Choosing the right Developer – part 1

There are many web developers around today.  Web Development has, in a sense, become a commodity.  People ranging from tech-geeks earning over one hundred thousand dollars a year all the way down to your neighbors kid know some some sort of web development.  There is one problem…  who do you want to design your website.

There are multiple things to consider:

What type of website do you need?

Do you need a simple Brochure website or a fully functional corporate or e-commerce website?  This is the first and most important question.  Without answering this, it will be impossible to gauge the following questions. 

Often times, customers don’t undestand the scope they will need.  Sometimes a customer thinks they will need a simple website, when in actuality, they need something much more complex.  More frequently, Customers think they need something complex, when they really need something very simple. 

In this case, a developer will be willing to meet with you to help you determine the correct path to take.  

What is your budget?

This is the second crucial question when figuring out what type of developer you need.  Do you have a large budget and are you willing to fork over a substantial portion for an established developer?  Often times this isn’t the case.  That doesn’t mean you can’t find quality.

There are many developers that are just as talented as the “big wigs,” they just don’t necessarily have as much exposure.  These developers are absolutely the best value.  They will take pride in their product – because they need it in their resume.  They will also be more willing to work with you on price and scope.

What is your timetable?

This needs to be established immediately after you decide on a developer.  Developers, like all artists, have a “primadonna” complex.  While they often create fantastic products, they march to the beat of their own drum.  If you don’t establish a timetable for your project, it is possible that your project will continually get delayed.  Don’t let this happen.  Establish a date or a set of dates in the beginning.  That being said, issues undoubtedly will arise in your project.  You may want additional features, etc.  This can push back the date, but not by to much.  

What are your hosting and domain requirements?

The worst thing on the planet is developing a website with a crappy host.  Find a host that is flexible.  Usually your developer will have a preference.  I’d suggest taking their opinion – after all, they know what they’re doing.  I personally prefer Dreamhost for smaller projects.  They are a great hosting company.  Whenever I have an issue, it is resolved quickly and thoroughly – usually within an hour!!!

What technology do you want to use?

This goes back to the developer question.  Don’t hire a PHP developer if you need ASP.net. It’s that simple.  At the end of the day, the end user won’t care what technology you’re using as long as it looks good, functions well, and is secure.  Keep that in mind.  If you have a higher budget, .net will probably be the better solution.  For smaller budgets, PHP and Ruby are great tools.

That’s it for part 1.  I will have part 2 very soon!

Bug & Issue Tracking

Do you need to manage Bugs and Issues for your website? 

In today’s world, websites need to constant add features and usability for the end user.  These updates undoubtedly create bugs and issues that must be addressed during and after development.  Sometimes, by implementing a new feature, coders inadvertently break another part of the website.  Without some form of monitoring these bugs and issues can go untracked – causing more damage and higher development costs for the company. 

To avoid these issues, many companies are turning to a fairly new concept – Bug & Issue tracking software.  I have been lucky enough to work with a few different Bug tracking products, but recently I have come across one that particularly caught my interest. 

The software is a web-based application called Sifter.  Sifter is “designed to be a bug and issue tracker for designers and non-technical people. However, we’re pretty optimistic that technical people will like it too.” (Sifter Website)

Although it is still in beta, from my brief use of this great product, I can tell that this bug tracking software is going to set the standard in this industry.  By combining a simple layout and great usability, The folks at NextUpdate (creators of Sifter) have designed an amazing product that anyone can use.   

 

You can check out the Sifter application here.

yourthinkbox.com

Welcome to yourthinkbox.com. We are your premiere total solutions provider. Located in Dallas, Texas, we offer fully customized web design, print and electronic graphic design, marketing, multimedia, and corporate identity formation.

Our company offers an extensive and adapted team of designers, programmers, and consultants, to make sure all your needs are fulfilled. We will not rest until all of your companies needs are met!

The concept of yourthinkbox.com is continuously evolving, but our team of web professionals has been in tact for nearly a decade. We take pride in our mission to provide every solution your company may need to transition into an online powerhouse. Let our team help you accomplish your goals with our emphasis on strategy, design, and customer interaction. Our results will speak for themselves, and our prices wont be beat. 

yourthinkbox.com – “We think outside the box, so you don’t have to.”

How popular is your website?

Have you ever wanted to know how popular your website is?  

Many people want to know the reach of their website.  A company called Alexa monitors almost all websites and ranks each website according to popularity.  For instance, in the United States, Google, Yahoo, and MySpace are the three most popular websites respectively.  

Alexa uses a proprietary method for achieving these rankings by allowing users to insall the Alexa Toolbar in their Internet Explorer.  Once this toolbar is installed, Alexa monitors the sites people visit to establish the rankings.  

This method has established a somewhat reliable method for determining page rank for websites. 

Now, take a second, open up up the Alexa link here, and check out your page rank.

Not Showing up on Google? try SEO for success

Would you like to generate more traffic for your website? of course you would! The problem is that most small businesses don’t know how to use the internet to drive traffic to their website.  Just because you have a web page doesn’t mean that people are going to look at it.  You have to use the web to direct traffic to your website.  This is where Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing become key.  

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization also known as SEO is a way to develop your website and content in a way that draws the search engine to it.  Using a combination of meta tags, key words, inbound and outbound links, websites can get the upperhand on their competition and boost through the ranks.  

Obviously, there is a little more to SEO than keywords, links, and meta tags, but with a little patience, anyone can take the necessary steps to move up the search engine ladder.  SEO doesn’t happen overnight.  it takes weeks and even months for the changes you make to actually blossom.  

Remember that SEO is a long process, like anything of value, you are typically not going to see results in just a day.  Take your time, do some research, acquire the tools necessary to boost your website to the top of google and yahoo!

Luckily, here at yourthinkbox.com, we are experts at Search Engine Optimization.  Our team has over 5 years of experience in designing campaigns to encourage SEO growth.  Let us handle the hard work.  Please feel free to contact us for a free quote.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Tips, Tricks, & more – Part 1

 

SEO is all the rage. Search Engine Optimization is here to stay.  Dont get caught in the dark by some firm promising your SEO.  Here are some tips I have come up with –

1.  Relevant content is key –  This is the most important piece of any SEO.  Make sure all content you post on your blog, website, or anything else relevant.  If you are trying to make a website about “Bad Credit”  make sure you talk about bad credit. etc.  You can broaden your horizon a little, but for the most part, stay relevant.  

2.  Update Frequently –  Make sure you update your blog frequently.  This is important for multiple reasons.  First, The more you update your website, the more it will get ‘crawled’ by search engines.  For example, if Google crawls your website and finds updated content, it will check again sooner for new content than it would if you dont update.  The second reason for updating frequently is that it adds more content to your website to be crawled.  I will go into this more further down the list.

3.  Keywords –  Keywords are very important in SEO.  <– putting keywords in bold or italic also helps. Concentrate on placing keywords throughout your posts.  Another tip for key words is to put alternate versions of the keywords in your posts.  for example, (yourthinkbox, yourthinkbox.com, your think box,thinkbox, think box) etc.  Break it up.  this will create more keywords that will be crawled.

4.  In bound links – In bound links at the end of the day help your website substantially.  The more websites that link to your website means your page is relevant.  Posting well organized posts will help you receive in bound links.  One side note on this… dont spam your website or join link exchanges that look or feel “shady”  Search Engines frequently have black lists.  If you join one of these lists, your site could very well join the black list.

5.  Out bound links – These are almost as important.  Having links out helps a lot, especially to other blogs.  This is the best way to build in bound and outbound links.  Find another blogger and help him or her out.  He or she will probably return the favor. 

That is it for now.. I will post 6-10 sometime later this week.  If you need help with SEO, shoot me an email.

www.yourthinkbox.com