Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Importance of Custom Website Design

Website design is an evolving field with tons of solutions for the do it yourself business owner. Many people, like myself, are interested in handling every aspect of their business. We tend to agree with the belief "if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself." A custom website design is a great way to personally handle this task, and it has several advantages as well. 

Unfortunately, cut and paste web design software is used to create tons of websites with practically the exact same layout. The selection of themes and color schemes make it seem like you are receiving a one of a kind design template, but many others have selected the same options. I don't know about you, but I am not impressed when I come across these identical layouts in website after website, which appear to have been designed by the same person.

In addition, using automated website building software usually causes information to be stored in blocks, and used over and over again on multiple pages. In some instances, this will cause "duplicate content" to appear on various pages of your website. Duplicate content can diminish the Google page rank of one or both pages in which it is found. This can even cause your site(s) to be considered "spammy" or low ranking by various search engines.

There are several advantages to creating websites from scratch, or with minimal use of cut and paste software. HTML code along with CSS styling allows us full control of what appears in the browser window. Information and images can be formatted with a range of options including spacing around elements, size, colors and more. 
One CSS style sheet can control the way every page on a website is structured, and changes can be made easily to that one CSS file. 

Although writing content for each page separately is a time consuming job, for many small business owners with a specific product or service, this task is not so daunting. The benefits of creating unique content for each individual page on a company website are far more valuable than the cost of time it takes to write them. Fresh content is regarded highly by Google and other search engines. It shows thought, and implies the author is knowledgeable of the subject matter. These are some of the things which are known to keep visitors on a site longer, and result in more clicks. 

A unique layout is also a refreshing sight to someone who has seen the same look and feel on webpage after webpage, and is more likely to remember, return and recommend your original site to others.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The New Current Event

I do not know about World News or Local News, but I want to start a Current Event. It has been said before that people should always have a back up plan. Or, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Well, I am finally experiencing what happens when you do not follow this advice.
I am the owner of Future Productions. I have a small client base and I enjoy the fact that I am "technically" my own boss. I provide a service to my customers, bill them, and collect. Unfortunately, with this type of employment, there are no medical benefits, overtime pay, or other advantages. When I earn too little, I have to sacrifice. When I earn well, I have to save for a rainy day, or invest in business expenses.
The freedom and joy of business ownership is second to none. But, this requires a strong desire and commitment to succeed. Sometimes I have had to take jobs or cash gigs to cover immediate expenses. I am struggling with finding a place to live which I can afford. The obstacles I am facing today are obvious consequences of not having a back up plan. I have never blamed another for my situation, and I will not start today.
My brother asked me how I felt last night (September 1, Labor Day 2014.) After a long pause, I was unable to come up with a word, or any words to answer him. Finally, I responded with "not frustrated." I added, "I am not frustrated, but it is something similar to that." I do not know the word to describe being in my situation when I know it is my own fault. I have no regrets, I needed to learn by my mistakes. I am not frustrated, I know I can overcome and succeed. Today, I have decided how I feel. I need a back up plan!

I can no longer depend on what I have been doing. I must take additional steps to ensure my livelihood and be able to provide for those who depend on me. I would also like to help people who do not depend on me. Many of my friends and family have been able and willing to help me in my time of need. I would also like to be able to do this for my friends and family. The only way for this to occur is for me to progress.
It is difficult to change, to try a different approach. But it is not the change or approach that is difficult, it is changing our habits and routines that is hard to do. The actual actions required to improve are not actually "difficult" or "complicated", but changing ourselves, and keeping new resolutions is the challenging part.
So, here is my idea for what should become the new Current Event. All of us should strive to have a plan b for everything, a way to make sure that our needs are met, and our success is inevitable. In my situation, this will include searching for new clients as I once did when I first began running my business. Not wasting money on hobbies or over spending on groceries and other needed supplies. I will have to re-focus my actions and press forth with my business plan as I once envisioned it. Distractions must go, focus must return, and responsibility again met!
So, how do I feel? Motivated. I am actually grateful for even realizing that great success is still possible for me. I am proud to say that I was not overwhelmed by the countless negative situations I HAVE CAUSED MYSELF. I am extremely blessed to still have awareness, patience, intelligence, and my business Future Productions.
So, moving forward, there can be no more stalling or procrastination. There will be no more waiting for one check, or one customer to pay their bill so I can move forward. I will continue to earn new business so that no one client can either make or break my bottom line. The health of my children, my living situation, and my ability to build a successful company will never rely on a single plan or customer again. I will be prepared, in more than one way, and able to solve "last minute" emergencies and expenses which I encounter. And I urge all of you to take this progressive step with me. 

 Determine your Back Up Plan and commit to it. Do not allow any one situation or obstacle to hinder your entire life. Earn more than enough to cover your expenses, even if it means taking on extra part-time work. Let us think of solutions, and not excuses. We are the final stop to our own problems, no one else.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Get Online, Get More Business

You must know by now that the internet is not going anywhere. Facebook, twitter, instagram, World Star, youtube, craigslist, ebay, blah blah blah. Need I say more?

But how do YOU take advantage of the internet. Most of us barely use all of these websites, let alone know how to use them for profit. Well, that is why comapnies like Future Productions (www.ConstantStrategies.com) exist.

We are here to make the World Wide Web work for you. We design websites, including domain name registration and hosting account setup. We provide SEO services to increase traffic to your website. We also provide social media page management, including updating and custom graphic design.

Keep your internet web presence fresh and up to date, your audience will reward you for it. Interact with your online audience regularly in order to build brand recognition, trust, and of course, more business! It is time. If you are already online, take the next step to engaging your target audience. If you do not even have a facebook page, now is the time to get started.

You need a website, blog, facebook page, business cards, promotional videos, and more. Let us help you reach more potential customers. Visit www.ConstantStrategies.com to see all of the services we provide. Any business, group, individual or organization can take advantage of the internet and the great capability which comes with being online.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Big Things Going Down!

It is time! It has long been time. I know you've been waiting, and I know I've been procrastinating. But that is all a thing of the past.

Several things you NEED to check out:

  • FLU- The Great (FluHaiti.com) This is definitely the sickest lyricist in Florida. We might even have to say, in the whole United States. Matter fact, if I really sit down and contemplate it, I could even say the world! Of course I can't prove this, but you check him out.
  • ConstantStrategies.com - The resource for anyone who wants to start a business, get online, and promote themselves. This website is a collection of extremely valuable information and links to services and products that are made for those, like me, who are the do it yourself type. We also provide web design and development, graphic and print design, and online promotion.
  • Future Productions - (See our facebook page.) This is major. All talent welcome. We post music, comedy, videos, photos, and more. Definitely a must like! Always updated.
Those of you who know me know about "The Mycke Yellow Show!" Yeah, it never BLEW UP, but we are bringing something real similar back! This Video Show will be posted on its own website, YouTube, expand to TV and other places. By reaching our core demographic- professional, entrepreneurial, self-made BALLERS - we will be able to acquire financing/sponsorhip from companies and individuals who wish to market to those individuals.
Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

http://www.Besigue.com - Subscribe now and play today.  Limited time offer: $49.99 lifetime access. Video quality is a bit low.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Free Websites: Can You Make A Website Yourself?

Everyone knows there are more than a few ways to do anything. Some will tell you, "there is the right way and then there is the wrong way." Even if you agree with them, there is still more than 1 way to do it right, and many more ways to do it wrong. Nobody wants to do it wrong. But, to answer the question in the title of this post, of course you can!
The real question is not "can you make a website yourself," it is actually - would that website you make accomplish your desired effect? Just like any do-it yourself project, there should be a goal in mind. First of all, you should know why you are undertaking the new project altogether. This being said, let's analyze the different functions of a website, and see if you can yourself, create a website with those capabilities.

Design and Appearance

The design of your site should appear seamless. It should have a certain flow or layout that does not go against its purpose. It should complement the subject matter and make it clear and easy to the viewer what you want them to do. In other words, the "call to action," what action you want your visitors to take, should be inevitable. It should be obvious that you want them to call you, or subscribe to your newsletter, or buy your new product(s), or any other desired outcome.
    • Do you think you are able to do this in your own website? Are you good at presenting information in an easily understandable format. Are you creative and able to combine text, colors, images, and even videos or animations into one logical unit that does not confuse? There are many "website templates" available for all sorts of different types of websites. It probably would not be hard to find one that has the look and feel that you need, and some may be free. Try searching "free web templates" or something similar... Let's move on.

Purpose of Website
The most important factor in designing a website should undoubtedly be to accomplish a purpose. This understanding should be the driving goal of the entire process. Each aspect of each page and every word of content should be exclusively for the purpose of achieving that goal. Defining the "purpose" of your website should come long before you have even come to the decision of whether or not to do it yourself.
    • Have you determined the purpose of your website? Do you feel it will be a complicated task to design a website able to handle all the functions necessary to accomplish its purpose? Have you seen other similar or competitor websites which have succeeded in that task? Consider whether or not your goal is more than just showing off some photos, or posting "blogs."

Language of the Web
The internet is an amazing tool. It allows people from all over the earth to be able to interact with each other and share information and technology. It allows us to create communities of people who share common interests and keep each other up to date on common issues. It allows consumers and suppliers to have back and forth communication without ever seeing each other. It is an awesome thing. Unfortunately, for the "do it your self-er," the language needed to create this internet is vast and complicated. There is simple HTML (Hyper-Text Mark-up Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for color schemes and layout, JavaScript for on-page functionality, Server-Side Scripting (such as ASP or PHP) for dynamic pages (like product inventory sites), SQL (database management languages), and more.
    • Simple "static" pages with nothing more than text, photos, embedded videos and a PayPal button can be created entirely with HTML and little or no CSS coding. Most available templates can handle this quite simply for you as well leaving you with nothing more than inputting your text and photos, etc.
    • JavaScript creates those special effect like roll-over windows and pop-up content which appears when a website visitor clicks somewhere or performs a specific task. Again, some web design software can allow the do it your self webmaster these types of functions, but they might not come for free.
    • Active Script and PHP ("Personal Home Page" Hypertext Processor- it's weird, the "P" stands for PHP) are used to create unique pages based on user input. These types of websites include blogs and social media like facebook, craigslist and twitter, and also product inventory sites which show different product results for different search criteria, like Walmart. It is extremely unlikely that you will find a do-it-yourself web template which would include this type of functionality. You would probably still need to implement additional "shopping cart" or database software.
    • SQL and other database management languages are necessary for sites dealing with large amounts of data, customer records, or other. This allows your website to communicate immediately with a database of records, make changes or updates to records, add or delete records, and display or otherwise use the results of the changes. Many shopping cart software programs allow for this functionality without you actually needing to know SQL or similar language, but you still need some basic knowledge on how to implement it.

SEO and Online Reputation
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. Once you have designed the site, you might want to get people to notice it. 99% of people looking online use what is known as a "search engine." I'm sure you knew that and you do that. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Ask, Google Places, YellowPages, Local, blah, blah, yadah, yadah. Some of these sites provide "rankings" for your business (if your website is for a business) based on customer reviews and feedback. Search engine optimization is both done "on" your website and "off" your website. It includes using keywords and phrases that your customers or website visitors might be searching. It also includes finding other websites to "link" to your website. The better your SEO, the higher your page rank will be, and the more (probably) visitors you will have to your webpage(s). The more favorable reviews and "likes" you receive, the more likely people are to go to your site. Got it?
    • Do you have any clue how to do this? Did you even think about how important SEO was to your website? Your website has all kinds of content. The images, the text, the titles and description of each page, etc are all things that search engines evaluate when determining your page rank. Some companies hire firms solely to handle their SEO efforts and online reputation. But I digress, SEO and online reputation are separate from actually designing your site.

So, have you decided yet? Sound like something you will be able to handle? For me, the answer was YES! I have an HTML book which breaks down all the formatting codes like "bold" and "center." I searched "CSS" for free tutorials on syntax and proper application. I watched all kinds of Youtube videos on PHP and  SQL database access. And it all just made sense. It was easy! And if you believe me, you must already be a web programmer, because the truth is I went to school first. I received an Associates in Applied Science for Multimedia Technology and was taught the basics. Classes like Image Editing, Video Editing, and Internet Web Site Design got me started, and I never looked back!
In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with taking a stab at it yourself. There are countless software distibutors out there who offer ways to design your own site with little or no experience or programming knowledge. If you can manage your way through their user interface and utilize the control panel, it might be no sweat. If you are looking for a custom designed, slightly more complicated website which can grow with you, you might have take a few classes, or hire a pro. Like me...

Any questions? Please feel free to share and comment below. Link to this post from your website or blog, I enjoy talking about everything web.