Reasons to have a contact form

It has become common practice for most websites to provide contact numbers and e-mail addresses where their visitors can contact them. However, having a contact form on your website has a lot of benefits to it that you might not realize now. Here are the ten reasons why it’s a good idea to have a contact form on your website:

have a contact form

Contact forms are secure

. In most cases, the information that is sent through a contact form is more secure than those that are sent through e-mails messages. This is ideal for users who are required to provide private or sensitive data.

Contact forms are convenient.

If you have a contact form available in your web page, it makes it easier for visitors to contact you. You are relieving them of having to open their e-mail on another window to be able to send you their inquiry. Using a ready-to-use simple email form like this one, you can quickly add a contact form to your website

You can extract more information.

By asking your visitors to provide information on contact forms such as their e-mail address, names, location, contact number and any other information you feel you might be able to use, you are also extracting key data that you use to build your database. This will allow you to follow the lead more efficiently.

It makes you available at all hours.

If you simply provide them with a contact number, unless you have a 24/7 call center at hand, you would not be able to respond to your inquirers immediately. By giving them a contact form to fill, they can access you any time of any day and you wills surely get their message.

have a contact form

Contact forms are easy to customize.

You can design your contact form in a way that it forces the visitor to only give you the necessary information regarding why they have contacted you.

It allows you to provide better service.

A contact form, in the long run, can help you improve your products and services. This is so, because you are encouraging your clients and visitors to inform you about anything that they feel like they should address to you. You can then take their suggestions and improve your business.

Contact forms are effective as call to actions.

People unknowingly provide a ton on vital information when filling out contact forms which you can then use to generate lead.

It makes data manageable.

You can easily analyze and categorize the data that is being fed to you through contact forms. You can turn it into a database and analyze what kind of people reach out to you, who they are mostly and how you can target this demographic. Using an HTML contact form generator it is possible to build even more powerful lead capture forms.

Contact forms are mobile device friendly.

Having a contact form on your website will free your visitors of the burden of having to type out an email on their mobile devices.

You can use it to collect funds.

If you can customize your contact forms to include a space where visitors can make donations by putting in their financial information. This is something you cannot do with e-mails.

Image credit: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta,

How To Become A Website Designer

So you look forward to become a web designer, but you have no idea if this is the right choice for you. Web designing is a booming career and in the last few years it has become one of the highest paid jobs in the world. In order to become a good web designer, you need to put a lot of efforts and time. There are many online resources and self-taught guides that you can use to learn the concepts and techniques of designing a website. In this post, we’ll discuss the basic steps to become a web designer, but before that let’s take a brief look at the job profile of a website designer.

 

how to become website designer

What Does A Web Designer Do?

As the name suggests, a web designer is supposed to draft a layout and design a full-fledged website. His main focus is to run his creative mind on the lines of the basic theme and requirement of a business for which the website is to be designed. There are a lot of tools and techniques that a web designer should be proficient in, to be able to deliver effective and attractive outcome. A web designer must have great computer graphic skills and ability to use the relevant software needed to create a fully-functional website.

how to become website designer

 

What Skills Should A Web Designer Have?

This job is not for people who are technophobic. It needs a lot of technical skills, research and high level of creativity to be able to deliver original, user-friendly and fresh site. This is an era of dynamic websites and in order to be able to make and implement the changes, one should be well versed with all the tools and techniques to achieve desired result from time to time. Innovation is the key to become a good website designer. Let’s take a look at some skills you would need to attain proficiency in this field:

  • Writing & editorial
  • Holistic circumspection
  • Web page production in HTML/CSS
  • Business sense
  • SEO
  • Graphic design theory
  • Listening & discernment
  • Self-learning Graphic design: original/creative graphics
  • Typing

Other key skills include:

  • High level of computer literacy
  • Creative flair for design
  • Excellent team working skills
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to see the bigger picture

What and Where To Learn 

As mentioned earlier, there are many online courses and web tutorials that you may consider to get started with your crash course on web designing. Study resources such as udemy.com is a good step to begin with. Such online courses provide you step by step instructional guides to help you master the subject. With a bit of online research, you can easily find suitable and flexible online tutorial centers according to your need.

Once you’ve gained some experience in the field, you can market yourself to get some freelance assignments as well for extra income. A web designer can expect to earn over $500 a month by just taking 3-4 assignments in a month. All you need is to find reliable online, as well as offline classified options and put up an interesting advertisement along with some links to your previous work. This should help you grab good amount of potential customers, as well as businesses looking to get website made at affordable prices.

How to Change Footer in WordPress Once you install WordPress

How to Change Footer in WordPress Once you install WordPress, you will notice some filler information in the theme you select. This information can include the designer’s brand. Each theme comes with a default footer text. Designers spend several hours to come up with the themes you find on WordPress. They include some details in the footer to direct traffic to their individual sites or make their brands visible. If you want to personalize your site, it is possible to change footer in WordPress.

You should only remove the footer if you feel it is necessary. It may be illegal to change the footer in WordPress in some themes. Read the license that comes with the theme carefully to determine if there are any restrictions. The information included in the footer may be different for each theme but you will use similar instructions to change it. Here are steps to follow to customize your theme.

Get Backup

Identify a backup that you can use to allow you to edit the files in your theme without risking information loss. There are various plugins that you can use such as BackWPUp. Check the control panel on your web host to find a backup option. Backup allows you to restore the files if a wrong line of code is entered.

Select an Editor

Most people use the WordPress theme editor to change the footer. However, this is not advisable because the editor makes live changes on your site. You cannot undo the changes that are made. This means that if there is an error, it is difficult to correct it.

To avoid this, download the specific file to your computer and select a code editor on the PC. Once the editing is complete, use FTP to upload the file.

Identify Footer Link Location

There are numerous WordPress themes and this may make it difficult to identify the specific location of your footer link. Each footer link is placed in a different location depending on the theme.

Look for files titled credits.php and class-credits.php. You can also check for footer.php and class-main-footer.php. Keyword credits can also be helpful when you are trying to locate the theme files.

Edit File

Once you have located the theme file, you can edit it to change footer in WordPress. Check in the file to find the link text. The text will be surrounded by several php codes. You have to be careful to make sure you do not alter any code. Find the text and change it. Enter a personalized text. Access your WordPress site to check if the change has been effected. The footer text you entered should be visible on your link. If did not work, you can restore the file and make another attempt.

How To Create Hair & Beauty Salon Website In Five Easy Steps

hair-beauty-salon-websiteCreating a website is a great way of making your hair beauty salon more accessible to customers. You can have a funky, professional website for your business up and running in no time. All you have to do is follow the tips below, and learn how to create hair beauty salon website that will be sure to attract customers to your hair beauty salon.

1. Create a website with Weebly

First things first, you need to have a platform to build your site from, and Weebly is the perfect place to go. Weebly is an easy to use web-hosting service that lets you create your own website for free. The free option is excellent and gives you all the tools you need to create an awesome website, but you can also opt for a paid version if you are interested in any of the extra perks. Visit the site to open up an account and get started.

2. Name your beauty hair salon website and pick an address

hair-beauty-salon-website-2 You will be asked to choose a name for your website, which is where you would put down the name of your hair salon. Under “Type of Site” you can select business since that will be the purpose of your salon website. You will be able to then choose an address for your website. You have the option of using a subdomain of Weebly, or registering your own domain.

3. Design your website

Once you’re done with setting up, it’s time to start editing. The great thing about Weebly is that it is just easy drag and drop. You can start by picking from the many design templates Weebly offers to replace the default design. It’s a good idea to choose something funky and fun for your hair salon website so that it stands out. After selecting a design, you can drag and drop elements to the page.

4. Add pages about your hair beauty salon

Now it’s time to add the text and images that will personalize your hair salon website. You can simply add new pages from the Pages Menu. When it comes to a hair salon website, the key pages you want to make sure you have:

  • About Us. On this page you need to give visitors to your website some information about who you are and what hair salon services you specialize in.
  • Services. Include a list of all the services you offer at your salon and their prices.
  • Gallery. Website’s are all about the visual, and visitors to your site will love to see what your hair salon can do. You might choose to include before and after pictures, or great hair styles you have done.
  • Contact Us. Have all the contact details to your hair salon on this page, including your salon’s number, address and email.
  • 5. Publish your website

    When you have added all the pages, text, photos and other elements you want to include, you’re ready to publish, and all it takes is clicking Publish. You can now sit back and admire your hair beauty salon website. After publishing it, you will be able to sign in to Weebly at any time and edit it if you wish.

    [photo credits deanwissing, MarkWallace ]

How to create an email form

email formForms are essential components of a website. Each website has at least one form. You can include basic forms that are designed to collect contact information. Websites can also have order entry forms to make it easy for users to make purchases. These forms are important for a business because they offer an effective way for your visitors to communicate with you.

How they work

Web forms also provide a way for businesses to convert the leads they get. Contact forms offer an easy way for businesses to retain the personal details that users provide. You can use them to measure and monitor progress. When a customer visits your site, they fill in their personal information. This allows you to collect and identify the data. You can increase sales by converting the leads you get. Web forms provide you with a streamlined process that allows you to get information promptly and use it discreetly. For an effective web form, you have to include readable, concise, and clear labels.

Building Web Forms

Most customer management software systems usually provide plugin tools that you can use to build contact forms. These systems offer comprehensive instructions on how to install the plugins and personalize the settings to create a customized web form.
Adding a custom built email form to your website is another option. This option gives you the maximum flexibility. See this page on creating a simple HTML form to send email

When you are building a form, you need to remember that more is not always better. You have to reduce the number of fields that you include on the form. This will make it easier for users to fill in the information that you require. Include mandatory fields on the form and leave out optional details. Some of the fields you to use include business name, email address, city, name, website. You can also make the filling process easier by including an email address as the only field on the form.

Adding a Form to your Website

Here are a set of ready to use contact forms.

Find the link to download the form. Follow the instructions in the downloaded file to edit the code and add your own email address to receive the form submissions. Upload the updated form to your website. Test the form. Note that you can customize and add additional fields to the form using a text editor. Test the form once it is complete to determine if it is working as required. Link the form from the main pages of your website.

Selecting a shared web hosting service

Selecting a web hosting company should be the first step to look at when initiating a website design. In order to feature your website and have it accessible and ready for use in the World Wide Web, you will require a place to host it. A web hosting company provides such a place. The web hosting company creates the space to store your website files, provides traffic to your website and other services like technical assistance, firewall protection, FTP access, email services, website building tools, domain name registration and many other services.
For you to select a web hosting company, you will have to consider the following important factors:

1. Linux versus windows operating systems

linux-vs-windowsWeb hosting calls for more than picking out a server type, you will have to make up your mind on whether to choose Windows based or a Linux based server.
Linux based servers are more common and inexpensive investment. This should be the direction that you should take if your server does not require any Microsoft software applications.
A windows based server is expensive but worthwhile for websites with applications written in .NET language .

Try out several web hosts using Windows or Linux operating systems before purchasing any of them.

2. Free versus paid

Price should never be a deciding factor but many webmasters look for free web hosting companies for their first websites. Very cheap or free web hosting companies tend to provide limited services. Such companies do not provide services like technical assistance and advertisements on your web page. Scrutinize all the features offered by your web hosting provider before comparing the prices.

3. Speed and reliability

A good web hosting company should have reliable, fast and a guaranteed uptime. You should select a company with more than 99 percent uptime. The web host should provide a guarantee that at no time will there be any downtime and if downtime occurs, then they should compensate their clients.

4. Bandwidth and storage space

traffic & bandwidthBandwidth is the number of bytes transmitted between your site and its visitors. Most web providers promise unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Your website will probably not use more than 1GB of storage space unless you want to start your own Flickr or YouTube. Unlimited bandwidth hosts on the other side have to pay for the bandwidth and if you utilize a lot of it, then some of the bills will be passed to you without your knowledge. You can always confirm from the customer care desk of your service provider on the bandwidth and disk space limits. Most web hosts give a maximum of 3GB of bandwidth per month.

5. Online reviews

You should always check out on what other customers are commenting about your preferred web host. There is a great deal of information on Yahoo, Google, Twitter or any other specialized web hosting directories. You will learn whether the web host is reliable, quickly answers to technical issues, meets the promised index and whether customers love their services. Be careful not to always trust some glowing reviews as some customers are new to the web host company. New customers will at times give reliable information but at times give unreliable ones.
Some hosting review websites:

6. Technical support

Choose a web host that provides a 24/7 technical support. Web hosts who do not give a 24/7 technical support might inconvenience you when your site goes down during holidays and weekends. Test your web hosts by emailing them at midnight and during holidays.

7. User interface

Web hosts should provide easy installation of WordPress, editing of files and setting up of emails for new and existing customers. They should also provide Plesk or cPanel to make modifications and updating of websites easier.

8. Scalability

Scalability is an important consideration especially if your website plans to grow in the future. A web host might provide adequate services at the present moment but not enough for the near future. If you expect to grow, you can opt for cloud hosting or VPS plan at the beginning and later advance to a dedicated plan. The last thing you need is moving from one web host provider to another.
[image credit bluefountainmedia]

make money online

Make Money Flipping Websites!

Website flipping is one of the countless ways that can actually provide you with money that is more than what the nine to five jobs can give. Flipping websites can be a viable option to follow if you have the desire to achieve consistent flow of money.

Website flipping refers to buying and selling website for the purpose of making money over the internet. Several internet entrepreneurs have been engaging themselves in establishing lucrative website business out of scratch and earning huge profit by selling these websites later on. In order for you to remain on a profitable ground, you have to follow the steps on how to make money flipping website. These steps are as follows:

1. Find a Good Niche

Finding your real passion and choosing your niche are essential steps that you need to undertake when making money flipping websites. Determine a good niche that you desire to work in. Select a niche that you are familiar with and focus on the particular niche that can grow continuously.

2. Find a Great Domain

Once you have successfully chosen a good niche, the next step that you need to take when making money flipping website is to find a great domain name. You have to be careful in choosing a domain name. As much as possible, go for a domain name containing the highly-searched phrase. Choose a domain name that is catchy and easy to remember. Another plus point is to keep the targeted keywords in the domain name.

There are ways on how to avoid bad domain names and focus only on the great domain name. In finding a great domain name, you have to look for the one that is shortest possible, simple and easy to pronounce and spell. Find a domain name that represents value.

3. Write Great Content

Another important way on how to make money flipping website is to write a great content. As soon as you are done with finding a good niche and domain name, it is time to focus your attention to the content of your website. Start posting quality, information rich, and unique content to your money flipping website. The content must be written in a way that it adds value in the life of your targeted market.

4. Sell At Flippa.com

make money selling at flippa
Since making money flipping website is associated with earning desirable profit, you can now take the option of selling the website at Flippa.Com. It is a must to sell it to trusted buyers to ensure that you will get the money without encountering any problem. There are instances that selling website to anonymous buyers entails higher chances of frauds. When selling your website, it is a viable option to start with a minimum bid. This will allow interested individuals to be involved in the bidding process. Selling the website at Flippa.Com is a brilliant idea for it guarantees a sure profit especially if you have enough traffic and content to the website.

More Resources

photo credit: SEOPlanter

redirecting

How to Auto-forward from One Website to Another

The internet is changing all the time. At one time, you may have a site on one domain then you need to migrate to another different domain entirely. At the same time, you do not wish to lose the readership you had established on the previous domain. This needs you to auto forward from the first website to the new one in order to drive the users who type in the previous domain name to the new site. There are a number of ways in which you can achieve this and in the next few sections, we take a look at how you can redirect on a domain level.

For a start, you can go to your domain registrar and set an auto forward. A typical example of a domain registrar is Godaddy and they have an easy process for doing this. You can use their service to not only automatically redirect your visitors to a different website, but also mask the redirection so your visitors see the same domain name they are used to in the web browsers address bar. In this case, we are looking at how you can achieve the redirection.
domain forwarding
First, you need to log in to your Account manager then click on Launch next to Domain. You will therefore be presented with a list of domain names you own and you can select the one you want to forward. Simply click on Forward then select Forwarding Domains. You can then click Add Forwarding and select either http:// or https:// as your forward to option. Https is the secure version of the usual http and is used to establish a secure connection to a site.

domain forwardingYou should then select the web address where you wish to forward your domain name to. Additionally, you can select the redirect type which can either be temporary or permanent. The permanent redirect will tell user agents such as browsers and search engines that the location has been permanently changed. On the other hand, the temporary response code tells user agents that the location change is just temporary. Finally, you can select your Forward settings which can be either forward only or forward with masking.

Once you have made these changes, click on Add then Save in order for the changes to take effect. Please note that the changes may take 28 to 48 hours to take effect and you will be then able to redirect users who type the previous web address to the new domain automatically.

307 temp redirectThis has the advantage of redirecting users automatically without having to make any major changes to your site. You also get to have the additional option of notifying user agents of the changes and whether they are temporary or permanent. However, you are dependent on your domain registrar in order to make the changes and honestly, the process is quite lengthy and involving. Let us now take a look at an alternative method in which you can achieve the redirection without having to rely on your domain registrar to do it for you.

Supposing your site is hosted on an Apache web server and your web host allows you to override the configurations of your web server using a .htaccess file this is the method you can use. The mod_rewrite apache module in your web server needs to be installed and enabled in order to achieve the redirection.

The .htaccess file is a simple text file which can easily be opened and edited in a text editor such as Notepad. When using notepad, take care not to save the file with a .txt appended to the end. For instance, to redirect from a site such as www.a.com to www.b.com, add the following bit of code to your .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.a\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.b.com/$1 [R=301,L]

This will cause the server to check the domain name portion of the first URL and send the visitor to the second domain instead. As you can see, we can set whether the redirection is temporary or permanent using the HTTP response codes 301 and 302.

Once you are done creating the .htaccess file, you can upload it to the same directory as the home page of your website. In case there is a .htaccess file already existing there, you can download it and back it up in a safe place then replace it with the new one. It is important that you test your website once you have uploaded it in order to make sure that everything is in good working order.

More on .htaccess

http://www.htaccessredirect.net/

Redirecting a folder to another

How to do 301 redirect

Last but not least, you can use of the html Meta refresh tag in an html file to do the redirection. This is quite simple and only needs a few lines of code to achieve. It works in a variety of situations and can be adapted for any project you are working on.

In conclusion, there are several ways in which you can auto forward from one website to another. The choice you make will depend on a number of factors but in the end you still get the same result. So next time you are faced with the task of redirection on a domain level, you will have what it takes to achieve this.

photo credits: @boetter GirlieMac