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Mobile phones


A lady contacted me the other day rather confused, she said that somebody could visit her site but not see anything when he arrived, and could she list her services etc, after a long chat it was established that he was a visitor to the area, and could not access her site on the hotel computer, the site was being viewed on a mobile phone, and with the combination of many different additions that had been made the content was unreadable, so it poses the question is your site mobi compatible?

An easy way of seeing how your site displays on mobile phones is to use one of the many mobile phone browser emulators, I have listed some below so you can try it yourself

If you discover your site will not display properly, what are your options?
the most obvious one is to rebuild the site but in many cases that is impractical, so an easier solution is to create a mobi website and place a link on your main site, that way visitors will have a choice as to which site to display

A mobi site is designed to display on smaller screens and also contains less information to help with loading times, at miradesign we tend to create just four pages:

  • The index page, which details your location
  • The about page, which tells a little about you, we tend just to add stats, age, size, and services you do/do not offer
  • The rates page, which details your rates
  • The contact page, self explanatory, but just has your email, phone number and times of contact

We tend to use a small different picture on each page rather than a gallery, and our feed back has always been positive

So with the amount of travellers who now use mobiles rather than hotel computers, maybe its time to think mobi

  • dotMobi Online Emulator – mTLD has an online emulator that you can use to quickly see what your site will look like on a common phone
  • Nokia Browser Simulator – this simulator simulates a generic Nokia phone and WAP gateway
  • Openwave Phone Simulator – Openwave’s browser simulator
  • Opera Mini Simulator – simulates Opera’s popular J2ME browser
  • BlackBerry Simulator – multiple different BlackBerry simulators
  • Yospace SmartPhone Emulator – an emulator that can display multiple phone instances at the same time
  • Comments

    Domain names

    Right you read the title and think domain names yep I know what they are, all that .co .com. something that points to your site, well yes that’s right, but that wouldn’t make a good blog post, so lets delve deeper into the world of the .com

    ok so we all know what a domain is, for you at the back that’s not sure it’s a way of helping people find their way around the internet, every computer on the internet has a unique address known as an ip address, which is just a long string of numbers, but like phone numbers its hard to remember every one, so using a domain name instead it makes it more memorable, after all take 66.234.564.118 we can have www.miradesign.co.uk instead.
    So now we know that

    • When should I get one?
    • How do we get one?
    • What does it cost?
    • How does it work?

    I am going to concentrate just on .co.uk and .com domains here, although there are many more extensions available, and much of the text will apply to all of them

    First of all if we are going to obtain a domain name, we need to think of one and then see if its available, many many names are already registered, so be creative and get a few ideas together, then to find out if its available, many domain registrant companies have a handy search, like the one below, give it a go and see if your domains available
    So in answer to when should you get one, I say as soon as possible, you can register it now and leave it parked until your ready to use it.

     Once you have found the domain of your dreams, you will need to register it, before somebody else has the same idea, and for that you need a domain registrant, these are companies set up just for the purpose and handle the registration and control on your behalf, the format is quite simple, once you choose to register, you will be asked for a few personal details for billing, then registrant details*, this can be the same as your billing details, or say those of your company, a good analogy at this point is when you buy a car, you maybe the legal owner, but the log book carries details of the keeper (registrant) which may or may not be one of the same

    *Point to note here, the registrant details are available publicly although if registering a .co.uk on behalf of a uk individual, you are allowed to opt out of this display and only have a name on show, remember to choose that option when asked

    The cost of a domain name can be as little as £2.78 a year for .co.uk and £8.99 for .com
    at this point I better mention .co.uk has to be registered for a minimum of 2 years, and renewed in 2 year blocks, many registrants will let you register a domain name up to 10 years at a time.

    Once you have registered your domain name, it is usually set to point at the registrants servers, until your ready to change it to point at your own, to do this usually involves changing something called name servers which will be supplied by your hosting company, for example ns1.amberhosts.co.uk you would then take that and log into your registrars members area and change the details of the name servers in there, this article cannot go into how as every registrar varies, but there is usually an option somewhere to do this

    Once you have changed your name servers, the new information has to propagate though the system, so when you choose to point it at your site, it can take between 24-48 hours before showing as changed



    Links and link exchanges

    Often when your listing your site somewhere, one thing your asked is to put a link back to them on your site, another common request is to link exchange, where they will place your link on their site and in return, you display theirs on yours

    “Hmmmm” I hear you thinking, “that’s ok, but why would I want to promote other sites on mine” and it is indeed a good question, and also there is a good answer hence the article, Search engines love this kind of mutual linking more commonly known as reciprocal linking to help gauge your popularity

    Google amongst others use a special link analysis system to rank web pages amongst their other systems, so the more links you have pointing at you the higher you rank, which is why despite the worries its ok to promote other sites

    Another benefit of this scheme is it also works for the directories benefit, which helps them get higher, as they get higher, your more likely to be spotted on there, and around it goes

    “Ok” you say “lets get linking”

    Before you go rushing off to dominate the world with back links a few things you may wish to consider

    • Are the links relevant? Just linking to random site can actually bring the value of the links down, so try and keep them relevant for your site
    • Where is your link going to be placed on their site? Some webmasters have page after page of links so yours will never be found
    • And how many links are too many? If yours is one of say 400 is it really serving any purpose, the higher up a page you are the more it will be considered a valid link

    There is also the problem of doing the link exchange then a few months down the line, your link disappears off their site, so your link back is one way, again highly valued by search engines, but why should you help them, if they wont help you, so be prepared to site down for a while every month or so and check all your back links



    “Your site isn’t in the top ten of Google for your chosen keywords” so the email told me, it then goes on to offer to rectify the situation for $99.99 plus the most complicated pricing structure for extras i have ever seen,
    but before you start to panic and throw good money away lets get some understanding of what keywords are.

    The meaning of keywords in this context, is the way of describing what a user is searching for, which relates to the email above,

    for example you may have found this site by looking for “website design” they are what is meant by keywords.

    According to that email, my chosen keywords are not bringing results, well im sorry but I don’t believe in telepathy, so how could they possibly know what my keywords are in the first place, so lets not write a cheque just yet, a good site designer will work with you to identify your key words, and write your site accordingly


    So whats this here page rank then?

    first thing i was asked by a client yesterday, then she asked me if i would like a coffee, ok so about as back to front as something i would do, but it still got me thinking how best is page rank explained

    so here it is in as few words as possible, my slant on page rank:

    With over 22 billion webpages on the web right now  (yes i counted them :) ) google felt they needed a way to decide importance hence page rank was born,
    if you think of page rank as a vote system and every link to your site as a vote, thats essentialy the pagerank system in action, ie the more pages voting for your site, the more important you are in googles eyes, there is also the fact thatthe more important (higher pr) of the site linking to you, decides how important that vote is for you

    as well as bragging about how important google thinks your site is, another reason for pagerank is the fact it is one of the deciding factors of where your positioned in search engines, so next time you think of link exchanges, keep google pagerank in mind



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