ec Newsletter #21
Hello from a sunny Gisborne.
Welcome to new subscribers on the mailing list - I hope you get some great ideas for your web projects from these newsletters - don't forget to forward them to your friends.
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5 tips (or more) to make you a better webmistress (or webmaster)
There’s always too little time – or too much to do that is filling all our available time.
A web site that doesn’t get updated slowly falls down the usefulness scale – just as fast as it falls down the Google search results.
We’ve given you some great tools to update and grow your web site – what we can’t give you is more time in your day – but here’s a few tips and tricks that we use to get you using the web a little more efficiently.
Google (in particular and also true now of other search engines) likes web site that are growing – this doesn’t have to be by much – perhaps only a page or two every couple weeks or a couple of News items would help.
If you are not updating or adding to you site Google sees that nothing has changed and therefore will visit your web pages less frequently to index the content.
Human visitors may also visit twice – and if they see nothing changed on that second visit from their first visit they may go elsewhere for the answers to their questions – and you lose a potential customer.
Using our content management tools – and implementing the tips below won’t take long – it’s always a good idea to set aside a set time to add to the web site each week (or every couple of weeks).
So perhaps every Friday afternoon – or maybe every Wednesday morning take some time to review what you’ve been doing and find something to add to your site.
That way your web site will continue to grow in usefulness and become more and more effective over time.
Using a Web Site folder on your computer to hold updates
If you haven't already you should create a folder on your computer where you put all the content that you want to have on your web site.
This could be word processing documents, spreadsheets, copies of emails or even photos and other images.
Save all of these in the normal place you would save them – then use the “File, Save-as” dialogue box from the menu of whatever program you are using to edit / view the item.
In this way you can have all of the new information in one place when you come to updating the web site.
If you get into this practise is makes it quicker and easier to add to your web site – and you get a bonus 5 points of you then move the items that you have added to your web site into a history folder under the web site folder so you then have a backup and history of updates.
Using the News Components rather than updating a Web Page
The News Components in the E-C Toolset is a very quick and easy “fill-in the gaps” way to add content to any page on your web site.
These can be added to any page and when you add a particular News Item you tick the box for the page that you want them to display on – a really easy way to add content to your homepage or for a News Page within your web site.
You could create a “Where to find our products” page that contains a News Component and add new resellers or event attendance to that page.
Use a “What’s New” web page rather than News Components
For some people the News Component is a little limiting – especially if you want to add more than a single image with the News Item – so you may want to have a News Page with the newest content being added at the top and running to the older content at the bottom.
This could then be text, links or photos and allow a more freeform approach than using the News Component.
Processing Photos for your Web Site
Many of you now have some really good digital cameras – and the quality of photos coming off even the cheapest camera these days makes for very large file sizes.
If we haven’t already suggested to you to use Pixresizer have a look at our Help sheet.
Ideally you would clear your camera every so often and arrange the photos into logical galleries on your computer.
I use the year followed by a description of the event (or one of children’s names) so that I can review the photos easily.
When wanting to use a photo for the web site – open the photo straight from the folder (or off the camera if you’re in a hurry) then use the “File, Save-as” idea from above to save that into your “web site” folder.
Then manipulate that image to “web-ify” the image – so crop it to bring the subject closer and remove space from the sides, then resize it to make it fit onto the page – and finally optimise if for fast downloading.
In this way you are not doing that activity on the original image – which is still at full camera size to be used for a print campaign or other use.
(If you tried to use a web ready image for commercial printing the quality is really bad…!)
Sending someone directly via a Link to a page
Don’t be afraid to send people directly to a page on your web site that has the information for them – rather than just saying “It’s on our web site” take the time to visit your site and cut and paste the web address out of the browser bar at the top of the screen.
(You know – the “www.domainname.co.nz/pagename.asp” bit)
This saves them time and ensures they get straight to the information you intent them to see – and if they have spare time and your web site is compelling they may even look around at the other content on your web site.
This also work well for advertising or promotion – but try and avoid the “pagename.asp” by using a folder on your web site to link directly to a section – such as: -
Most common browser these days either offer a spell checker as part of the browser – or you can install a third party toolbar such as the Google Toolbar to help with that.
Having bad spelling on your web site is a turn off and reflects your professionalism – cut and pasting (using the "Paste from Word" feature) also helps minimise this issue.
Lastly – just ask…!
If there’s anything in this newsletter that you want more clarification on then please press the reply button and let me know and I can go into some more depth for that.
Also let us know of any topics you’d like us to cover in the future…
Here's the dates and times of our next Webinars about Webinars:
Fri, Mar 27, 2009 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM NZDT
Fri, Apr 3, 2009 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM NZDT
Fri, Apr 10, 2009 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM NZDT
Here are a few ideas how you could use Webinars:
A wedding caterer could use them for prospective customer once per week to run through their full service list with example photos of layouts and options for that special day.
A bed and breakfast operator could host a Webinar with a walk though of the rooms available as well as some ideas of local sights and places to visit.
A professional services consultant could use the Webinar to give some tips and hints about improving their customer's bottom line.
If a new client visited your web site they could register online for the upcoming Webinar easily and quickly.
If a potential new client contacts you during the week then let them know the Webinar will be available - it's a great way of getting engagement in an interactive way.
The way we were - www.nzonscreen.com
Ahh the gold ol’ days – this site has many magic moments in NZ television, film and documentary. I especially like this one: -
Great viewing and a great time…
For our international readers there’s also: -
(Many of the vid’s are not playable outside the US)
It’s great to see that Split Enz “History Never repeats “was one of the first songs played on MTV during their first 24 hours – at number 13 and at number 25 was the “Enz” with “One Step Ahead”…!
Bonus "Bonus Offer"
We need new clients! Who do you know that needs a new web site that really works...?
If you refer a new client to us we'll give you (and them) six months of free web hosting when we launch their new web site - just ensure that they let us know you referred them...
If you like these newsletters then please do forward it onto a friend...
Have you seen the E-C Help section lately...?
It is available at www.ectoolset.com/help/
We've also archived these newsletters at www.ectoolset.com/news/
That's it for now - please do let us know what you think of the newsletter - and of the e-c toolset and thanks for your business...!
Cheers and thanks again