Craig de Fasselle spent his early career as president of Meter Equipment Mfg. He has six patents in flow instrumentation, developed a calibration bench for blood viscometers, and handled the company’s marketing.
Craig’s success in creating and leading user-to-user forums led to serving as a paid consultant for America Online and Women.com for over five years. He created his first website in the mid-90s, and the web sales generated evolved into a new, full-time career.
Founding Web Refinements in 1999, Craig sold the manufacturing company to pursue web development full-time. He is an expert in the design requirements and strategies to achieve user-friendly sites, SEO, and driving targeted traffic to your web site. Craig can be contacted at 440-497-0029.
Good, compelling text content is the most important component of your website. It’s more important than images, videos, or animations.
Whether we write your web content, or you do it yourself, you need to state benefits quickly and succinctly. Web visitors scan text rather than read, so you only have seconds to state your case. If you can’t explain why someone should buy your products or services in a few clear sentences, it’s unlikely your website will succeed. We can write effective text for you, but you must first explain to us what makes your business better than the rest.
Here are some writing tips to get you started (we offer a white paper on writing to all clients)…
If you have a website, someone has or will advise that “you must use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn” or one of the other social sites to market your business. But unless you understand them and what’s required, they will not be assets to your organization.
It’s important to keep in mind that Facebook, Twitter and the rest are classified as SOCIAL media. They provide a great way for friends to find one another, or share interests and news. It’s supposed to be fun, dynamic, and active, and something people WANT to see! It’s all about emotion, and not another place to post ads.
You’ve probably seen the commercial from a certain accounting software firm that offers a free website builder (does that mean you hire a web designer to do your taxes). Others offer similar site builders, too. Why hire a web designer, right?
IF you’re building a personal site for family and friends, these site builders are fine. But if you need a website that will create new business for your company, or support for your charity, a “free” site builder is likely to prove the adage “The cheap ends up expensive.”
If you aren’t blogging already, someone has probably told you that you should. But is blogging truly for you and your organization?
Blogging can be an effective tool in keeping readers engaged, and help increase traffic to your web site in some cases. However, it’s not a magic bullet–successful blogging takes careful planning, quality content, and posting new material regularly on an ongoing basis. If you’re not willing or able to do those three things, blogging is a bad idea for you.
A splash page is an introductory page to a web site that rarely provides useful content, instead featuring eye-candy or Flash animations. Designers may use them to show off artistic skills, and site owners think they attract attention or look cool. But site visitors can’t stand them because they take a long time to load, and usually provide no navigation option other than “Enter the Site.”
Imagine going into a grocery store to buy a loaf of bread. Before you can grab the bread, the store makes you look at other products first. Then, before you can check out, they ask you for your name, address, phone, e-mail, and want you to register a user name and password. Ridiculous, of course…
The relationship between your IP, web host, and domain registrar can be very confusing, but a website owner must understand the role of each. Most importantly, the web client needs to have access to their domain registrar, or potentially risk the loss of your domain name! The entities are…
It’s your site, and it should look the way you want it to, right? Wrong. The site should be designed for the web visitor/customer; not the boss.
Yes, you should be happy with the design, but the site isn’t supposed to sell you—it’s supposed to sell your target market. You’re already convinced of the merits of your products or services, but your market needs to be convinced.
Before we start our series of common web mistakes, I should probably share the story of my first site. They say that experience helps us avoid mistakes, but mistakes are how we gain experience. So this is a tale of how I became “experienced!”
In 1996, after several years of building and running a handheld computing forum on AOL, I decided to apply my online “expertise” to my own manufacturing company. While I did avoid a number of still-common web design mistakes, I did make one—I designed for the owner rather than the audience.
In the past, we’ve made mistakes, and learned from them. Mistakes aren’t bad – just try to learn quickly.
“It’s important that nobody gets mad at you for screwing up,” says Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3 in an article on Pixar in Wired. “We know screwups are an essential part of making something good. That’s why our goal is to screw up as fast as possible.”
So here are four common website mistakes that we’ll explore in subsequent posts:
1. Designing the site for the owner rather than the audience.
2. Too much on the home page.
3. Splash page and focusing on animations rather than good content.