Tag Archives: cause

We Fix Bad Haircuts – Free website evaluation site

Free website evaluation siteThere is a new website called www.wefixbadhaircuts.com that’s doing free website evaluations.  Just simply register and enter your websites URL and they will complete a thorough website evaluation based on the C.A.U.S.E web design methodology.  Which is flattering.

If you’re not familiar with C.A.U.S.E it’s based on;

  1. Cross-browser compliance
  2. Accessibility
  3. Usability
  4. Search Engine performance

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C.A.U.S.E. Website Development…in a nutshell

I’ve written about C.A.U.S.E. website design methodology in earlier posts of this site in greater detail, but I’ve gotten requests to post more of a “nutshell” version.  I’ve done so below for a quick read that still gets the idea across.  If you’d like to read my more detailed explanations you can start here.

Developing Websites With a C.A.U.S.E.

What does C.A.U.S.E. stand for?

Cross-Browser Compatible Websites

Accessible Websites

Usable Websites

Search Engine Performing Websites

C is for Cross-Browser Compatible

What browser are you using to view this website?

What devices will your customers be using to view your website?

We never know if a visitor to our website is using a PC or a MAC, maybe even a Blackberry® or an iPhone®. How will your website look? Will it even work at all?

Don’t Assume Because It Looks Good To You That It Looks Good To Everyone.

It’s extremely important check your website to make sure it looks and acts correctly on virtually anything a website can be viewed on. Your goal should be to allow your website to be visible to the largest audience possible. It’s simple, more people mean more business!

A is for Accessibility

We’re talking “Corporate Accessibility”.

This is super important if your business would like to do business with large organizations. Big companies typically have many computers accessing the web through their Intranet and most of them will not be loaded with the latest software.

Why is this important?

Is your website built using “frames”? How about “Flash™”? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, your website may not be viewable to those clients that may be your most profitable.

Companies with many computers typically rely on their I.T. Dept. to update software and plug-ins, and this takes time. What if the I.T. Dept. hasn’t gotten around to updating the decision makers computer yet?

U is for Usability

Once visitors get to your website can they use it?

Getting visitors to your site is only half the battle. What happens if the website is such a mess they can’t find the information they’re looking for? They leave!

Have you ever lost your car keys? Was it frustrating? If you had a spare set of keys you probably just grabbed those. Well, that spare set of keys may well be your competitors website. Visitors who can’t find what they’re looking for get frustrated and leave.

What a shame to have potential customers leave after all of the hard work (and possibly money spent) in order to get them there.  You want your website to offer visitors the information they need to get in contact with you.

S E is for Search Engines

Build it and they STILL may not come.

Just because you have a website doesn’t mean anyone is going to find it.

Even if you have the coolest website on the internet, if people can’t find you, You Don’t Exist!

You want your website built in a way that the search engines love. It’s not necessary to use any “Black Hat” search engine optimization methods that may end up getting you banned from the search engines, you also must have realistic expectations.

It’s most important that you build your website in a way that will allow it the best possibility to achieve the highest position on the search engines. That’s the first step, after that you analyze and adjust.  It’s a continuous process.

Interesting?

I hope it was.  Feel free to post any comments or additions to creating a winning website plan.

The S.E. in C.A.U.S.E. is for Search Engines.

Mention search engines and they will come.

The last two letters in our C.A.U.S.E. website design methodology get the most interest when I give a web workshop.  This is always what people hang around afterwards to discuss and rightly so, it’s pretty important to your success on the web.

Don’t Build It For The Search Engines

I’ve seen the mistake of websites built with the search engines as their main focus.  This may get you traffic, but what about the people, the human eyes.  People spend money, Google isn’t going to send you a check for doing well in their directory.  There is a way to strike a good balance of search engine performance and delivering usercentric content in a usable format.  Is it easy, no.  So how do we optimize search engine performance and people performance?

It All Comes Together In The End.

What I’ve discovered over the years and can back it up with documentation is that if we develop with the other parts of C.A.U.S.E. in mind the search engine performance will happen naturally.  I’ve taken a website and using the same exact content, restructured it using C.A.U.S.E along with valid W3C xHTML 1.0 strict semantic coding and CSS and have had completely different results.  The most drastic difference I’ve seen is a website going from the 4th page of Google to the #1 spot.  Pretty drastic jump and I’m sure one that any client would be happy with.  The funny thing is that I’ve found is that if it makes sense to people, it makes sense to the search engines.  A website like anything else is dependent on it fuel, content, food, etc.  Garbage in, garbage out.

In a coming piece I’ll discuss the search engine advantages of C.A.U.S.E. in greater detail.