Evad-The Web and More
A Website and/or a Facebook Page?
...recently, a number of people have asked me if they should invest in building themselves a website, or, should they put their time and energies into creating and administering a Facebook Page ...in today's online world, the quick answer is "both" ...while I know many people who 'only' utilize Facebook to promote what they do, nearly all of 'them' are either only focused on 'blogging', don't sell any type of product and/or service, or, are involved in "the arts" somehow; a musician, artist, writer, street performer etc., and therefore, sell whatever product(s) they may have via their live performances and/or as part of some kind of "community" website
...while covering 'all' of the pros and cons of this topic is certainly beyond the scope of what could realistically be covered in this one article, I thought I would address the 'key' reasons why I said "my quick answer" is "both" ...today, 'most' people understand the importance of having a website if you have any type of 'business', or, if you are part of just about any type of "member" organization ...with Facebook now having over 800 million users, the exposure potential alone has now made it almost rare to find a business and/or organization that does any type of advertising that is 'not' also mentioning "visit us", or, "follow us" on "Facebook"
...although there are 'many' venues for 'blogging' today, as mentioned, I personally know many people that are taking advantage of Facebook's enormous exposure potential as the venue for their blog ...the built in tools available via Facebook allow for easy posting of your content and interaction with your "followers", as well as, straight-forward built in tools for posting pictures, videos and etc. ...as Facebook "posts" are really geared for relatively 'short' posts, if your blog, or the information you wish to share, consists of 'longer' articles and/or stories of some kind, 'also' maintaining an actual "website" as well, may be a better option for providing your visitors/followers with more detailed robust content
Broken Links... Broken Expectations
...for some time now it has been important for your web site's ranking to have relevant incoming links to your site ...over time, the process of 'exchanging' links with other relevant web sites, referred to as "reciprocal linking", has the potential to grow into a large number of links on your site ...ensuring that all of the links you have posted on your website are "current" and "working" is extremely important ...why is this important? - while there are a number of reasons, there are two main reasons I'd like to address here in this article
...first, particularly important if you provide a web-based service and/or sell/deliver a product through your website, "broken" links can very quickly adversely affect your site visitor's confidence in your web site's ability to deliver what's promised and to do so in a secure manner ...second, because popular search engines, like Google, use link popularity algorithms (defined as the number of links that lead to a particular page and the anchor text of the link) to rank websites for relevancy, "broken" links will adversely affect your web site's ranking as your site can potentially be deemed to be "out of date" ...fortunately, today, keeping up with the validity of the links you have posted on your site is a much less daunting task than it once was
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
...this phrase emerged in the USA in the early part of the 20th century and has been generally interpreted to mean that a picture tells a story just as well as a large amount of descriptive text ...while this is certainly true for us humans, this is 'not' so much the case when it comes to Search Engines and our websites
...in my last article, I discussed 'optimizing' your images for use on your web pages, however, my last article only addressed the issue of optimizing your image's 'file size', allowing for the quickest possible load times of your web pages while maintaining acceptable image quality, which is the first step when adding images to your site's pages ...the next step is to optimize your images so that they will be 'seen' by 'Search Engines' as well as by the human visitors to your website
"Picture Perfect" ?
...this phrase, coined in the USA in the early 20th century, alludes to the idealized settings and composition of photographic images, in which every detail is managed to obtain a perfect visual result ...for your website, it means the image is saved in the proper file format and color mode, is the proper dpi and is optimized to be at the smallest possible file size to allow for the fastest possible display time, while maintaining a visual quality as close as possible to that of the original image ...simple right? ...well, actually it 'is' pretty simple and straight forward if you understand and prepare your images according to the following basic guidelines
Build It And They Will Come... ...But 'not' Automatically
...a common comment I have heard over the years is; "I've spent a lot of time preparing all of the content for my web site and put a lot of time and money into building my site, so, where are all of the visitors?" ...some people have even said they were so discouraged that they were considering "taking their site down" as they were questioning whether it was even worth the cost of 'having' a web site at all ...first of all, just to get this out of the way - these days it is extremely difficult to have an ongoing successful business, or to maintain and/or grow a group, or organization, without maintaining "some kind" of web site, as today, more and more people are turning 'first' to the Internet to research what they are looking for, or to get more detailed information before joining a group or organization
...further discussions inquiring into what they have been doing to 'promote' their web site has led to some, well, I'll say, 'interesting' responses ...while the 'World Wide Web' and having a web site does indeed fall into the realm of "build it and they will come", visitor traffic is 'not' something that happens automatically ...developing and maintaining visitor traffic is a never-ending process ...today, most people that have and maintain their own web site have at least heard the terms "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)" and "Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - but many have expressed confusion as to what SEO and SEM 'really' means and what is involved
I'm Ready, I'm Set, Which Way Do I Go?
...you've gathered your desired initial site photos, you've written your initial site text content, you've flowcharted your site's navigation, so, how do you now turn all of your content into a web site? ...today, the process of doing so, most commonly referred to as webmastering, can be accomplished in many ways
...certainly the first two questions you need to answer are: Do you have the technical knowledge to build and maintain your own web site? - and - Do you truly have the "time" to build your own site and perform the needed regular ongoing maintenance of it? ...many people, particularly those just getting started with a new venture, find that they already have so many tasks "on their plate" with the required day-to-day operations, that they really don't have the proper amount of time to dedicate to the process of building a professional looking and functioning web site, in which case, it may be most beneficial to you in the long run to have a professional content developer help with at least the "initial" development and construction of your web site
What Do I Need To Know To Get Started With My Own Website?
...first of all, as defined by Wikipedia, a website (also written web site or simply site) is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address also called URL. ...if you know and understand this definition and all of its terms, you already have a good start towards knowing what you need to know for getting started with the development of your own website, if you don't, not to worry, you will understand this definition, and more, by the time you finish reading this article ;-)
...while early out, when the Internet became widely available to the general public, websites were primarily used by various types of business entities to promote the various commercial (.com) products and/or services they had to offer, however, today, websites have evolved into a worldwide network of content spanning all aspects of our collective daily lives and today are being provided by large corporations, small to medium sized businesses and organizations of all kinds, as well as, by individuals out of the comfort of their own homes
...initially, due to the fact that the speeds (bandwidth) at which we were all capable of browsing the Internet (surfing), was slow and oftentimes limited, websites consisted primarily of "text", along with an occasional photo, with their primary mission being to provide quick, easy access to "information" - which quickly led to the Internet being referred to as the "information superhighway" ...with the accessibility of the high-speed Internet connections that are available to us today, websites now contain a plethora of content including high-quality photos, animations, audio, video and digital downloadable documents of all kinds - collectively, commonly simply referred to as "digital assets"
Scrolling Finger Fatigue Relief
...as this issue has come up several times recently during my telephone training sessions with a few of my affiliates and clients, I thought as a part of the "and more" category of my contributions here at WNYwomen, I would address it with this installment :-)
...some time ago, manufacturers of computer mice, began adding a "scroll wheel" located in between the two mouse buttons ...this handy little wheel makes it easier to "scroll" up and down while the mouse cursor is within a given application program's window, such as word processors and your browser window while surfing the web, rather than repeatedly clicking within the scroll bar, or on the up and down arrows of the scroll bar ...some applications and browsers also allow you to scroll left and right, if necessary, if you hold down the correct 'modifier key' while scrolling with the wheel, such as; the 'shift key', the 'command key' (Mac) or 'control key' (PC), or the 'option key' (Mac) or 'alt key' (PC) - the "correct" modifier key varies amongst applications ;-)
...while this handy little wheel does indeed make scrolling easier compared to repeated clicking within the scroll bar or on its arrows, it has been mentioned to me several times as of late that while surfing a large number of sites, such as while performing research etc., as well as repeated 'rolling' of the scroll wheel while scanning through long web pages, leads to simply a 'different' form of "scrolling finger fatigue"
...this is what led me to reminding everyone with this article, to what in my opinion, are the four most forgotten about keys available on most keyboards today ...they would be the; page up, page down, home and end keys ...on most 'desktop' keyboards, these four keys are typically located in between the text keys and the numeric keypad ...on 'laptop' computers, these keys are located in various places dependent upon manufacturer and in many cases, also double for the left, right, up and down arrows - requiring you to simultaneously hold down a function key (fn on many laptops) in order to utilize the 'page scrolling' functionality of these keys
Evad-The Web and More
...Evad?... ...well, my name is Dave Richmond, many years ago, the group of friends I hung around with included a half a dozen or more of us named "Dave" - guess it was a popular name at that time. ;-)) ...in any event, so as to make it easier to identify who was talking to who, the group came up with 'nicknames' - as I'm sure you can appreciate the dilemma of dealing with a question being asked in a room we were all in that began with "Hey Dave..."
...at the time, I was also playing drums in a local rock band - after a performance one night, one of my friends said that while watching me perform, it seemed like another side of me, and said; "a good nickname for me would be Evad - as it's 'Dave' backwards" ...and, it just kinda 'stuck'. :-)
...when I started my own business creating interactive multimedia and web-based applications, as I was developing "software" in one form or another, the word "software", became "Evadware" :-) - and hence, the beginning of Evadware Productions, Ltd.
...over the years, my business has provided a wide variety of services including; graphic design, web site design, development and hosting services, interactive multimedia presentations and applications, electronic documentation creation, as well as, consulting and training ...with the Internet being what it is "today", "all" of the various types of content are now relatively easily "deliverable" online - which has led to the majority of my time being spent "on the web" :-)