How to Effectively Design a Results Based Website

There is not one day that goes by where I don’t come across a website that literally makes me scream. No matter what you surf for, you will always find somebody on the net that just completely screws up their internet presence 100%.

What do I mean?

If someone has a website then that website should serve a purpose. Whether that is to make money, provide information about your offline business or just educate visitors on a particular subject every site needs a purpose. To fulfill this purpose, website owners these days need to pay more attention to the way in which they present themselves online and what this image projects about them, their company or organization.

Colorful graphics, animated backgrounds, multi-colours and flouro are serious turnoffs on the internet. Some may think it looks cool and trendy but the vast majority will look in shock and completely fail to take the site seriously. If this happens then you have completely
wasted your time and effort by 90%. The visitor will leave and you have lost your chance to ‘capture them’.

Web design is a big issue nowadays. The website is your virtual representative. You have to make the best impression on your visitors the first time. If you don’t you may have lost them completely. This is just crazy. You don’t need to be a professional web designer to design amazing websites either. In fact the truth is quite the opposite.

In my e-book, Automatic-Website, I detail three simple options you can use to design an effective website presence. In essence these are:

* Design one yourself
* Pay a designer
* Use a professionally designed website template

Each method is accessible to all of us and just depends on your personal preference. The easiest method to designing your own website is to use a HTML editor such as Microsoft Frontpage.

Designing websites with these type of programs is as simple as typing a word document. Just type in the text you want, add a few color highlights, a banner or picture and there you go – an instant website!

Paying a professional is also another option. They should have the skills to put all your needs together into a website. One word of caution though. Some designers get away with charging ridiculous prices for standard website design. Don’t be fooled! You should pay no more than $80-$120 per page. A complete 5 page website should cost no more that $400-$500 and is more than enough for the average website owner. Make sure they are accessible and able to meet your demands.

The final method you can use is to use website template. Get the template, plug in your text, add your banner and BANG! You’ve got your site! There are so many places available to get a whole host of templates. Different styles and designs from contemporary to business and corporate. Just do a search on Yahoo! And you will find hundreds of template sites.

Whichever option you choose remember that simplicity is the answer. Make sure your site is set out in a logical order and easy to read. Clean lines and plenty of space will help your visitor read and navigate your website. Take care in designing your internet presence. It is the first point of contact with many of your visitors and you want to make the best impression possible. Do it right the first time and you can’t go wrong!

Good luck with your internet strategy and get designing!

11 Effective Design Tips to Improve the Performance of Your Castings

Design of metal castings play an important role in the performance and overall service life of metal castings. While designing castings, the most important thing to consider is the effect of shrinkage during cooling. Some other critical factors include the flow of metal and porosity.

Some general casting design rules are –

  • Avoid sharp corners – they may result in hot tearing during cooling.
  • Fillets should be used with care – they lead to stresses as they shrink. Radius in the range of 1/8″ to 1″ is acceptable.
  • Use uniform cross sections – they keep the cooling rate relatively uniform and keep off stresses.
  • Avoid internal features – they require additional steps in mold making and may cause problems in metal flow.
  • Place parting line near corners – they will hide the flash.
  • Use straight parting lines wherever possible – It makes the mold making easier.
  • Avoid large flats – large flat areas tend to deflection.
  • Machining Allowances – allow excess material for later machining of critical dimensions.
  • Use a draft angle – A small angle of 0.5-2° on the vertical walls makes it easier to remove the pattern.
  • In the designing of cast shapes, an understanding of finished part dimensional prerequisites is essential to attain near net dimensions at most economical cost. The designers should apply as high a tolerance as possible.
  • Fix geometric tolerances, like profile of a surface for complex blended surfaces.

And most important of all, consult and work with your casting manufacturer to improve the performance, effectiveness and quality of your casting designs.

How to Effectively Design a Website

There are a number of vital website design tips that all website designers should follow to generate a striking first impression for visitors to their site.

The main problem that often occurs is when people log onto a website and then find it takes far too long to load. It does not matter how fantastic the site may appear, if it takes more than a few seconds to load, then you will quickly lose your visitors.

In order to achieve this, it is vital to minimise the use of images. They may enhance a website page, but it is best to avoid placing too many on a page. Instead, keep things simple by using HTML. You will see that major sites have very few images and this is because for them the load time is very important. Simple is often best. Optimise the images prior to placing them on your site. They should be in jpeg of gif format. You can also minimise the size of an image by choosing the colours you need from the colour palette, so the less colours you choose, the less the size of the image.

It is possible to use tables in a creative way because they load very quickly being simple HTML code. You can use tables on your home page, for menus, or wherever you like. Try to reduce animated gifs unless it is absolutely necessary. They take a long time to load and many people find them very irritating. However, used correctly they can be attention grabbing, so minimal use of small ones may add interest to your site.

Experiment with CSS styles and achieve some interesting effects. Once again, CSS is simple code and will load very quickly. Try not to over use Flash. There is a great deal of hype about this subject, but whilst it may look fantastic, it can take a great deal of time to load and may well put off your visitors. Design the majority of your site in HMTL, use tables, experiment with CSS, minimise the use of animated gifs, Flash and bulky images.

Unambiguous navigation is essential. Once a visitor has come to your website, they need to stay on it and look at the pages. All important links should be in prominent places, preferably right at the top of the web page, which is where a visitor usually looks first. Make effective use of the menus on the right and the left, whilst trying to link to as many pages of the site as you can. You should allow your information to be easily accessible from all part of the sit because you never know what a visitor may be interested in.

Links on the web pages should be well organised in accordance with the order of importance. Visitors should easily be able to find what they are looking for under varying categories. Once you have decided on how the site should be navigated, you should then think about the best place to have them. The navigation should both clear and consistent. Designers should try to design navigation at the top or on the left, as this is the first place our eyes visit. Furthermore, the primary links should high enough on the page so that they are clearly visible, without scrolling. Any navigation images used should be seamlessly integrated into the site design. Placing the main navigation links at the foot of the page should be avoided, but it is quite a nice idea to have navigation links both at the top and bottom of the page, so visitors do not have to scroll up and down and in this way, visitors will not miss important links.

Consistency in navigation is essential, with the most important links on a website being on every page in the same location and the same sequence. If you place them in differing places, visitors will become confused.

All resolutions should be catered for so your site is browser compatible. These range from 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768 and may go even higher. The most effective way to do this is in terms of percentage rather than pixels. As time goes by, more and more people are going to switch to higher resolutions so it is vital to design for this. Prior to starting a design, you should decide on your lowest screen resolution. Once you have done this, you then design your site for that resolution.

Readable and professional looking fonts are a must. Therefore, do not use Comic Sans and other fanciful fonts that are not available on many computers. If the font you have chosen to use is not available on the site visitor’s computer, the website will use the default font of your computer, which is far worse.

The use of white space is important because visitors will not want to see a site cluttered up with far too many images, background and colourful fonts. This is too confusing for the eye. Once again, keep things simple by minimising the amount of graphics and using a lot of white space, which will give a sense of spaciousness and overall neatness to a website.

Always check for broken links within a website prior to uploading it to the server. This is fairly straightforward in Dreamweaver and several other packages of this kind, so there is no excuse.

If these simple guidelines are followed, then your site visitors will have a rewarding experience when they visit your web pages.