Tag Archives: Images

Using pictures properly – how to make your website an eye catcher

Want to make a good impression to website visitors with creative and inspirational content? A picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case we show you how you can create meaningful images with self-made pictures or professional stock photos.

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Category: MyWebsite & Apps | Tips
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6 Ways to Optimize Website Images

Images are a key component in Web design. Not only do they convey messages and help to maintain visitor’s attention, they also play a role in how fast and responsive your website is. Striking the best balance between image quality and site loading times will keep your visitors happy. It’s important to consider format, size, compression, and more when choosing images for your website. Use these six tips and tricks to ensure ensure your web pages aren’t held back by their images.

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Category: Developers | Tips
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Best Practices for Website Images

Finger pointing to image

Effective images are necessary to attract the ideal visitors to your website. As a small business owner, you may not have the photography or design skills, so what do you do? In this article we will go over several techniques for illustrating your website.

Which images are best?

You need to select pictures that are going to get across the message you’re trying to tell. Having a stunning image of a galaxy is all well and good but if your website is about selling children’s toys it may confuse visitors. When picking an image the most important thing to ask yourself is, is this relevant and does it help tell the story of my business? You want visitors to have an idea of what your website is about before they even read anything.

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Category: Tips
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The Building Blocks of an Effective Website

What are the most important elements of websites? This may not be as simple of a question as it seems, since many websites are missing some important aspects.

5 must-haves for a successful website

1. Headline

When I visit a website I want to know two things; firstly what do they do, and secondly do they have what I’m looking for? So why is it that when I visit a lot of sites, there is no headline that tells visitors who they are, what they do, or what their unique selling point is? In essence, not having a headline that tells visitors what you do is a bit of a wasted opportunity. Here are some examples of websites with good headlines:

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Category: Tips
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Improve SEO by Optimizing Website Images

In the past, articles we have posted on the topic of Web design emphasize the importance of using photos to contribute to the success of your website. In addition to the basic idea of simply adding photos, this article will discuss four of the most important tips for optimizing images for your business website.

Meaningful File Names: Search engines can “read” the filenames of images, even if they are not directly displayed on the website itself. Therefore, if you have a photograph of a bicycle for example, and the filename is something descriptive such as “2013-Mountain-Bike.jpg”, the search engines will know to pair that image (and your site) with relevant search queries from users. On the other hand, a general name such as “img54321.jpg” will not be helpful in generating search traffic.

Size/Resolution: Load times of websites are a major factor not only in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but also in terms of usability and functionality from the users’ perspective. When loading a photo onto your website, it is often not necessary to include a “print-ready” resolution since it increases the file size of your website. Photos with a resolution of 72 to 96 dpi are typically sufficient for website use.

Alt Text: In the underlying code of a web page, developers can include text to accompany an image that most of the time will not be displayed on the page itself. This is referred to as “Alt text”, and its purpose is to be a placeholder for the image should the image fail to load for any reason. Instead of a blank area on the page, this text will be displayed so that the user at least as an idea of what should be displayed there. In addition to this benefit, this text can also be read by search engines, and increases the overall SEO of the website.

Captions: Each image should have a descriptive caption displayed below or to the side of it, with essential information that both your website visitors and the search engines can read. These should be separate from the image itself for optimum success. In other words, text that is included in an image itself cannot be read by search engines, and has no SEO benefit.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/kr7ysztof

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Category: Tips
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Frequently Asked Web Design Questions

In this article we will explore some of the common questions that we receive with regards to designing a website for a small business. If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know in the comments!

What should I include on the homepage?
Your homepage is the first impression of your business that you will be presenting to current and potential customers or clients. As the most popular page of your website, it the ideal location to position your most important information. Consumers visit your website to discover company details like your mission, significant products and services, and contact information, as quickly as possible. By displaying them clearly in this place, they will gain a positive experience from your website and in turn, your business.

Place information like videos, personal biographies, and photo galleries on their own specific pages. Not only will keeping videos and numerous photos off the homepage ensure the page will load quickly, but it also keeps the entire site organized and user-friendly. 1&1 Internet recently conducted research which found that 72 percent of consumers will abandon a purchase or inquiry with a business that operates with a faulty website, for example if it loads slowly. To prevent this poor experience, keep the homepage less demanding and provide the most relevant information in a clear format.

How should I display images of my products/services?
Visuals typically gain more interest from the public than text. Additionally, they are the most valuable method to showcase before and after projects for those that provide professional services, for example. Making these images available on your website provides a convenient and fun way for current and potential customers to learn about you and your business.

Web hosts often offer image tools that allow you to create an attractive photo gallery on websites alongside useful information about products and services. Some do-it-yourself packages, like 1&1 MyWebsite, provide stock images and let you upload your own photos to customize the site specific to your business. If a business wants to use a particular image they found on the Web, it is typical to pay an additional fee to do so. With some inclusive site design applications, a pre-licensed library of over 25,000 images provides numerous options for visually generating interest.

Can I really design my own website with your MyWebsite tool?
Yes. Many businesses are hesitant to create a website because they fear they lack the required knowledge to set one up. However, with simple, user-friendly design tools like 1&1’s MyWebsite, small-to medium-sized businesses can build a fully functional and professional website themselves in a matter of minutes. The straight forward set-up process and familiar editing tools allow owners with all technical skill levels to get online in only a few clicks of a mouse.

1&1 MyWebsite users are guided in the design process from the very beginning. Providing industry-specific text and appropriate images for more than 200 different industries, the tool offers an ideal starting point for business owners to launch their online presence. Customize the site to fit your particular business and offerings with the simple editing tool, much like working within a Word document. Each package comes with different features to build upon your online identity. Inclusive tools and capabilities such as integrating multimedia, Google™ Maps, feedback forms and social media widgets will help you meet the needs and expectations of site visitors while encouraging interaction and effective communication.

Once my website is designed, what other services and tools are available for me to leverage my website?
As a business, having a website is a great way to expand your reach to a broader audience. However, creating an interactive and exciting website will not only attract visitors but also engage them, keeping them involved in your business. Current content, such as news feeds, promotional updates and social media integration allows you to leverage your site beyond just Web pages. Together, these tools help boost credibility and functionality of a website, and increase the chances your visitors will return.

Investigate what is already offered to you through you hosting packages. Some include communication tools like email newsletters. You can collect customer information, for example email addresses, by offering the option to subscribe directly on your website. Information such as employee biographies, industry news, promotions, and achievements via this format build personality, professionalism and credibility all while you maintain full control over what is communicated. This is just one of the varieties of different options to improve your communication methods and reputation online.

I heard that there are hidden costs to choosing a Web design service.  Is this true?
Not necessarily. Some hosts might charge you a set-up fee which is additional to the advertised price, but this is not always the case. Be sure to read and understand all the “fine print” before committing to a package. This means not only those relevant to the specific plan, but also the general terms and conditions. Having confidence in your host and cost will help you focus more on your website development and less on the back end of your business.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/porcorex

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Category: Tips
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Choose a Website-Building Application Tool with the Right Elements

To create a professional-looking website for your business with very little technical expertise, there are a handful of programs out there for you to use. When choosing which application is the ideal for you, it is best to consider the features you need versus the features the program offers. It is also important to keep tabs on any new changes in the industry to get the most bang for your buck. In this article we’d like to go over some of the new elements that have recently been introduced into 1&1 MyWebsite. We hope the information proves helpful in selecting the right program for your business to make your website even better.

Checking Web performance at any time      

With a new mobile app called 1&1 Insights, users have the ability to check how their website is performing at any time. Having this ability enables you to gain deeper knowledge of how your visitors are finding your website – whether it is through social media, search engines or external links. You’ll also have access to vital information like general website statistics, page visits, and much more. This information is useful for any business owner, because you can make adjustments such as changing the design based on how the site is performing. You’ll know which pages are receiving the most traffic, and which are underperforming.

Embedding video

You can also personalize your website with your own videos. This is important for showcasing certain products or other aspects of your business for your customers. On MyWebsite, for example, you can use Video Maker to create your own videos – you choose your own images, provide your own text, select music, edit the transitions, and more. The easier the interface is for you to integrate videos to your website will be the most beneficial for those business owners with very little programming expertise. It is a great benefit to give your visitors greater insight into what your business is all about.

High-quality designs and images

When customers are searching for a business website, they expect to see one that looks professional and well-managed. If you don’t know a lot about website design, this can be a difficult task. Try to choose a Website building application that offers designs tailored to your needs and your industry. You also want to consider what kind of images you will include on your website, since you don’t want the page to just be a wall of text. Most applications will have a library of images for you to choose from. MyWebsite, for example, has recently doubled the size of their image library to 25,000 images for you to choose from at no additional cost.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/talaj

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Category: Tips
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Tips for a Successful First Website – Part 2

For the first two tips, read Part 1 of the article.

3. Visuals

Perhaps the most important aspect of any business’s online presence would be the incorporation of visuals to their website. A potential customer can read about the products but all the words in the world are trumped when they see a picture of the item itself. Installing and updating photo galleries of your products helps paint a clear picture in the customer’s mind about what they are investing in.

A further step up from a photo is the inclusion of Flash videos on your website. Videos allow your customers to see the product in different lighting and angles. Videos are also a great way to broaden your services to customers. Post a tutorial of helpful tips for your products after they have been purchased. By utilizing these features available through your website design tool, you will position yourself as a reliable resource.

4. Social Media

Social media has proven to become a necessity for business. In fact, 1&1’s research also proved that 78 percent of consumers require businesses to be active in social media for brand recognition on the Web. Not only does this platform allow you to interact with customers, but it also is a way to generate additional traffic to your website. Some DIY website design tools provide convenient widgets to easily implement your social media accounts directly into your site. By encouraging your existing customers to “like” your Facebook page, for example, you can grow and expand your client base.

Some hosting packages supply your business site with marketing solutions, such as e-newsletters. E-newsletters are a great way to keep your customers informed about upcoming promotions and announcements that your business offers. Giving website visitors the option to voluntarily subscribe for your newsletter, you will be able to collect their email information for future communications. Big holiday sales or seasonal specials are some examples that customers want to be aware of in advance. Additionally, your social media and website links should be always be incorporated into the content. While providing your business a simple way to generate communication with your customers, you can still maintain full control over its content.

As beneficial as e-newsletters can be for a business, they can also garner negative effects. Be careful about flooding your customer’s inboxes with un-important information and constant updates. Overusing the newsletter tool may encourage recipients to flag the emails as spam. This will restrict you from distributing the emails moving forward. Make sure your newsletters have newsworthy information in them so customers can look forward to receiving them as opposed to dreading it.

5. SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing method businesses use to increase their rankings within search engine results pages.  When a potential customer searches for a store in your area using Google for example, the minute they press ‘enter,’ the search engine releases “crawlers” into the Web. These crawlers scan through millions of websites searching for the keywords you used to find the most dependable and trustworthy sources. In order to get your business at the top of Google’s list, you need to strategically place business specific words, or keywords, throughout your site for the crawlers to find. It is important to note that when judging the credibility of a site, search engine crawlers only scan though the text on the page. Be sure to implement MetaTags and captions with all visuals so key messages are not missed. With dozens of different businesses in your area you want your business to stand out and be seen as professional and credible. Implementing SEO is a free and convenient way to ensure that your business website is seen in a prominent location on result pages. Just as a warning, Google values quality over quality, so putting the same keywords over and over again will most likely lead to more loss than gain.

The internet has proven to be the most popular resource when consumers are searching for products and services. Ensure you do not miss out on the opportunity and create a successful online presence. By implementing these five essentials into your online strategy, you will be able to expand your reach to a broader audience.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/talaj

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Category: Tips
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Common Questions About Web Design – Part 1

In this article we will explore some of the common questions that we receive with regards to designing a website for a small business. If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know in the comments!

What should I include on the homepage?
Your homepage is the first impression of your business that you will be presenting to current and potential customers or clients. As the most popular page of your website, it the ideal location to position your most important information. Consumers visit your website to discover company details like your mission, significant products and services, and contact information, as quickly as possible. By displaying them clearly in this place, they will gain a positive experience from your website and in turn, your business.

Place information like videos, personal biographies, and photo galleries on their own specific pages. Not only will keeping videos and numerous photos off the homepage ensure the page will load quickly, but it also keeps the entire site organized and user-friendly. 1&1 Internet recently conducted research which found that 72 percent of consumers will abandon a purchase or inquiry with a business that operates with a faulty website, for example if it loads slowly. To prevent this poor experience, keep the homepage less demanding and provide the most relevant information in a clear format.

How should I display images of my products/services?
Visuals typically gain more interest from the public than text. Additionally, they are the most valuable method to showcase before and after projects for those that provide professional services, for example. Making these images available on your website provides a convenient and fun way for current and potential customers to learn about you and your business.

Web hosts often offer image tools that allow you to create an attractive photo gallery on websites alongside useful information about products and services. Some do-it-yourself packages, like 1&1 MyWebsite, provide stock images and let you upload your own photos to customize the site specific to your business. If a business wants to use a particular image they found on the Web, it is typical to pay an additional fee to do so. With some inclusive site design applications, a pre-licensed library of over 25,000 images provides numerous options for visually generating interest.

For more common questions, check back later today for the second part of this article.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/cofkocof

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Category: Tips
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How to Size Photos for Your Company Website

A great website includes a lot of great visuals to accompany the information. The more visually pleasing a business website is, the better experience customers often have. For example, high-quality product photography and other graphics are a great way to win over new customers. From a marketing standpoint, you probably know that if you want to make prints of photography, such as posters and brochures, a high resolution copy of your image is very important. However, this is slightly different if the photos are intended solely for use on the company website. In this case, a higher resolution is not necessarily better. Most computer screens have a resolution of 1024×1280 pixels or less.

Therefore, it is not useful for your audience to design a website that is larger than those typical screen sizes. A width of about 980 pixels should be your goal when designing a business website. With the maximum width of the entire website being established, you can get a sense of just how small your website images should be when compared to printing them on physical marketing materials. Images for the Web need to be sized and cropped to fit appropriately on the page, and the smaller file size also helps the website load faster.

How to create the best possible images

If you are photographing the image yourself, you can shoot the photo in a high resolution as usual, since you may want to use it for printed materials as well. From there, you want to open the digital image in an editing software tool such as Adobe Photoshop. In most photo-editing software there should be an option for re-sizing and cropping images to a specific pixel size. If you have a plan for your website’s layout already, it should be fairly easy to create images at any size you need them.

Again, images designed for the Web do not need a resolution as they would for printed materials. Where a brochure photo, for instance, would need a resolution of 300 dpi, a web image only needs to be around 72 or 96 dpi, typically.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/franckreporter

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Category: Tips
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