Wordpress Website Designs
Locating Links: Enhancing Website Usability
The Internet is what it is because of connections, bridging one computer to a host of others. Because of this we are able to access information at a click of a button.
The things we click are called links, and they can be likened to the synapses of a brain – connecting the user from one document to another.
One of the main tenets of website design is that a page must be able to link to another page. Failure to do so renders the page dead – and is a lot like crashing into a brick wall as you speed down the information highway.
That said, website designers, both pro and amateur, make it a point to include links into every single page they design. But it is simply more than just slapping on links anywhere. Links are as vital to a web page as the content on it for without it, a visitor will be hard pressed to connect to other documents on the Internet.
In any website, there are different kinds of links. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to laying out links on a web page. But over time, certain conventions have emerged that seem to have become an unspoken standard in design. Deviations certainly will not depreciate a website’s over-all impact, but it may require some amount of time for the visitor to get oriented.
Whether you tend to follow conventions or not, it is best to be acquainted first with the rules, so that you will know what to break and how to break them.
But first of all, for the sake of clarification, imagine a website to be like a book. Of course, you know that a book holds several pages. In the case of a website, the pages are called web pages.
A web page basically has two kinds of links: Internal and External.
Internal links are what connect pages of the same website to each other. Going back to our book analogy, an internal link connects a page to another from the same book. So a visitor can access the contact page of a website from the home (or index) page via an internal link.
An external link, on the other hand, connects a web page to another web page from a different website. So an external link is something like a connection between two pages from two separate books.
Over the years, as more and more users and websites are added to the Internet, certain conventions or assumptions about the location of links have been formed.
The most common of which are the internal links on either the top or left margin of a page. Seeing that these two areas are the ones first noticed by a user, designers felt it was natural to place internal links that would connect the pages of the same website together. Because of the nature of its location, links on these sides of the page are prominent and usually have graphic designs on them.
Another area where internal links are located is at the bottom of the page, usually where the copyright information is placed. However, unlike the top and left margin areas, the links at the bottom are discreet and usually rendered in small fonts (like the copyright info). This is done primarily to avoid redundancies in design, while still providing alternate sources of links should the others fail.
External links are usually found in the body of the text or in the right hand margins of the page. No specific rule exists for this, and the conventions arise merely out of common usage.
However, some designers have surmised that the tendency to place external links within the body of the text is done because references to information outside the website should be described or explained, whereas internal links need little to no explanation at all.
Another theory is that the right side feels like the outer part of page. This assumption is built on the observation that reading is done from the left to the right. So the right part of the page indicates the end of a page, thus references outside the website find themselves allocated to this area.
For some reason as more and more text advertisements (such as Google AdSense) proliferate, the location for such external links are designated at the center or the right side of a web page.
And yet, as mentioned before, these are merely conventions and NOT rules set in stone. Designers have all the freedom to layout information and links however they want. Deviations from such standard practices simply make the surfing experience for these websites slightly more interesting than the rest. The important thing is that connections are made and everyone can continue to cruise and surf the Web one link to one page at a time.
Blogging, what is it?
There are still people who do not know what blogs are. Because of the unusual name, people tend to think unpleasant things when they hear the word “blog”. Is it a murky mixture of sand, water, and dirt?
Blogs are like bulletin boards on the Internet that are updated regularly, often on a daily basis. The contents of blogs are information about a specific topic; in some types of blogs people will sometimes use them as a journal or diary where they share the details of their personal lives, or their opinions about certain topics or even social commentaries. To put this in simple terms, blogs are used by the person who created the blog anyway he or she wants them to be. The creator of a certain blog is the author and it is his or her responsibility to provide the contents.
Blogging is simple and easy to do. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.
To start or create a blog, there are a few guidelines to get readers to actually read your blog.
Pick a topic and stay on it.
To create a successful blog, you first have to pick a topic that you are interested or knowledgeable in, then write an article about it. Although your opinion on a certain topic is acceptable, it is wise that you stick to facts as much as possible. You can also mix in some humor if you want it to be more fun to read, and you can also include your personal experiences about the topic. This will persuade the readers to think that you have actually experienced that which is being discussed.
For example: If your topic is about tennis, people who will be reading this are going to be interested in tennis, therefore, you should not write about what you watched on TV last night. Instead, include some tips that may interest readers; like how to improve your forehand or backhand, and even how to prolong their tennis ball’s life. Stick to the topic, although you could also include some humor you have experienced in the tennis court. Everyone has done something stupid or embarrassing in the tennis court, it is good to share these experiences with people; it creates a more personal view of your blog and may seem friendlier to read.
If you are going to include your humor or opinions in your blog, it is important that you balance it with factual information. Talking about your personal experiences—whether good or bad—affects your reputation on the web. Include some up-to-date news about whatever product or service you are discussing. It is good that you base your opinions on facts and that you include some advantages and disadvantages; remember to balance it.
Also, remember that no one wants to read old news, so always keep your blog updated. Present it with factual news that is accurate and informative. If you write about something that happened a few months ago it will not grab the reader’s interest. Writing about someone who won the Wimbledon Tournament that happened a few months ago will make readers think that you are not updating your blogs, and consequently, will not read your blogs again, ever.
However, updating blogs is a very strenuous task; plan a schedule on when to update your blog and stick to it. Twice or thrice a week would be sufficient to keep your readers loyal. Inform your readers when you will be updating your blogs by posting it on the website as well. Remember that communication is the key to success for attracting readers to your blog. No communication—no readers.
Keep you blog simple to understand, for example: If your blog is about your gun hobby, do not put in technical terms and too many numbers. Such as: “This .50-70 M-1874 Belcher, 12 pounds, .50 cal. 2 1/2-in. 70 grn or FFG & 370 gr. PP” and so on. This will encourage readers to close your blog page the first second that they see it. Put it in simple terms as much as possible. Remember that many people are interested about a certain topic but do not actually know the technical terms, in this case, about guns.
Your headline should be large, bold letters that can easily catch a reader’s attention. Naming your headline is also important. Do not just put in “Guns” or “Tennis”, but think of a catchy phrase to get your readers to actually view your content.
Put your old, similarly themed blogs in an archive. This is great for someone who is interested to read your old blogs. The keywords in your archived blog are also important to generate targeted traffic to your blog.
If you have written an article before, you probably know that it is important to spell check and proof-read what you write. Remember that what you write reflects your reputation. If you stumble upon a sentence, redo it.
These are some of the things to consider if you are planning to blog. By following these few simple guides, you can be sure you will get plenty of readers, and also keep them reading.
Starting a Viral E-Book? Choose a Good Topic
Viral marketing is the most popular type of marketing strategy in the online industry at the moment. Why is this so? Because this can yield a huge number of potential customers in just a short period of time at minimal cost. Of course, if there is a larger number of potential clients, the turnover percentage will also be bigger.
Viral marketing can be done in many ways; there are newsletters sent through email, web sites, invitational emails and much more. One particularly effective way to do it is by producing an e-book, or the so-called viral e-book.
What is a viral e-book?
E-books (or electronic books) are the online or electronic version of books, newsletters, publications, manuals, etc. E-books are usually downloadable files from the Internet and can be installed to one’s computer. Almost all popular books, like Harry Potter, have an e-book version. Some of these are free; some are available at reduced cost.
The concept of e-books has been adopted by marketers because of the ease of distribution to such a huge number of people over the Internet. They incorporated advertising and marketing strategies with e-books to boost revenue, while at the same time providing useful information to other people.
That is how the term viral e-book came about. A viral e-book is, basically, an e-book that is passed on to other persons which brings several benefits, mainly profits, for each individual. These e-books are free, most of the time, to encourage more people to download them and pass them on to others.
Viral e-books contain useful information about something related to what the marketer is promoting. And since it is a marketing tool, these viral e-books contain links that lead to the marketer’s web site. Thus, if a person reading the e-book becomes interested and clicks on the link, that will already be a potential sale to the one who originally sent the e-book.
If you are planning on making such an e-book to promote your products or services, you should consider several things before jumping into it. The very first thing that you have to think about is the topic.
How to choose a topic?
An e-book can talk about anything. But of course, if you are planning to profit from it, your e-book should talk about something interesting. It should deal with things that most people are concerned about. People want things where they can benefit from in whichever way it may be.
The first thing to consider when thinking about the topic for your e-book is your main goal. You need to define your purpose of writing the e-book. If your goal is to increase the sales of your products or services, then your topic should be something relating to those things.
You, as the maker of the e-book, should also be interested in the topic that you choose; else, it will feel like a burden doing something that you do not really like. Plus, it will be easier for you to write about a topic that interests you, so you will be able to express yourself more effectively.
To better help you in selecting a topic, you must set an ample amount of time for thinking about it. Go some place where it is easy for you to concentrate. Think about the things that interest you, things that you are comfortable with. Then write down all of those things that come to your mind, even the crazy ones.
Once you have listed them, select those that can be associated with your product or service, if you are promoting these things. If not, select the topic that you think will be the most profitable. Also, make sure that you have plenty of resources for the topic you choose. More resources would mean more information to put in your e-book, making it all the more interesting to read.
Choosing a good topic is the best way to start your viral e-book. A topic that interests you, as the author of the e-book, will make the journey of creating it be enjoyable and fun. Other than that, the more valuable and higher quality of information will be incorporated since you know the topic well.
So start brainstorming now with yourself. Choose the best topic that you can think of, and make that vision of increased profits turn into reality with your own viral e-book.