Why to Choose Joomla Over Other CMS?

Joomla is an open source content management system which is very popular among the website developers for developing highly functional and secure websites. The popularity of Joomla is reflected by the fact that clients can easily hire dedicated PHP programmers from India who can work proficiently on Joomla to create simple as well as complex websites. Joomla means “all together” and this is clearly visible in the working and development functionality of this CMS. Most of the times clients and budding developers ask “why to choose Joomla over other CMS”. Well, my answer would be because it allows the developers to build websites quickly, with a wide range of features and at a comparatively lower price than most of the other CMS.

Let’s discuss in detail why developers choose Joomla over other CMS:
Joomla has one of the largest communities, consisting of supports and developers, which makes it even more popular in the development community as PHP programmers can always take the help from this massive community if they have any issues. None of the other content management systems have such a big following.
Joomla has a very wide and diversified feature set that’s allows the developers all over the world to create a highly functional and robust website without using extensions. The built in WYSIWYG editor is highly user friendly and provides a highly flexible development platform to the developers. The content layout and the extensions library enhance the ease of development using Joomla.
Joomla provides a strong set of more than 4000 plugins and extensions that provide endless functionalities and perfection to the websites developed using Joomla. The endless sources of communities provide a strong support and high-end templates for Joomla development. Joomla has more Templates than both WordPress and Drupal combined together.
WordPress is a great CMS. Very easy to use and operate. But when it comes to developing complex websites then nothing compares with Joomla. WordPress must be used only for blogs and informational websites. Achieving much functionality with WordPress is time consuming, costly and mostly does not ends well.
Drupal is a serious contender of Joomla but by installing a single free extension, K2, a CCK (content construction kit), all the flaws of Joomla are removed and it towers high above Drupal. Drupal’s admin functionality is painful to operate and the frontend, backend distinction very unclear and confusing. Joomla is very clear and user friendly in all these criteria’s.
The most important and significant reason to choose Joomla would be the availability of resources. Although you can find many developers for WordPress and Drupal but the huge number of dedicated PHP programmers in India who are more than willing to work on Joomla will surely change your mind. As the learning curve of Joomla is not very long and once you learn it you can go on experimenting on it forever. This has made it an instant hit and a sort of craze among the developers. This has produced so many skilled, talented and innovative PHP programmers in India that finding the one perfectly suitable for you is always easy.

As more and more clients are looking to Hire dedicated PHP programmers from India therefore it is required from the clients to know what they want from their dedicated PHP developers before they go looking for one. If it is a complex website or a website with wide features and functionalities then going for a dedicated PHP programmer who is also an expert in Joomla would be the best option for clients.

Creating Websites That Can Sell For Millions Of Dollars

Getting over the $1-million hump may seem to be an easy task, if we go by the claims of self-proclaimed online millionaires. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. Turning your website into a virtual million-dollar cash cow is not a straightforward and simple undertaking. You have to put your heart and mind to the tasks at hand. It requires a great deal of patience and persistence to get to your expected target. The reason why a lot of people turn out websites with price tags that only run for a few hundreds or thousands of dollars is because they plunge into their online venture without the proper frame of mind.

You are off to a good start if you are able to create a website that turns in consistent and stable income while giving you a lot of spare time to do other things on the side. On the other hand, there may be some things that you are not doing right if you are going for multiple sites to reach your desired level of income from your online business venture.

Elements of a Million-Dollar Website

The price tag of a Website is normally pegged by determining its monthly earnings. A high-value website normally gets a price tag which is equivalent to its normal income or revenue for a 12 to 18-month period. Thus, if you have a website that generates a monthly income of $8,000, then you can offer such website for sale at a price of $96,000 to $144,000. The selling price naturally increases by the stated time variable as the earning or revenue of the said site increases.

Using this price template, you can easily see how much income your website should generate in order to hit the million-dollar mark. For instance, if you want to create a website that will give you revenue of $1 million in a year, then you must create a site that can generate a monthly income of at least $30,000. Setting the required income level is a nifty way of ensuring that you are within the range of your target selling price of your website.

Hitting the Million-Dollar Mark

There are actually thousands of options and ways by which you can create a million-dollar website. This six-figure virtual cash cow can be an expert content or news site that generates substantial revenue through paid adverts. It may also be a reputable discussion forum where you can charge forum members monthly fees or some kind of gaming site where you can collect fees every time members play a particular online game or earn income in exchange for the access to your Website.

The opportunities to monetize your website are endless, and you only need to establish your goals and objectives in order to get a good grip of the direction that you want to take in your online business venture.

Visuals Focused Website Design Is Never Very Popular

There are plenty of web development companies that work by the maxim that website design is all about visuals. Although, they come up with visually striking websites, none of their websites become really popular. For many, this comes as a surprise, but this is irrefutable proof that successful websites are never entirely dependent on the quality of their visuals.

A focus on visuals shifts the website designer’s attention from the various other facets that also play an important role in the popularity of a website. No doubt, visuals are important in attracting the attention of visitors, but once they are on the site, there are plenty of other factors that take over. Take for example the case of readability. This is also an important part of website design. Some designers sacrifice the legibility of the text for impressive visuals. They aren’t too concerned whether the website visitors are able to read the content on the website or not. This is where they make a big mistake. Visitors come to particular website to get more information and if this is not made available clearly, they don’t like that site and won’t come to the site again.

Another problem that might arise as a consequence of excessive focus on website’s visuals is that the message of the website can be lost or visitors will be unable to discern the message after being struck by an onslaught of visuals. A website delivers its message through a mixture of text and visuals. In fact visuals are used to enhance the message of the website, but unnecessary amount of visuals tend to hide this message leaving website visitors confused as to what the website is trying to say.

Yet another problem that excessive visuals can lead to is a lack of navigation convenience. Many-a-times visually extravagant sites tend to use visually innovative navigations buttons that a website visitor is not able to understand clearly. This defeats the purpose of the website as visitors take one look at these inconvenient buttons, appreciate them from the design angle but then close the site and go on to some other site that is better designed.

Bombarding visitors with striking visuals as soon as they land up on a website is never good news. The days of website visitors appreciating the visuals on a site and going through it purely on the basis on the visuals offered are long gone. What the website visitors are looking for now is an optimal user experience that helps them get what they need.

Hand in Hand: Web Development and Search Engine Optimization

Here’s a common practice we see with many businesses wanting to have an online presence: The client commissions a web developer to build a website from scratch. The developer completes the project and turns it over to the owner. The client then contacts a SEO specialist and finds out that there are some things that should be changed in the way that the site is built to make it more appealing to and easily readable for search engines and its bots. The client then contacts the developer to make changes to the site.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with that scenario. First off, if the client hired a freelance web developer, the former cannot be assured that the latter would be free by the time the client decides that there should be changes on the site with regards to search engine optimization. Another reason, what if the site is built around Flash and JavaScript? Then the SEO specialist tells the client that the way the site is built would not be able to rank well. It could mean starting from almost square one again.

My point is that before you commission someone to build a website, make sure that they are privy to on-page optimization. This is the part of SEO concerned about how the website is built and how it would be read by search engine bots. If they are not familiar with it, you can either look for another developer or have an SEO specialist work side by side with the developer.

Now, if you are already in the process of having a website built and you do not have the budget to hire a full-time SEO guy or gal, here are some tips to serve as a guideline to help you make your site more search engine friendly.

1. Have only one URI for your homepage. Yes, URI because a URL is a URI but a URI is not a URL but I digress. What it means that if I visited www(dot)yoursite(dot)com/index.html or www(dot)yoursite(dot)com/index or http: //yoursite(dot)com, it should point to only one page. You can set it with the www or without it, with /index.php, /index.html, or plain /index too but stick with only one. Your web developer should know how to do this.

2. When it comes to page size, keep it below 150 kilobytes. If you said that some websites have page sizes way more than that, it is because this sort of limit only applies to sites without significant authority. Yes, like the site that is yet to join the World Wide Web.

3. Content is king. While it can be appealing for a website to have all sorts of bells and whistles, if it has no readable content for search engine bots (written words/text), it would not rank well. So try to stay way from Flash intros.

4. Don’t drive people away. Yes, people (generally) love music and music is meant to be shared. But please, we don’t want our speakers coming to life without any warning. It can be very frustrating if you auto-play some sort of background music on your homepage. In this age when multi-tabbed browsing is the norm, it could be very frustrating going from tab to tab to see where that music is coming from.

Aside from these four, there are other things to consider in making your website more appealing for search engines. Do not be overwhelmed though since if you made the right decision in hiring a web developer or a web development team, they would know at least the basics of incorporating SEO tactics in web development. Then you can just pitch in the new things you learn along the way like the four pointers above.

A Transitory Scrutiny of Web Development Services

They modern business epoch in this century is all dependent on the most powerful IT tool called Internet. With the gradual development of this technology, website development has come forward to promote the business firms that resolutely depend on a rapport that is built through an online community. Today, with the support of the advanced technology, everybody willing to represent their brand can drop in a professional web development outsourcing needs at lesser cost and effort. A clear and logic information of any description can be strategically developed and help a client to professionally acknowledge their brand image.

Some of the areas where website development is ruling their proficiency:

(1) Mobile Application Development
(2) Flash
(3) Internet marketing
(4) Applications development and product support

It has lot much number of respectable factors that supports the modern industries. Some of them:

Expenditures: The primary advantage that helps the business establishment is to cut down operational costs. It has been analyzed that businesses that have embraced the web development services to sell their services have successfully saved a massive amount of their capital that is usually spent on marketing and other aspects that gives business leads. Overhead costs can be subsequently reduced that was initially a part of hiring, recruiting, salaries, P.F. etc. The process to offshore software application development services leads to a better position of your in-house activities as the cost of development is readily operated by acumen professionals.

Productivity: Productivity is the next benefit that can be termed as the secondary foundation stone of industries that offers web development solutions. The experts are readily available to undertake custom software application development process with a perfect balance with the maintenance and software testing. Testing is ensured so that your website performs well under all the conditions and this is possible only with the blessing of the adept website development professionals.

Proficiency: Web development outsourcing enables a company to master various segments of their IT that needs mandatory assistance in domains proficiency and programming language. All the modern day web applications are centered on Open source language. This implies that your firm just needs to pay a nominal development cost and that department will take care of all the activities from maintaining all the software solutions to publishing, upgrading, modification and other necessary functions to facilitate the website on the Internet. Technical assistance is one other aspect that is always benefited by these massive website development services.

How to Make a Website From Scratch

I don’t recommend beginners making your first website, or even your second website from scratch. When I say from scratch I mean, using Adobe Dreamweaver or another web design software. There are plenty of HTML web editors out there and I have tried many of them. I just like Dreamweaver the best.

Here are a number of reasons I don’t recommend beginners choose this option to design your sites.

Firstly, the learning curve is pretty steep. To even feel confident enough I took Web Development courses at my local community college. The courses take an average of 4 month long to go though. And one class is just starters to get you to feel somewhat comfortable creating a website from scratch.

In my first class we hand coded everything and only in the last 30 days of the class did we register for the free 30 day trial of Adobe Dreamweaver to build our last project.

So the learning curve is long and hard, because it’s like learning a language. HTML, XHTML, and CSS are called Markup languages.

If you choose to use either the WordPress platform or an all-in-one platform like SBI, it is still good to familiarize yourself with the basics.

W3schools.com has some good practice editors with examples for HTML and CSS. I would only concern yourself with HTML right now. XHTML is basically HTML, but with cleaner code requirements.

Secondly, to create your site from scratch you need to comb the web for tutorials, and sift through tons of content, while in the process getting side-tracked and swamped by information overload.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the free content, and even the paid content available, but the biggest problem for many people is information overload. It’s just too easy to get side-tracked, while your trying to figure out an answer to just one of your questions.

While we could be diligently creating pages via another way, were stuck trying to figure some coding problem.

One of my very first sites I coded from scratch was this shiatsu massage website. It is not dynamic (meaning when you create more content the page expands with the content). However, I designed all the graphics and template myself. It took two weeks to design and make all the elements work together. This was my first experience in paid website creation.

How to Make a Website from Scratch – Outsourcing your Work

A better option is to have a website designer or any graphic designer use Photoshop to design the template that you would like in Photoshop then. Give that.psd or Photoshop file to a Website Developer and have them “slice” it into a fast loading template that you can use to load into your HTML editor. Below is an example:

I did this with the Learn How To Make Quilts website. I had a brother in law who was a graphic designer, create a template in Photoshop.

Then, I went to oDesk and registered, and submitted my job request and what I wanted done. Within a few hours I had probably a dozen candidates bidding for my job. If you haven’t had used oDesk before, it is pretty sweet. You can find some AWESOME guys to do your specialized work for you.

Just pick a five star or high four star rated contractor with experience. You are able to view their scores on related proficiency tests, their portfolio, and feedback from previous employers. Choose someone you’ll be happy with.

I had 12 applicants apply:

I chose one who bid $17 to code it for me cleanly outside of Dreamweaver, so it would be ultra-fast loading with light code. I got back my file in less than a day, unzipped it and loaded it thru Dreamweaver and starting creating content on the new site within my new custom template.

Now, when I need some custom work done, I know I can count on my guy on oDesk to do quality, quick, efficient work for me; plus, he always over delivers on what I need or ask. So, finding a contractor with a good feedback record is really beneficial.

Outsourcing to meet some of your demands is really a great idea and for the money is totally worth it for me. Because, what would take me literally a week or more to figure out on my own, would take one of the awesome oDesk contractors, literally an hour or less.

How to make a website from scratch – Summary

If you choose to design your website from scratch you will need to:

Buy a domain name (All my sites are though GoDaddy, but I keep hearing more good things about NameCheap and will use them from now on. The problem with GoDaddy is everything is an upsell, at every step in the process they bombard you with more unnecessary add-ons.)

Buy Hosting (Many people use and recommend HostGator, however, I have recently moved to Web Hosting Hub and have had nothing but awesome U.S. based support experiences).

Get a free or purchase an HTML editor I’ve used: Evrsoft First Page 2006, which is free; CoffeeCup, has a free version and a paid version for $50; Dreamweaver, is $399, and I’ve tried a multitude of other free editors. I liked Evrsoft First Page 2006 the best for the free editors, but still was unstable enough for me to finally buy Dreamweaver. I bought the discounted student version of Dreamweaver with my proof of student elgibility, and then later the Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium.

Possibly hire outsourced contractors For the “dirty” work. The main reason for outsourcing your “dirty” work is because your time is valuable. and let an experience expert do it for you, much more quickly. If you are really just itching to learn on your own, then I recommend taking a community college course and/or visiting W3CSchools.com – on how to make a website from scratch, with some of their learning tools and mini editors.

Why Work Closely With a Website Development Company

Computers are like cars: everybody thinks they know everything they need to until theirs stops working for them. This concept starts with basic functions and continues right up until you hit more niche areas of computing like website development and Internet marketing. Everyone who has taken a website design course thinks they can build the perfect website – but be warned – there is more to making the Internet work for your business than you think!

Maybe you have heard of Search Engine Optimisation before and maybe you have heard of key phrases and traffic driving. Content Management Systems (CMS), social media marketing, AdWords, article marketing and traffic monitoring; these are all important terms that you should know about before going ahead with the development of your business’ website.

It’s not enough to get a nice homepage and throw it online anymore – Internet marketing has become a cut-throat business. Web traffic has become an important commodity and, with so many businesses vying for a user’s time and through sheer market saturation it has become nearly impossible for someone to succeed on their own.

A web presence is like any other form of advertising in that it is a reflection of yourself and your business. Creating something that appeals to customers and lets them know that you are a serious and professional candidate for their spend means developing a comprehensive and effective Internet marketing campaign. This is why so many businesses choose to work with specialised web development and search engine marketing companies to succeed online.

A lot of apprehension exists because, understandably, businesses want to retain control of their image. Web development companies empathise with this and aim to work with you to help shape and evolve your ideas so that they translate online effectively. Understanding your user is invaluable just like understanding your customer in the real world. A website development company will be able to help you turn that real world understanding into an electronic one.

From simple things like choosing keywords that make your website easier to find through Search Engines to forming a social media marketing strategy for your company, having the expertise of a web development team can help your business do wonders online.

Don’t let yourself be poorly represented in one of the largest markets available to you. Put in the effort and take the time to ensure a successful online image. Create your online image with a website development company for the best results.

Promoting Your Photographic Website

The basic objective of any business website is to

A) generate traffic and
B) convert that traffic into business.

Just because you’ve designed an awesome looking website does not mean you’ll generate business. Some of the most breathtaking views in nature are rarely seen because of their location. The same goes for your new website if you don’t promote it effectively.

Pay Per Click

One means of promoting your website is to use a service such as Google AdWords or Facebook Pay Per Click. These are expensive but effective. If you can afford it, you can ensure a steady flow of targeted traffic to your website.

Google AdWords enables the fine tuning of settings to ensure that only people who have displayed interest in a particular key word will have your advertisement displayed to them. You can also restrict certain keywords from showing up your particular ad. For example, I don’t want anybody who searches on the term ‘cheap photographer’ to see my ad – so I set it as a negative keyword on Google AdWords. Likewise I don’t want people searching for ‘sexy photographs’ to see my boudoir collection, so that is set as a negative password too.

With Facebook you can target your ads to a specific demographic which is also very handy. The majority of my clients are women over the age of 18 who live in Johannesburg South Africa, so with Facebook Pay Per Click, I can target that specific demographic easily.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The most effective (non-paying) way of ensuring visibility is to get your site ranking high on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. This is a lot easier said than done.

Your ranking depends on a few things: a well designed website with appropriate page titles and headings containing relevant keywords, the relevance of your content to your keywords, and the number and quality of other websites providing a link to your website.

To the initiate, designing your website in the right way is challenge with a steep learning curve. But it is possible to get this done in a few weeks of work. In a few days of tinkering around, I managed to get the Webgrader rating of our website from 32 to 62, so it IS possible.

The greater challenge of course is the provision of backlinks. There are a number of companies who advertise that they can provide thousands of backlinks for a relatively small price. All I can say is beware. Search engines are designed to rate your backlinks on their quality, and backlinks to a low-quality ‘link farming’ site are worthless. Some of these offers may even result in your site being blacklisted.

The most recommended means of generating backlinks is to actually provide relevant and contemporary content that people would actually want to link to. And writing a blog is one of the best ways to do this.

An entire industry has formed around the fine tuning of the SEO rankings of websites. Being seen is critical, and anybody who can do it for you in the right way is probably worth paying for.

Why All Website Contact Forms Should Look Like This

How much time did you spend considering the contact page of your website? I’m guessing not that much. In this article I’d like to encourage you to think again.

Website design can be an exhilarating experience for both the web designer and the soon-to-be new site owner. However in all the excitement the humble contact form is often overlooked. The significant function that this form carries out and it’s direct relation to the success of your business would suggest it requires more thoughtful consideration.

Minimize friction to maximize sales leads

One of the general tenets of website strategy is to “reduce friction”, that is to allow website visitors to navigate and complete website goals with ease. In the case of your website’s enquiry form, this is achieved by ensuring the form is as brief as possible. Too many form fields naturally put people off. (Recently I encountered one with a massive 32 fields but that’s another story.)

Because of this your website’s contact form probably only consists of name, email and your enquiry fields. Which is a good start but at this point I’d suggest a fraction more friction.

How you’ve lost a prospective customer without doing anything bad

The purpose of your website’s contact form is to deliver sales leads into your business. Sometimes, even though prospects successfully complete the form – and submit it – you lose them. Why? Simple human error. Not yours but theirs: they’ve typed their email address incorrectly.

Fast forward to a few days later and your prospect is already beginning to dislike your service. They may even start complaining to friends, colleagues or (worse still) to everyone via Social Media. This is poison for your business and your reputation.

Seen from their point of view it’s understandable: they sent an enquiry days ago and nobody in your company has replied. From your point of view, you may well have replied but as their email was incorrectly typed you have no other way of contacting them.

It’s true, there may also be a contact phone number field in your enquiry form but generally frequency of this is low. Prospects can also be reluctant to complete this for fear of sales calls.

Why a little more friction will secure more sales leads for you

The simple addition of a second form field is all that is needed. Asking users to type their email address again will encourage more careful typing. Granted, it’s not foolproof as some may simply copy and paste the first into the second. However, its a fix that requires the minimum of effort – a small price for getting a few more leads.

Don’t change your enquiry form until you’ve read this last little bit

Your contact form is also an opportunity for you, the business owner to find out where your prospects are coming from. A straightforward “how did you here about us” will tell you all you need to know about the success (or not) of your current marketing. Use a dropdown menu to list specifics. e.g. Google Search, Radio Ad, Referral, Newspaper ad etc to get the most from this crucial touchpoint.