Thursday, June 28, 2007

I thought it was a good idea... What do I do now?

I am always getting e-mail from business owners who, in their crunch for time have opted to conveniently go to a host/web design/web development/domain registrar all rolled into one…

Not a good Idea!

Let me tell you why, this is just my view, but it is an educated one. I have dealt with many, many business owners who have been burned. They now have to deal with the difficulties of redoing mistakes that didn't have to occur in the first place.

Many business owners who are brilliant at what they do are also clueless when it comes to the Internet and all the things that must be done to develop a website, register a domain name and host that website.

On the other hand, they may know enough but want the convenience of a one stop shop, so they can be free to operate their business.

Sound like a great idea right! WRONG…

Reasons why you “SHOULD NOT” put all your services in one basket.

Mistake #1 ************************************

When you register a domain name through a host you are at the host's mercy.

Unless you know what you are doing – the host that registers your domain name may actually be putting it under their name - you are not the domain name owner you are actually “renting” the name. Scenario, you register your domain name with a hosting company and find that you do not like the host – your website has a lot of down time – you cannot get the emails to work right etc.

You go shopping for another host – then you find out you cannot transfer the domain name, and you have built your business using that name … That can be devastating – you have worked so hard to build your business what now?

Let's say they just don't want to transfer the domain name, don’t release the domain name and play games. Where do you go?

Well, that is the 24 million dollar question.

Solution: Register your domain name with a service like They have inexpensive domain name's, you have complete control over where you point those names and host your website.

If or when you find you are unhappy with a host you have chosen, find another host and re-point that domain name, with no interruption to your business

Problem solved.

Mistake # 2 ****************************************************

Scenario, You have found a host that also designs. They will design your website inexpensively. So you have the host put together the website for you.

Guess what – you more than likely will find that you do not own the website, the website you get will have to stay with that host, you cannot transfer it… On top of that – a lot of these hosts will give you a brochure site that is not a true marketing site.

Let's say initially you are happy with that small static website, then you get educated and realize you need more and want to market to your visitors. You want an auto responder, and you need to build an online data-base. That is when you will pay - they usually charge you an arm and a leg to update your site.

You end up spending more and you may find your so called custom site is actually a cookie cutter site that is customized (the same site as other businesses just a different banner).

Solution: Find a web developer that can converse with you about your needs. If they are a true professional they will have no problem helping you with questions you may have about hosting, domain registration, auto responders etc. Make sure you are comfortable with the individual you are thinking about hiring.

Don’t mistake – arrogance with knowledge. Do make sure you have an experienced professional, someone who knows the tricks of the trade, a person who understands how to build a marketing website, with knowledge, who will know how to really help you reach your ultimate goals.

When you pick the right professional they will be willing and able to direct and guide you. Educate you on how to build your online business, helping you to break down the costs and work within your budget. If you can’t initially afford to get the whole thing done in one shot – it shouldn’t be a problem for your web developer to build your website in phases.

Make sure you are working with the designer/developer themselves, and you are not working with the sales rep.

Mistake # 3 ****************************************************

Scenario, let's say you have found a host that allows you to build and design your own website. How cool is that!!

Sorry to break the news, but let me remind you – most of you are not designers!

Seriously, most business owners do not have the talent or the knowledge to design a website that will look professional. Most of these programs that allow you to build your own website are very limited in what they can do. You have to use their graphics and banners.

On the other hand, you have to be a graphic designer to know how to design and upload your own graphic, on top of that these hosts are usually very expensive.

So what should you have done?

Solution: When you realize you will be hosting your website (basically forever) at such a high monthly fee – you will realize you can afford to pay a professional web developer to build a beautiful site you will own, pay a host a small amount each month and save a lot of money.

Get my drift?

I could go on forever telling you horror story after horror story - but the bottom line - in essence, - be careful, do your home work, make sure you are working with a credible professional.

One option you may want to consider is hiring a consultant/project manager that knows the ropes.

This profession should be seasoned and have worked with the internet - someone who has been in the business and knows the ins and outs, someone who can outline your options and give information that will lay a solid foundation for your business.

Someone you can trust to guide you to make the right choices…

To success beyond measure - and friendships that last a lifetime...

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Amazing New Google Tool! Notebook...

I recently emailed my data-base about this wonderful new tool and I have to rant and rave on my blog as well... I am in love with this thing! I was notified in an e-mail about this tool – so I went in and test drove it. I always test what is out there before I announce it to you – Well it passed and it is WONDERFUL! I no longer have to copy the text and paste it into a word.doc.I do a lot of research so I can bring you the most up-to-date information. This is going to make my job so much easier… I bet you will find it fabulous yourself. Google Notebook actually makes it easy to clip and keep your notebook close at hand so you can do the continuous research you need in record time. Keep track of your favorite sites – with notes… You will have to have a Gmail account to take advantage of this fantastic tool… With all the great tools Google has to offer who does not have a Gmail account? It is amazing!! I have another Surprise for you coming soon – a cool little tool that will tell you if you website is optimized correctly… It will be on my new website, so stay tuned.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Design vs Content

OK... So the debate rages on. One type of person believes the design is not important it is the content that makes the difference..

Then the other type of person thinks the design is all that is important - the content is secondary. I hear it all the time and it...

Drives Me Crazy!!

Being an artist at heart I am very visual and so design is absolutely essential.

Being a business woman my clients and website visitors are important to me and I believe that content of the site and the information you give your clients is also absolutely essential.

Being a successful entrepreneur I know that design - image - content - navigation - uniqueness - credibility - great customer service - sharing your knowledge with others is absolutely essential to have a thriving - successful online-business (or even brick and mortar business).

So lets just look at it all ... If you want true success and a great business you need it all...

In fact the foundation needs to be built before you even begin building a website. This will be the foundation of your success.

  1. Who is your perfect client? (The answer is not everybody!)
  2. What make you different from the competition?
  3. What color would attract that type of client?
  4. What content will give you client the most value?
  5. What will bring on-line visitors back and turn them into clients?
  6. What type of navigation will be best to get my visitors information they need without having to search?

The list goes on...

The design of your website must be professional and polished,
when you take care of the foundation and make it strong; the rest will fall into place.

When you cut corners and you think you are saving money think again! Doing it right the first time just makes sense.

IF you want a thriving business with results then content, design and marketing work together, leaving out any of these elements will not bring you the amazing success you deserve!
To your success – and bottom line!

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fanstastic Seminar - James Ray

Wow! I went to a free seminar put on by James Ray and it was so powerful... His energy was high and he was quite funny. I was also impressed with his knowledge... One thing he said that has stuck with me is...

If you are not growing you are dying...

How true that is. When you are not pursuing your passion or trying to reach a goal think how stagnant and restless you become! Bored out of you mind... Another thing James Ray talked about was... If you want to be successful don't do what others do. Do the exact opposite and you will be successful (that is a par-phrase...). Really look at the people around you, are they where you want to be or do you want more?

I would suggest you go to James Ray's site and sign-up for his newsletter and look at his wonderful programs... He gave 110% at his free seminar and that my friends tells you a lot. He also has posts on his website about seminars coming through out the country see if you can see him in your town!

I find that when surrounding my self with positive knowledgeable people. I learn so much more and my energy and enthusiasm comes alive...

Garbage in garbage out...

Surround yourself with positive - successful people learn from them it is contagious!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Today I vow....

Being a designer and web developer I am so much like the mechanic who fixes other peoples cars, but has his car needing repairs back home!

I am now in the process of re-designing my website to reflect all the new changes that are going on in the design/marketing world.

We must face the fact that the orange carpet that was so groovy in the 60's really needs to go (not quite that bad). I

love my logo and the look and feel of my website - however I have no choice - it will be an updated - fresh - full of great information for whoever visits it.

I believe we must all face the fact that All business web sites need an occasional update and a really good going over to make sure it is SEO (search engine optimized) to modern standards as well as reflects the design trends of today (keeping the look and feel of your branding). You are branded aren't you?

When I take on a client(s) I really go full bore and get involved in meeting the needs of the project, with little time left for my own.

That is great for the client, I do pride myself in excellent customer service.

But an outdated - website isn't so great for impressing potential on-line visitors. Once I am done with my new improved website (it will have free reports and great resources).

I will let you know. You will want to take advantage of all the great things that will help your business be the success you want it to be! I am so ready for a fresh updated look and feel with all the new SEO techniques.

How about you??

Monday, June 11, 2007

Promotional Designer! What is that ?

I am an artist at heart and love design so design is my passion, I also am aware that a great website is only the beginning - the foundation of your business – without marketing it doesn’t matter how fabulous you are – or how great your widget.

I started out an artist – became a designer – studied with the best marketers online…

Learned SEO and everything in-between So now what do I call myself? How do I get my skills across in as few words as possible? …

Hmmm – I have got it!

I am a promotional designer! Thats my name for a designer that can create promotional material and design... A promotional designer!

I do print and web... Market – social media and SEO another conundrum!. That is how this blogs name was born… My hope it this blog will fill the need of many of you who do not know where to start in marketing your website or know just enough to be dangerous (a little information is a dangerous thing!). I want all you business owners to be able to email me for resources - comments and website questions. Simple or complex I will answer them and if I for some reason don't have the answer I will find the answers… My goal is to make this blog an exchange for all who would like to be in the know – entrepreneurs – small and big companies or businesses…

Or just individuals who would like to know more…

Lets share our expertise and build this blog as a resource for all…

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design