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6 Ways to Identify that You Might be on a Fake Website

Online shoppers constantly see product offers that are too good to be true. Some unsuspecting shoppers who are intent on saving a buck may find out later that they have been victims of scams. If you aren’t careful, you could lose a fortune on these carefully constructed schemes.

Ways to Identify Fake Website

(Pixabay / SplitShire)

The global counterfeit trade industry adds up to billions of dollars each year. You may order a brand name and end up with a cheap knock-off or not receive a product at all. Worse, you could have your credit card information or personal details stolen.

To avoid being scammed, make sure that you check websites carefully. Here are some red flags to watch for:

  • Questionable domain name — Scammers imitate the domain names of bona fide businesses by simply adding a few extra characters while posing as the real thing. If you see a domain name of a legitimate brand with an additional word tacked on such as “sales,” “discounts,” or some other term, you might be dealing with a phony site. Another popular tactic is using the brand name before a generic domain extension, like .biz or .info.
  • Poor design and grammar — Branded companies devote a lot of money to their websites, ensuring a perfect design and presentation. When you see poor-quality images and bad English, be careful.
  • Huge discounts — Profit is the primary motivation in business. If you see an offer that is unreasonably cheap, you might be dealing with a fake website. If an offer seems too good to be true, check competitors’ websites to get an idea of the going price. If your offer is way below the standard, it’s probably best to abandon the website.
  • Weird payment specifications — If a website asks you to pay through wire transfer, such as Western Union, alarm bells should be going off in your head. Work through websites that have secure credit or debit card payment options, because there is no way to get your money back if you send a wire.
  • Poor communication options — If the contact information on the website looks strange or is missing an address or phone number, there may be a problem. Also, if the site wants you to fill out a query instead of providing contact details, you may be stepping into a danger zone.
  • Bad reviews — Before buying anything online, check the website reviews. If you see nothing but complaints, look elsewhere to buy your products.

Trust your instincts when you deal with suspicious websites. If you have the gut feeling that something is wrong, it’s probably best to shop elsewhere. There are plenty of online shopping choices, so why risk dealing with shady websites that won’t deliver?

3 Online Resources for Learning About Web Development

Many web designers and developers are committed to sharing tips, tricks, and other knowledge. As evidence, check out the various online resources for helping people understand more about web development. These web-based tutorials can teach you how to build a portfolio, develop websites, and even launch a career in web development.

Online Resources for Web Development

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In this increasing-demand field, web developers are evaluated less by certifications than by the strength of their portfolios. In other words, your work samples speak louder than your credentials. Many of today’s best web developers built their portfolios based on instruction from the online web development community, not from formal classroom settings.

Here are some of the best websites to help aspiring developers master their craft:

  • Lynda — This site offers a range of video courses from online instructors for a low monthly fee. It gives aspiring developers access to thousands of online courses that range from beginner to advanced. You can choose the classes that best fit your needs and the trajectory of your career.
  • Codeacademy — This course-based online learning site is completely free. Instead of watching sets of videos, users learn through interactive examples that introduce coding from the get-go. Every example will allow you to learn a particular programming language, such as HTML, CSS, or PHP. The various samples let you code within the browser. Your code will then be evaluated by the platform together with explanations.
  • Treehouse — This premier online learning source offers two pricing tiers to users. It will guide you along tracks specific to a certain skill. Videos from various instructors complement each track. The videos cover all aspects of web development.

Guidance for launching your web developing career is as close as the internet. Take advantage of these online resources that work with all different schedules and budgets.

Build a Portfolio Website

You can get more business and bolster your professional brand by building a portfolio website. The purpose of a portfolio website is to showcase your work and allow people to get in contact with you. It allows you to store your best work in one place for potential clients to view.

Build a Portfolio Website

(Pixabay / ptra)

If you are building a portfolio website, follow these steps:

  • Pare down your collection — You don’t necessarily want to include all of your work in your portfolio; that could overwhelm viewers. Rather, include only what you regard as your most exciting work. Consider your target audience and add images that will appeal to them. Make sure that your work is displayed through high-resolution images.
  • Mention other clients — Including a list of your clients will help establish your credibility.
  • Include recent projects — It is important that your portfolio includes your best work, but you should also make sure that it includes current projects. This will show your prospective clients that the quality of your design has improved through the years instead of remaining stagnant or regressing.
  • Tell your story — Your images will reveal something about you and your personality, but you should also use words to introduce yourself to potential clients. Choose your words carefully, describing how you work, your skill sets, and what type of processes you use. These concise descriptions will help clients feel connected to you and understand how you can further their goals.
  • Maintain order — Make your presentation smooth and orderly by keeping related pieces of work together. When your art is categorized, it is easier to peruse.

Never consider your portfolio website as finished. Think of it as a work in progress that you can continually revise and improve. As you evolve as an artist, your website should evolve, too.

8 Web Designs that Get Results

Many would argue that design eclipses content when it comes to getting traffic to a website. That is why a well-designed site has such a big impact on the bottom line of a business.

Web Design that Gets Results

(Pixabay / JuralMin)

If you are looking to enhance sign-ups, traffic, and sales to a website, consider these tips:

  • Streamline — You don’t need a complicated or intricate design to entice customers to visit and return to your page. Simply provide relevant information that your customers need in an easily accessible format. Simple websites perform better.
  • Create a winning value proposition — This proposition tells customers why they should buy from you. This could be shared through a slogan or a headline, or it could come in the form of images or video. Communicating a strong value proposition will affect your entire site and the customer experience that you provide.
  • Don’t underestimate headlines — A headline will tell users exactly what information they will find on a designated webpage. That will help them navigate your site more efficiently for an optimal user experience.
  • Establish credibility — Customers will come to your website if they feel that they can trust you. Include testimonials and reviews on your site to strengthen your reputation.
  • Direct the eyes — Use visual elements to direct viewers’ attention to the most important components on a page.
  • Focus — The elements of your website, including the headlines and images, should be focused on only one idea or subject rather than a hodge-podge of themes.
  • Make it quick — The loading speed of a website affects the user experience. If it’s fast, users will want to return. If not, they’ll abandon the site. Website speed became even more important when Google began figuring it into its algorithm for search engine rankings.
  • Treat all pages equally — Your visitors can land on any of your pages, so it’s vital to build each page with the same care that you give the landing page.

Knowing these and other web design secrets can improve your website traffic and, ultimately, grow your business.

 

A website with effective design often encourages users to subscribe to the site’s content, bookmark the page and even recommend it to others. Hence, it is important that when you think about the design of the website, you also think about its significance to the users. In this infographic, you can learn more about web designs.

Web Design Secrets That Increase Sign Ups and Sales [infographic]

Reasons Behind Website Crashes

As a business owner, your website is your showcase. It is your business’ sales floor, your brand, and more. It sells for you 24/7, and that’s why a website crashing can be so detrimental.

Reasons Behind Website Crashes

(Pixabay / rawpixel)

No matter how customer your website design or proactive you are, there will likely be a time that your website crashes. Knowing the reasons behind website crashes will allow you to prepare and avoid them.

Here are a few commons types of website crashes.

  • Server error – Server errors usually mean that something is corrupt on your site, or your host is having a problem. When you see this error, contact your host to see if they can resolve the error or help you identify how to fix it on your end.
  • Massive traffic spike – You want traffic to come to your website but when there is a sudden influx of traffic that you weren’t prepared for, your website could crash. Talk to your host about increasing your website’s resources to handle dramatic increases in traffic.
  • Need for a new host – Has your website grown over the years? Your hosting plan may no longer support the size of your website and the amount of traffic you are getting. If your website crashes frequently, maybe it’s time for you to get a new hosting plan.
  • Expired domain – Always keep tabs on when your domain expires. If you let it lapse, down goes your website… even if your host is still current.
  • Plugins – Sometimes a third-party plugin can have a hiccup. Maybe you updated your website, and the plugin isn’t compatible with the new version. Perhaps the plugin has a vulnerability that a hacker took advantage of. If you know that a plugin is the cause of your problems, disable it and contact the plugin developer for a new version or some answers.
  • Brute force attacks – Hackers aren’t always trying to steal data. Sometimes they just want to be annoying and crash a site. A brute force attack is when hackers use programs to send an excessive number of fake visitors to a website to overload it until it crashes. Again, talk to your host about how you may increase your website’s resources to minimize this vulnerability.
  • Code errors – This type of problem is usually caused by someone who works directly with the website. Sometimes, all it takes is one character off in a line of code to bring a site to its knees. If you see your website returning a code error, talk to anyone that may have recently made updates to it.

Tips for Top-quality User Interface Design

On occasion, web designers may fall into the trap of showing off their design abilities. They may unleash a fury of advanced and highly creative design elements, all the while forgetting that “form follows function.” They may create a fancy looking without bothering to follow best practices or listen to what their users need and want, and then the functionality of the website flops.

Tips for Top-quality User Interface Design

(Pixabay / Pexels)

A website is more than a group of pages. It is a space where different assets blend together, communicate, and affect one another. The interaction within the space creates an experience for the user, and it is the designer’s responsibility to ensure that the experience is an optimal one.

Here are a few tips to ensure a first-rate user web design:

  • Understand intended use — How will your users interact with your website design? Will most visitors be on a mobile device? Will it be through a touch-based screen? Or some other means? An understanding of this interaction can steer your website’s design for optimal functionality.
  • Know your audience — Your website should be developed with your target audience in mind. Get familiar with their demographic info before you start designing so that you know what makes them tick and what will incorporate what resonates with them into your website design.
  • Provide an intuitive website design — We live in a world of instant gratification. Users should know what to expect when they perform a certain action on your website, such as clicking a button.
  • Limit decisions — A lot of choices may seem like a good thing, but it could have a negative impact when it comes to a website. Ever heard of “paralysis by analysis?” Don’t overload your users with so many decisions that they get overwhelmed.
  • Adhere to standards — As a designer, you may love to do things your own way, but standards are there for a reason. They guide users through a familiar and predictable process. When you veer too far off the beaten path, you may leave people rudderless and confused.
  • Track results — Set up Google analytics for your website, and analyze the data on a regular basis. Analytics will give you insights in to the behavior of your website’s visitors. For example, if Analytics reveals that visitors are consistently leaving your website from a common page then you can identify that page and fix it.

A good, user-friendly website design is critical to increasing traffic, and more traffic can increase your conversions and bolster your bottom line.

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