How To Begin A Web Development Project

So you have a great idea for a website? Or it’s finally time to move your business into the 21st century and get a business website. Well, here are some pointers to getting off to the right start.

First of all, have a plan. Not having a plan is planning to fail. One of the best ways to plan your new website is with a white paper. A white paper is basically a website business plan displayed in an info-graphic. This can be very helpful for getting a overview of what each part of the website will do and how each page will interact with other pages.

White papers start by addressing the basic structure of your website. This is usually 4 to 8 pages that will make up the “back-bones” of the site. Some examples of these pages are “Products”, “Services”, “Contact”, “Home”, etc.

Once you have established the core modules for the site, it is time to fill in any extraneous pages that will be apart of the main core pages. Examples of these pages are “Pricing”, “Sizes”, “Colors”, “Sales”, etc.

Now create a diagram with the main pages as boxes with the links that will be connecting the pages drawn in as lines. After the main pages are created, add the secondary pages inside the main pages. It should give you an organized diagram of the site when finished.

With this simple diagram, you can now delve deeper into site style, content and functionality. Make several copies of the diagram you created above and label each one as “Style”, “Content”, and “Functionality.” Now fill in the details on each one of these pages with the appropriate details of how you want to stylize the page, what content will be on the page, and how the user will interact with that content, described on the functionality chart.

After you have finished with this process, it is time to put sales funnels into your design process. This is a key step that many site creators miss. Sales funnels are ways that your customer will be guided from a need or want to a satisfactory result on your website.

Start by thinking about the ways a prospect might find their way to your website. Now take that information and meld it with how that same prospect would be guided to a purchase on your website. The two of these concepts combined becomes a sales funnel to that particular product or service.

Try to create as many different sales funnels to your products or services as you can without diluting the process too much.

Once there is a plan like a white paper in place, it is easier to begin the development process. Using the created white papers, a developer should have a relatively easy time transferring your ideas from paper to the web.

Make sure to have all of the images and content that will go on each page segmented into their own folders. When transferring files to the developer, make sure to label each delivery as the page it goes with and only include information that goes on that page. This will simplify and organize the process for your developer, and limit your frustration with editing the site down the road.

 

How To Make Images Fit Your Website

Images are a key component of any successful website. With proper imagery, a website helps to convey a message to the user, whether that is how great a product is, or what the organization’s building looks like, these images are crucial.

Many web admins realize the importance of good imagery to their website, but maybe do not realize how to go about making an image fit properly to their site.

Many sites offer a easy up-load option for images that allows drag-and-drop interface between where the image is located and hosting the image on the site.
These image up-loaders often fail to re-size the image to a proper size for the particular situation.

It is helpful to understand the basic concepts of web dimensions.

Basically, all web pages are approximately 1000-1200 pixels wide and 1000’s of pixels tall. With most images that are meant to actually show detail, coming in around 200-400 pixels wide by 200-400 pixels high. Each image will have it’s own specific image dimensions that it will look the best set at.

To find these dimensions, open the photo in a photo editor. If you have Photoshop installed, open the image in the program and check out the size specs. If you don’t have Photoshop, a good alternative is Paint.net and it is free.

Changing Image Size

With the photo open in the photo editor, click on Image on the top menu, then choose Change Size from the drop down list. On this pop-up screen, are the current pixel dimensions of the image. This can be helpful for deciding if an image will fit in a particular location properly.

Additionally from this pop-up screen, you can adjust the size of the image by specific pixels, or by using the percentage change meter. Using the percentage change meter will yield a more accurate image then trying to change the image by pixel size alone.

Finding Image Space Allocation

In order to have the image fit the website, the space allocated for the image must be discovered. To do this, there are a couple of options. First, look to see if there is an image currently occupying the space. If so, copy this image to your computer and open it in your photo editor. Discover the size of the image and make the replacement image the exact same size.

If there is not an image in the current space, another option may work. Open the snipping tool on your machine by going to the Start Menu and clicking in the search box at the bottom of the menu.

In the search box type “snipping tool” (only works in Windows) a red pair of scissors with Snipping Tool will appear as an option, click on that. It is important to note that before launching Snipping Tool, to be on the page that you wish to capture the image size of.

So now with the tool open, stretch and drag the cursor to encompass the entire area of where you want to place the new image. Let go of the mouse clicker and a context menu will appear. Choose save from the menu, and save it to your desktop.

Drag the image from the desktop into your photo editor and change the size of the image in order to discover it’s exact dimensions. Now take those dimensions and make the new image that exact size. After that, the image is ready to be uploaded to the spot indicated by the sizing.

If you are having a hard time updating your website, please do not hesitate to contact Authentic Imaging, LLC. at 406-322-3569.

 

Xfasteners.com

Xfasteners.com is the new generation of online construction and specialty screw retail store, built to offer a better user experience when purchasing fasteners and screws online.  

Project Request

Xfasteners.com wanted a website that can offer an exceptional user experience on buying construction screw online. Their key targeted consumer ranges from the individual self-fixer to construction companies looking for high quality fasteners and screw online.
Our Solutions

Authenticimaging.com developed the site with an enterprise ecommerce CRM platform (Magento) to give them all the tools needed to manage, tack and offer an exceptional customer service.

  • The sales module allows them to manage the entire ordering process, from invoices, taxes and shipping look-up.
  • The catalog allows full customization of each, product description, product quantity, product images and product review.
  • Secured Payment Gateway setup for online payment
  • Search allows keywords tag for custom search word for individual users.

Results

Xfasterners.com was lunched less than two month ago and it’s already pulling a higher conversion rate than their old counter-parts online, simply due to the how easily accessible products are setup on the site.

  • Xfasteners.com is very happy with what we did with the site and the experience their new clients express has help customer retention.
  • Xfasteners.com is using authenticimaging.com to strategize all its marketing objectives

Technologies

The site was built with Magento Enterprise CRM

How To Use Hyper Text Markup Language HTML

The web is built upon hyper-text markup language, better known as HTML.

What HTML does is tell the web browser how to display the contents of the page. If a website was a house, HTML would be the frame. Although many websites have WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editors available that allow updates to be made without touching the code, it will still be necessary under some circumstances to edit HTML.

For example, often times it is not possible to get text and images to lay out properly with the WYSIWYG editor. With basic HTML knowledge, a website owner can make web pages more attractive by have control of the source code. Assembled below is a quick guide to some frequently used HTML codes. Feel free to use this list, link to it from your website, or come back as frequently as need to finish your project.

HTML Code Cheat Sheet

( Note: many of these tags are depreciated, meaning they are not currently considered a standard by W3.  )

Bold text – <b>this text is bold</b>

Italic text – <i>this text is italic</i>

Underline text – <u>this text is under-lined</u>

Strike Through Text – <s>this text has strike through</s>

Line break – <br />

Add a space – &nbsp;

Adding hyper-links – <a href=”/put link destination here with full URL including https://”>Text of Link Here</a>

Adding Lists

 

Un-ordered list – <ul><li>One list item</li><li>Second list item</li><li>Third list item</li></ul>

Ordered list – <ol><li>One list item</li><li>Second list item</li><li>Third list item</li></ol>

Copyright – &copy;

Trademark – &trade;

Registered – &reg;

Line across – <hr />

Adding Tables

 

Table – <table>

Table header – <theader>

Table row – <tr>

Table data – <td>

Putting it all together to make a table:

<table>

<tr>

<td>One item in row 1</td>

<td>Second item in row1</td>

</tr>

<tr>

<td>One item in row 2</td>

<td>Second item in row 2</td>

</tr>

</table>

If you would like assistance with HTML or other code on your website, please contact the friendly professionals at Authentic Imaging, LLC. at 406.322.3569

How to use Pinterest

Pinterest is an online board of interesting links. Many, many people are enjoying searching Pinterest and are finding ideas for weddings, parties and anniversaries that they could never find so easily anywhere else. The great thing about Pinterest is that the quality of the pins are so good. Pinterest has a screening process for pins to ensure that each post is accurate and of proper quality for the site. This make the users experience extremely pleasant, without running into the issues usually present across the web.

To get started on Pinterest, click here, and fill out a new account. After establishing your account, you’ll want to choose some boards to follow. These boards will determine the pins that come through your new feed. Try to pick categories that are of interest to you, things like biking, gardening, cooking, travel, etc.

SEO for Businesses in Billings Montana

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of producing content and links as well as other techniques to rank better on search engines like Google and Bing. Ranking high on search engines can be a huge boost to a businesses reputation and ultimately the bottom line. There are several steps businesses in Billings should take to make sure their business is ranking properly on the popular search engines.

The first and most important action to take is to make sure that all of the business’s information such as phone number, address and email are all consistent across the web. Having mis-matching information causes distrust with Google, and may cause the business to not be indexed at all. By checking all of the social media sites and directory listings online and making sure the info is consistent, the business has a better chance of beating competitors on search.

The second and also crucially important step is creation of unique content, such as articles and/or videos, related to the business that help to define what the business is about, and other information related to the industry. Unique content, content that doesn’t appear on any other websites, is very powerful at gaining higher results in the search engines.

Copyscape is a website that checks the web for duplicate content. Once unique content is created, it is time to distribute it across the web. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are great places to place content links. These websites are hugely valued by search engines like Google and Bing, and a link from them to a business website can bring up search results for the business in generic searches customers are searching.

Lastly, it is important to get links from and give links to reputable sites that are supportive of the business. For example, a dentist would want to give links to the National Dental Association, and receive links from sites like Dental Site.

Links are seen as value associations to Google and other search engines, and there are actually points given to different links. A link on a home page will have a much higher value than a link on a page deeper in the website. The more quality links going to and going out of a site, the higher the search engine results.

The best thing a business owner in Billings Montana can do to increase their business onilne is to get started. Time online reflects time in the real world, so the longer a business is seen a certain way online the higher the credibility and higher the search results. So when it comes to SEO, starting a plan today and picking away at it is the best way to achieve search goals.

Need help getting started with SEO? Contact Authentic Imaging for a business evaluation today 406-322-3569.

An app made for losers!

If you are the kind of person that seem to lose anything you get your hands on; I’m talking about keys, pets, bags, children, you name it, there is an app that can transform you from being a loser to a winner!

Stick-N-find is a revolutionary product that combines a physical object (sticky and small) with an app.  This has the ability to transform the way we keep and track all the things that matter in your life. This technology makes you ask yourself “why didn’t I come up with this idea?”

Now you can sit easy knowing when your keys get lost Stick-N-Find can pinpoint you to it.  Or, let’s theoretically say your kid or pet wonders off you get alerted before they get out of range. No more losing your TV remote within the confines of your couch, in your kid’s toy box or under your bed. Finding your suitcase in the airport conveyor belt is a snap with Stick-N-Find.

This technology allows you to find your stuff, with an app and a device the size of a quarter which allows you to stick it anywhere. The signal can come with a buzzer or light, so that you can find your stuff in the dark.

Stick-N-Find is widely used by consumers and has generally favorable reviews. App detection of device has a range limitation of 100 feet. Battery lasts up-to 1 year based on 30 minutes a day usage.

The only downfall is that the device is useless without your smart phone, so we recommend installing the app on multiple devices and then putting a sticky on all of them.  Recursion has met its match! Read more on this product at sticknfind.com

How To Create Valuable Content Online

We have all been there before, staring at a blank Word document with a deadline fast approaching. This is the first impression most people get when they think about writing.

It is understandable to be challenged when writing about a random topic a teacher came up with, however, when writing for oneself or for your own business, it  should be easy and fun. Making writing fun is not as hard as it seems.

First off, make a quick hot topic list on a piece of scratch paper about all of the interesting things going on in your particular industry.

This should be a quick activity, don’t spend too much time figuring this out, just go with what flows. Next, after assembling some good ideas about things going on in your industry, pick one that interests you.

Once the idea is chosen, it is important to let the ideas that come in your head to flow. So a good exercise is to just start writing all of the thoughts that come to you about it, regardless if they seem rational or useful. Now that all of your creative juices have flowed, it is time to bring in the rational mind.

Go through the writing you just did and pull out the pieces that seem to make the most sense and start to piece them together with other thoughts in the similar vein. This exercise should give you a starting place for your article. Start your article by introducing the subject and what the reader will achieve by reading your piece.

After introductions, use pieces from your brain storming session to fill in all the details about the subject of the article. Last, summarize what the point of the article is and give the reader a nugget of resourceful info that they can take with them. Make sure to include a call to action if the point of the article is to create more business for your business.

If your would like assistance creating or adding content to your website, give Authentic Imaging, LLC. a call at 406.322.3569.

The Power of Search for Business

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is one of the most powerful tools in the business marketers’ toolbox. What makes it so powerful is that the people searching are highly targeted towards a business or product, and often plan on making a purchase from a service or product provider listed on the search results.

Your business can grab a larger share of these searches by improving the SEO of your website. Search results can vary based on location and other variables. It is wise to get the help of a well-referenced search engine expert to help position your business properly.

Some of the aspects this professional will focus on are what type of information is currently available online about your business, and what information is not online that should be?

It is important to note that only the most accurate and up-to-date contact information for your business should be online. Any information that is old or incorrect, will serve as a negative mark against your business, and may even cause your business to not be listed at all.

Other parts of a full search engine campaign, include checking the code of your website for proper structure. This includes making sure that CSS style-sheets and JavaScript are independent files for the quickest load times, and that there are no code errors in the HTML, CSS or JavaScript.

Additionally, title tags and meta tags should be completed properly and all images should be original with proper naming, title tags, alt tags and descriptions.

After fixing errors and beefing up internal structures, it is important to focus on content. Content is the king of the internet, and original, well-written content will go very far in helping to bring new customers to your business from search.

 

Google and other search engines regularly comb websites for new content. When new content is discovered, it is indexed by the page title along with some of the information on the page that the spider deems important to the title.

The more frequent the updating of the content, the more frequent the Google spiders will index your website. This is a good thing when it comes to beating your competition in search.

 

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow articles or specials to be distributed in large networks with easy modes of distribution. Getting visitors from Facebook and Twitter to your website can be a positive vote toward your website’s search engine optimization.

Try to take a holistic approach to Search Engine Optimization, realizing that not any one technique will bring success, but the steady practice of multiple techniques over time brings more and more business.

If you would like help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) contact Authentic Imaging, LLC. at 406.322.3569

Tips For Using iPad

Tablets are lots of fun, and the iPad is the king of tablets. Although the iPad is an amazing machine, there are still some tips you can follow to optimize your iPad-ing experience. These tips are broken down by Battery Optimization, Operation Speed-Up & Awesome Apps.

Follow these tips for a better iPad experience, and share your tips in the comments below:

Battery Optimization

The downside of mobile operating systems currently is that they leave lots of applications running in the background that can zap the power from the battery. To check on what applications are running rogue on your iPad, double click the Home button.

This pulls up a horizontal menu of all the programs currently open and running. Note that some of the programs may be outside the screen to the right, and may require finger swiping at the bottom from right to left to bring these programs into view.

Now that you have gotten a good idea of what is running, it is time to shut everything off. Why shut everything off you might ask? Because the system will relaunch any application at it’s current state by clicking on the shortcut icon, and it is unnecessary to have the application open and running if it is not being used. So go ahead and close all of the apps by holding your finger down on one of the apps until little minus signs appear in the top left corner of all the apps.

Now that the minus sign is visible on all the apps, all you have to do is click on each minus sign to close the app down. After all the apps are closed, you can go about your iPad-ing business by clicking on the one app you want to run and know that all the others are not sucking battery or processing power.

Operation Speed-Up

There is something magical about the iPad, it flows smoothly from application to application, game to e-mail to internet browsing gracefully. But what if it does not? Then you may have a need to speed-up the operation of  your machine. One of the best ways to do this is to cut back on unused and unnecessary applications.

A good rule of thumb to go by is if you have not used an app in a month or longer, then go ahead and delete it off the iPad. If you happen to need this application again in the future, you can always re-download it from the App Store.

To delete an application, hold down on top of the app until it turns red and a pop-up message asks if you would like to delete this application permanently. Click delete, and repeat this process on all the other excess apps.

Awesome Apps

The iPad would never be as cool if it wasn’t for the vast array of apps available to download from the App Store. Here are a few of the great apps available on the device:

  • ZinioDo you enjoy reading books on Kindle? Then you will love reading magazines on ZinioZinio does a great job of creating the vibrant colors and feel of today’s modern magazines. They have thousands of titles to choose from, tens of thousands of issues to browse, and millions of pages of content to get you through the humdrum of that waiting room.
  • PaperFeeling artistic? Paper is a great tool to get that artistic flow out on your iPad. It has the basic engine of all other drawing programs but then it adds a bunch of great features for adding flare to your drawing project. Grab this app in the App Store today for free.
  • ChromeNeed to browse the web quickly and precisely? No problem, Chrome is here. The popular web browser by Google can be used on the iPad as the native browser.

    The advantages it offers over Safari are quicker speeds and more reliable connection. Additionally, Google Account Users will find the transfer of there favorite websites and auto-saved personal information very useful when they log into their Google account from Chrome on the iPad.

  • SpotifyWant to jam out to some new tunes? Try out Spotify. It is a music streaming service that will play music similar to an artist you choose for the station, including tracks from that artist. This can be very handy for discovering new music and new artists. Try out Spotify for free in the App Store and start enjoying music how you like it.
  • AccuWeatherNeed to know whether or not to wear that sweater? Check out the AccuWeather app for iPad. It offers great weather coverage in an attractive heads-up display with animation of the current weather system in your area.

    It also provides a forecast of the upcoming weather over the next few days. AccuWeather can be downloaded from the App Store for free.

 

The iPad offers many great features and applications, it just takes a little discovery to find out how to access and use them. It is definitely worth it though. We hope you enjoyed our tip list, and if you have any iPad tips to add, put them in the comments below: