Our Blog

Social Media Icons are an Exit Sign for Your Website

In today's world, boosting your web presence means not only having a custom website, but rolling up your sleeves and digging into a little social media as well. Working the two in tandem is a subtle art. ..

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Things That No Website Should Have, Ever.

We all know how quickly the web changes. What seems like a good idea today can turn obsolete before you know it. ..

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Web Design: 2016's Biggest Hits, and What to Look For in 2017

It sure is a whole new world, isn't it? It seems like a short amount of time to have come such a long way from the dial-up days, and pages that looked like this:  ..

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The Difference Between your Home Page and your About Page

Along with pretty buttons and killer graphics, a Home Page and an About Page are two things you'll find on nearly every website. Yet, when drafting content, many folks tend to blur the line between what each should accomplish.  ..

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Using Images To Increase Conversion Rates

Believe it or not, images on your website are one of the most important factors toward closing on a call-to-action. When used correctly, images allow you to make a more human connection with your target audience. Images allow one to experience your website, rather than just browse it. At the end of the day, the research speaks for itself:  ..

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Improving Your Online Presence

My old man used to rave about the efficacy of putting a full-color ad in the yellow pages. Before computers, it was that easy to get found, and then have folks driving down to your brick-and-mortar. Fast forward to 2016 where even the White House has its own YouTube channel. ..

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Making Your Custom Website More User-Friendly

Over the years here at Hazel Digital Media, we've refined our design process, infusing cutting edge technology, allowing every custom design website to have its own unique aesthetic, but each with the same easy accessibility and readability. If you are considering building or improving your website, here are some fundamental ideas to keep in mind, which you'll find at work throughout our portfolio. ..

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Successful E-Commerce

Giving your custom designed website an e-commerce function can be a great way to extend your brand and increase revenue. There's no reason your online image can't double as a storefront as well.  ..

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5 Things To Know About Email Marketing

The electronic newsletter is the tried and true method for staying in touch with old clients and stirring up business with new ones. Today there is an estimated 2.5 billion active email users, with 91% checking their inbox every day! Ooh la la... ..

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3 Things To Know About SEO Before Designing Your Website

Your website may be a perfect 10, but if nobody can find it, there's a chance it's not reaching its full potential. These days, one of the most important rules of having a website is: make sure it gets along nicely with the search engines. ..

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How To Make Your Website Readable

Here at Hazel Digital Media, we strive to create beautiful, functional websites for our clients. This means not only making pages that please the eye, but also making sure you can easily control the content from within.  ..

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5 Reasons Why You Need A Blog

The plain truth is that blogs are just good for business. Year after year, the inertia of the internet has proven this fact. An active blog drives customers to you, and serves to polish your brand in the digital marketplace.  ..

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Email Configuration Guide for iOS

For most custom websites HDM creates, you get your very own email that uses the url of your custom site (name@yourdomainname.com). This quick tutorial will promptly show you how to set up email on your iPhone using iOS. ..

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Configuration of Your Email Client

This guide explains how to configure your Microsoft Outlook 2010 to access your email account. ..

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Email Configuration Guide for iOS 6 on iPhone

In this tutorial, you will learn how to how to configure your iPhone to access your email account.

This tutorial was created using a iPhone 4G running iOS 4.0. If you are using different hardware or a different OS version, these instructions may differ.

The domain example.com is used throughout this guide as a substitute for your domain name. If your domain is johnsmith.com, use johnsmith.com in place of example.com.  ..

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Email Configuration Guide for Android

This guide explains how to configure your Android device running Lollipop OS to access your email account via the Gmail app version 5.5.101116392.

This tutorial was created using a HTC One M8 mobile phone running the Android Lollipop OS 5.0.1. ..

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How To Create an Email Account

When you build a site with HDM, you get access to one of the most sophisticated content management systems currently available. Getting an ideal email arrangement couldn't be easier, as we're about to show you.

First, simply log in to the backend of your website by going to www.yourdomain.com/admin, and entering your log in information.

Once inside, refer to the menu on the left of the screen. Click Site Settings > E-Mail Accounts.

From here, you'll see an overview of the current email arrangement associated with your website. To create a new email user, click

New Email Account.

On this screen, enter the new email address exactly how you want it, followed by the first and last name associated with it, as well as your default email. Once you click 'Save,' you'll get an activation email sent to your default address that will allow you to finish the process, and create a password for your new address.


How To Add An Email Alias

From this same page, you can also add an email alias. Email aliases make it possible to view and manage the emails of multiple addresses, all from the same inbox. If your current inbox is set up for you@yourdomain.com, it's possible for you to simultaneously view emails coming in for info@yourdomain.com, sales@yourdomain.com, contact@yourdomain.com, etc.

Simply click Add Email Alias, and enter the address(es) you would like to receive emails for.

We hope you found this a helpful 'How-To.' When you create a custom website with Hazel Digital Media, we equip you with all of the tools you'll need to take your online business above and beyond.

For more information on arranging the perfect email situation, or to find out more about the many tools in your toolkit, feel free to Contact Us anytime.

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Spam Defense: [at] vs. @ in Email Addresses

There's no denying that spamming is quite the shady business. There are a lot of folks who participate in these kinds of activities, often because the start-up costs are minimal, and the return can be swift. There are a number of methods spammers use to obtain email addresses, and although the defenses have become increasingly sophisticated, the battle wages on. This is why, despite your best efforts to keep your email address hidden, you will likely still wind up with loads of junk email. ..

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Connect to Your Site Using Dreamweaver

Note: the steps detailed below apply to Dreamweaver version above 2014.1.1. To find out your Dreamweaver version go to Help -> About Dreamweaver ..

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Fresh Ideas in Web Design for 2015

Many business owners create their website with hopes that it will last for decades. In reality, web technologies are constantly changing and evolving. As web technologies evolve, the average ‘shelf-life’ of a website tends to be around 3-5 years. Below are some of the recent changes in website design that business owners should be aware of for 2015. ..

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How to Dispute a Negative Google Review

Here is some direction on what to do about negative Google Reviews: ..

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Difference between a Soft Bounce and Hard Bounce in Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns represent a powerful tool to reach your customers on a consistent basis. However any time you send out a message to a large list of email recipients you my encounter a bounce back error message. The various messages that you may see all reflect one of two instances which occur in email marketing, a Soft Bounce, and a Hard Bounce.

Soft Bounce ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 6: The Power of the Automated Newsletter

Newsletters are great for generating interest in your company, driving traffic to your site, and keeping your loyals updated on the goings-on of your operation. If you can learn to effectively automate your newsletters, you can do all of this while saving yourself a heaping amount of time. And as business owners, what could be better than more time? ..

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How to configure an email client to use the secure certification

With today's email clients, it's possible to use secure SSL connections for added security. Doing so ensures that if another person somehow has the ability to eavesdrop on your Internet connections, that person won't be able to view your password or the contents of your e-mail. ..

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Hard Refresh Vs. Normal Refresh

To override your cache and perform a hard refresh, press Ctrl+F5. If you use a Mac press: Command+R. ..

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Basic SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the practice of getting your custom website on the front page of Google or Bing (or whichever service you use) for a given search term. SEO is an essential part of having your own website, and although this relatively new industry has a lot of strange twists and turns, today we're going to help you understand why it's vital, and where to start. ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 5: Making Use of Open Rates & Click-Through Rates

By now, you've scoured the Internet, collecting the best practices and tactics for your Email Marketing Campaign; you've written the perfect message for the perfect audience, and you've sent your work out into cyberspace. Now it's time to see just how fruitful the product of your labor is, using the in-depth Analytics & Reports toolbelt that came with your HDM custom website. ..

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The Official HDM Color Guide

Do you ever notice how when people are sad, they say they're feeling blue? Or when they're angry, they say that they're seeing red? When it comes to visuals, colors are never random. Going back through the history of painting, cinema, and of course, marketing, you better believe that every single pigment is given a great deal of consideration. ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 4: The Most Popular Platforms For Viewing Email Campaigns

You may not realize it at first, but the way in which people view your Email Campaign can greatly impact what your message needs to look like to be effective. ..

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How To Write A Good Blog, Pt. 3: Promoting Your Posts

When you write and publish awesome content on your blog, good things will come your way.” – Nicholas Whitmore ..

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How To Write A Good Blog, Pt. 2: Generating Quality Ideas Over Time

Last time we talked about The basic guidelines for how to write a good blog post. Hopefully you found our tips from the previous post helpful, and hopefully those itchy fingers of yours have been buzzing with blog euphoria. ..

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How To Write A Good Blog, Pt. 1: A Few Basic Guidelines

Blogging isn't about publishing as much as you can, it's about publishing as smart as you can.” – Jon Morrow ..

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The Heartbleed Bug

As many of you may know, an important vulnerability has been recently discovered for OpenSSL (you can read about it here).

Fortunately, our public facing infrastructure is not vulnerable to this type of exploit. If you want to verify this you can do it yourself by accessing this link:

https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=worldsecuresystems.com&s=54.252.151.154

We're in the process of patching some machines that are behind the firewall and might have a version of OpenSSL vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. These are not accessible from the Internet, but as a precaution, we are patching the operating systems and regenerating our certificates for all of them.

On your end, although there is no evidence that any accounts have been affected in any way, as a precaution, we recommend that you reset all your Admin password(s).

Sincerely,

The HDM Support Team ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 3: The Top 10 Things You Need To Know

Creating the perfect email marketing campaign is no easy task. It's truly a science as well as an art form, and effective recipes are inevitably going to differ between each business and industry. However, there are good guidelines to follow, and a set of rules you should be playing by, no matter who you are. Below, we've organized a concise and comprehensive list of things to keep in mind as you embark on your Email Marketing odyssey. ..

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HDM Success Story: Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association

We recently came into contact with the Home Builders Association of Hilton Head. In our communications, we eventually worked together to shed some light on company goals in the online arena, and thereby isolate certain deficiencies with their current web presence at the time.

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What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?

Oh, the times, they are a-changin'. As a boy, I recall that when my father wanted to drum up some business, all he had to do was put his picture in the yellow pages. But now the year is 2014, and if you haven't got a website, you could be missing out on more than a few potential clients. ..

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How to Post Google Reviews

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How To Locate An Individual In Your CRM

Begin by logging into the backend of your website, accessed via yourdomainname.com/admin. Enter your username and password to get in. ..

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How to Update a PDF

First, log into your backend, as you normally would. As before, refer to the long, vertical toolbar on the left, and click Modules. From the drop-down that appears, click Media Downloads. Here you'll be presented with a list of all the media currently residing in your custom website's infrastructure. Click the one you want to replace, and you'll be taken to the familiar screen that shows you the file name and file type.
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How to Add a New PDF

Begin by logging into the backend of your website, accessed via yourdomainname.com/admin. Enter your username and password to get in. ..

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How To Add An Image To Your Email Marketing Campaign

Creating a good-looking, hard-working Email Marketing Campaign has never been easier. When you create a custom website through Hazel Digital Media, you'll find that creating a sleek and effective campaign can be done over the course of a few quick, guided steps. ..

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Email Configuration Guide for Android 4.0

For most custom websites HDM creates, you get your very own email that uses the url of your custom site (name@yourdomainname.com). This quick tutorial will promptly show you how to set up email on Android 4.0. ..

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How To Change Your Admin Password

We'd like to take a quick moment to tell you how to change the password that logs you into the backend of your website. This password is a commodity, and should be treated like one, as it grants you access to all of the content, analytics, and critical information of your business's online presence. There are a number of reasons why one might wish to change their password, but ultimately, if you feel like the security of your site could be compromised at any time, it's a good idea to go ahead and change it. Luckily, every custom website that Hazel Digital Media creates uses the same, state-of-the-art technology, so making quick fixes like this is no sweat. ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 2: Subject Line Research

Welcome to Round 2! If you, like many, find yourself dipping your toes into the vast ocean of email marketing, but aren't quite sure how to begin, then never fear – you've come to the right place. In our last segment on Email Marketing , we gave some do's, some dont's, and some good practices when it comes to crafting the perfect Subject Line. Today, we'd like to expand on that by observing and comparing some of the best and worst out there. You may be surprised at what you see. ..

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How to Check Order Details

When you build a custom website with Hazel Digital Media, you don't just get yourself a pretty website. What visitors see is only the tip of the iceberg. You are also getting your hands on today's most sophisticated admin console, meaning the backend of your website – what you see – is lush with all of the tools you'll need to stay organized, measure analytics, and ultimately grow your client base. ..

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Importance of Logo Design

Today, there are more businesses trying to sell their services and push their products than ever before. In such a grand sea of competition, it may difficult to think how one may set themselves apart and grab the attention of the consumers who could truly benefit. One surprisingly effective answer to this dilemma is the creation and distribution of a well-designed logo. ..

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How to Redirect/Forward Email

To forward your email address to another email address you need to log in to your webmail console at http://mail.yourdomain.com and then go to Settings > Mail in the left side menu, type in the email address you want to forward to, inside Forwarding field and Save.
 
See the following screenshot: ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 1: The Subject Line

Welcome to the digital age! Never has there been a better time to get your message to the masses, or to place your product in the hands of target markets. Only one problem: greater amounts of information = greatly lowered attention spans. Don't worry, you've come to the right place, and this post is going to teach you how to pack a punch with your messages, and perfect the art of Email Marketing. ..

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Redundancy in Web Design

We often place redundant content and links on the websites we design, especially on the home page and in the sidebar and footer. We think this is smart, so long as it suits the goals of the site. Redundancy can also very easily be a bad thing. Here are some examples, both good and bad.

Home pages: we often place 'teaser' content from other sections of the site (about us, blog, etc.) on the home page. This acts as a lead-in for the various sections of your site, and offers visitors an overview of the content available on your site. These lead-ins are always accompanied by a button or link to their respective section of the website: 'read more about us', 'visit our blog', etc.

We also tend to place key information and links in multiple places throughout the site, especially in the header, footer, and sidebar. Important information like your company phone number or physical address should be easy to find, no matter what part of the site your user is on. Furthermore, the 'call to action' buttons on your website should be prominent and easy to find on every page. For example, if your goal is to generate inquiries, it's beneficial for your visitors to see 'contact us' in multiple places. It's important not to go overboard; you might irritate or annoy your visitors. The goal is always to improve the functionality of the site and make it as user-friendly as possible.

Another consideration is varying user behavior. We (almost) always have 'home' as the first link in the main navigation. We also make the logo a link to the home page. It isn't necessary to have two home page links side by side, but it doesn't hurt anything, and it accommodates a broader audience; some people are conditioned to click the logo, others will be looking at the main navigation.

These examples explain why we prefer to err on the side of 'good' redundancy. Bad redundancy equates to poor organization of your site's content. Or, it could simply be anything that is confusing or unclear. For instance, it doesn't make sense to place a 'contact us' button on your contact page. Similarly, if a user is browsing your online store, they don't need to see a 'shop now' button. However, you probably want several 'buy now' and 'view cart' buttons placed strategically on those pages.

All of this to say, when placing key information and links throughout your site, it is very important to consider the goals of the website, as well as how your visitors are going to interact with the site. With such a high saturation of websites and available information, it is more important than ever to make your website as clear and easy to use as possible. ..

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Data Center Migration - Your Action Required!

We are migrating all sites and infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services platform. Important DNS changes are required on your behalf by June 20 at the latest in order for your sites to remain online, and we’re aiming for the actual migration to take play in late June. ..

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How to Add a Blog Post

Start by logging into the backend of your site, by going to yourdomain.com/admin, and log in by entering your username (email) & password and you're in. Once inside the Content Management System, you'll see a long set of navigation buttons on the left side.  ..

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How To View Reports

One of the greatest parts about building your website with HDM is that you get access to one of the most informative and user-friendly Analytics & Reports tools available. Learn everything about how your site's doing out there in cyberspace. These days, it's critical for every business to stay in the know – keep reading, and we'll show you how. ..

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How To Create And Send An Email Marketing Campaign

An Email Marketing Campaign is a great way to update loyal clients, reach out to new ones, and ultimately boost your SEO rating. An Email Newsletter can be sent to your entire customer database at some future date with just a few clicks – follow these simple steps below, and you'll be on your way in no time. ..

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Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design ..
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How To Edit Webpages on Your HDM Site

Editing your web pages with HDM couldn't be easier. When you need to make quick changes to the content, touch up the text, or just make sure that everything looks and feels pristine, you're just a few clicks away. Just follow these easy steps below, and you'll be a webmaster in no time. ..

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Why Your Website and Blog Should be Integrated

It is common for many organizations to have a company blog. However, many companies have a blog that is completely separate from their corporate website. Meaning, a company will have a website on one domain name (yourcompany.com), then have their blog hosted on a completely different domain and site (companyblog.wordpress.com).    ..

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Why You Shouldn't Use Outlook, Hotmail, GMail or other email account/packages for Email Marketing Campaigns.

You risk getting your domain blacklisted
Sending attachments or graphics, or email content your customers and prospects did not request risks you being blacklisted. This is a serious issue for small businesses as your domain name normally matches your website and entire brand (if your domain name does not match your website and entire brand, you need to quit reading this and call us immediately).

Legal Reasons
Anti-spam laws state that you must offer a simple ability for the recipient to unsubscribe from your Email Newsletter. When business do not utilize a proper email marketing platform, the ability for the recipient to unsubscribe is non-existent.

Measurement
When you're not using a proper email marketing platform, there are no metrics to measure your efforts and response. This is a 'blast and hope' scenario with no analytics to backup your effort. Thus, you have no data to base any type of follow-up marketing activities.

Design Considerations
When you're not using a proper email marketing platform, it is next to impossible to obtain a professional-looking design. The poor design poses a challenge to maintaing the integrity of your brand. Also, when not using a proper email marketing platform, your graphics can get caught in spam filters, so your true message is never delivered.

Administrative Nightmare
When you're not using a proper email marketing platform, each time an email address bounces back, this bounce will land in your inbox. This causes you to have to manually clean your email list, which is not efficient, you and your team have better things to do during the course of the day.

Also, you must carefully monitor unsubscribe requests, good email marketing platform handles this for you through an automated system.

Conclusion
So, in the end, all of this adds up to serious issues. When making an attempt to do an email marketing campaign without a proper platform, you'll end up spending more time than necessary for a result that is unprofessional and ineffective. Its a no brainer to contact us so we can assist you with your online goals. ..

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This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

I had the good fortune of starting in the communications business under the tutelage of one of the last century's giants of advertising. This was Don Gwaltney, back when he was recently retired from the Chicago home office of Leo Burnett. ..

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HTML5, YouTube and the Future of Flash Video

The current undisputed champion of web video is, hands-down, Adobe's Flash. However, YouTube is showing us that things may be changing in the near future. HTML5 only requires that your browser support HTML5 to view video. Pretty cool, video without plugins. I am a big fan of Flash Video, I’m all for a high-quality, and this new move could just be the swift kick in the pants that online video has been needing for a while now.
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An Overview of Website Navigation

Web surfers are always going to be an impatient group. If a website is difficult to figure out due to the links are not obvious then they quickly will go away and never come back. Website navigation is always going to be one of the most essential elements in determining the effectiveness of a website. 

A web designer must always keep in mind that the fundamental idea of the website and the intended audience while designing navigational elements. Of all the website exist the most of the websites live to either provide information to the visitor about a products or services to actually sell them. With this being true, there are some basic guidelines to follow: 

You have to make sure that the navigational elements are going to be intelligently linked by using standard methods and elements of links such as buttons, menus, underlining the text or changing color on mouse and you also need to stay away the temptation to use clever or ambiguous names for links. 

If you have opted for entirely different or somewhat different links then expressly inform the audience that this is a link if you design a web page where you want to use a map showing several different regions and want to let the user click on the city name to pull up information about that city. Here you need to make sure that you have informed well in advance to the user to click on the city name to get more information about that city. 

You always need to remember and need to follow the basic rule of three clicks that most of the professional web professionals use. Survey and studies have shown that most of the users will not click more than three or maximum four links to get to the required information they want so every page on your website should be reachable within couple of clicks.
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Is Your Business Website Still Breathing

These days, you can't afford not to have a website.  Most people, organizations and businesses have some sort of web presence out there. Alot of them are basically "online brochures" so to speak. Essentially they have information about a company that just sits on the web hoping people will find it and read it.  Most businesses get their website up with some information about their company and call it good.  Got a website?  Check.  Now forget about it for years.  ..
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