few seconds. If you can’t communicate why a page is important to them immediately, your conversion opportunities will vanish.

Tips:

Before writing, ask, What is the key takeaway I want visitors to have after they visit this page? That’s your lead.

Highlight your lead idea in a bold font. This is especially helpful when you can’t work it into the first sentence.

Use plain language.

Keep your most important points above the fold, as sub-headings, as the first sentence of a paragraph and as bullet points.

3. Mediocre Meta Material

Meta elements(meta title, meta description) are bits of HTML code that are read mainly by search engine robots. However, two meta tags in particular speak to humans as well, and mastering them is critically important for copywriters.

Tips:

If an SEO is working on your project, have them generate title tags based on their keyword research, and then tweak as needed.

If you do not have an SEO, back up a step and reflect on why you are building the website. I believe that an unoptimized website is not worth building.

Title tags should be consistent in style and form to enhance the user experience. Meta descriptions need not be consistent at all.

Because of character limitations and the need for concision, writing these tags can be time-consuming.

Remember, though: you don’t have to achieve perfection for launch. Tags can be changed at any time, and analytics experts often suggest that they should be.

4. Saying Too Much

Brevity is the soul of conversion.

Brevity works because it arouses curiosity.

By telling the whole story, you leave nothing to the imagination.

Using 500 words to tell a 100-word story turns an adventure into a chore.

5. Weak Or No Calls To Action

Assuming that you’ve written a brilliantly persuasive page, it’s still next to worthless without a strong call to action.

The main reason why firms don’t include strong calls to action on their website is that they don’t have them.

Before getting too far into website development, conduct a brainstorming session to begin the process of identifying action steps that website visitors would be eager to take.

For calls to action to be effective, design and content must be joined at the hip. The position of an arrow, the font and color of a button can make or break a call to action. Don’t segregate your writers and designers. We’ve found that a team approach to Web projects fosters continual interaction between all contributors and results in a far better product all around.

Read the full article here.

Enjoy it!

We Remember

Today is the 11th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The years passed.

WE STILL REMEMBER.

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Newsletter: Email-Marketing As An Influential Tool

Newsletter is a really useful feature for your website. Indeed. I do not think, I should explain the real importance of a mutually beneficial and friendly dialog between you, a website owner, and your customer. Each email from you to your customer is a message which forms your public image, and, of course, you should not ignore or neglect this tool.

On the other hand, you should never go to far with it! Please, do not tire the customers with non-informative, useless emails (you can do this, only in the case, when you want them to hate you).

Basically, your newsletter should have only 3 functions:

  1. Informational

  2. Commercial

  3. Emotional

I will repeat this again: your each letter to a customer is an act of communication, which is of great importance for your business success.

Informational function consists in notifying a customer (thanks, Cap!) about a new service, offer, sale or a product.

Commercial function is, in fact, a call for action – you need to bring a customer to the decision of buying a refrigerator from you, and not your competitors!

Emotional component (function) deals with different methods of forming your company image and reputation. You do not have to make much effort to ruin completely your nice image, but you have to work a lot on making your good reputation work for you.

We can help you to integrate Newsletter script into a template you have chosen. Feel free to contact our managers in chat room and get a quote for this service!

Open Your Heart

I guess, there is no need to remind you that we have templates in many different categories. You can choose any to your liking or any which can fully meet your needs and website purposes.

Let’s assume you are working for NGO, NPO or charity organization. Template Tuning offers a great variety of templates in category “Charity” and can help you to find the one .

According to Wikipedia, the word “charity” originates from Old French word “charité” which was derived from the Latin “caritas“. Originally in Latin the word caritas meant preciousness, dearness, high price. From this, in Christian theology, caritas became the standard Latin translation for the Greek word agapē, meaning an unlimited loving-kindness to all others.

Our templates are fully customizable, so you will be able to make changes using software or via admin-panel, if you decide to choose Joomla, WordPress or Drupal template.

Check our Charity templates here, and do not forget to find out more information about customization with our managers in live chat at templatetuning.com

Open your heart. Share your kindness.

Google Chrome is 4 Years Old!

The first days of September are remarkable for the fact that 4 years ago Google Chrome was first released.

At short notice this browser won the sympathy of many users all over the world.

Google Chrome:

  • became the most popular browser in the web world;
  • Google Chrome is officially available in Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, Android and iOS;
  • Chrome releases regular updates and users update their browser versions within a month.

Enjoy a nice presentation dedicated to this date!

Welcome to the Chrome Time Machine!

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Make Your Website Catchy And Impressive

There are plenty of different websites all over Internet. You plan to build a website or consider re-designing your current one. That’s great, but I bet you face an important question: “How not to go unnoticed among all those nice webpages which already exist or will be created in the future?”

Well, do not be scared, my friend. We’ve got a couple of tips for you inspired by a very informative and illustrative article «Designing Memorable Websites: Showcase of Creative Designs».

Sarah & Adrienne Kahn gave vivid samples of striking, memorable designs, as well as very clear comments to them.

So, let’s ask them again: how to design a memorable website?

Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Make use of original and unique graphics. Having a large, punchy or slightly quirky graphic on your portfolio can help separate you from the competition.
  • Feel free to experiment with non-traditional color combinations. Experiment with various contrasts to create tension, but put readability always first. Invite the users to feel engaged, but keep the page usable.
  • Use original, compelling language to clearly emphasize your differences. Unfortunately, your visitors are likely to read only a small percentage of the text on your website. You can pack the most punch in that percentage by using confident opening statements, catchphrases or interesting summaries to pique the interest of your audience.
  • Keep things organized. This might go without saying, but if visitors can’t navigate through your website or figure out who you are from the start, chances are they won’t stay around to see your amazing portfolio.

You can read the full article here.

Enjoy it!

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The Designer Will Make It Pretty

Jason Gross, a freelance web designer focused on creating clean and user friendly websites, recently published a very interesting post in his personal blog at http://jasonagross.com/.

The article is entitled “The Designer Will Make It Pretty” and touches the topic of web design aesthetics, as well as the relevance of customers’ requests to designers “to make everything nice and pretty”.

I want to share some abstracts from Jason’s post with you, dear customer.

– “Each client has the ability to design their website as they see fit, but we have an unbalanced ratio of designers to clients. I do not have the luxury in my day-to-day work of spending months working through a design process as part of a client’s implementation. However, this scenario of limited time hardly strikes me as rare among my design peers.

Because of these constraints, I hear a phrase quite often that many designers would compare to nails on a chalkboard. The people I work with who do not handle the design side of our platform will often tell clients, “The designer will make it look pretty.” Now, “it” could refer to a lot of things: a log-in form, maybe a simple button, or the entire website. When content is raw, unformatted or confusing to the user, it gets sent to the design department so that it can come out the other end “pretty.”

– “Web designers hate this perspective. We consider what we do to be far more important than decorating sloppy content and returning it in a timely fashion. Many of us would argue that our real job is to make content accessible, flexible, easy to use and easy to work with. The real value in design comes from what you can’t see or what you don’t appreciate; it comes from all of the trouble that you don’t have because we fixed it ahead of time. Thank goodness we know better: if we just made things pretty, all of our work would be in vain.”

– “Professional designers don’t make things pretty because it’s beneath us. Your visual acceptance of our work is the result of careful decision-making built around grid systems, perfect ratios, color theory, typography and—no, I won’t make your logo bigger—white space. The practice of simply decorating is something we used to do when we were just getting started down this career path. We used to make pretty things in Photoshop to kill time in class or to tinker with a new tool or technique. We have since moved on to bigger and better things.

Yes, the design community has graduated from the pretty principle to less visual but supposedly more impactful measures. The technology of the present enables us to reach a higher plateau, and we are a bunch of people who refuse to settle for good being good enough, and that includes making something pretty. Right? ”

You can continue reading the full post here: http://jasonagross.com/the-designer-will-make-it-pretty/

Enjoy it!

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