Here is the article NewWard wrote for the June issue of Success Magazine By Melissa Ward, Managing Partner, NewWard Development, LLC™ 518-899-5855 www.newward.com When developing a web site there are a number of things to take into consideration, chief of which is remembering to ask questions. Whether you are building your own web site or working with a professional web developer, there are some key answers that you need to be armed with. Who owns the domain name? I purchase the domain names (www.yourbusiness.com) for many of my clients, particularly those that host with NewWard. I do this through my GoDaddy account, therefore GoDaddy defaults all the contact information to NewWard. I have to go in to manually change the domain registrar information to that of my client. Why? According to the law, the entity that is listed as the registrant of the domain name is considered the owner. The same holds true for hosting companies. They will often purchase domain names on behalf of their customers and be listed as the registrant. By visiting www.whois.org you can check on the registrant information of your domain. The result will look something like this: read the rest here http://www.successmagazinesltd.com/junePDFs/ward0608p12.pdf
Due to the nature of my business I keep myself in the public eye, so to speak, through advertising and marketing online. I like knowing that I am accessible to my clients and the people / businesses that can gain knowledge and insight into how to better marketing themselves and make them more successful. It is, without a doubt, something that I am very passionate about. It is a very different dynamic, however, knowing that there are people out there who track your posts and search for more information on you for malicious purposes. Looking for dirt? Trying to get an edge on the competition? Have nothing better to do? Jealous? All of the above? My advice to any one is, never post anything publicly that you are not willing to share 100% with everyone in your world. Also – keep in mind that information can be misinterpreted or twisted to sound like something it is not. What’s more fascinating is that someone would actually take the time to do it. Better advice – if there is something you actually want to know about me… simply ask. It is a lot less spineless and you will most assuredly get far more accurate information.
Best Buys "Blueshirtnation.com" employee social networking site is an excellent example for other corporations to follow. The site has resulted in not only greater employee participation in marketing and management, but has reduced employee turnover, increased participation in the company’s 401K plan and given the employees a place to hang out and discuss anything they want. Many large corporations have grappled with how to effectively implement Social Networking into their culture. Best Buy's success is due to the fact that they allow their employees to discuss anything they want from Nascar to store management policies. Employees have embraced the social networking site which operates much like Facebook, allowing employees to create web pages, insert photos and join in discussion groups and forums. Best Buy's bottom-up approach fueled the success of BlueShirt Nation and made it a stand-out example of how to use social networking within a corporate environment, said Josh Bernoff co-author of Groundswell a book that focuses on how companies use "Web 2.0" technologies effectively.
You've heard it before - but after floating around the Internet - it bares repeating!!! As a web designer, you should design your websites to give your visitors the greatest ease of use, the best impression and most important of all a welcoming experience. It doesn't matter if you had the greatest product in the whole world -- if your website is poorly done you won't be able to sell even one copy of it because visitors will be driven off your website by the lousy design. When I'm talking about a "good design", I'm not only talking about a good graphical design. A professional web design will be able to point out that there are many components which contribute to a good website design -- accessibility design, interface or layout design, user experience design and of course the most straightforward, which is graphic design. Hence, I have highlighted some features of the worst web designs I've come across. Hopefully, you will be able to compare that against your own site as a checklist and if anything on your site fits the criteria, you should know it's high time to take serious action! 1) Background music Unless you are running a site which promotes a band, a CD or anything related to music, I would really advise you to stay away from putting looping background music onto your site. It might sound pleasant to you at first, but imagine if you ran a big site with hundreds of pages and everytime a visitor browses to another page on your site, the background music starts playing again. If I were your visitor, I'd just turn off my speakers or leave [...]
I am sitting here watching A New Earth web cast on the Oprah.com web site. This will be the largest attended web cast in the history of the Internet. Over 700,000 people have registered for the event. A few pauses in the video - but thus far the experience has been flawless. Technology is truly amazing! About an hour into it... everything froze... still - good concept and it is being recorded for later downloads. Talk about a traffic jam! Still and all, you don't know the limits of technology until you you push it! Gotta love pushing those lines :)
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 [...]
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, [...]