Technology moves at a rapid pace and keeping up can be frustrating. The fact is that a company without a website is missing out on many customers that they won’t be able to get any other way, so implementing technology in your favor is important. Read on to find some techniques and secrets which will help you get into the game. It is always good to add a favicon to your website. The favicon is a 16×16 image file in the .Ico format. This image is the one you see next to the URL bar, next to the title of the page on an opened tab and is also visible on your bookmarks tab if you choose to bookmark a page. The favicon will help users quickly recognize your page in their browser without reading any text or directly viewing the page. Be sure to select the correct graphics when designing your website. Remember, bitmap images can get quite large and often don’t work very well while PNG images work fine. For text buttons, screenshots, and other images that are not photographs, use PNG for images with over 256 colors and GIF for images with less. JPEG images can be used for photos. When you are creating graphics or photos for your website, be sure to keep the file size small. If your graphics are too large, your page will load slowly and your visitors will leave. You can find many free or inexpensive graphics programs online that will optimize your images before you load them to your website. Always include a search tool for searching through your site. If those visiting your site are looking for something specific, the first thing they will look for is a search box. If there is no search box, they are not going to take the time to look through all your content. They are just going to move on. Put the search box near the top right side of the page, since that tends to be common. If you want your site visitors to spend as much time as possible on your site, make text easy to read. One of the most common design mistakes is using graphic backgrounds with patterns or dark colors; combine this with equally dark text and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless the text is clear and easy to read, your site will not be a success. Try doing some research on a variety of keywords. While your main focus should always be on providing your customer with relevant and current information, you first need to work on gaining a customer base. To make sure that people find your website more easily, you’ll need to learn what keywords are and how to use them effectively. For the best layout, make sure that the colors you choose for the background and font are restful to the eyes. Choosing moving backgrounds or neon colors can make it hard for people to read, and they may navigate to another web site. However, include pictures to break up your content and make the site complete. Don’t load rich content automatically. Rich content mainly refers to music and videos, but anything other than text or graphics qualifies. Many people browse in work environments where sounds suddenly playing is a big problem. Also, many people find such rich content annoying in general. Rich content should require some interaction from the user before playing. Try including real customer testimonials. Very few want to be the first to try a product or service, so let customers know that others have tried your wares and that they were pleased with them. Try asking some clients that have done projects with you to create a short paragraph about their experience with your company, to put on your site. Part of designing a good website is finding the best website hosting package. You want a package that offers ample disk space, bandwidth, email accounts, and such. If you cannot find a good website host for your project, then you shouldn’t start your project. Hold out until you can locate a premium host. You should know everything included in hosting service’s package. Pay close attention to how much bandwidth, CPU usage and disk space each package includes. Be certain that you are aware of what you are paying for. Proofread everything! Your goal is to make it easy for people to read your content. Errors that appear on your site make the site appear unprofessional, and the credibility of the site is likely to take a hit. In order to host your own website, you must have the infrastructure and the money it requires. It could actually prove much more costly to you. You also need to know what you are doing. It is not easy as pie, and you must have the knowledge to host your own website. Design your website as an artist would. By that, we mean you should be open to inspiration all the time. If something inspires you to have a design idea while you are out and about, make sure that you write down a quick note of your idea on whatever you have access to, for example, a napkin. You can jot down notes on a notepad, carry a small recorder, send yourself a text message or email or call your answering machine or voicemail and leave yourself a message. Do your best to set aside slots of time for each day that are strictly dedicated to working on your website. It’s important to block out large chunks of time, so that you don’t fall into the trap of just dabbling in web design. When you put the effort into doing this, your hard work will pay off as your site is built. In addition, working for longer periods of time makes the retention of what you are learning and doing much easier. In the end, web design has become so simple that anyone can do it. From your 8 year old neighbor who has her own Pokemon site to my 90 year old Grandmother and the Quilting forum she set up, everyone seems to be active online. Get your company set up with its own presence and enjoy the profits it brings!