8 reasons why your business NEEDS a professional website!

Like many small business owners, you may believe your business cannot benefit from having a website or that a website is not within your budget. Or maybe you think because you don’t use a computer, neither do your potential customers. These are misconceptions. These 8 reasons show why your company NEEDS a professional website, no matter what size your business.

1. YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY

Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is “home-made”, having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.

2. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU MONEY

As a small business owner you probably think you can’t afford a professional website, but you can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies, once it’s up and running, a website for a small business generally costs under $100 a month and, in some cases, as little as $20. Compared with the cost of a newspaper ad, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business.

3. IT WILL ENABLE YOU TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS INFORMED

Think of your website as being your online brochure or catalogue. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material, making it an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer. Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.

4. IT IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE

A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.

5. A WEBSITE MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO TARGET A WIDER MARKET

Whether you provide products or services, your website will provide an alternative location to sell them. As a retailer, a website (eCommerce) is a great place to sell your products to a wider market; even services can be made available globally. Don’t think you’ll be able to sell your products or services online? Don’t forget, even cars and houses sell online!

6. IT PROVIDES A MEDIUM ON WHICH TO SHOWCASE YOUR WORK

No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique.

7. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME

Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. With an online catalogue you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time. And what is time? Time is money!

8. IT IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE

Maybe you sell environmentally friendly products and would like to share tips on how to recycle, or perhaps you’re an accountant and want to give your clients advice on how to simplify their bookkeeping practices. By including a FAQ page, adding articles or uploading newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them up-to-date. What better way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website.

5 Top Web Design Tips to Increase Website Traffic

Since performance and speed are important to SEO (and therefore website traffic originating with organic search), Web design plays a crucial role in how well a website ranks in search results on Google and other search engines.

As a result, great Web design can have a dramatic effect on your business and how you make money online.

By implementing a few design improvements that leverage the latest Web technologies like CSS3, responsive Web design for mobile support, HTML5, and more, you can derive potentially large gains for very little effort.

This article discusses 5 great Web design tips that will help your blog or business website drive more organic search traffic, improve the browsing experience of visitors, and ensure that you make as much money online as possible.

5 top Web design tips for increased Web traffic

I have tried to limit my Web design tips to ones that are fairly simple to implement for novice Web designers – (I failed a bit…). However, if you are completely allergic to CSS and HTML, then you might want to get in touch with your Web designer and get them to make these design changes.

Recommended for YouWebcast: Performance Breakthrough: Increasing Passion, Productivity and Profitability

1. Replace background images with CSS3 background gradients

Does your website still use background images? Images are large and chew bandwidth; slowing down your website.

In almost all cases, background images can be replaced with modern looking, attractive, and lightweight CSS3 gradients.

What’s more, you don’t even have to know anything about CSS3 in order to use it.

Head over to one of my favorite Web design tools, Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator. This will allow you to create cross-platform CSS using a graphical interface. All you need to do is copy and paste the new CSS code into your own style-sheets, and away you go.

2. Replace Images with text

Does your website use an image to display the site title? Do you use images to display written information?

Not only are images large and unwieldy, but they also hide valuable SEO information from Google and other search engines. Using an image as header text is fine for a human, but not for the search engines because they can’t “read” images like we can.

3. Implement responsive Web design

Does your website support mobile devices? This is arguably the most important Web design update that all bloggers and businesses will have to do in the near future.

Mobile access to the Internet will soon outpace PCs. In other words, more people visiting your website will do so from a smartphone or tablet. This makes mobile Web design an imperative.

Unfortunately, responsive Web design is not straightforward, and I wouldn’t recommend you try it yourself unless you are a real expert (you have a business to run anyway, right?).

There are several different methods you can use to implement responsive Web design for mobile support. Check out 3 ways to upgrade to a mobile website with responsive Web design for a discussion of each.

4. Replace JavaScript with CSS3 transitions

As a general rule, avoid using JavaScript if you can – it can hide important content from search engines, slow down your site, degrade badly, and generally lead to slow and poor browsing experiences.

But, JavaScript has been used to add cool, professional effects to websites for so long that many people don’t even consider what’s out there. It’s a pity because there are pretty amazing, super fast, super lightweight Web designs possible with CSS3 and HTML5.

Instead of using JS to implement a front page slider, why not get it done in HTML5 and CSS? Don’t believe that it can be done without JavaScript? Take a look at the Juizy slideshow demo.

5. Go for speed

Google takes page speed and performance seriously, and so should you. There are three ways you can speed up a Webpage:

  1. Reduce the amount of time it takes to build a page on the server
  2. Reduce the amount of data transferred from the server to the browser
  3. Simplify the DOM (Document Object Model)

 

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1. If you are using a PHP based CMS like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla you might benefit from installing something like APC (Alternative PHP Cache) on your web-server that can help to speed up the actual PHP processing behind the scenes.

You might need to move to a better quality hosting company in order to do this. Use the quick and easy Web solutions form to find the best quality hosting service that’s right for you.

You might also look at ways to simplify your website so that there is less PHP or database queries to process. Caching is an important part of reducing server processing loads, and every website should utilize at least some sort of caching to speed things up.

2. You can reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred from the server to the browser using a number of techniques like:

  • Compression, or gzipped transfer
  • Reduce images (as discussed earlier)
  • Optimize images (it is often possible to make images smaller without any noticeable loss of quality)

You can find more info at What are the best ways to reduce the size of my webpages to speed up page load?

3. Designers love using tools to design Web pages. Unfortunately, many of these tools don’t create HTML in a very efficient way. Often there are unnecessary containers, tables, boxes, etc.

Every HTML element adds to the size of the DOM. The larger the DOM, the more processing the browser has to do in order to ensure that each element is styled or processed as instructed.

By simplifying the structure of your webpages (i.e. physically removing HTML that isn’t required by your page design), it is possible to speed up page render time and improve the browsing experience of visitors.

Those are my top design tips to help drive traffic to your business website. What Web design tricks do you use to improve your page rankings and Web traffic? Do you think that Web design has helped your business succeed online?

The World has gone crazy

Digital technology has made it possible for businesses to reach the whole world at the click of a button.

With a website, your business runs 24/7 and can be accessed anywhere and at anytime. You are not limited by time and space.

It’s cheaper to have a website serve as a digital office than rent a physical office. Carry your office in your pockets or bags and operate from anywhere.

Have an interface for client/customer communication at very little cost and time.

Do you know that only 7% of Nigerian businesses are online. Do you know there are about 5 billion searches worldwide for products, services and information on different search engines?

Do you know 80 million of those searches are from Nigeria? Do you know the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) estimates that there are about 30 million Nigerians with internet enabled Mobil phones.

Can your be business be available at the click of a button to over 30 million Nigerians and billions worldwide with attendant benefits as well as huge income?

Why not. Getting a website is as easy as ABC and cheap too. Guess what? Datalex specialised in website development and digital innovation and we’ve earned a reputation for doing great work.

Let’s design & host for you a profitable WEBSITE. We also do BulkSMS, Digital Marketing & Printing
Call 08125312182, 07030097972
Website: www.datalexnetwork.com

Relax and let the professional do it for you.

No stories, No disappointments

CNN to establish multi-platform bureau in Nigeria

CNN is launching a new, multi-platform operation in Lagos, Nigeria, designed to give the network a nimble, broad-based, Digital-first presence in Africa’s most populous country. Leading the operation will be Stephanie Busari, who takes on the role of Supervising Producer, Africa. Busari will work across CNN’s newsgathering and digital operations, and will be the network’s first responder for all platforms.

Deborah Rayner, SVP, Newsgathering at CNN International, said: “This is a truly integrated role, and one that underlines CNN’s commitment to both Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Stephanie will work across our platforms on both news and feature content. In particular, she will head CNN’s Africa content across digital – responding to breaking news and managing our Africa features projects. She will also be central to CNN International’s coverage of the continent on television.” Speaking on her new role, Busari observes that “To return to Nigeria at such an important time in the country’s history is a proud and exciting moment for me.

This is such a vibrant country, full of possibilities, and as well as my broader remit looking at Africa as a whole this role will be about putting the many sides of Nigeria itself into sharper relief for the world.” Since joining CNN in 2008, Busari has worked across some of the network’s most important African stories.

In particular she was central to CNN’s coverage of the Missing Chibok girls, working alongside Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir. A multi-award winning journalist, Busari began her career at the now-defunct London-based newspaper New Nation, which was aimed at the UK’s black and ethnic minority communities.

She then moved to the UK’s Daily Mirror, where among other beats she covered Northern Ireland, reporting on some of the worst affected areas of “The Troubles”. While in Belfast she also launched and edited an award-winning lifestyle column for the paper. A native Yoruba speaker, she also speaks fluent French.

Why Google wants your medical records

Google’s DeepMind has moved on from playing Go to more serious matters – attempting to solve some of the world’s biggest health problems.

Projects include a tie-up with London Moorfields eye hospital, which will see it using one million eye scans to train its artificial intelligence system to diagnose potential sight issues, and development of an app to help doctors spot kidney disease.

Google’s entry on to the healthcare scene has been welcomed by some, notably doctors who are desperate to apply some cutting-edge technology to antiquated NHS systems.

But less so by privacy groups and some patients, who have been surprised and concerned that their data – in some cases not anonymised – can be shared with the tech giant.

So what does Google want with our health data and should we be worried?
What’s caused the row?
In May it was revealed that Google’s DeepMind, had been given access to the healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients from three hospitals run by London’s Royal Free Trust in order to develop an app, called Streams, that would notify doctors should someone be at risk of developing acute kidney injury (AKI).

The deal had been announced in February but at the time got little press attention.

The biggest question mark was over why so much data was being shared, especially as only a tiny percentage of people would actually benefit from the app.

Some were also bemused when it became apparent that the deal with Google’s AI firm would not actually involve any artificial intelligence.

The reality, explained Mustafa Suleyman, DeepMind co-founder, is that AI is simply not yet ready for direct patient care.

“Finding a fit between an algorithm and training data is difficult. People expect the algorithm to do too much,” he said.

But, he added, DeepMind wanted to do the project because it wanted to try to make a difference in the NHS, particularly when it came to one of the most fundamental issues it faces – sharing and storing data.

“The system is crying out for more innovation and hopefully that is something we can pioneer,” he said.

And, he noted, it was the hospital that sought out DeepMind rather than the other way round. Dr Chris Lang, a kidney doctor, approached the firm to see if a collaboration was possible.

“We went for coffee and ended up chatting for four hours.”
So is this deal with Google unusual?

Although it has got far more publicity than any others, in fact this deal is a pretty standard one in the NHS.

It emerged that the organisation has similar deals with 1,500 different third parties.

The NHS claims that it would not be practical to ask every patient to consent to every one of these arrangements.

In the tie-up with Moorfields, the data was anonymised and the rules here are that data can be shared for “ethically approved projects”.

Patients can opt out of any data-sharing system by emailing their NHS Trust’s data protection officer.

In the case of the Royal Free, the BBC understands that 148 people have withdrawn their consent, a tiny fraction of the patients involved.
Is this Google’s first foray into healthcare?

For DeepMind, yes but Google has been looking at healthcare for much longer.

From Calico, Alphabet’s research and development company whose mission is to “tackle ageing”, to Verily which is currently developing a smart contact lens that can help diabetics monitor glucose levels, the search giant is investing heavily in healthcare.

According to Mr Suleyman, “making the world a better place” has always been part of DeepMind’s somewhat lofty ambition to “solve intelligence”.

Two years ago he decided that it was a good time to “make good the second part of that mission” and set about looking for ways where the company could make a difference.

“We looked at nano-materials, synthetic biology, renewable energy, transport trying to figure out how tech could make a difference and I realised that healthcare – it we could get it right – then the margin for beneficial impact was enormous.”

Has Google got it right?

The firm seemed genuinely surprised when the announcement created some negative headlines and often reminded journalists that the point of the project was to help save lives.

On reflection, Mr Suleyman realises that there was bound to be a backlash.

“I can completely understand why there was surprise about what we were doing. We have learned a lot and there is a lot we can do to improve – we take that feedback,” he said.

DeepMind had already been in the process of setting up a panel of independent reviewers, nine technical and clinical experts who have the right to scrutinise what the firm is doing and interview members of the team.

“We recognise there is still more that we can do,” said Mr Suleyman and so the firm has decided to host a patient engagement forum.

It will be held on 25 September and will be streamed on YouTube with a Twitter Q&A. It plans to host four such meetings every year.
How will Google make money from healthcare?

Although Google has always loved experimenting with projects that benefit humankind, it is ultimately in the business of making money and its healthcare work is no exception.

It is currently in discussion with the NHS about how to do that and will remain doing so for “several years”, said Mr Suleyman.

“Right now it is about building the tools and systems that are useful and once users are engaged then we can figure out how to monetise them,” he said.

The firm has some radical ideas about how it can shake up the commercial relationships between the NHS and third parties.

“The vast majority of payments made to suppliers in healthcare systems are not often as connected to outcomes as we would like.

“Ultimately we want to get paid when we deliver concrete clinical benefits. We want to get paid to change the system and improve patient outcomes.”

Rapper Jay Z Wants To Invest In Nigerian Music Industry

Jay Z, one of the most financially successful Hip-Hop artists in the United States, unveiled this venture just a month after the launch of his new company Tidal, “the first music service with High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos, and Curated Editorial, expertly crafted by music journalists.”

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American rapper, record producer, and business mogul Shawn Corey Carter, known by his stage name Jay Z, is reportedly on the verge of expanding his business empire by investing in the Nigerian music industry.

Jay Z, one of the most financially successful Hip-Hop artists in the United States, unveiled this venture just a month after the launch of his new company Tidal, “the first music service with High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos, and Curated Editorial, expertly crafted by music journalists.”

Just a few weeks ago, Nigerian rapper Ice Prince of Chocolate City records shared photos of he and Jay Z via social media, hinting he’s in talks with Roc Nation.

Mr. Carter has also sent his cousin, Brian ‘Bee-High’ Biggs, currently the director of mobile strategies at Roc Nation to Nigeria on a mission to scout for new talents for the company (Tidal).

Biggs has also been seen with Don Jazzy, a Nigerian Multi award-winning record producer, singer-songwriter, musician, and CEO of the Mavin Records label at their studio headquarters in Lagos.

7 Ways To Protect Against Credit Card Hacks

Data breaches are now part of life, and you need to know how to protect yourself. Since hackers are going after the companies that hold your information, it’s hard to stop them from getting your information. All the same, you can take steps to minimize the damage. Even if you haven’t been hacked yet, many of these moves can make your information less easy to find and less usable if you are caught up in a breach.

1. Get a Replacement Card

If you’ve been told you’re in a data breach, don’t ask…tell the company that you either get a new card or close the account. You’re not likely to get any pushback from the already embarrassed company. If you do, don’t back down.

2. Check Your Account Online

Don’t wait to check it when the statement arrives; check today. Keep checking daily for at least 30 days after your new card arrives. If you find a suspicious charge, dispute it immediately.

3. Freeze Your Credit

If you are caught up in a data breach, call each of the three main credit bureaus and request that your credit report be frozen. Freezing doesn’t allow anybody to access your credit report without your approval. Creditors probably won’t approve an application without having access to the person’s credit report.

If you’re deeply worried about potential breaches, you can also freeze your accounts; you don’t have to be a fraud victim. However, this step makes getting any kind of credit exceedingly cumbersome for you and and the potential lender, so you may want to think twice about taking it.

4. Order Your Credit Reports

You get one free credit report per year by law, but you’ll probably be eligible for more frequent free reports if you were a victim of fraud. Even if you haven’t been targeted yet, be proactive and get your free reports. Ideally, order one every four months so you’ve covered the year.

5. Watch for Phishing Scams

Just because thieves have your credit card number doesn’t mean they also have the expiration date and the three- or four-digit CVV number. Beware of phishing, a scam where the thief might send an e-mail or call in an attempt to gain the rest of the information. Don’t give your information to anybody unless you call them. If somebody leaves a message, go to the company’s website and find a contact number to make sure it matches what the person in the message provided. For even more security, call the company directly and make sure the person who called you is legitimate.

6. Don’t Sign Up for High-Priced Fraud Protection

In the panic of the moment, you might be tempted to shell out up to $300 per year for credit monitoring services. Don’t do it. By closely reviewing the information you get free of charge, you can monitor your own accounts. If a company provides the information to you free of charge, make sure to cancel the service before the renewal date. See Identity Theft Protection Services: Worth Having?

7. Be Smart About Passwords

You aren’t going to prevent a breach by employing all of the password rules, but you don’t know what kind of information thieves were about to steal. Employ strong passwords (those random letters and numbers) and change your password frequently. Remember, if it’s easy for you to remember, it’s probably easy for a savvy cyber thief to crack.

The Bottom Line

If you haven’t been a victim yet, act proactively to make yourself less vulnerable.

If you have, don’t panic. It’s going to take time to clear everything up, but you won’t pay for any charges that weren’t yours. Call your credit card company, tell it about any incorrect charges and be patient as it works to clear them from your account.

New .Ltd domain extension reveals first month numbers

The .Ltd extension which went live earlier this month is already nearing the 20,000 registration mark.

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.Ltd is a newly available domain extension which was released in mid June and has already received over 17,000 registrations.

.Ltd is one of hundreds of new domain extensions that aim to give enterprises and personal brands a favorable domain URL on the internet. These days, securing a short, memorable, and relevant .com domain has become increasingly challenging.

Dan Schindler, co-founder and EVP of Business Development for Donuts said:

The web and marketplace are saturated with non-specific online identities. This domain name not only reminds your customers of your status as a company, but also demonstrates your commitment to innovation.

Owning a .Ltd domain is an efficient, innovative, and economical way to promote your image globally.

Donuts claims that since 2014, it has sold over 2.2 million names and recorded more than $100 million in sales. Since new gTLDs were launched, over 10,000 new domains are registered every day – roughly one every 10 seconds.