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Is Your Host Blacklisted?

When you’re on a shared server it’s important to find out if anyone else on your server has been blacklisted for spamming. Why? Because on a shared server you’re IP address and their IP address will be the same, and it does not matter if your domain name is different, you’ll still be blacklisted along with every other person on that server. If you’re building an email list this will affect how your email gets handled by the major ISP… probably banned. One way to check and make sure you’re not getting blacklisted is to look up your IP address that your site is hosted on here: http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx?AG=GBL That will tell you what’s going on with your shared server. If it’s got a lot of listings you might want to find a another host before attempting to build an email list.

Free Animated Gifs

This one creates those ‘loading’ animated gifs you see when you are waiting for things to load on a web page… they don’t really do anything, but they give your visitors something to look at while the page is loading … You can create your own animated gif’s or you can use one that is already created by other users. http://www.ajaxload.info/

Think Before You Build

Originally Published in Success Magazine, Sept 2007 by Melissa Ward, Managing Partner NewWard Development, LLC Prior to a pixel being drawn on the screen, before laying out the navigation of your Web site, before discussion of colors or layout or graphics takes place, you need to think about who you are going to be talking to. The first thing you need to consider is who you are trying to attract and design the site for – your ideal client. Write down the qualities and characteristics of your perfect customer. For example, I have a client who owns a cleaning service. Her ideal clients are female, employed full time, make over $50,000 a year, have children and reside within a forty mile radius of Saratoga.  Assignment 1 Write a list of 20 characteristics that describe your ideal client. Do you have your 30-second elevator speech down? If so, use this as your business definition. If you do not have your 30-second commercial, create that first, and then continue working on your Web site plan. Your goal is to be able to define who you are and clearly state what you do in a concise manner. Assignment 2 Create your 30-second business commercial. Think about your own web browsing habits. When you are surfing the web you are looking for something that will answer a question you have, solve a problem for you, or provide you with something you want? You stop at sites that provide you with instant gratification. You are not going to waste your time pouring through 20 pages of a Web site if you are not sure it has what you need. Do you care that it is the biggest mouse trap around [...]

“If You Build it They Will Come”

Originally Published in Capital Region Home Builders Magazaine, 6/2003 "Builders' Bytes" by Melissa Ward, NewWard Development, LLC “If you build it, they will come.”  This phrase made popular in the late ‘80’s only holds true if they know about you!  You can build the most spectacular homes and still remain a virtual unknown if your marketing is not as good as your development.  Part of today’s marketing scenario includes a web site.  Web Sites are as necessary as an ad in the yellow pages in today’s competitive market. A web site allows people to look over what you can accomplish in an unthreatening, anonymous manner.  There is no real estate agents to deal with and no sales calls to fear.  The visitor to the site will make the first move if your presentation of your building skills and company meets with their needs.   Therefore your web site must not only be visually appealing and reflect your best works, but also easy to navigate and show off your company’s true image.  I akin web sites to the face you put on your business for the world to see.  It is a visual 2 dimensional representation of who you are, who your company is and how well you perform. People will view not only the houses you build but also how well you present yourself to a prospective customer.  Writing for the Internet and Designing effective sites has become an art.  Even harder is properly promoting the site to meet your marketing needs.  Many companies are reluctant to enter the world of online advertising because they are not aware of the advantages a good web site.  Even if you are not looking to “sell” on a global level, [...]