7 Tips on Hiring a Good Web Designer

It’s a lot of work to run a successful business. I mean you have product development and customer service to concern yourself with. But now you want to have your own website on top of all that.
Instead of attempting to learn everything about how to create a website all on your own, perhaps it would be a good idea if you simply hired someone to do all of the hard work for you. This will leave you with ample time to worry about the continued health and success of your business.

But how can you be sure that you’re going to get a good result for the price? Here are some tips I’m offering to you on how you can choose the right web designer for your business.

1. Check their portfolio first. These are their online references. Check to verify that their style fits the type of theme you are looking for.

2. Comparison shopping. It’s true that the prices for a web design / graphic design job can vary widely, from $50 up to $500. So go ahead and see if you’re getting what you pay for.

3. Pay only one time. Pay a onetime fee for the design of your new site. Some web design companies will want to charge you a monthly fee for the “upkeep” of your website.

4. Ask for the source files. Download all of the PSD files so you have in your possession all of the originals of any logos or other graphics designed. This is crucial in case you ever want your site design edited again.

5. Customer service. See how quickly the design company replies to all of your pre-sale questions. Do they answer them in a timely fashion?

6. Experience. Are you hiring a one man operation who is just starting out or a larger group of designers who work at a company? You’re less likely to be scammed by hiring a well known company.

7. Testimonials. Go online and do some research on the company history. Read what other clients have had to say about their work.

For more internet marketing tips visit the Webpreneur Blog, which is a new weblog created specifically for aspiring web entrepreneurs.

Five Basic Tips for Building an SEO-Friendly Website Without a Web Design Expert

Internet marketing and Web design are two separate disciplines which work together. A designer makes a site that is easy to navigate and appealing to the visitor; Internet marketing is what brings the visitor to the site. That’s not to say that one is more important than the other, or that a Web Designer doesn’t know SEO (or vice versa). The fact is that people are not going to find your company just because your site is on the Internet. You need to do a little work to make that happen. The good news is that as long as you know a little basic HTML, you can do some of this work without consulting a Web designer.
1. Use text and HTML. Search engines can’t read images (other than alt tags), and therefore cannot index them. Likewise, search engines can’t index Flash. They need text and HTML in order to index your site. So keep that in mind before you shell out a million dollars on a Flash-only Web design. While you’re at it, make sure all of your HTML works, too. Google (and other search engines) don’t like sites that are full of deprecated tags or broken HTML.

2. Make sure you use the tag. The title tag is so important when it comes to optimizing your HTML for SEO. The title tag needs include keywords that are relevant to your Web site or business. If you look at mine, it says “Social Networking, Search Engine Optimization, Internet Marketing and More | Andrea Caruso Online”. This tells the search engine that these keywords are relevant to my site, as well as what my site’s name is. The title tag is very important. Don’t ignore it!

3. Alt tags on images. Since search engines cannot “read” a picture, use of alt tags on images is really, really important because it gives the search engine a description of the picture (and therefore can index the image – especially good for Google Image Search). Want to be ranked for “baby photograph”? If you put an image on your site of a baby, make sure you include “alt=baby photograph” in your img tag.

4. Bold and italics. Use the and tags around content related to your site that you think is important for search engines to index. Search engines assume that since you’re using these tags to emphasize certain text, that the words or phrases you’re emphasizing are important, so it will in turn place emphasis on them in their indexing process.

5. Abandon the “click here”. Just like the and tags, the anchor text you use for a link is seen as emphasized by search engines. So don’t ever link to an internal page with a link that says, “click here”! For example, if you’re linking to a page about really cool cars, say something like, “more about really cool cars”.

There are a lot more ways to optimize your site for search engines by cleaning up your HTML code, but I don’t claim to have a Web design degree so I can’t delve too much further into it. Check out the Related Reading for more tips.

Worthless Words or Wisely Winning Writers?

The professions of banking and layering are seriously in economic trouble, despite recent touting by banking industry executives as negligent SEC lawyers are caught looking the other way, the stock market is in the middle of a three day dead cat bounce, caused by mouthpieces for Citigroup, JP Morgan and other parrots of the penniless purveyors of economic chaos.
Realtors, lawyers and bankers are gasping at their last breaths as property prices and mortgage portfolios continue to be slashed in value while at the same time market values for the words produced by excellent writers appears to be skyrocketing.

Recent mainstream press have been reporting for weeks on the troubles of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle based Post Intelligencer and recently the Rocky Mountain News didn’t make it to its 150th Birthday Party.

Comes now the Penny King out of his Kingdom of Pen to make waves for thousands of professional journalists and writers who are about to lose their jobs due to the collapsed global economy, responsibility for which can be clearly laid at the feet of the globally greedy caused by bankrupt bankers looking to continue the charades of cashless value distributed through the dumbed down Federal Reserve System.

“The heart of America has been cancerous for many years now and if the global economy is going to survive it requires some serious surgery on the part of policy makers and money creators to stem the tide, despite recent pump and dump schemes and short covering on the thousand or more banks that are still in trouble while the FDIC shakes in its books due to its own insolvency,” said the Penny King in an exclusive interview for this story.

In an email sent to every writer and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, the Penny King advised the executives and staff there that they should support a bid by the Kingdom of Pen to buy both the Seattle Post Intelligencer and the San Francisco Chronicle from the Hearst Corporation whose income has been plummetting for the past seven years and Hearst is itself heading for bankruptcy unless it shifts its old line publishing policies into something more modern.

The emailed letter, addressed to the Chairman of Hearst, George R. Hearst Jr. is encouraging Hearst to shut down all of its paper driven black and colored ink produced newspapers that are using outdated print media and go strictly with online electronic media.

The biggest risk in such a move is that electronic failures could cut off information flow if there was a national energy outage.

The billion dollar offer is geared not toward giving money losing Hearst more money for its actions of raping and pillaging millions of trees over the course of its’ decades long history, but paying writers and authors more for their time, energy and knowledge for online published works.

The billion dollars will go mostly to paying writers a dollar per word and ensures their continued future employment.

Under the terms of the arrangement writers would get one dollar per word credit at the Bank of Pen which dollar credits could then be used for such things as down payments on foreclosed homes, electric cars and electric bicycles sold through the Infinite Freedom Foundations of America, a successor to the failed Free and Clear Foundations of America, Inc., which was infiltrated and destroyed by covert operations run by U.S. Government agents under the direction of the CIA and the negligence of the SEC and FBI.

“We would normally give them federal reserve dollars and notes but recently the whole world has been waking up to the fact that too many of these things-these fictitious notes- have been created out of thin air and it is time for a new global currency – that is the mission of the Bank of Pen…to create an interest free currency for the commoner, starting with the writers and editors of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post Intelligencer, it makes a great story don’t you think?”, asked the Penny King.

Under the new regime ruled by the Penny King through the infinite domain he controls, namely the Kingdom of Pen, editors would become subservient to writers, merely helping them check facts and correct typos and other grammatical errors and writers would become supreme in the electronic publishing industry.

“Without writers there would be no editors and it is not true that a failed writer edits”, said the Penny King who has been recently acknowledged by some mainstream media men as the worlds first bona fide authentic true to life trillionaire for his ability to create bailout money out of thin air.

The SF Chronicle lost more than $50 million last year. This year’s losses to date are worse. The Chronicle has had major losses each year since 2001.

Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation’s largest failing diversified media companies. Its major interests include ownership of 16 daily and 49 weekly newspapers that eat up tons of paper every day, including the Houston Chronicle and Albany Times Union; as well as interests in an additional 43 daily and 72 non daily newspapers owned by MediaNews Group, which include the Denver Post and Salt Lake Tribune; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations through HearstArgyle Television (NYSE:HTV) which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A E;, History and ESPN; as well as business publishing, including a minority joint venture interest in Fitch Ratings; Internet businesses, television production, newspaper features distribution and real estate.

Why Has Mario Lasted so Long?

This is just my opinion on how Mario is still such a popular title in today’s world. So I decided to pop in my old copy of Super Mario Brothers 3 into my old Nintendo remembering the good old days where Mario would crush the bad guys and show them who is boss. Anyway while playing I was amazed at how fun it still was, how those simple run, jump, get coin, squash bad guy concepts were still so fascinating and held my interest until the end of the game!

Mario however, hasn’t just stopped with the Super Mario Bros. games, he has gone on to do paper mario, super smash brothers series, and many other of the game boy advance, gameboy SP, and DS games.

The games themselves never get old, it never gets repetitive, but it is so simple and used over and over again depending on how much you die. Many games now I find the music is not good, or tries to hard, and can become boring easy, or not much part of the game.

Everyone who plays the mario games is familiar with the oldschool graphics, but also they have continued to grow with its graphics design, and made it more popular. But everything is put together so well, and it’s what we grew up with, so I believe the old look gives it a classic gameplay and effect, making it even better.

Sidescrolling is popular, which is a common theme in the Super Mario Bros. games. Also, you are allowed bonuses for repetitive jumps on bad guys, which is a plus. It’s nothing new, it was in SMB. 1, skipped 2, but then was put back into the third.

The Mario games are very easy to learn, easy to do, and you don’t have many moments where your character will accidentally kill himself when you jump on the wrong log or something. This is such a big deal for gamers, because some games with poor controls, extremely lower the desirability to play the game, even if it is worth playing.

Mario bros is such a nice game, because it is such an original idea, you can play it for an entire day and not get bored, then pick it up again and still get excited. Also, the music and graphics are still popular today, and give it an even better classic feel. Playing this game again was a great idea, it was hard for me to set down the controller and write this article!

Now, this is just my opinion on why the Super Mario Bros. games are still so puplar. Other games that are great classics are the Zelda series, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, and Final Fantasy. These games all keep an original quality to them, but are still just as fun as those new games like Grand Theft Auto, or Fallout 3.