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With the return of Daylight Savings Time here in the US, we are finally starting to see springtime on the horizon. And as the northeastern part of the country finally starts to thaw, you can feel the excitement about shedding winter layers and actually taking time to think about style again. With that in mind, we thought today was an excellent time to feature a Webs user website that we really enjoy: Man Of The Hour Magazine.

Not only is this an excellent online magazine website example, the site is jam-packed with insightful lifestyle articles. As described on their Facebook page, Man Of The Hour is “dedicated to cultivating the emerging generations of sophisticated men.” If you’re thinking about starting an online magazine or journal and want to emulate this website, take a look at the 3 things that make this a site successful:

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Examples of clever 404 Errors

Have you ever been browsing the internet and reached a page screaming, “404 Error Page!” and been afraid you had done something terribly wrong to harm your browser and/or computer?

Have no fear! We have all been there.

Good news is that is completely normal for a user to come across a 404 error page, and for your small business website to return one.  Because in the definition of a 404 Error Page (or HTTP 404 for our more technical audience) it describes the error as a web page that simply could not be found when attempting to follow a broken or dead link (or one that you’ve typed in incorrectly).

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What better way to get over the work-week hump than checking out September’s first Example Site Wednesday? This week, we take a look at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and their Center for Market Leadership website. This site’s simple, yet effective approach shows that consistency can be a very valuable tool when creating a website.

The consistency of this site is shown through the cohesiveness of the color scheme, content and spacing. There doesn’t seem to be anything out of place or sticking out like a sore thumb here. Making the right decisions about content, layout and design are critical when trying to make an effective website. People, in general, like consistency in our everyday lives, whether it’s turning a key to start the ignition or turning a knob to open a door. Consistency in a website makes it easier for your visitors to quickly gather the information they are looking for and make a decision — are they going to contact you, buy something, sign up for something or simply just leave your website.

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It’s the middle of the week and you know that means, EXAMPLE SITE Wednesday!

This week we will be showcasing R&N Electric, Inc., a family-owned and operated contracting company serving clients in Sparks, Nevada.

In addition to having an easy to navigate website with clean layout that takes advantage of correctly utilized typography, R&N also execute the following two key points well:

  1. Solid Testimonials Page – Potential customers want to see if you run a reputable business/organization. Thus, make good use of your glowing reviews and show your potential clients that you are indeed honest, reliable and an expert in your field. When organizing testimonials put your best foot forward and use testimonials that can help to simplify the buying process for potential clients. Make sure that you do not outwardly ask for testimonials, it is better to ask for feedback from your customers which can lead to more genuine responses.
  2. Synced Social MediaPresence – Online world is expanding rapidly. Today in addition to having an updated website it is important to keep an active social presence. Make sure to link your social media accounts with your small business website. R&N Electric, for example, put a link to their Facebook page in the navigation menu. Don’t forget, you can even embed your website on Facebook! With Pagemodo you can gain fresh website exposure to an audience that have yet to see your website by easily publishing your website to your Facebook page. Find out how to start here.

We hope you these tips can help to enhance your website and lead to better quality leads, and we would like to thank R&N for having such a wonderful website.

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The following information was presented during our last webinar as a guide to help website owners  take their site to the next level. Webinar was intended to be a quick 30 minute guide to provide simple to follow tips from the Webs pros regarding the top 6 key elements that make up a good website.

Key Elements covered:

  1. Good Visual Design— Design is an all encompassing word for all the visuals elements of your website — logo, font(s), white space, theme/template, layout and colors.
    Using a theme that relates to the topic of your website can help to keep you/your content on track. When it comes to design it is important to remember to use white space and think about color usage and meaning.
  2. Content— The key to a good website is providing relevant content that your readers want.  Content should answer the question “what’s in it for me?”
  3. Navigation— Navigation is the “GPS” of your website. Navigation or Nav Bars are the buttons that get your visitors where they need to go to get information or do certain things. Usually this bar is along the top, as we in this one, or along the left side of the site.Should be simple to use and uncluttered. It is always a good idea to group like pages under the same topic to streamline navigation.
  4. Call to Action — The Call to Action is a set of words that urge your website visitors to take an immediate action on your website.  There is no magic formula to a good Call to Action. The key is to continuously test what works best for your website and your audience. Test the placement, size and color of these…make sure you use actionable words.
  5. Credibility — A good website instills trust from visitors. Good website design takes this into consideration by incorporating items that help identify that you are a legitimate resource. One way you can do so is by utilizing
    verified links, clearly stating your identity and contact info,  good grammar and employing social proof.
  6. Mobile site — More and more people are looking at your site from a mobile phone or web enabled device. It seems like anything with a screen and a microchip in it is capable of getting on the internet these days. Make sure your site is viewable on a mobile internet enabled device. Quick note: Webs websites are automatically converted into a mobile friendly site when you build it.

Webinar also covered 5 mistakes that could spell disaster for a website:

Today we would like to showcase a clean, well organized website dedicated to a preschool in California: The ABC Learning Childcare & Preschool:

The owner of ABC Learning Childcare & Preschool designed their site so it’s easy to navigate and clutter free. Keep in mind, when building a business website, less can really be more.

A lot of website owners that are starting out and learning about how to make a website encounter the problem of wanting to showcase everything they have all at once. This can lead to a  cluttered, disorganized website that is visually unappealing.  Having too many elements on one page makes it difficult for website visitors to grasp the purpose of your website and the key message that you want to convey.  Too many elements can also negatively impact your website design. In a recent survey, we found that design is often seen as the most important factor in creating a good website.

Yesterday we asked our Facebook fans what they think are the top elements, building blocks, which make up a good website. Results show that a large portion of Webs users believe that a good design makes a good website.

Today, let’s dive into some of these elements a bit more to see how they can contribute to helping you make a good website.

Design

Design is a very vague word as it encompasses all the visual elements used on your website. Items such as the theme you use, font(s), logo, colors and layout contribute to your overall website design. Here are few items you should consider when working on your website design:
    — Theme — The theme or template you choose for your website should be consistent throughout all your pages. It should reflect the style and image you want to project on the web. Good themes are focused, understandable and apparent.
    — Fonts — The style of lettering you utilize on your website should be easy to read not only for you but for your intended target audience. For example, if your website is geared towards the older generation, try to select fonts that might be slightly larger and easier to read. There is a whole science behind choosing the right font for your website. Check-out the following article by Derek Halpern if you would like to learn more: What’s the best font for your site? (The psychology of fonts)
    — Logo — Your website logo and name are usually the first thing visitors notice. So, it’s important to create one that portrays what you stand for, is easy to remember and can be easily ported. Meaning your logo can be used both on the web and in print mediums. Here’s a few website logo design tips.
    — Colors — The colors you use on your website also make a huge impact on how it is perceived. According to KISSmetrics, 93% of a consumer’s decision making process comes from visual appearance and 85% comes from color. Colors have the ability to evoke an emotional response. When selecting colors for your website, try to think about the goal of your website and whom you wish to target. Discover Basic Color Scheming and How Do Colors Affect Purchases?

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Website Building Tips
You might have heard the term Cyber Monday before, but haven’t thought about how this once a year online shopping extravaganza might impact your website. Today, let’s cover the basics.

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day celebration in the United States. It is the biggest online shopping day of the year. In 2010 online consumers spent about 1 billion on Cyber Monday.

This year Cyber Monday falls on November 28th, 2011.

With so much revenue potential, if you run an e-commerce website it is imperative that your

This week we are switching things up. Instead of showcasing and example site, we have decided to post a review of a website.

Last week we asked fans on our Facebook Fan page to submit their sites if they wanted some constructive feedback from the Webs team. We received an overwhelming number of comments and it was difficult to select a “winner”. This time the early bird got the worm and the site we choose to review was the first comment posted. Congratulations to www.mechanicsburgoh.com.

Overall, this is a very nice community site that is easy to browse and has a lot of good information posted. The template chosen works well for a community site, it is friendly and professional without being distracting.

Here are a few suggestions from Webs that will help to increase usability:

Holiday season is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to start thinking about your website’s holiday promotion strategy. Why, you ask? Because the holiday season brings with it an increase in the number of online searches, website browsers and buyers.

“Ecommerce sales growth will be strong this holiday season as price-conscious consumers move more of their spending online to save money. Successful retailers will be those that can adjust their marketing efforts on the fly in response to changing market forces.”

~ eMarketer

To help you gain the most out of this holiday season, here are 5 tips to get your retail website ready for the coming holiday season:

  1. Put your best foot forward — Make sure the information posted on your website is up to date and clearly presents the most popular items you wish to promote. Don’t assume that potential browsers can find something on your website just because it is listed. For example, if you sell jewelry and you have a set that sells best and is popular this season, post a picture of it on your homepage with a link to the web store. Another way to highlight best sellers is by marking them as new or on sale in your web store:

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