Critical Considerations For Killer Web Design

killer website design

Some people think that throwing up any type of design for their website will be sufficient to start a successful online business. They are greatly mistaken because your website should reflect the business you’re trying to promote. Before you even begin the design certain questions should be asked.

Will your website be personal, professional or for pleasure?

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What Makes a Good Web Page

What Makes a Good Web Page

What are the essential characteristics of a great web page?
What makes you want to stay on the page or navigate to other pages?
What would make you want to return?

A good web page should appeal to your visitors as well as the search engines. I mentioned visitors first because they are the most important component for establishing relationships, generating sales and/or obtaining subscribers.

Optimizing your web page for the search engines attracts lots of free traffic. Most people will arrive at your site through searching for a specific keyword or keyword phrase.

What are the essential characteristics of a great web page?


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What Are the Advantages of Web Hosting

You have 2 options for getting a website online. The first option is to build your website on a free hosting service such as Google pages or WordPress dot com. This may be a good solution if you don’t have any money, don’t care about branding your business or are worried the free service will disappear. A much better solution is to purchase your own hosting account.

Top 7 advantages of having your own web hosting account

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What is Web Hosting Faq

So you’ve built your website and all the files are still on your computer. When you get your site online it can be viewed by anyone that has an Internet connection. To get your site online you need a web hosting service. Not all Web hosting companies are equal therefore you need to do some research up front to select a reliable one. To demystify what web hosting is all about here are 4 frequently asked questions (FAQ):

1. How do I choose a web host

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What Do I Need to Design a Website?

Offline businesses are realizing they need to be online to reach a larger audience and expand their profits however they have little or no idea what it involves. They often ask the question “What do I need to design a web site?” After receiving a few answers from their relatives or a friend they ask one of their kids (who is proud of their computer skills) to design the site instead of hiring a professional web designer.

Before contacting a web designer answer these frequently asked questions about the requirements for designing a website

  • Have you registered a domain name?
  • How many pages do you need?
  • Will you maintain the website yourself?
  • Will you update the website yourself?
  • Do you need a contact form?
  • Do you have the content and images to go on the site?
  • What are the names of the links for each page?
  • Do you need a web hosting plan?
  • Here is a basic list for setting up a website

Here’s what you need to design a website

1. Register a domain name

If you’re establishing a business online select a .com domain name. The one you want is probably not available so you’ll need to get creative. Consider .org, .net, .us, .info or try dashes between the words e.g. It only costs approximately $10.00 to register a domain name. Enter “domain name registration” in Google to find a domain name registrar.

2. Select a reliable web hosting service

Choose a web hosting service that has a 99% uptime (allows 1% downtime for server upgrades) and has enough disc space and bandwidth to host your site. Check the customer service response rate whether it’s by phone or email so you can quickly resolve any hosting problems.

Beware of companies that offer unlimited space and bandwidth because you will be sharing the same server with many other websites. If one or more of these websites receive a surge of traffic the server may overload and shut down. This means your website will not be available and you’ll lose sales.

For more information read: How to Choose a Web Hosting Company

3. Web building software

Free Templates
If you don’t have the design skills and don’t need a custom built site that uniquely identifies your online business, you could use free templates. For example or enable you to start a blog using free templates.

Free HTML software
If you have html skills or want to learn them consider these free html editors.



Coffee Cup html editor


Hire a Professional Web Designer
If you’re doing business on the Net you need a website that not only looks professional but loads fast, has a clear navigation system and is optimized for the search engines. Designing and building the site yourself or using a free template may save you some money upfront but hiring a professional is a wise investment if you want a website that is sustainable and grows with your business.


A domain name costs between $10.00-$25.00 depending on the domain name registrar you select.

Web hosting costs vary depending on how much space and bandwidth you need. For most websites 100MB of space and 3GB of bandwidth is sufficient. The cost ranges from$15-$25 per month depending on the web hosting company.

Web building software is free unless you use professional software such as Dreamweaver which costs $399.00.

Web designers charge based on the size and features needed for your site. For example a 5 page informational website may only cost $300-$500 to build however a large site containing 100s of pages may cost you 1000s of dollars.

If you have further questions about what you need to design a website please contact Web Design Maryland

Web Hosting – How to Choose a Reliable Web Host

Say you a running a marketing campaign to drive thousands of visitors to your web site. The server from the web hosting company you chose goes down so your web site goes offline. You lose time, money and customers…an ugly thought but it can happens if you made the wrong choice.

Types of web hosts

Free web hosting

Free web hosts usually incorporate advertising to cover their costs of providing free web space and associated services. The other down side is that free web hosts often disappear because they can’t support the free services they offer. This will result in your web sites and email suddenly disappearing. Also technical support is often non-existent which is a must if you want reliability.

If you don’t need a professional domain name but wish to have an online presence, set up a free blog at or The company provides free hosting as long as your web site remains with them.

Shared web hosting

This is the most common because it allows the web hosting company to host multiple web sites on one server. Beware of those companies offering unlimited space and/or bandwidth as too many web sites on one server will quickly use up all the resources. This may result in your web site disappearing or loading slowly for for your visitors.

Dedicated web hosting

If your web site needs a huge amount of space and bandwidth opt for a dedicated server. It allows your site to use all the resources it needs since it will be the only one on the server (unless you choose to put other sites there). It typically costs over $100/month or more so make sure you need it before making your selection. Sites that need this type of server may have 1000s of pages, images, data, videos, audio etc.

How to Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Company

If you wish to establish a professional online presence invest in a commercial web hosting company. It will be free of ads plus you receive the many services that come with it.

Features of a reliable web hosting company

1. Speed and reliability of servers and hardware

If your web site goes down you’ll lose visitors and sales because they’ll just click to another web site. Make sure the server has 99% uptime. This means your site will be online 99% of the time. Allow 1% downtime for server hiccups and upgrades.

2. Backup Systems

Good hosts will have back-up systems in place to guard against power failures, which will cause you to lose data and customers. Typically web hosts will do daily, weekly and monthly backups.

2. Fast technical support

Check the response time of technical support. Most will respond within 24 hours or less through email or phone support. This is crucial if your site suddenly goes down. It’s always a joy to experience fast, friendly, knowledgeable technical support.

3. Disc space and bandwidth

If you have a static html web site of 10-20 pages it doesn’t need much space. 75-100MB of space and 3GB of bandwidth will be sufficient. Make sure you have the ability to upgrade to a larger plan should you need it.

Database-driven web sites (ie content management systems) may need large amounts of web space and bandwidth as they grow. If you intend to host lots of videos on your web site look into getting a dedicated server.

4. Type of server

The 2 types of servers are Windows and Apache. I recommend Apache because it is less expensive, reliable and contains many features that are needed for running a web site. These include blocking email harvesters, creating 301 redirects, creating error pages, installing php scripts for contact forms,
protecting your images, blocking IP addresses etc.

5. Control panel

This allows you to manage your web hosting account e.g. create email accounts, autoresponders, check site statistics etc.

6. Check features

Here are some of the typical features to look for when hosting your web site or blog:

* At least 100MB of allocated space
* At least 3GB bandwidth
* Site statistics
* Free Technical Support
* POP3 E-Mail Accounts
* Email Forwarding
* Email Auto-responders
* Email Aliases
* FTP Access
* Front Page Support
* Own CGI-Bin Access
* Free Perl, CGI
* Server Side Includes (SSI)
* Password Protection
* 30 day money back guarantee

7. Price

Don’t go for the lowest priced host as you often get what you pay for. First determine what your needs are then look at pricing. Check how long the company has been in operation, test the support response time and look at the features it offers.

If you follow these basic guidelines, you will have a reliable, efficient and satisfying hosting service that will contribute to the success of your business for many years to come.


Check out my affordable web hosting plans at:

The servers provide daily, weekly and monthly backups, 99% uptime, site statistics, email accounts and many other features.

How to Backup SQL Database – 4 Top Methods

If you have installed a blog, forum or content management system (CMS) such as Joomla on your server you will have installed a mySQL database. One day without warning your server may crash and you’ll lose all your files. This is why it is important to create a backup of database and files.

If your web site only contains html files it’s very easy to restore them because they are stored on your computer. You simply need to upload them to the server.

Methods of backing up your SQL database

1. Web hosting providers – Most web hosting providers backup all files on their server. My server gets backed up daily, weekly and monthly. Check with your web host to see how often they do backups.

2. Backup software for your forum, blog or cms

Most CMS web sites that use databases have their own backup system software. e.g.,

a) WordPress has a plugin ( where you can select how you want the backup to be delivered:

* Save to server : this will create a file in /wp-content/backup-*/ for you to retrieve later
* Download to your computer : this will send the backup file to your browser to be downloaded
* Email : this will email the backup file to the address you specify

b) Joomla has an extension called JoomlaPack ( It’s a component that creates a backup of your whole site (files and database) in the form of a single archive. In order to help you restore this, it also adds an installer. All you have to do to restore your backup is follow the regular Joomla! installation procedure: unpack the archive, upload files, point your browser to the installation script, follow the installation screens and you’re ready.

c) Simple Machines Forum
(SMF) allows you to create a backup of the forum database within the admin panel.

3. Cpanel backup

Use the MySQL Database Wizard to download a zipped copy of your entire site or parts of it onto your computer.

The following are backed up and included in a zip file:

* Home Directory
* MySQL Databases
* Email forwarders configuration
* Email filters configuration

To access the MySQL Database Wizard login to:
backup wizard
save the files to your local drive

4. phpMyAdmin

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Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Web Site Design, Web Hosting, Search Engine Optimization

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