Oh man, I just cracked myself up and validated the front of the SUN community section for fun. 163 errors!
And if you want a GREAT example, turn off images and load this very page. The company name appears no where on this site without images loaded. So say something doesn`t download or something corrupts, or my connection is slow ... I don`t even see the name of the company on here because their page doesn`t adhere to standard practices
Some business owner reads businessweek or goes to an event, and sees words like "web 2.0" and "social media" and "blog". They come to my site to see if I do those things, even if they really don`t know anything about them. If I do not have them listed, they do not contact me.
I will point out that the lady holding up the sign for the marketplaces on SUN is a bad example. Having your main text in a graphic breaks all rules of standards and accessibility. There are better ways of using a graphic and text to acheive a similar result, and my artist is working on that right now.
I just wanted to add this tidbit for anyone here who was reading this thread and thought "a lady holding a sign - how great!" Just ... think twice.
Ok....here we go. Now this is a perfect example of a post that was discussed some weeks ago...Here`s a designer (a company wanting to design websites) talking about stuff that makes absolutely no sense.
You cracked yourself up because you validated SUNs code only to find 163 errors. While you`re at it...why don`t you go validate amazon.com, youtube.com, google.com, yahoo.com and walmart.com ---
What do the above companies have in common? By your standards, their code sucks! But they generate over $1 Billion in revenue on a regular.
If my memory serves me correctly, didn`t I see SuN on Fox News...my, my, my...do you think that had anything to do with their code?
Heck, my code totally sucks and you can probably find all types of mess and errors and trash going on in my pages, but I`m making money, and my conversions are through the roof, and my clients are making tons more money. They don`t care about that extra stuff.
That validation code stuff doesn`t mean a thing if your clients aren`t making money. It seems to me that you`re more concerned about proper code, validation, blah, blah, blah...etc, etc...that stuff really doesn`t matter when your client counts up the money at the end of the day.
Concerning graphics and stuff...have you actually tested the concept as to whether or not that graphic work or does not work for SuN? Some of you designers make statements that carry absolutely no weight (and trust me, I make my fair share of `baseless` statements too)
Rules are simply a guideline...if one knows what they`re doing, they can modify or break away from the rules and just may get some extraordinary results. People break these so-called rules on a regular and they achieve some pretty fantastic results...
THe technology we now have was developed by people who stepped outside the norm and broke so-called rules. In advertising/marketing, rules should be bent for testing purposes (once you have a basic understanding of the rules/guidelines).
I`m not at all impressed by your artist/designer`s work. If we`re talking about rules here, by all means, "Black Text Against a White Background Wins Everytime" But yet, you go against the very same rules and standards that everyone else should adhere too...
For newbies...don`t get all caught up in the hype. This type of stuff won`t make you money, won`t sell your products and won`t make you successful on the web. Here is a piece of advise if you`re new (some may disagree...many may disagree for that matter ) --- LOOK AND SEE WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING AND THEN YOU TURNAROUND AND DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE! You`ll be better off for it in the short run.
Here`s a great example of someone who has their act together:
One of SuN`s own: http://www.337design.com/
Now there you have it. And I`m sure you can validate his code and you`ll find plenty...but you know what? He`s making money. His customers are making money.
There are a few things he can do a little better to increase conversions even more...but overall, he`s probably getting all the business he needs. Some of his stuff is a little to flashy for me, but they work. He understands many of the core things that needs to be done when he puts those people`s site together.
Then again...web designers sites should be a little more flashy than the norm...unfortunately, thats the first thing prospects look at (they`ve been conditioned that way)
Take notes from that site and you may learn a thing or two...
And concerning that Web 2.0 stuff you keep talking about...why don`t you just create some type of white paper and allow them to download and print it out (free report). Or, like CraigL suggested, put a button somewhere if you feel its that important. One thing you need to remember is that YOU CAN`T BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY.
All that techno-stuff don`t mean anything...it`s fancy and sounds good, but the only ones who really care are the designers themselves --which most haven`t the slightest clue as how to sell anything on the web.
If you`re just getting started in your business or putting up a website. One thing you must get in your head is this --- YOU ARE NOW IN THE MARKETING BUSINESS --- NOTHING HAPPENS UNLESS YOUR PROSPECT KNOW YOU EXIST --- IN EVERYTHING YOU DO, MAKE SURE YOUR ADVERTISEMENTS, WEBSITES, BROCHURES OR ANYTHING ELES...MAKE SURE THE CONTENT SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO YOUR PROSPECTS DESIRES (WANTS, NEEDS OR FEARS).
AND HAVE A BIG CALL TO ACTION...Have them contact you for additional information. Have them download your free report (in exchange for their first name and email address).
If you`re a brick and mortar, have contests so you can collect your customers business cards...put these into your database. Stay in touch with previous customers. Market to existing customers (you paid to get them and they`ll spend a lot more with you).
AND HERE`S THE BIGGEST SECRET OF ALL ---
THE MONEY IS IN THE LIST!
BUILD YOUR DATABASE UP WITH CUSTOMERS/PROSPECTS AND KEEP IN TOUCH. MARKET TO THAT LIST. IN EVERYTHING YOU DO - - BE BUILDING THAT LIST.
Theres a lot more too it...but that should at least get you to going in the right direction.
Sorry for the rant...I`m just being Brutally Honest here...
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