"Ron has been working on my new website www.shoredrive.co.nz since it was launched a year ago. He wrote all the content and also runs my modest Adwords campaigns. The website is now generating a significant level of bookings for my driving school. It would have all been in the 'too hard' basket, if it was not for Ron."
Shore Driving School
Martin Albrecht, owner of the large website www.goodground.com who said: “I don’t know how we would have got our website together without the help of Ron. Not only did he write 40,000 words for our website but his wireframing ability and his expert Internet knowledge has proven invaluable to us ‘online beginners’. Thanks to Ron, goodGround Ltd has a great website – one that virtually sells real estate online!”
Ron has since developed a further four websites for goodGround and manages all their many Adwords campaigns
Superb - Ron knows all the latest website trends and provides a practical, applied approach to improving website outcomes.
CEO Orion Distributors Ltd
Establishing a website
Establishing a website
Once you have a domain name, you have an IP (Internet Protocol) address that is referenced to your domain name. This is stored in DNS (Domain Name Servers). The address of your website is called the URL (Uniform Resource Locator). This will appear in the address box of your Internet browser when it connects to a DNS and then works out the address of the server. The browser is a software program that converts the text file into the visual display that you see on your screen. The browser finds the file from the instructions in the URL, for example:
This tells the browser to find a file:
• called index.html
• on a server with a unique IP address
• with the domain name www.fishing-new-zealand.com
The index.html is your home page and the browser will automatically open this page by default. Other pages in the website will have separate filenames such as: www.fishing-new-zealand.com/flyfishing.html
The most common browsers are Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox. It pays to check your web pages using several of these browsers, as a web page can look different depending on the browser used. You should also check the loading speed of your website using a fast broadband connection as not everyone has fibre (50% of NZ residences were on fibre in 2016).
If it takes longer than 3 seconds for your website to appear onscreen, you will need to redesign your site to get a quicker result. Web surfers are very impatient and studies have shown that 3 seconds is the maximum time that they will wait for a website to load. Even if the surfer is on fibre broadband, the expectations are higher. They might only be prepared 2 seconds.
With modern website editor software, like Drupal or Magento, you can design your own website, once you spend some time getting to grips with the program. And it can take a long time to get familiar with such software programs. You could use Microsoft Word and WYSIWYG converters to HTML. But the disadvantage is that such programs always produce some code errors as word processing software programs do not always convert your text accurately into HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). This can result in mistakes in your web pages.
There can also be errors when the website is viewed on a different size monitor, as these will vary greatly in size these days of two metre plus wide TVs that double as monitors. If you understand HTML source code, you can correct these errors; otherwise you will have to rely on the accuracy of your text editor. There are no real benefits in learning HTML; it is a time-consuming process. And it does not guarantee the website will be successful. In fact very few people that build their own website produce a commercially-successful website. How do I know that? Because I have been asked by hundreds (no exaggeration) of such website owners to do an audit of their website because their website was not successful.
The better option is to use the services of a website professional to develop and maintain your website. They will choose an Open Source Content Management System (CMS) for your website. That software enables you to make changes to your website yourself. You don’t want to get into the situation where you have to pay your Webmaster $100 every time you want to make a minor change to your website.
A Content Management System is just that - it helps you manage your content. Essentially, a CMS allows you to create/edit/delete your web pages without having to learn HTML code. For larger sites, CMS also makes organising the content and web pages much easier. The content is largely stored in a site database, which is stored on a web server, alleviating the need to back up hundreds of HTML files.
The costs of using a website professional can be as low as $100 for a basic one page website and as high as $50,000 for a highly-customised large site with an on-line shop and automated payment options. Putting together and publishing a website is not easy. It will consume a lot of your time so it is essential to do it right. Using a professional website services provider will usually prove much cheaper in the long run and the more professional-looking website will be likely to be more of a commercial success.
Planning your web site
You need to take some time to consider who your target market is as you must tailor your website to that target audience:
• how old are they?
• where are they located – in one particular country or worldwide?
• will they be equipped with the latest browsing software?
• how experienced will they be with on-line purchasing?
• are there language factors to consider?
• what are their likely connection speeds?
The reasons for considering these matters are crucial – you cannot have a complicated website with streaming video and huge graphical files if your potential customer only has a slow 56k dial up connection. There is no point writing copy in a conservative, measured style when your product will be bought by teenagers. There will not be much business coming your way if your website is in English and you want to sell to the Chinese market.
For the same reasons, it is also important that the design of your website fits your brand or product and projects it appropriately on the ‘net. You need to consider the complexity of your website, the style of it and language used in it. It needs to be quick to download, attractive, well structured, have interesting content and rank high on the major search engines.
Once you have established the overall ‘look’, you need to think about the individual pages. The website needs to be be structured so that people can quickly find the information they are seeking. Nothing turns off a surfer faster than getting imbedded in a morass of information. Each page should have a distinct purpose and a focus to the information being presented.
Too many graphics or large photos will make your website too slow to download. If your site cannot be downloaded in less than 3 seconds on broadband, it needs work. For example, you can use thumbnails instead of the full photo to improve download speeds. Around 30,000 bytes is reckoned to be about the right size for a page to load in under 8 seconds. If you have pages larger than this, consider reducing them to around this level. The larger the website, the more important it becomes to have distinct pages with quick ways to access the individual pages – easy navigation, as it is termed. What it means is to do everything you can to have a user-friendly website.
That is even more important now websites are being viewed on mobiles as much as they are on full screens. Your website must be mobile-friendly - you can check using Google tools.
If you want help putting together a website - give Ron a call on 0274 777753