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How To Add Bullets to Your Website Pages using HTML

How To Add Bullets to Your Website Pages using HTML

Learn how to add bullets to your website pages when the simple bullet or numbering just won’t do.

UPDATE 2017:  Adding bullets to your WordPress website is much easier now by using any one of several plugins.

Most website builders and all content management systems will have point and click menus where you can select whether you’d like a bullet list or a numerical list, but what about those times when you’d like something a little fancier?

Here I show you how to edit the HTML behind the scenes and create lists like those shown below. Simply access your html code and make the changes by altering the TYPE= code as shown below.

Lists displayed are using the <ul> or the <ol> tags.

Samples of different kinds of bullets using the <ul> tag


Default Bullet

Square Bullets

Circular bullets

  • Build Website
  • Create Marketing Plan
  • Decide on Social Media options
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Posterous
  • Youtube
  • Blogging
This is what the HTML code looks like:

<ul type=”disc” >
<li>Build Website</li>
<li>Create Marketing Plan</li>
<li>Decide on Social Media options</li>

This is what the HTML code looks like:

<ul type=”square”>

This is what the HTML code looks like:

<ul type=”circle”>
<li>Posterous </li>
<li>Youtube </li>
<li> Blogging</li>

Samples of
different kinds of bullets using the <ol> tag


Points in alphabetical order

Points in Roman Numerals

  1. Video Tutorials
  2. Client Newsletters
  3. Your Biz Hot Tips Videos
  1. Add Content Weekly
  2. Blog Daily
  3. Add Video Tips Weekly
  1. Answer Questions
  2. Create FAQs
  3. Communicate via Twitter
  1. Create Autoresponder
  2. Create Newsletter
  3. Create Teleseminar
This is what the HTML code looks like:

<ol type=”a”>
<li>Video Tutorials</li>
<li>Client Newsletters</li>
<li>Your Biz Hot Tips Videos</li>

This is what the HTML opening code looks like:

<ol type=”A”>
<li>Add Content Weekly</li>
<li>Blog Daily</li>
<li>Add Video Tips Weekly</li>

This is what the HTML opening code looks like:

<ol type=”i”>
<li>Answer Questions</li>
<li>Create FAQs</li>
<li>Communicate via Twitter</li>

This is what the HTML opening code looks like:

<ol type=”I”>
<li>Create Autoresponder</li>
<li>Create Newsletter</li>
<li>Create Teleseminar</li>

If you can access the HTML of your web page, then you can certainly make your bullet list more interesting.

Did “How To Add Bullets to Your Website Pages” help you?

I do hope so!

Post a comment below or pop over to Facebook to let me know if you were able to do this on your website. I’d love to hear about it.



Is your website missing out? Check out the 33 Top Website Tips & give your site a check-up.

Video example for a coffee shop

Here’s a Video example for a coffee shop I made for a local cafe

These Explainer Videos can entice people to your website, Facebook page and your offline business — let me know if you have any questions, we can create something fabulous for you, too!

Do you have a Cafe or other business and like the idea of videos?

We also create animated videos and whiteboard videos, Call To Actions, Intro and Outro videos to go on either side of a video you might make with your smart phone.

How to Back Up All Your Social Media Automatically

Back up all your social media today

I was talking with my friend Pete last week about Facebook where he’d recently been building some excellent content and conversations for one of his clients.

Why You Need to Back up All Your Social Media Data starting today

I reminded him that all content created on Facebook is pretty much owned by Facebook — and what I mean by that is that he has very little control over what happens to it.

When the page scrolls on a Facebook business page, all that content is “gone”, out of sight, can’t be searched, can’t be used by the person/people who created it … and what a shame that is!

One suggestion I had was to back-up his Facebook content and add some of it to the business blog, over which they have total control.

Why is this so important?

My reasons for saying this (which some might think are crazy statements) is that if Facebook (or any other site where you build a lot of content) disappears over night, is bought out, etc then you lose all the hard work, all those comments, all those relationships.

Yes social media can be great for business, but the ultimate goal should be to encourage all those followers (and folks with whom you have conversations) to visit your WEBSITE and sign up for juicy content or something to ease a pain or problem the potential subscriber might have.

For example, start a conversation on Facebook then offer a PDF or other piece of media along the lines of the “Top 3 Reasons You’ll Want To Know How To XYZ” (where you come up with the “XYZ”).

If you follow this technique, you now legitimately have the email name of the person, and you don’t need Facebook to be the go-between. This is crucial so that if Facebook (or other social media websites) disappears or changes their algorithm or rules overnight, you’ll still have access to that person who enjoyed the initial conversation and who signed up on your site to know more.

How to get Facebook followers to sign up on your website? Stay tuned!

I’ll be writing more about how to do this in a future post, but THIS POST is about how to BACK UP all that juicy data on Facebook and other social media accounts, so it’s not lost to you forever.

Back to the main story:  How to Back Up All Your Social Media Automatically

There is a clever solution online just waiting for you to discover it, use it and love it 🙂

It will back-up your data on all your social media accounts — and then continue to do it automatically until you tell it to stop.

What’s not to love?

It’s called Frostbox and is only $US6.99 per month or $US69.99 per year (as at April 2014), for ALL the data you need to archive.

Frostbox is :

  • automatic
  • inexpensive
  • a one-stop service for backing up your social media accounts, Gmail accounts and  Evernote accounts in one easy-to-use platform.

Go sign up today — and take back control of ALL the great content you’ve been creating on other websites!

Please note Frostbox currently backs up Personal Profiles on Facebook, and will shortly be implementing back ups for Facebook Pages (for businesses, events etc).

Back up all your social media from these accounts

 Your Say about Social Media Back Ups

Do you use something else for back ups of social media data? I’d love to hear what you use and your experience with it – pop a message in the box below or contact me on Facebook, Twitter etc.

Step-by-Step Lesson How to Prepare for Media Mentions about Your Product Or Service

This week’s Podcast is about getting unexpected media mentions (and whether your website is prepared) plus two other questions I’ve received recently.

Unexpected Press Coverage & other stories

Listen to the Podcast:

How To Prepare for Media Mentions about Your Product Or Service

If you’re mentioned online or offline in newspapers, articles, Press Releases or any other place, it’s important to know WHO visits your websites as this is free advertising.  Being able to capture the visitor’s email name is your most important task.
  • Have a website or blog or somewhere else you can capture email names
  • Create an irresistible offer – something your web visitors would LOVE, something which solves their problem, need or question
  • Try a PDF, a video, a checklist or other piece of valuable information you can share to show your expertise
  • Sign up for a Newsletter service, set up some automated emails to keep the subscribers interested over a period of days or weeks
  • Add the Sign-Up Form to your website, blog etc
  • Make sure the Sign-up Notifications are sent direct to your email name
  • Remember to follow up and ASK QUESTIONS to make sure you know exactly what your web visitors are looking for, and then PROVIDE what they need to solve their problem, need etc
  • Don’t try to sell your product or service in the first email, build up a relationship over several emails, allow them to get to know, like and trust you
  • wait for at least 3 emails before telling them about your “paid solution” for them
  • go back to them regularly, as it can take more than 7 points of contact before someone buys from you;  some people might not buy for weeks or months, so it’s your job to provide great information in the meantime to help them to understand you’ve got the best solutions for them.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions 🙂



5 Website Design Mistakes To Avoid

Making website design mistakes isn’t only done by new website owners, it can happen to anyone.

Here are 5 website design mistakes to avoid, whichever stage you’re at in building or owning a website – I hope these help – let me know if you have any questions.

Website design software is everywhere, and so are website design companies.
You can even design your own website for free, if you so desire, on many different site builders.
Considering the many options that exist, it’s completely understandable that small business owners often feel a sense of confusion when it comes to building a website.
While there are many extremely desirable elements to website design, there are also some things you should avoid.
Here are five website design mistakes you should be careful never to make.

Web Design Mistake #5:  Using PDF Files Instead of Pages

This one really bugs me – and it can be avoided so easily!

It might be tempting to scan existing documents into pdf format and upload them onto your website.
Give visitors a link to click, and up comes your pdf.
Easy, right?  Wrong!  People hate finding pdf’s on websites.
They take a long time to load, and they can be hard to read.
Take the time to create a new page that contains the pertinent information.
You can build links and backlinks, add great photos, and make your page a pleasure to visit instead of an irritation.
Annoyed visitors leave a site and look for a better one – so skip the pdf’s.

Mistake #4:  Using Bookish Text

People want information fast.
They want to scan your site and see whether you have what they are looking for.

  • Do not make your site look like the page of a book.
  • Keep it interesting.
  • Use photos and vary the text size to highlight different areas of your page.
  • Use bulleted lists and quick paragraphs with headers that tell the visitor what they’re going to find under that heading.
  • Make your site interactive.

The more fun people have when they visit your site, the more successful it will be.

Mistake #3:  Building A Flashy Site That Is Too Complicated For Users To Navigate

You can have the most beautiful looking website in the world, but without elements that are properly built using proven website design techniques, your site will be just more pretty pictures – and the internet is full of those!
People want to go to a site, find what they are looking for, and leave.
The better and faster the internet gets, the faster people expect sites to work.

Mistake #2:  Preventing Smartphone Users From Accessing Your Site

This is a relatively new mistake in website design, and if you’ve got a website now, it’s worth looking into.
Can people who surf the web on their iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or other smartphone get into your site?
Can they find what they’re looking for, and navigate well?
If not, your site needs first aid.

Mistake #1:  Not Hiring A Professional To Handle Website Design

You might want to help your buddy who is learning about website design build his portfolio by building you a website, and while that might be OK if he has some experienced guidance…
it also might ruin your chances of ending up with a great site that is both user friendly and high ranking.
These days, website design is about a lot more than looking good.
Hire a professional, and your site will do exactly what you need it to – gain you business, and increase your bottom line.

Your Say

Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for website design mistakes you’ve come across online? I’d love to hear from you, so please do post a comment below.

How do I automate my social media?

Great tips to automate social mediaAre you overwhelmed with trying to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google + and Youtube? Phew! Me too! I’m exhausted just saying them all out loud 🙂

There are a couple of very simple ways to automate some of your social media, to save you time, and free your brain up for more important things, like bringing money into the business.

Here are some tools you might be able to use in your business:

Automate with Twitter

  1. allows you to automatically follow people who follow you, as well as  send direct messages automatically to your new followers. This is mostly a Twitter tool, and if you upgrade to the professional edition it will help automate Facebook as well.
  2. is a tool dedicated to Twitter, provides reach and impressions stats, plus it alerts you whenever someone tweets a link to your website, identifies influencers and integrates with Google Analytics to show how Twitter activity is affecting your site’s traffic.

Automate with Facebook

  1. You can now schedule Facebook posts within Facebook itself – here’s a great article by Mashable showing you how to do it —
  2. may not totally automate all of your social networks, but
    is marvellous in making the most out of your Facebook presence. Vitrue helps to
    moderate the comments on your Facebook page, as well as send targeted messages to people who have “liked” your business page.

Automating several social media channels

  1. I love – I’ve been using it for several years now, and it’s been one of the best business tools I’ve used. With this tool you can mange multiple social media channels on the same dashboard.
  2. is another one-click publishing application, and it is a very
    popular site for aggregating several social media channels. It allows you to simultaneously update accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Flickr through the dashboard online, text message, email or instant message.

Your Say

What do you use to automate or streamline your social media activity? Feel free to share your tips and experience here – thanks in advance!


SEO Training Course for Beginners

Searching for an SEO Training Course which makes sense?

What is SEO? Build your own website. Learn to understand SEO in bite-sized piecesI love to teach people about SEO, because I like to explain how it works in the simplest possible way, so that everyone — including newbies — can understand.

I love it when a Student “gets it” in this training — it’s such a joy to know I’ve helped someone else understand enough about SEO to help them with their website and business online.

My next SEO Training Course for Beginners is scheduled to launch on:

  • Friday 30th August 2013
  • Course Fee is $US97.00
  • Early Bird fee is $US85.00 (if you pay before Monday 26th August 2013)
  • secure your place today – make your Secure payment online and type in the amount:

In this comprehensive video training program you will:

  • Find out what SEO is, how it works, and why you actually have a lot more control over your search results than you think you have.
  • Discover the best free tools for thinking like your ideal clients, and finding those juicy keywords they are likely to type into search engines – so they can find YOU.
  • Learn the super-duper easy-peasy step-by-step breakdown of how I write my blog posts for maximum readability and SEO benefits – you too will be able to do this as soon as you finish my Course.
  • Find out the one free thing you must have in place if you want to Google to be your website’s best friend.


Sign up today!

See you on the Course!

Teena Hughes

Testimonials from happy clients of Teena HughesTeena your SEO training works! I just had to write to you as I am so excited! I just searched for my main 3-word keyword phrase and my site is now Postion 1 & 2 on both and – out of 1.5 MILLION results!!! I can’t believe it and I can’t thank you enough for your SEO Training!! Update  March 2013 – none of my pages have been affected by all the Google algorithm changes – Teena’s SEO was done properly, and brings new traffic every day!)
Anca, AnkaDanka Designs, Australia
Testimonials from happy clients of Teena HughesI want to give a quick video testimonial for Teena – we met about a year ago – whenever we catch up I just walk away with so much information. She gives away so many gems she’s priceless. One idea Teena gave me in the first 5 minutes of one of our meetings was an idea for a new business which was using Skype to create video production. Thanks Teena — I know you give away so much information on your website and in your blogs, thanks for your great work!
Matt, Ezi Web Video, Australia


Testimonials from happy clients of Teena HughesTeena’s “How to Create SEO-Friendly Images” Video Course:  I thought I was doing this the right way (that is, uploading the images for the website), taking time re-naming them etc. Then I saw this video Teena created and quickly realized I got it all wrong! What I had done did not make any sense. Thank you Teena for showing me the light !!! I am now carefully going through all the images and giving them the correct name that will correspond with the SEO. I can not thank you enough Teena. You are always thinking of making our lives easier.
Sigrun Elivogar, Iceland
Testimonials from happy clients of Teena HughesTeena, thank you for all your help with my website, you’ve been wonderful in guiding us through our first foray into the web and making it all a little less scary! I love your Newsletter! My most immediate result from your fabulous tips was using the 30 Second Elevator Pitch!
Kim Mullins, Australia
Testimonials from happy clients of Teena HughesHello Teena, thank you for your time and patience! Getting great reviews for the website!  The video was perfect. THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES!!!
Chris Mdaps, USA
Testimonials from happy clients of Teena HughesTeena provides fantastic pre-customer service that is unbelievable.  Helpful and knowledgeable are two qualities that don’t always go hand in hand, yet Teena has an unbeatable combination … I would recommend you speak to Teena first and last.  Thanks so much, Teena, you’ve helped so much.
Narelle Stratford, Sydney

What is SEO?

Are you wondering what on earth SEO is?

Are you scratching your head every time you hear this and still asking, “What it SEO”?

I’m going to break this down into simple explanations which I hope will help you.

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization explained in such an easy-to-understand way, you’ll finally “get it”! Learn about long tail keywords, Meta Tags and other SEO tips

PS — If you’d rather have someone teach you in a video tutorial, you might also want to join my next SEO TRAINING COURSE for Beginners >>

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization means the techniques used to make your individual web & blog pages “search-engine friendly”.

When the search engine robots visit each of your pages, they look for certain key bits of information.

If your pages have all the correct information in the right places (in the HTML behind the scenes of each page, called Meta Tags), and it matches the CONTENT of that web page, then the search engine ROBOT says, “AHA! Now I know what THIS PAGE is about!” – and it proceeds to add you to the right search category for the content.

This means that when someone searches for something and it MATCHES your Meta Tags AND your Content, then you will appear in the Search Engine Results Pages (known as SERPs).

(PS — The search engines look at other factors but I don’t want to confuse you will too much information just yet.)

Next chunk of information about SEO 🙂

OK – so now your web page is added to the results pages when someone searches and there’s a match.

What if there are hundreds, thousands or millions of OTHER web pages which ALSO match the search?

How will your web page climb up to Page 1 or 2 or even 3 of ALL those search results?

These are all excellent questions, and this is where I can tell you some of the ways to make sure your web or blog page starts to climb up through the ranks of all the other results, until it reaches page 1.

I have achieved this on websites by using long-tail keywords and will give you a few examples in the video.

What are long-tail keywords? or long-tailed keywords?

Another great question 🙂

Imagine your web page is about making red shoes – so you use “red shoes” as the keywords for that one page.

Can you possibly imagine how MANY pages might mention those two words SOMEWHERE on the page?

That’s right – millions of pages on websites and blogs. As at today – 29th May 2010 – there are 71,300,000 – that’s over 71 million pages with those two words on them – WOW!:

What  is SEO -- Example of search engine results for "red  shoes"

So this is where we need to brainstorm a bit – how can we break through the barrier and be found at the TOP of these results, rather than at the bottom?

What is unique about your red shoes? What else might customers be looking for?

The first thing you need to do is start writing down all the questions which people might type into a search engine:

  • and we’re assuming that they’ve never heard of you
  • they don’t know your name
  • they don’t know your website name
  • they don’t know your brand name.

Here are a few thoughts I just had – you might come up with more ideas of what people might search for:

  • comfortable red shoes
  • bright red shoes
  • dark red shoes
  • flat red shoes
  • highheel red shoes
  • wide red shoes
  • red shoes for men
  • red shoes for women
  • red shoes for children
  • etc etc etc.

Can you start to see how many WAYS people might search for ‘red shoes’? Let’s view a few more examples of the same keyword when I add other words to the phrase:

What  is SEO? Example of search engine results for  "comfortable red shoes"

Above: by adding the word “comfortable”, the search results are just under 2 million web pages.

Note:  These groups of 2, 3, 4 or more words in one search are known as “long-tail keywords”, because they are LONGER than 1 or 2 words.

Does this make sense so far?

So now you’re probably wondering …

“How can I use long-tail keywords for my website pages?”

After you’ve brainstormed all the things people might type to look for your red shoes, you need to think about a few other factors.

Do you have a store, or do you sell at the markets or in a location where people can find you? If the answer is “Yes,” then you can ALSO add your LOCATION to your long-tail keywords.

This will narrow down their search results, and the chances are your web page is already climbing the ranks and will now be competing with FEWER websites.

What  is SEO? Example of search engine results for   "comfortable red shoes in chicago"

Above: by adding the words “in chicago”, the search results have dropped to 125,000 web pages.

What  is SEO? Example of search engine results for   "comfortable high heel red shoes in chicago"

Above: by adding the words “high heel”, the search results have amazingly dropped to 32,700 web pages. This is much less competition!

So the more unique your page is, the more unique your keywords become, and your web page will be found closer to the top of the results.

I know you’re thinking, “Thirty two thousand competing web pages??!#” – but trust me, there are OTHER ways we can help your page climb the ranks (which I’ll tell you about in the next lesson).

Great news!

If there are less than 300,000 results (pages using same keywords), you have a chance of climbing up through the pages of search results!

< 300,000

This – in a nutshell – is what long-tail keywords are all about.

So to use this on your site, instead of making the focus of your page ‘red shoes’, you make the focus ‘comfortable red shoes in chicago’ (you can also use your zip code or postal code so that you’ll be found for searchers who type that in too).

See how clever this is?

As to HOW to use your new long-tail keywords, you will need:

  • to have access to your Meta Tags on your website pages so that you can Edit them yourself (or have someone help you with this)
  • to do some research in the search engines’ results to make sure which long-tail keywords have the LEAST competition, so you will have MORE chance of climbing up through the page results
  • to have patience – this could happen quickly or it may take some time; if you choose to start updating each and every web page you have, it will take time to research and edit your pages, and then wait to see some results.

The bottom line is that if you learn how to do this then you will be able to do search engine optimization on your own site or blog – and then benefit from the results.

Best of luck!

Teena Hughes

PS – if you’d like to find out MORE about SEO, sign up below for my SEO IN BITE-SIZED PIECES Tips or join my next SEO TRAINING COURSE for Beginners >>

How to Optimize Your Blog for Google


 Optimize Your Blog for Google: A Guide for New Bloggers

Hopefully your small business has finally gone online, and you’re starting to see some success — congratulations!
Let’s take a few minutes to discuss blogging as a tool for marketing your products and services.
In talking to business owners I have found that there is some confusion about blogs:

  • what they are
  • why they exist
  • and whether or not blogging is beneficial.

So I bet you might be asking — what Is A Blog?

A blog, short for “Web log” is a way to inform the world about what you have to offer.
It’s usually written in an informal, easy to read format.
Many people like to include a shot of humor into their blogs, while others are all about business or promoting special deals.
In a nutshell, a blog is a way to get people to notice your company.
If it’s fun and entertaining to read, or if it contains special information that the customer has not been able to find anywhere else, you’re likely to have made a new friend for your business.
This being said, you’ve got to know how to write and use your blogs so that Google notices them and picks them up when people are searching for the product or service you are trying to promote.

You can write all day, but if you don’t optimize, you’re basically wasting your time.


Why Is Optimization Important?

  • Optimization gets you noticed.
  • People who are searching for what you have to offer will click on the results that show up at the top of their search – so you want to place yourself or your business into a position to get those clicks.
  • You want to be noticed!
  • If you don’t optimize, your blog won’t be helpful.
  • Sure, you may have some customers who know about it follow and comment, but you won’t be using it as an effective marketing tool.
  • You’ll never be able to attract new business with a blog that is not optimized.

Top Optimization Tips

* Be specific! Name your location (suburb, town, zip or postcode) and your service/s specifically.
* Find out what keywords are most often associated with your business, and use them!
* Don’t be afraid to get help. An experienced SEO person or team (whom you hire) can be worth their weight in gold – you’re paying them for their expertise, so you don’t have to stress about SEO any more.

With just a little bit of knowledge about blogs and optimisation, you might be able to see how important it is to ensure you’re creating the right kind of information-rich blog posts and web pages, and optimising them correctly.

Have Your Say

If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you, so don’t be shy 🙂

Comment on this post, or tweet me on Twitter, or catch up on my Facebook page — I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts about how to optimize your blog for Google and the other search engines.




How does a website work?

How does a website work

If you’ve never built a website before, you first question is probably, “How does a website work?”

Whenever I’m contacted by new potential website owners, I like to share diagrams and outlines to explain the process and what goes into building a site. Some people come to me who already have either a sketch, or a list of things they’d like, or a few website links of websites they like – and this is a great start. Others come to me and just “want a website” but don’t really mind what it looks like.

One of my recent clients was very surprised to discover that I was able to create a feature-rich website with 11 pages — all from one page of information he’d provided, plus a couple of photos. I love a challenge, and love seeing the look of surprise and excitement when these new website owners see their site for the first time 🙂

So here is a list of information which might help you, if you’re wondering how all this works – whether it’s difficult, easy or a bunch of hocus pocus or mumbo-jumbo 🙂  Let me know what you think, and especially if you still have questions.

If there’s anything here you don’t understand, please do contact me (form at the bottom of the page, or Contact link in the Menu above) and I’ll do my best to help you.

Things to consider:

  • how does a website work with domains – and do I own it outright?
  • how does a website work with hosting, and what IS hosting?
  • how does a website work with software, images, photos, etc?
  • how does a website work best with a Theme or design?

Want to know the absolute basics of how a website works?

OK – ready to jump in feet first? Let’s look at the image above, read the four main things required to create a website online, and then read below for more details:

  • a domain name – this is like owning your own street “address” and paying a yearly fee for it
  • a hosting space – this is like paying monthly “rental” for a physical space, shop or an office
  • a website – this is like the interior of the shop or office space
  • a website design or Theme – this is like the front plate glass window, painting and design of your overall “look and feel” of the store or shop (for your website).

Need a store / shop?

If you are building a Store online, you might also need:

  • website store software
  • a Paypal account for online transaction processing (collecting money from shoppers)
  • if you do not have a Paypal account, your web designer might set this up for you – please ask them to quote a price so you know all your expenses up front.

Depending on any additional requirements for functionality you might want for your website, you might also add:

  • additional software modules or Plugins (bits of software) to add forms, business directory, calendar, booking schedule, analytics, and much much more
  • by providing a detailed list of what you want, your web designer will be able to provide a detailed Quotation (the MORE detailed you are, the more CONCISE the quotation will be)
  • if you are on a budget, you will be able to pick and choose the technology and functionality you can afford.

Make a list of what you like about OTHER websites

“Teena, can’t you just create 5 to 10 mock-ups of a website for me??”

True story. A potential website client approached me about 6 months ago, but didn’t have any information to give me for their proposed website — they said, “Before I pay you any money, just mock up (or create) 5-10 website “looks” for me, include a few information pages with each one (about me page, products etc), and then let’s get together and look at them.”

Whoa! This request could potentially be several days worth of work, with no guarantee the potential client will sign on the dotted line.

In case you’re not aware, this is not how website design works, so let me help clarify. This is like saying to the Dentist, “I like white shiny teeth. Before I decide to use your services, just spend a ton of time and create a few sets of teeth for me to look at soon. If I like any of them, I might choose them. If not, I’ll ask you to spend more of your time and come up with ideas for me.”

This is also like going to a grocery store and saying, “I’ve got 10 items in my basket, but I won’t pay you today. I’d like to check these out first and see what I think. Once I know what I think, I’ll be able to decide what to do next.” Would YOU like to try this out, and let me know what happens? I’ve got a fair idea what that conversation might be like.

Can you see how this potential client’s expectations are quite high, and how they expect work done for free in advance of hiring the web designer (or the dentist)?

The ideal situation is if the client does their research and lets the web designer know about a couple of website links to look at — together they can view several other site designs the client already likes, then they can quickly work out which bits the client likes most from each website. It’s also customary to pay a Deposit in advance (anywhere from 30-60% up front, depending on the web designer’s requirements.

TIP! When you approach a web designer, ask THEM how their process works with a new website client — rather than tell them what you expect. Once you know what their process is, you’ll be able to work together for the best solution for your site.

If the client really doesn’t know what they want, some web designers will create a simple site for the client (after they pay their deposit), and offer one or two rounds of changes included in the final price. The scenario works quite well for many people.

Before you visit a web designer or arrange a Skype or phone meeting, it’s a good idea to have a bit of an idea about what you want. You can work out every little thing you’d like on the website, make a list of each piece of technology so that your web designer can give you a Quotation on:

  • buying the domain if required
  • setting up the domain so that it is connected with the website’s Hosting Account
  • setting up the Hosting Account
  • installing the website software
  • purchasing (if required) a Theme or installing a free Theme.

“How does a website work with Lead Generation?” – Gathering email names legally on the site

If you’d like to collect web visitors’ names and email names, you’ll need:

  • an online account with a Mailing List & Autoresponder Company like Aweber
  • someone to help you set up the “look and feel”/design of your Newsletter
  • an irresistible offer to give in exchange for an email name, which could be a content-filled PDF, video series or other type of information which has a high perceived value for your website visitor
  • if you don’t already have an account like this, your web designer might set this up for you – please ask them to quote a price so you know all your expenses up front.

“How does a website work with photos and images?”

If you have images (or photos) for your website:

  • you will need to provide digital images and photos in a special format like .jpg or .gif or .png, in order for your website designer to be able to use them
  • if you do not have digital images, your web designer will have to convert them to a digital format before they can put them on the website – ask to make sure if there is a cost involved; some web designers will convert one or two images per page for free, but might charge an hourly rate for more than that
  • if you need a Photo Gallery, let the web designer know to install if this is additional software
  • if you do not have ANY images or photos, your web designer should be able to source them for you, but do not put any images or photos on your website unless you have written authority that they are copyright-free and royalty-free, otherwise you could be fined anywhere from hundreds to many thousands of dollars in copyright-infringement fees by the owners of the images or photos
  • never use images you “copy” or steal from Google searchs (or any other search engine) as you do not own these photos and have no legal right to use them (unless you have researched the copyright status and royalty status in advance, and paid whatever is required).

Audio and video files on the website

If you want to add videos or audio files (or podcasts) to your website, talk to your web designer so they can provide you with the information you need and a quotation if required:

  • if you need to source these, your web designer should be able to help.

Need extra functionality on the site?

Additional things to be aware of:

if you ask your website designer to add functionality to your site:

  • consider that it’s possible they’ve either never had to find software like this before or never used software like this before
  • consider that it may take them some time to research and locate, then test multiple types of software before they find exactly what you’re looking for
  • they may need to show you different options before you can make your choice
  • all of this takes time, and time is money, so be prepared to pay for this entire process as your web designer has had to spend the time on your behalf.

Getting the site launched online and visible to the world

After the website is created:

  • once you accept the website design and the site’s been installed and launched, you will be required to make the final payment
  • once the final payment is made, your web designer or developer generally provides you with :
    • the Login and Password for the website’s Admin area – also known as the Dashboard
    • the Login and Password for a web statistics or analytics account has been set up
    • the Login and Password for your Hosting Account
    • the Login and Password for your Domain Name (if you did not already have this) so that you can update your address and other detailes whenever you need to
    • the Login and Password for your Paypal account if required
    • the Login and Password for anything else for which you’ve asked for installation or implementation.

“How does the monthly fee work for websites?”

“My hosting was so cheap I can’t believe it!” Famous last words

True story. I was recently helping a client with SEO and online marketing strategies, and over a period of 5 business days the website was “down” (offline”) for 30-60 minutes at a time each day. When I asked where the site was hosted, I found out they’d got a “real bargain!” … but with so many “down” periods, this was hurting their business.

Be aware that if you pay the absolute cheapest hosting fees, you may not get the absolute best service – yes there are some fantastic website hosting companies who don’t charge a lot of money, but please do your research first before going with the cheapest price. Look online for negative comments about the hosting company and “up time”.

Every time the site was “down”, visitors couldn’t find this chap’s website, which can result in lost business and lost opportunities. Make sure you have a well-known reliable hosting company, do your research to make sure they have an excellent record and very few (if any) bad reviews about them online.

Depending on your web designer and how they structure their web design business:

  • you will need to pay this either monthly, quarterly or yearly
  • you may need to pay a monthly amount which also covers Support or one-on-one training or updates (this is a good way to make sure all your small updates, changes and training can happen each month as you gain more confidence with your website, and while you’ve still got your “training wheels” on
  • this is also a good practice for those who are extremely busy and don’t have the time to make their own website edits – they can contact the web designer to do these for them on a monthly basis
  • this is exactly what happens with my clients – their Monthly Hosting Fee also covers 30 minutes of my time each month – we can meet in person, over the phone, via Skype or email and I can update their site, make changes, research new products for them, or a whole host of other tasks. Oh – I might also train them on how to do something they want to learn on the computer, or I might make a video tutorial for them – we work out what they need, and then I help them. It’s a win-win for us both as we keep in touch on a monthly basis and they get things done on their website which really need doing.

Things which you definitely should NOT have on your website:

  • anything which flashes, rolls or scrolls — or looks like ticker-tape — which is going to be annoying for everyone who visit your site
  • music which starts playing automatically – argggggh
  • videos which start playing automatically – very annoying.

Just to let you know, this isn’t a complete or exhaustive list of absolutely everything – each website requires different functionality and options, some of which you might not even think of until it’s been developed and launched online. This is mostly a list of what’s been needed on websites I’ve developed for new clients, so they’re fresh in my mind 🙂

Your Say

I hope that wasn’t way too much information! Did you find this helpful, or a bit overwhelming? I hope I’ve been able to make it a bit easier to answer the question, “How does a website work?” and as always, I’d love your comments and feedback if you’d like to share any stories of your own.

Ciao for now,

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Teena Hughes