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Helpful tips, references, and
resources on building websites

By Craig Goldwyn, visibility.tv

Do and don't do. A list of tips that can make a huge difference in how people respond to your site.

Do you need a makeover? Take this quiz and see.

Choosing a domain name. Whether your site is a simple online brochure, or a fully stocked store, the name you give it is as important as naming your business or your child. You're going to invest in the name and build it as a brand, and you're going to have to live with it for a long long time. Here's what you need to know before you to chose and register a domain name.

ADVERTISEMENT: Buy domain names at Network Solutions.

Hosting and commerce service providers. How to find a host, and links to hosts with shopping carts (aka Commerce Service Providers or CSPs). Also there are links to info on shopping cart software and credit card and transaction processing.

Search engine voodoo. How do you get a prominent listing in Yahoo and the other search engines?

Why they abandon shopping carts. Studies estimate that up to 75% of all shopping carts are abandoned before the sale is closed. All that effort and money, and you failed to close the sale. Why is this?

Understanding web statistics & logs. Your website collects a lot of useful info about what people are doing with your site and where they come from. Here's what they mean. Sneak peek: HITS DON'T MATTER!

Caches cause problems. When you are working on my site I can't always see the changes for days. Why is that?

Taming color. Ever notice that the wall of TVs at Best Buy all show color differently? You guessed it, we have the same problem on the web. Here's why, and how to minimize the problem.

The problem with fonts. Thousands of fonts. Go ahead. Pick a font. Just so long as it is Verdana or Arial. Grrrrrr.

Affiliating with Amazon.com and other merchants. Several online merchants have affiliate programs that pay you a commission if you send people to their site to buy. Here's how you can sell books on your site and make a 15% commission from Amazon. And while you're at it, why not sell housewares, electronics, DVDs, Videos, and more.

Disaster planning. Sooner or later all hard drives die. How much will you lose when this happens? What if there is a fire? Are you ready? Viruses? Do you practice safe computing? What is your backup plan? Do you have proper insurance?

Stock photography and clip art. As a rule, original art is better than clip-art. Especially the cheesy stick figures that you get from Microsoft. Whenever possible use your own graphics or hire an artist. But occasionally clip art comes in handy for icons for buttons or logos. Here are some sources.

Developer references. Articles, reference materials, and other valuable resources on how to build websites, and keep them up and running.

Message boards and chats. Links to several tools that help you create message boards where you and your friends and customers can intereact.

Email newsletters. Email newsletters are unmatched marketing tools and a great way to build relationships. This article discusses how to create and distribute newsletters, lists several of the top email service suppliers, and gives you a list of questions to ask them.

Hoaxes and chain letters. There is an insidious problem with email that has devalued the most important communications medium since television: hoaxes and chain letters. You've seen them, the $250 cookies, the Bill Gates giveaways, the roach eggs on postage stamps. They are called "Urban Legends" by anthropologists and scientists who study human behavior. Here's how to spot them and get rid of them.

How we will work together. Here are the steps to a successful internet strategy.

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