Web Design Business Resources
Ready to go into the business of web design/maintenance? Here are some useful resources to get you started! You will find a variety of topics - from adding web badges to a website (e.g. Better Business Bureau, Angie's List) to social media links (e.g. Like us on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter) to adding Google Analytics to a web page, and all sorts in between!
|Better Business Bureau||Better Business Bureau accreditation is a great + for your business clients. If they are already accredited, have them contact the BBB, or log onto their BBB account, to get the BBB web badge for their website. The web badge will alert customers to their accreditation, and can link to their BBB page for information and business reviews. Here is the link to the online business page: www.bbb.org|
|Angie's List||More than 2 million households nationwide check Angie's List reviews to find the best local service providers, like roofers, plumbers, handymen, mechanics, doctors and dentists. Encourage your web client's customers to check reviews on Angie's List by adding a customizable badge to your website. Here is a link to the web badge page: reviews.angieslist.com|
|The Facebook platform enables you to make your website more social. With plugins that let you easily add social features to your website, and dialogs you can use to let your users share your content, you’ll be able to start using the features of the Facebook platform in minutes. By using Facebook Login to sign in users with their real identities, calling the Graph API and using Open Graph to tell stories, your users will be more engaged and more likely to return. This guide walks you through the features available to you, to help you choose the level of integration that’s right for you. Here is the link to the guide: developers.facebook.com|
|Twitter connects businesses to customers in real time—and businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with people interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influencers. From brand lift to CRM to direct sales, Twitter offers businesses an easy way to reach an engaged audience. Visit Twitter 101 for Businesses to learn more.
Here is the link to the page that builds the code to add Twitter buttons to your website: twitter.com
If a web client has an Instagram account, you can add the web badge to their website to link customers to it. The web client can generate the code for the web badge on their Instagram account, and you can cut and paste it onto their website or blog. Here is the blog entry on Instagram that explains how to do this:
|Does your client have a Pinterest for Business account that they would like to share on their website? Here is the link to the page for creating the Pinterest widget: business.pinterest.com.
If your web client doesn't already have a Pinterest account, here is a link to the Pinterest for Business page to help them set it up and discover if it might be helpful for them: business.pinterest.com
|Google+||Google+ is a social networking service from Google. Click the +1 button on a web page to give something your public stamp of approval. Then, if you want to share right away, add a comment and send it to the right circles on Google+. To add the "recommend" button on a web page, use this link: developers.google.com|
|AccuWeather||Does your web client want to add a weather widget to their website or blog? Here is the link to the AccuWeather widget builder: netweather.accuweather.com|
|Free Credit Card Icons||Smashing magazine is offering free credit card icons for your website. Great for advertising which cards are accepted by a business, or for an ecommerce site: www.smashingmagazine.com|
|Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide||Search Engine Optimization is an important topic in the web design business. Google created this very nice starter guide to help you understand the topic and find success with it! Here is the link to the PDF of the guide: .../search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf|
|W3 Schools-Search Engine Optimization||W3 Schools is back again! Find out some basics about SEO, and how to get listed with major search engines here: www.w3schools.com|
|Sitemaps||Also related to search engine optimization is a sitemap. Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site. Here is the link to basic information regarding how to set up sitemaps in using xml: www.sitemaps.org|
|Google Webmaster Tools||Improve your site's visibility in Google search results. It's free. Google Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages' visibility on Google. Here is the link to the page: www.google.com|
|Bing Webmaster Tools||Help Bing search engine find your site, improve your visibility too. Here is the link to page: www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster|
|Yahoo Webmaster Tools||While I could not find a specific area on Yahoo called "webmaster tools", I did find this help page which lists the links to various webmaster topics: help.yahoo.com|
|W3 Schools-RSS Feeds||You may be asked at some point to add an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed to a website, or create an RSS feed for your website to feed to other websites/users. With RSS it is possible to distribute up-to-date web content from one web site to thousands of other web sites around the world. RSS allows fast browsing for news and updates. Here is a link to the page on W3 schools that explains how to use/create an RSS feed: www.w3schools.com|
|Google Feedburner||Feedburner.com is now part of the Google family. Here is a nice introduction to feeds, including why you may want to include them on your website: support.google.com.
You can also use the BuzzBoost tool to help promote your feed-learn all about it here: support.google.com
|Google Analytics||Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back. There is also a nice learning tool and help center: www.google.com.|
|Google Custom Search||A search feature is very commonly found on a website, allowing a user to quickly find what they are looking for without navigating through all the menus. Enhance your user's experience by adding a custom search. You can write your own, or harness the power of google to help you out...her is the link to Google's custom search (it will generate some code for you to paste on your webpage!): www.google.com.|
|CAPTCHA||What is a CAPTCHA you ask? A CAPTCHA is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. For example, humans can read distorted text, but current computer programs can't. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart. Use a CAPTCHA to prevent bots from creating comment spam in blogs, website registrations, passwords etc... Here is a link to the site that tells you all about this: www.captcha.net.
There are multiple versions of CAPTCHAs you can find on the web, but here is a link to setup a CAPTCHA (reCAPTCHA) on Google's website to get you started: www.google.com
|Article-Starting your own web design business||Nice article from Web Designer Depot about starting your own web design business. Although it is a couple of years old, the content is still relavent: www.webdesignerdepot.com|
|Article-7 skills you will need to run a successful web design business||Web Design Ledger wrote a great article about running a successful web design business. Find it here: webdesignledger.com|
|Article-Top 7 web design mistakes small businesses make||Worth a read, from the folks at Forbes: www.forbes.com|