From Back2Front - The Web Site People
July 2009 - Vol 3, Issue 3
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Every time I send out a newsletter, I receive very positive feedback from those of you who have time to read. But business owners all have one thing in common - not enough time to do everything they have to do... never mind reading up on how to improve the ROI of their web site.

But have no worries! The whole concept behind our web site management service is to save you time and provide good value for your money by taking care of things for you!

If you do have some time to read this summer, the newsletters you missed are available on our web site in the Learn More section.

Don't like to read? Come to one of my public seminars! (Scroll down to see the schedule.)

If you have questions about how to get more out of your web site, just give me a call - I would love to help! 1-888-227-9092 x 705

Candace Carter

The Peril of In-Page Links

Linking to other pages on your site is essential, but if you're using in-page links, you may want to re-think your strategy for user-friendliness reasons.

In-page links are links within your content (the "text" part of your page) that lead to other pages on your web site. The problem with using in-page links is that they can make the site look disorganized and "mysterious," which means users may assume that the only way to access other pages on the site is to wade through the content and find the links there.

Read the rest of the article to learn more...

Fostering Relationships via Your Web Site

In tough economic times, people are much more careful with how they spend their money. They will not take risks and are looking to deal with people they can trust. So if you can develop a relationship with your clients that makes them feel safe, you will get more of their business.

Your web site is your company's public face; here are a few ways you can use it to communicate your trustworthiness and foster relationships:

  1. Include contact information: Don't just post your email address; include phone numbers, your snail mail address, physical locations for meetings, maps, fax numbers, and Facebook, blog and forum links. This will help assure customers that your business is legitimate and reliable, that they can contact you easily, and that they can do it using their preferred method.
  2. Provide answers to questions: Include as much information as you can on your web site, and set up an FAQ page for questions that seem to come up often.
  3. Give customers a reason to come back: One way to do this is to provide useful, up-to-date content. You have expertise in your area - why not share it? For example, you could offer tips, advice or case studies about other clients. Upcoming events or product launches are also great sources of fresh content. All of these things can help you build your reputation as an expert.
  4. Provide useful tools: Functions such as a local weather report feature, a stock-price ticker tape, visualization tools (think Benjamin Moore's room painting tool), industry definitions, event calendars, calculators, virtual tools or gift registries are great ways to set up your web site as destination for a variety of reliable information. They can also encourage customers to return to your site. However, make sure that the tools you add match the content of your web site. Don't just add any old tool; it should be something that makes sense.
  5. One final note: Remember that you really cannot rely on your web site alone to foster relationships with clients. You should actively nurture your client relationships off-line in every way you can. Set aside time to call customers on the phone or even meet with them in person. Nothing can replace the effectiveness of one-on-one communication.

Browser Incompatibility and Web Site Testing

Your web site is finally complete and to you, it's a masterpiece. The colours are perfect and everything works great.

Or so you think...

Did you know that your site might look and even function differently on another browser, on a different computer, or on another type of device, such as a Blackberry?

We once had a client call us in a panic, asking us why we changed the colour of her site! She had just viewed it on someone else's computer and it looked different than what she was used to seeing on her own computer. Turns out we actually didn't change anything - it was just that her monitor (like most lay people's) was not colour-calibrated correctly, and so what looked brown to us looked green to her!

What Influences Your Web Site's Appearance?

A number of factors can influence the way your web site looks and functions:

  • the browser you are using (Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.)
  • the version of that browser;
  • browser bugs (each browser has its own errors and quirks that affect the way a page displays);
  • the font size settings on your browser;
  • HTML errors in your web pages (browsers treat errors unpredictably, and inconsistently);
  • your computer or device type (PC, Mac, Blackberry, etc.);
  • your screen size;
  • the colour settings on your monitor;
  • your webmaster's understanding of your requirements (which may not be quite the same as your understanding).

What To Do About It:

The key is to make sure that your web site is well-built from the start and to test it on as many systems as possible. This will provide the best experience possible for the largest number of users, and will increase the likelihood that your visitors will return.

Most reputable web site companies test on the most common browsers during site construction, but they may not test thoroughly after every little update, so over time, browser incompatibility may creep in. HTML errors can be caught if the company is diligent and has access to HTML validation software.

However, functionality is trickier to test since it may not always be 100% clear to the developer how you expect your web site to work. Any site that does more than just provide static pages - one that performs calculations, offers dynamic content, includes shopping carts or calculators, or multimedia such as videos and animations - needs to be thoroughly tested by a person who is familiar with the site.

For example: You charge shipping at $5 per product, except when more than five products are purchased together; then the charge is $2 each - except when they are being shipped out of the country. Then the cost is $4 each, no matter how many are purchased together - that is, unless the purchaser wants priority shipping....

You can see how a calculation like this can get confusing and how misunderstandings between client and webmaster can result in a web site that the webmaster thinks is working correctly but but that applies the wrong shipping charges on a particular order. Only a person who knows what the web site is supposed to do can verify with accuracy that it is performing correctly.

Our Unique Approach

At Back2Front, since we have automated software that checks and verifies the code in all of our web sites every night, HTML errors do not worry our clients. As well, we test all of our web sites on all of the major browsers, and constantly look for the most browser-compatible code for our web sites.

While we do our best to make sure that your site functions as you expect it to, misunderstandings can happen. Unlike most web site companies, we work on a test server for all new functionality and web site updates. Then, only after you get a chance to review and test the work, will we publish the changes to the public web site. This means you get a chance to test your site before your clients see it! So it will be you - not your client - who detects the problem.

The other good news is, as a web site management company, we are always here to correct any problems as soon as they are detected.

If you are not working with Back2Front, check with your service provider about what the procedure and costs are for work done on your web site after it is built. You should ensure that you have a company that will be available to address problems quickly and at a reasonable cost whenever they are detected.

Come and see us! You are welcome to attend any of our public events. Most are free or at nominal cost. Registering on the organization's web site (link provided) is always appreciated.

August 4 - 10 Biggest Web Site Mistakes
Enterprise Toronto
Tuesday, August 4 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street, Lower Level

September 22 - 10 Biggest Web Site Mistakes
Enterprise Toronto
Tuesday, September 22 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
City Hall (downtown), 100 Queen Street West

Invite Back2Front to speak at your event!
From short information sessions to detailed technical web site presentations, friendly roundtable discussions or expert panels, our talks can be tailored to your needs. All sessions include some specific information about Back2Front - none will be a Back2Front sales pitch.
Presentations are offered free of charge to qualified audiences. Contact us at to reserve your preferred date and time.
Here are a few of our most recent clients and their respective web sites:

Check out our portfolio page for more examples...
Please let me know how you liked this newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future issues. I would love to hear from you!

Candace Carter
Back2Front - The Web Site People

Phone: 1-888-227-9092 x 705
Web Site:

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Back2Front - The Web Site People | 262 Westmount Blvd. | Thornhill | Ontario | L4J 7V9 | Canada