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DIY & Save…NOT!

     Often times, “doing it yourself” (DIY) can save you a lot of time and money. For example, if you know how to change a tire, when you get a flat, you don’t have to call road service, wait for them to arrive and pay them an arm and leg for their services. You just jack up the car, change the tire and you’re on your way.

     Several companies have recently popped up enticing users to “build their own website for FREE.” Companies like Wix, Weebly and Go Daddy are some of the more popular ones. There are several issues with this scenario. While technically, inexperienced users can drag and drop a site together, the end result is usually a cookie-cutter site (with the name of the company that “let” you build it for free splashed all over it), and is most of the time is very limited in scope, look and functionality. You can “enhance or upgrade” these sites but that’s where the “got-cha” moment comes into play. There is usually a substantial fee to upgrade, and the upgrade offers very little in the way of how the site looks and performs. The main problem with “site builders” is that sites built with them are limited as to look and functionality by the parameters of the actual software. For example, if you wanted to add a particular element that isn’t supported by the software, you simply can’t add it. Also, some DIY page builders are so overly complicated that you need a degree in computer science to operate them. All of these factors together tend to build on one another usually leaving the business owner frustrated and with a less than ideal website.

     Websites are, in essence, a billboard for your business that is freely and instantly accessible with just a few keystrokes from any phone, computer or tablet that has an internet connection. A less than awesome website simply can not compete in today’s connected society. Even if you do what you do better than anyone else in your industry, a website that doesn’t showcase your business in the best possible light, is likely to do more harm than good. The idea is to not only have a website that is built to minimum standards, but one that stands out above the rest.

     At Creative Web Design Unlimited, we take the guess work and confusion out of the whole process of putting businesses on the web. We hold certifications in HTML, the computer language that websites are built in, and we use feature rich content management systems that enable us to create websites that are not only beautiful, but functional. If you need to put your business on the web, call us at (334)233-4235. Let us make your business our next success story.

Robo Calls & Search Engines

     If you’re in business, you’ve most likely gotten that automated phone call saying: “Hi, this is Sharron, your local Google specialist.” Those calls usually originate from companies that are trying to sell you their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. If you do hang on through that annoying automated voice and wind up speaking with an actual human being, you’ll find that the person usually has a “guaranteed” way to put your business at the top of search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo!

     The fact is, contrary to popular belief, there is no way to “guarantee” placement on Google, Bing, Yahoo! or any other search engine, for that matter. Search engines use a set of closely guarded, proprietary algorithms that change on a regular basis. So, if someone or a company tells you that they have a way or a “special trick” that can put your website at the top of any search engine, DO NOT FALL FOR THAT.

     Although the search engines protect their indexing secrets, there are some things that can be done to insure that people that are looking for you can find you. These items (known as best practices) range from making sites “mobile friendly” to submitting site maps to the search engines.

     At Creative Web Design Unlimited, we stay up to date on these best practices, insuring that our clients’ sites appear as close to the top as possible in searches that pertain to them. If you’d like your business to appear near the top of your search without spending a small fortune, call us today at (334) 233-4235.

What you should know about “Site Squatting.”

    You’ve decided to have a website built for your company. That’s great. One of the most important decisions you can make as far as websites are concerned is the selection of the “domain name” or “web address.” A domain name is the actual text that is assigned to what is known as a “URL” (Universal Resource Locator) which is a long string of numbers that identifies where your site is on the web. Domain names are assigned to the number strings, via registrars, to make it easier on visitors to navigate the web. For example: MyNewSite.com is easier to remember than 123.456.789.1.

    Sometimes locating and procuring the perfect domain can be a tricky proposition. The actual process itself is pretty straightforward, however, developers on occasion run into “Site Squatters.” Site Squatters are individuals or companies that snap up domain names as they expire and hold them to either (a) block someone else from getting a particular domain or to (b) eventually make money by making the domain available for insanely high prices. Most domain names can be registered for less than $50.00. Site Squatters jack up those prices, depending on the “popularity” of the domain, pricing some domains upwards of $25,000.00.

    There are a couple of ways to deal with Site Squatters. You can either (a) pay the outlandish rate; (b) take the Site Squatter to court, there is a particular court proceeding that one must go through; or (c) just register a similar name or choose a different name all together.

    At Creative Web Design Unlimited, we help our client’s develop, procure and protect their domain names on a regular basis. So if you are having issues with a domain name, contact Creative Web Design Unlimited and we will analyze your situation, and help you develop a solution.