If you check the internet today you will see literally millions of different websites and hundreds of thousands of different types of business. They vary from the more complicated right down to the most basic of sites, but which ones are more successful? Which ones should you be looking at?

While a lot will actual depend upon the type of business you are looking to set-up, the simpler you can make your site, the more chance you have of being successful. Even though we all like to see the flashing graphics and the bells and whistles connected to some sites, do they really impress us after we have seen the first 20 such sites?. Selecting a cheap web hosting deal will also help move your business forward. Or do we just want to get down to business and see what they have to offer?

Over time your view of these sites with great graphics will change, and before too long you will be looking for sites which do what you want, and as quickly as possible. It is common knowledge that the more options which you give a potential customer the more chance of them getting bored and leaving your site without spending. You need to ensure that there is navigation to any page on your site in no more than 3 key presses. You need to ensure that the menu down the left hand side is informative and to the point. That is the way forward…….

If you ask a customer to look for an option, or you don’t let them know what it will do, then there is every chance that you will lose them. Any more than 3 key presses to get to where they want to be will probably result in you losing them. Keep it simple, keep it clean and above all keep it bang on subject – don’t wander off into another area of business because there is no better way to lose a customer, boring them senseless!

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While the majority of us may never actual realise it, colours play a massive part in our lives and can have a great influence. If you know which colours to use on your website it is possible to attract the right audience, and keep them glued to your content. So which colours give out which signals?

Here are a selection of colours and some of the thoughts and actions which they provoke :-

Red

This colour signifies danger, aggression and drama. While it can be very striking, it is probably best used to alert your readers to something which may affect them in a negative way.

Pink

Pink is a very romantic and non-threatening colour which can often signify peace and calm. Often associated with romance and love, it is very soft on the eye and tends to calm peoples minds.

Orange

Orange is a very strange colour which can sometimes instil alarm, but also exudes a vibrancy and energy that few colours can portray. Orange is a very warm colour which is often used for sites where there is great activity – e.g. chat rooms.

Gold

Gold is probably at the highest level of the colours available as it gives the impression of wealth, success and happiness. The colour is immediately connected with the metal gold and the value which society seems to put on this. A very strong and bold colour.

Blue

Blue is a very deep colour which can again often calm the viewer with thoughts of what may lie under the surface. This is a very bold strong colour which exudes trust and wisdom, and is very often used with information sites, where knowledge (or the look of knowledge) is very prominent.

This is just a small selection of how you can use colours to influence the look and feel of your site, and how very often the wrong choice of colour can make a difficult project even harder. Take you time to choose the right colours, do not rush in, and ensure that you take advice from an impartial third party. Very often you can be “too close” to the situation and maybe only see what you want to see.

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When you are setting up your website there are a number of issues to consider, one being what kind of template to use, and whether you should go for a free one or paid template. While a unique design will ensure your site stands out from the rest, there are literally millions of free templates out there which you can use (even if just to start off your site and save some money).

Let’s not forget that even though a template may be free, there is nothing to stop you adding a few personalised elements to the design, whether you change one of the colours, add a little graphic or change the text. It is very easy to do, and if you are careful you can actually differentiate your site from the original free template.

Over the last couple of years we have seen many webmasters move back to some of the more basic free templates as they can often be a very good way to highlight your site content, rather than a “busy” template which may take away the emphasis from what you are looking to deliver.

Personally I like to see the information to hand, in my face and not hidden by dark images, flashing graphics and the like. If I go onto a site to buy an insurance policy, that is exactly what I want to do, I need the basic facts presented as simply as possible with relevant links. The “busier” the site is, i.e. the more that appears to be going on with graphics, colours etc, the more chance of me just walking away to find a site which gives me what I want.

Do not forget that there is a difference between attracting your customers and taking away the emphasis from what you are actually trying to do. You may never find the perfect balance, but it is vital that you at least get close to it!

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As the internet continues to move at full pace, we are seeing different trends and different ideas to attract customers on a daily basis. While many webmasters seem intent upon chasing these trends for what is often only a short shelf life, is it worth even considering the “here today, gone tomorrow” trends?

The problem with following all of the latest trends, whether this is keyword clouds, talking assistants, etc is that you are changing the whole style and look of your site on a regular basis. Many web users like to see stability to sites they visit, they actually get used to a look and feel when they return. Change can often lead to confusion amongst you potential customers, your potential income earners – so what can you do?

As we have mentioned on this site on a number of occasions, if you are looking to change the look and feel of your site, it is probably best to give your customers a little warning, and do it step by step. Maybe even give them a selection of new designs which you are considering and let them choose the one they think would best suits your site. The more involved you get your customers in the decision making process the more they feel part of the site, and the more they are likely to return.

Think of your site as a small community, with the need to talk and communicate with each other to ensure you are on the same wave length. Even ask them for ideas on occasions – you might be surprised at some of their suggestions!

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While the internet offers more and more ways to create income streams, many are looking at selling sponsorship links on their unique designs. Will this work and how much can you charge?

As with any market on the internet, the first whiff of a little more income and the vultures swoop, cutting margins and increasing the size of markets. While the sponsorship of Word Press designs in particular has increased substantially over the last few months, we have also seen a marked down turn in the prices which are being charged in the market place. So what next?

While initially designers were selling only one link on their unique designs, this has now widened to three (or more) in many cases. Prices of up to $35 per link are well below what the best designers were able to charge when the market initially opened up. While there are other design areas which are also active, including standard templates and directory designs, there is talk that Google are watching the situation carefully.

Quite how Google would be able to tell if a link was paid or free is not clear, but they are looking to really hammer down on paid links, and footer links are high up the list. It seems that a new market which had opened up for designers may be about to close fairly sharpish, but no doubt something else will come along fairly soon. It is just a shame that new and inspirational markets are flooded by ever cheaper pricing, which ruins it for the quality players.

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As the need to get yourself noticed on the internet continues to grow, more and more people are now looking for special design templates, and there are more and more designs for sale. So how do we match up the designers with the buyers, and give the customer a look at what they are buying?

Over the last few months we have seen a massive increase in free sites which allow you to upload the code for your site design onto a third party site, either charging for a copy or giving away for free. The trend these days seems to be towards giving your design away for free, but leaving a number of links in the footer of the design. If your design is taken on by a high profile and high Page Ranking site then you have the potential to benefit.

While it would not be advisable to give away your latest designs, it may be sensible to try and charge a small amount for your newer designs in the short term, and then when interest starts to fade, give it away for free. The more designs which you circulate with links, the more chance you have of receiving new business enquiries to your business site (assuming that you have one).

While it can take a while to benefit from the links left in your free design give away, it can have a massive impact if it proves popular and people use the design. Everything comes to those who wait, and these things can take a while to filter through!

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