What Costs Do I Need To Consider When Using WordPress?

WordPress Website

So you may have thought about starting a new WordPress website, but have been put off by the perceived cost. A lot of people are confused about how much it actually costs to start and maintain your own WordPress website, and a quick internet search does nothing more than add to the confusion. So, what does it actually cost to start and run your own website?

To answer this question, we have broken the main costs down into their components below:

Cost 1: Domain Names

Cost – Free to thousands of dollars.

Once you have decided on a website name, you will have to rent or buy a domain name which is close to or the same as your website name. Most WordPress beginners decide to rent a domain name yearly. For basic names, prices start from just a few dollars per year. However, more sought-after domains can sell for tens of thousands. Some domain name providers do special offers, including free domain name rental for the first year.

Cost 2: Website Hosting

Cost – Anything from a couple of dollars per month to thousands.

If you want to build a website, you need to have somewhere to store it. Although many people don’t really understand where websites “come from”, they actually do have a physical location. While it is possible to host your own website, most people choose to use a specialist hosting provider. When you do this, you pay a hosting company to store your website and data securely on a server. For small websites and blogs, this will only cost a couple of dollars per month. However, prices for larger sites can easily run into the thousands.

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4 SEO Techniques That Will be Effective in 2018

SEO Techniques

The world of digital marketing is an ever evolving space. The necessity of having a good presence in the online world is imperative for businesses today so that they can enjoy continued success. One of the most important aspects to have a good online presence is the need to generate more traffic from search engines like Google. How can that be achieved? According to the experts at SEO Perth, through Search Engine Optimisation. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing in a bid to improve user experience.

How SEO was being done in 2016 was different from how it was being done in 2017. Here are 4 SEO techniques that will be effective for your business in 2018.

  1. Google RankBrain

Google recently made the announcement about their new RankBrain Algorithm. It is a revolutionary new algorithm which uses AI to power the internet giant’s first ever machine learning algorithm. The ranking that you get using RankBrain is determined by how satisfied the users of Google are with the content you have online.

You should optimize your website for Google RankBrain as it is one of the three key signals that indicate a good SEO ranking according to Google. For instance, you can look to optimize your website for RankBrain by improving the CTR (click through rate). The easiest way to improve your CTR is by adding numbers to the title and description tag. People feel more inclined to click on links with content that contains a number.

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Why Should You Use WordPress?

Wordpress

WordPress must be one of the most talked about websites in the world. It would have to be up there with sites like Google and Wikipedia. It is the most popular website building platform in the world, and lets people customise, create, and edit their own websites simply and free of charge.

There are plenty of reasons why you should use WordPress. According to some internet experts, over 25% of the web is now built on the WordPress platform. The sheer amount of number here speaks for itself – WordPress must be doing something right.


Some of the reasons why you should use WordPress include:

You don’t need any coding experience:

One of the best things about WordPress – from an inexperienced web developer’s point of view at least – is that it required zero coding knowledge. Sure, there is room for you to put your knowledge to the test if you want to, but it is absolutely not necessary.

All the code for your website is automatically installed and maintained when you use WordPress. Creating posts is as simple as dragging, dropping, and/or typing new content. If you want to code your website then go for it – but there are probably better options than WordPress out there that have better coding support.

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HTML5 Roundup For Web Designers

HTML5 Roundup

Web designers, here’s some more HTML5 links that you’ve just got to see. If you’re still plugging along on an XHTML (or mercy forbid, HTML4) site, this will be your last call to leave the Stone Age.

html-five.net – The HTML5 Showcase – This is the first we’ve seen of design showcases similar to the ones that popped up after CSS3 and AJAX hit the mainstream. Only this time it isn’t just about being pretty, but having powerful functions, such as sites with drag-and-drop code builders and interactive art galleries.

html5blog.org – HTML5 blog – So far, the closest thing to a guru we have. A rich resource of book reviews, tutorials, and industry news about HTML5.

html5video.org/blog/ – HTML video blog – One of the chief capabilities of HTML5 is to easily manipulate video content without relying on painful third-party plugins. Kaltura, the world’s first open source online video platform, is leading the charge to publicize this aspect.

html5games.net/ – HTML5 Games – If all of the above doesn’t whet your appetite (or you feel a little overwhelmed), head here for a refreshing break and a demo of yet more HTML5 capability. Again, HTML5 is poised to replace Java and Flash as the web gaming platform of choice.

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4 Ways to Ensure Your Website is Mobile Friendly

Mobile Friendly Website

Gone are the days of the dial up connections and old desktop PCs. The online world is now faster and it is mobile. People prefer to access the internet through their smartphones more than any other way. With the world going mobile, businesses also have to make sure that they are not left behind. Excellent web design is important to ensure relevance in today’s world. More importantly, to keep up with the mobile world, it is imperative that your web designing is done considering the need for your website to be accessed on the go.

Importance of Having Mobile Friendly Website


There are several advantages of having a mobile friendly web design for your company’s website. For starters, it means that your website will be operating much faster. The accessibility to your company’s website will drastically increase with mobile accessibility. It is also important to note that when a website is made to be mobile friendly, it is also easier to navigate. This increases the chance of engagement. Here’s a look at a few simple ways you can ensure that your web design is mobile friendly.

  1. Reduce Content

No, this does not mean that eliminate everything. It means that you should have only the amount of content that’s necessary. Having too much content on your website is bad for two reasons: Firstly, it becomes too complicated for visitors to navigate. Ease of navigation is crucial. Secondly, the complexities of a website chock full of content will mean it is going to be slower to load.

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Importance of SEO in 2018

Importance of SEO

We’re into the last month of 2017 and SEO consultants like Peter Brittain are now finalizing the strategies they will be using for their digital marketing for 2018 and beyond – and thus setting their goals. The most important aspect which everybody is considering is the SEO. Everybody wants to understand more about SEO and how important it will be for their businesses to be more successful this year than the last.

It goes without saying that SEO is of the utmost relevance now than it has been ever before. With every passing year, more businesses are realizing the importance of SEO and how it is capable of driving their success in an internet-centric world. This is why more investment is being made into SEO and improving it.

Google has been striving to improve the algorithm it uses which is in turn pressuring businesses all around to improve their websites in a bid to keep up with the latest SEO trends. With the constant improvements, SEO is a practice which will continue to grow and evolve.


Marketers will need to realize that there are new elements to factor in when it comes to SEO with every passing year. Here are some of the main SEO trends to keep in mind in 2018.

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Using TV Mysteries As Inspiration For Your Emails

Email Marketing

Whether you are young, old or somewhere in-between one thing that people of any age enjoy is a good story especially those that leave us on the edge of our seats. This is certainly true in the case of TV mysteries, but what, you might ask, does this have to do with email marketing?

Good question and we will reveal the answer at the end of this article.  Only kidding…we’ll reveal it now, but make sure you read to the end to get the full story.

This is a tactic that all the very best TV shows employ to keep their audience waiting in suspense for the next episode. You must have seen those programmes where each episode ends in an exciting climax, but just as you are about to see how the hero gets out of what seems an impossible fix, the titles start to scroll. You are told to tune in next week to find out what happened and if the producers are being especially mean you get a sneak peek at next week’s episode, without them revealing how our hero escaped, if or even if they escaped at all.

This is a classic technique, and the great news is it is one which you can use to great effect when crafting emails to your subscribers. It is based on a psychological phenomenon that exists whereby people do not like having situations or scenarios which are not resolved. in other words, when we have a puzzle or a story which has no conclusion or finish, we strive to find one and are impatient to do so.  This is why TV producers end episodes with cliffhangers because their audience will be so desperate to see what happens next, they are certain to tune in the following week.

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Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

social-media-marketingSocial media marketing is something that many businesses do because they know their potential customers hang out on social media sites. In fact, social media plays a big part in how your company is perceived. However, it does take quite a lot of time and patience, something that not all business owners have a lot of.  The work can be outsourced, but there are pros and cons that you need to be aware of. Here are some of them.

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Six Random Moments Of “Aha!” In Web Design

Aha In Web Design

We thought we’d share a few silly little tricks or ideas that solve a lot of problems in a small amount of time, or just look knock-out cool for very little effort…

#1. Using a “position:relative;” div tag on the outside of a “position:absolute;” See, normally, the ‘absolute’ attribute in CSS makes the element stay stuck to a spot on the web page as if it were nailed there. And that happens no matter how many nested floating divs you stick it in. Until you make the div just outside of that one say “position:relative;”, then your absolute element finally says “Ooooh, so THAT’S what they want me to do!”

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7 Successful Business Blogging Tips for Boosting Brand Visibility

Blogging Tips

Blogging, especially business blogging, is the in thing these days; just about every business with an online presence is into it. It’s something that everybody is doing, and why not, after all a blog not only brings to a website an added sense of credibility, but also improves the brand awareness of your business and its products and services.

But, it must be remembered that blogging just for the heck of it, and because everybody is doing it, doesn’t work. It must be purposeful in order to succeed. To make you job a little easier, you need to keep a few business blogging tips in mind, to ensure that your blog is successful.

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OldSchool Aesthetics That We Miss

Gopher-protocols

Even though we’re very progressive about web design, sometimes we do look back and have to admit that we kind of miss some of those outdated bits of online culture. Here’s a little list for those of you who want to wallow in nostalgia with us:

Gopher – Gopher was one of the old Internet protocols before the WWW. It imposed a much stricter hierarchy on content, which had to be placed in folders and indexed with a text menu. It only lasted from 1991 to 1993. here is a list of still-functioning Gopher servers – amongst others, Firefox has a Gopher protocol. And here is an Ars Technica writeup on what the Gopher-heads are up to now.

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Tips On Keeping a Traffic-Friendly Website

Traffic-Friendly Website

Tips On Keeping a Traffic-Friendly Website

While any name-brand web hosting service offers digital marketing and SEO services, there are some simple common-sense tips which anyone can follow to at least get on the radar as far as the World Wide Web is concerned. In addition, once you’re set up with the initial traffic optimization, there are things you can do to ensure that your website keeps growing. These tips will both ensure that your website appeals to both visitors and search engines alike.

Have Plenty of Content

It is very difficult to optimize a site for a search engine when there’s almost nothing on that site. And by content we usually mean *writing*. Written text is still the main thing that search engines see – after all it’s what web searchers type into Google to find your site in the first place. So remember, just images or just having Flash won’t do the job. You should at least be able to have a couple of paragraphs on a page explaining what your site is for.

Follow Internet Standards

Search engines prefer to crawl sites which adhere to standards. While it is difficult to have a site be 100% in compliance, the better you follow good mark-up standards, the better. Check your HTML, XHTML, CSS, and RSS with the relevant W3C services, and check back periodically to make sure that your site is still easy for search engines to navigate.

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Web Design – Amazing Things in SVG

Web Design

It’s good to keep your thumb on the pulse of some web design aspects, even if you don’t use it directly yet. The World Wide Web is far away from an SVG standard… but maybe some day it will come true. When it does, we’re thinking of the possibilities…First off, here’s an SVG editor at googlecode.com. Right out of the blue, if you couldn’t edit SVG before, you can now, for free. Speaking of free, for desktop SVG editors you can’t beat Inkscape, one of the best SVG editors out there, for any price.Here’s a jigsaw puzzle done with SVG and JQuery. Check the code, it’s remarkably simple to implement. Ajaxian finds many more SVG demos in the SVG category.

An amazing charts demo, done without canvas! It’s live (try editing the code in options), has dozens of different features and modes, and we find it to be snappy-responsive, even on a battered old laptop.

A bit old, but if you haven’t seen it yet, SVG Tetris.

SVGWow has many SVG demos, including this colorful bokeh effect.

Finally, here’s a paper on SVG vs. Canvas on Trivial Drawing Application. Along the way, it sets up demos and links to them, going concept by concept, and explains the code to do so. A must-see for tutorial purposes.

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Why Aren’t There More YouTubes?

YouTubes

Web start-up guru Paul Graham recently talked about Why There Aren’t More Googles. The basic gist of it is that venture capitalists tend to be too conservative, investing in businesses that are based on already established revenue models. Nobody wants to bet on the new horse. But the most innovative start-ups are the ones that end up raking in a fortune!

But when most people think of the fairy-tale dream start-up story, they think of YouTube. Founded in February of 2005, sold to Google in November of 2006 for $1.65 billion USD. Start your site, and twenty-one months later, you’re a millionaire. Wouldn’t that be nice?

The difference is, it takes an innovative, forward-thinking company to recognize and acquire an innovative start-up. Google itself was an overnight success story, pushed through to greatness mostly by the sheer stubbornness of its founders. Having run that gauntlet themselves, they know how to recognize a good idea headed by a tough entrepreneur. This is a skill that Old Guard companies like Microsoft fail to grasp – so much so that bloggers all over the web are asking whether Microsoft is doomed, and has prompted Paul Graham himself to pronounce Microsoft dead.

Microsoft… dead. Imagine what a huge gap that would leave. Like the huge multinational banks in the United States which are getting bailed out during their economic turmoil, Microsoft seems almost too big to fail. If they did, there would not be another Microsoft. Their niche instead would rapidly be filled with the New Guard: smart, innovative, small companies that think fast and take risks… and know how to cooperate with the competition!

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Will a Myst Revival Happen Online?

Myst-Online

The original Myst was one controversial game. It broke ray-traced 3D graphics into the mainstream, became the reason for people to buy CD-ROMs when they first came out, and completely broke every expectation that people had about video games. To this day, the Myst series remains the ultimate accomplishment of creating an absorbing, immersive virtual world. But half the gamers out there today still say they hate it.

Now Cyan has announced their plans to open-source Myst-Online. This is becoming a cliche for projects that take too long to finish and lose momentum. Sometimes it’s the project’s salvation; getting the community involved and letting users take part in the process of shaping it takes care of those blind spots that the company missed, when they didn’t know what the users wanted. Sometimes it’s also the kiss of death; open source projects are harder to monetize and tend to die off after giving birth to their own successor.

3D gaming remains out of reach for the web. The best you can hope for is pre-rendered ray-traced scenes; a 3D first-person shooter even on the level of Half-Life just isn’t doable from a web browser. Even our best Flash, AJAX, and Java technology seems to be incapable of doing more than puzzle games and flat-map games. And before anybody says ‘Second Life’ or ‘Spore’ – that’s running on your PC, with a web connection to a server, same as any MMORPG. And it doesn’t have near the polygons.

We have to wait for computers to get more powerful, but whoops, right at the peak time for the market, computers are slimming down, into notebooks and UMPCs. So when, if ever?

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Will We Even Invent a Spam-Proof Communications Technology?

Spam-Proof Communications

Just in case you needed a reminder that the good times never last, there’s a Twitter spammer tool out there now. Like so many of these cases, it’s one person making the software, then dozens of gullible fools buy the software and believe that they can make money by spamming the world.

People always ask, “How do these idiots make money?” There’s your answer: they don’t. They pay money. At the end of the chain, perhaps all of the spam that has ever been sent in the history of mankind has only made one, single person any profit: the guy who made the spamming tools and sold them to a few suckers.

Anyway, look for trouble on the Twitter front. Which means more interoperability for malware and worms, which should be all over this like ants on a sugar cube soon. Bots – even the ones who infect PCs – have traditionally used IRC to communicate in a network and collect orders, but now they might have Twitter available, too.

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Webcomics That Web Designers Will Appreciate

WebComic

Thank Heavens for web comics! Before them, comics were doomed to die a horrible death in the newspapers, where 75-year-old franchise-zombies hold on forever, getting moldier every year.

The web saved comics, end-of-story. For the web designer and developer audience, here are the essential web comics:

  • comic-lifeXKCD – The webcomic that made webcomics famous. Also spawned 1000 stick-figure comic imitators. Which is silly, because the point of XKCD isn’t the drawing, but the brilliant scientist creator who thinks up those impossibly geeky jokes!
  • Dilbert – The only newspaper comic to survive its time in print to be reborn online as fresh as ever. It helps that creator Scott Adams is still alive and well, unlike the creators of the franchise-zombies.
  • Penny Arcade – Well, sometimes you have to take a break and not think about work! This comic is focused entirely on gaming and video game culture. It’s what web designers do in their off time anyway.
  • User-Friendly – Founded in 1997! It can be said to be the oldest surviving web comic, and from day one it was about tech, geeks, “hackers” (it meant something else in the old days!) and development.
  • Doomed to Obscurity – A new up-and-comer, but definitely worth watching. It’s been called both a modern successor to User-Friendly and “Dilbert without the dog,” but its humor is blaringly original, while having a focus sort of like the above four comics combined!

 

 

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Ideas For Money On The Side In Web Design

Money Side In Web Design

If you work for a web design firm, you might have to sign no-compete agreements (depending on the laws in your area) saying you won’t work for clients in your off-time. However, web design is a big field, and touches a lot of side enterprises. Here are some ways you can put your extra tech-savvy skill points to work doing a little moonlighting:

  • Blogging – So obvious we almost don’t have to say. Most every web designer has a blog or social media account of some kind. Toss in some ads, and you’ve got a little side money.
  • Facebook apps – Fun little side boxes you can make in Flash, AJAX, and Javascript. Can be useful or fun – most are trivial, and if it’s popular enough you can sell memberships and or licenses for revenue.
  • iPhone apps – No doubt you’re heard of some of the top-selling applications for the iPhone. Apple lets you set up a store and sell these at the iPhone apps store.
  • Twitter backgrounds – Twitter has given rise to a new cottage industry in making backgrounds for Twitter home pages. Many sites give away backgrounds, a few sell them or make them to order for a fee.

 

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Web Design Tips – The Five Web Page Ads That Users Can’t Stand

Web Page Ads
Of course, we all want to make money on the web. Our web design clients especially.
And most users – even the ones who never click anything – understand that. In the polls we’ve seen of the average website visitor, most say they don’t mind ads as long as they don’t interfere with the browsing experience. Oh, but those others! Here’s five advertising designs not to use:
  • advertisingPop-ups – Doable with a simple JavaScript ‘alert’ function, pop-ups are the oldest hated ad on the web. Almost obsolete since most browsers can be configured to not display them anyway.
  • Talking ads – Like the ‘smiley’ one you see that whistles and yells for attention. Users hate these, and they might also get fired for browsing the web at work when their web browser suddenly starts chattering and they forget they have the sound up.
  • Expanding banners – The corner kind are OK, since they are easy to recognize and don’t intrude onto the main parts of the page. But when you have the flat kind that drop down over the web page like a curtain, it’s irritating.
  • Floating boxes – These are the Javascript dealies that have replaced pop-ups. Browsers can’t block them without turning off Javascript completely. A Javascript box that coasts in after a minute and hovers in the center of the page with no visible way to turn it off just drives the user somewhere else.
  • Misleading linked text. – This could be not-so-annoying, if only the link went somewhere that had something to do with the article. An adlink going to a swimsuit site in the middle of an article about hamsters, however, is pushing it.

 

 

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An Easy Target For Ridicule

Target For Ridicule

One of the favorite sports of web designers, apparently, is to point out websites with poor designs and ridicule them.

One blogger recently posted a mockery of the corporate website for McDonald’s.

Ho ho ho! What a lame site!

Hold on, here. Why should a fast-food restaurant chain even care about its web image?

I mean, are you going to order a Big Mac online? Truly, many of the most famous brand names in the food industry have sub-par websites. In the case of McDonald’s, they’d sell just as many Happy Meals if the Internet never existed. They already have TV, radio, and print media saturated.

Here’s some other examples we found:

  • Burger King – No apparent marketing to customers at all. You get a very plain world map and when you navigate to a country, you get “franchise opportunities”, “careers”, and “management team”.
  • Dairy Queen – A pretty showy site, with Flash animations and lots of stuff to see and do. Still you almost have to wonder “why am I here?”
  • Domino’s Pizza – Now we’re talking! At least with a restaurant that delivers to your home, their web strategy makes sense. You should try ordering a pizza online some time; you feel just like you’re living in the 21st century.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – Not as bad as McDonald’s, but still pretty blah. You could have phoned this in with DreamWeaver and an out-sourced Flash team.
  • Starbuck’s – Only a sliver better than McDonald’s site; off-putting color scheme, fixed-width, and badly organized links with bits of text here and there. Even though they’re another fast-ffod type enterprise, you’d think they would try to be more appealing, since their demographic ties in so well with the laptop and smartphone crowd.

 

 

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Ways to Promote Your Website That You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

Promote Your Website

#1 – Have a Flash game. Adobe Flash is becoming increasingly easy to work with, and if you don’t want to shell out the big money for Adobe’s development suite, there’s even free open source Flash-building tools out there you can use – SWFTools, for instance. Flash games are easier than you’d think; you can just get a template for an established genre of game and customize it with your own graphics. Then submit it to Flash gaming sites, with a link back to your web business.

#2 – Make a Google gadget. Google has opened their gadget platform to the public, and even has a simple kit to get started. You can always compose a feed for your blog, a photo stream for your images, or a simple service like a calendar or a horoscope. Then your gadget can get published and be hosted on blogs, desktops, and user’s iGoogle pages.

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