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  • 6 Online Resources for Improving Your Web Design and Development Skills - UKWDA
    from 25 a month and includes video tutorials a code challenge practice platform and access to member forums New content is released weekly 2 Tuts Tuts offers hundreds of free tutorials and video courses covering everything from typography and design fundamental to coding skills and mobile design Some of the more in depth courses have a small fee 15 and it s also possible to upgrade your membership to premium level from 15 a month Premium membership gives you access to all courses and tutorials over 100 eBooks member forums and the advice of professional guides 3 Lynda com Lynda com currently contains over 2 400 video courses covering a wide variety of topics As well as basic web design and development you can branch out into video 3D animation and photography amongst others All videos at Lynda com are produced by industry professionals and are great quality Basic membership starts at 25 per month with new courses being uploaded weekly Bear in mind if you want the ability to download the videos rather than watching them online this will set you back 375 per year 4 Codecademy Codecademy is a great free resource for anyone wanting to learn HTML and CSS JavaScript PHP Python Ruby or application programming interfaces The courses are split down into individual lessons with a step by step interface making it great for beginners The built in coding console allows you to practice the skills you re learning and get feedback as you go There is little background and theory introduced before getting stuck into the practical lessons so you may want to invest in a more detailed course if you re interested in implementing the skills you ve learned into your own projects For those who just want a quick introduction to programming this is a great option especially considering that it s free 5 Code School Code School teaches through a combination of video lessons practical coding challenges based on the theory introduced in the videos and screencasts The interface includes a coding console that provides real time feedback and implementation so it s easy to see the effects of the code you create as you re typing it The unique aspect of Code School is that it s designed to be fun The courses are based around a story such as Rails for Zombies and include quirky graphics and video tutorials set to catchy theme tunes To further the game like feeling of the system students can earn points for completing challenges and earn badges when they ve achieved a certain number of points Code School offers courses in Ruby JavaScript HTML CSS and iOS Membership costs 29 per month for access to all the content and it s possible to try out the courses free of charge before you commit 6 Thinkful Sometimes you need a little more support than what an online course offers you This is where the mentorship offered by Thinkful can be invaluable Thinkful offers four courses

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/6-online-resources-for-improving-your-web-design-and-development-skills (2016-02-18)
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  • How to deal with difficult clients - UKWDA
    into smaller installments if the project is dragging on Always include your payment terms on the contract which should set out clearly how and when clients should pay you Stating a fee for late payment can help to discourage clients who like to drag their feet when it comes to paying you Working with a third party escrow service can also be very helpful You ll need to pay a fee for this but you can choose to pass the cost onto the client and it can help to ensure a smooth payment process 2 Scope Creep Another very common problem for freelancers particularly web designers is scope creep You start a job thinking you re building a basic 5 page website and by the end of the project you ve been duped into adding copy installing a shopping cart and managing a social media campaign Again the best way to prevent this problem from forming is by setting down in black and white what exactly you will deliver for the agreed payment It can be also be helpful to include a list of what you won t do in case you come across a client who thinks that web designer means copywriter internet marketer social media manager and IT technician If your client asks for additional work beyond the scope of your agreement either turn them down or explain that it will be charged at an additional set or hourly rate This is one situation where you definitely need to be firm to avoid clients taking advantage of you 3 Asking for Constant Revisions Sometimes you ll come across a client who doesn t seem to be happy with anything you do They ll ask for multiple mockups of a site before they decide on a design they like and they ll repeatedly ask you to make changes or make the site look more like another website they ve just seen Different web designers have different ways of dealing with this Some will offer only one design solution take it or leave it Others will offer up to say three designs before the mockup must be finalised However you choose to handle it make sure that you communicate this clearly to the client After a mockup is approved the best way to proceed is usually to tell the client that additional design revisions will be charged for Even so you may find some clients just keep going and going with more changes In the worst case scenario if you re spending all your time on one project and it s affecting your other work you may have to consider cutting your loses and firing your client 4 Lack of Communication Lack of communication is the root cause behind many of these issues but one of the most frustrating aspects of being a freelancer is waiting for information or files that you need from a client and not being able to progress with a project without them You don t

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-deal-with-difficult-clients (2016-02-18)
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  • How to Handle Footer Credit Links - UKWDA
    building techniques Websites that had a lot of spammy links lost rankings overnight many have never recovered The Penguin algorithm has been relaunched and refreshed several times the last data refresh occurring on October 4th 2013 Penguin is a deliberate action from Google to punish site owners that have abused their Webmaster Guidelines by utilising manipulative link building practices including sitewide links One of the main things that Penguin has impacted is links that use keywords in their anchor text Rather than simply using the company name as per screenshot above some agencies have used footer links as an opportunity to pass relevance signals to Google by using anchor text like Best Web Design Agency This is the sort of practice that can earn you a Penguin penalty Case Study Design Junction A web design agency based in Melbourne Design Junction approached us recently as they had noticed a drop off in their rankings and traffic across a range of terms After doing a quick analysis of their site we suspected that the site had been hit by Penguin and so advised a full penalty audit which we then carried out for them To help analyse these situations early on we ve developed a Website Penalty Indicator tool recently that helps give an initial overview to see if a website has been hit by a Google penalty You can see how Design Junction s visibility drops coincide with the Penguin updates Once they had contracted us to perform the audit we got access to their Google Analytics account and confirmed our suspicions several large hits to organic traffic from Google all of which aligned perfectly with Penguin updates or data refreshes What Caused The Penalty Having gone through the backlink profile we found the following Major sitewide links from client footers Multiple Anchor blogroll links Multiple links in footer Anchor Rich and Brand Manipulative split links In short they had a lot of footer and sitewide links that looked like this It is clear that Google s algorithm deemed a large portion of their links as spammy or manipulative and since the large proportion of their link profile is made up of these types of links the site got severely hit Our analysis did reveal a few other problems to sort out but the main tasks in terms of recovery we advised were as follows Remove ALL anchor rich links from client sites Nofollow all but the home page links if possible and make sure that the home page link is actually only a Brand link Build up a range of high quality branded links to the sites Ideally as many as possible to the home page and a few to each target page Monitor results and changes and refresh the process build more branded links to the site until some of the lost rankings start building up Since then we have helped them with both tasks and we eagerly await the next Penguin update to see if these actions

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-handle-footer-credit-links (2016-02-18)
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  • How to Market Your Business With Email Outreach - UKWDA
    more time Bring in More Business with Special Offers Emails provide a great opportunity to bring in more work during slow periods If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs and waiting for clients to come to you simply send out an offer to your list offering 20 off your normal rates for a limited time for example and watch the work come rolling in Emails are also easy to share and you can encourage this and grow your client base by offering double benefits for example If you share this email with a friend you ll both get 20 of your next order Build Your Authority Sending great content to your email subscribers is a great way to show that you are active in the industry and demonstrate your knowledge Publishing information that is helpful and informative for your clients is the easiest way to become an authority figure in the field of web design or any other business area you specialise in Giving your knowledge and information away for free may seem counter intuitive when you could be charging a consultation fee or selling premium content but it is actually a great way to build an audience that trusts and respects what you have to offer Stretch Your Marketing Budget Email outreach is one of the cheapest forms of marketing there is Many mailing services are free up to a certain number of subscribers and offer pricing structures that can grow with your business and list Expect to pay just a few pennies per email so your monthly budget will depend on how often you email and how many people are on your list Even when sending thousands of emails the outlay will be significantly less than other forms of advertising It is also worth remembering that the people who have signed up to your list are generally already interested in your services and what you have to say in the first place This makes conversion rates from email outreach significantly higher than other forms of marketing Easy Tracking and Statistics Email marketing software lets you see at a glance the number of subscribers and unsubscribes opened emails forwarded emails and links clicked within the message all broken down by the demographics you specify This makes it really easy to measure the effectiveness of individual campaigns and focus your marketing efforts How to Get Started with Email Outreach Starting an email marketing campaign may sound daunting but getting started is as simple as putting a simple signup form on your website Even if you don t know exactly what sort of content you ll be sending to subscribers it is always a good idea to start building that list of potential customer contacts as soon as possible Email services like MailChimp and AWeber make things so easy all you have to do is copy the code they provide to integrate into your website and wait for people to sign up It can also be a good idea to include

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-market-your-business-with-email-outreach (2016-02-18)
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  • How to Market Your Business With Guest Posting - Part 2 - UKWDA
    more effectively and reduces the possibility of you making the mistake of contacting the same blogger twice You may also want to include other information in your spreadsheet such as Page Rank Page Authority Domain Authority Alexa rank number of Twitter followers Facebook likes and other details that can help you to measure how valuable each site is Always read the submission requirements carefully before contacting the site owner and make sure you follow them Some sites ask for an outline of the main points you plan to cover whereas others will ask for you to send the whole article It s also a good idea to build up some kind of relationship with the blog owner before pitching your post which will increase the possibility of them wanting to work with you Take the time to leave helpful comments on their blog posts re tweet articles of theirs you enjoyed reading and generally try to get your name noticed over time so there ll be some kind of recognition when you send your pitch email If nothing else make sure you personalise the email and don t just send out a generic request Canned pitches send a message that you have no interest in the blogger personally and that you re basically only interested in promoting yourself Look for information on the About page so you can address the blog owner by name and have a read through some of the posts to find something you can comment on in your pitch email A bit of flattery doesn t hurt either Remember that popular bloggers will receive dozens of pitches a week so take the time to get it right There is some great advice in this guide on I Will Teach You To Be Rich for pitching guest posts to high traffic bloggers What to Do After Your Post Goes Live Getting a guest post written and accepted is not the end of the story You should also promote your post by linking to it from your website sharing in on your social networks and telling your email list about it if you have one It s also good manners to moderate the comment thread for at least a couple of weeks after your post goes live and take the time to respond to questions and comments Make sure you have some kind of analytics software set up on your website so you can track new visitors arriving from your guest post and see which sites are giving you the best results Lastly whether you are directing readers to your blog portfolio site or social media profile make sure your contact information is easily visible It s no good attracting new clients if they can t see how to get in touch to discuss working with you You may even want to set up some kind of special landing page for visitors from a particular guest post so that you can guide them towards certain services you offer

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-market-your-business-with-guest-posting-part-2 (2016-02-18)
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  • How to Market Your Business with Guest Posting - Part 1 - UKWDA
    Guest posts should be your best work They should be entertaining informative written with perfect grammar and spelling and make people interested in finding out more about you or reading more of what you have to say Take the time to read through popular web design blogs and blogs in other related fields that you may be interested in pitching to Make a note of the posts that you enjoy reading as well as those that have the most comments and shared most on social media and try to determine why they are so popular Good content is generally informative useful and interesting It may be funny controversial newsworthy or timely Ideas for producing this kind of content is outside the scope of this article but you may want to check out Copyblogger which offers some excellent tips and advice on the matter It s a common misconception that you need to have your own blog before you submit a guest post but it s not essential If you have a portfolio website you can link directly to this from your guest post Alternatively if you have no website at all although as a web designer you certainly should it takes two minutes to set up a quick profile on Google or LinkedIn that you can direct people to if they d like to get in touch with you or read other articles you ve written How to Find Blogs to Pitch To For the best success you should aim to post on popular sites with a large readership Examples of such sites would be sites like Huffington Post Mashable Smashing Magazine or any of the top blogs on Alexa Posting on one of these sites will maximise your exposure and help to establish your name as an authority in the field of web design Getting a guest post on one of these sites is not as difficult as you may think you don t need to be a well known blogger or have connections although it can help Famous bloggers don t care who you are they just want to publish excellent content that promotes discussion and sharing While aiming high is strongly recommended you shouldn t dismiss smaller blogs either Blogs with a smaller readership are often more willing to publish guest posts and the more you can publish the more you will begin to see results from your promotional efforts It s easy to find blogs that accept guest posts with a quick Google search You can simply search for something like web design blogs and start trawling through the results for those that accept guest posts You can also search blogs on Google directly with terms like guest post and write for us which can be a good way of finding blogs that accept guest post submissions There s no need to restrict yourself purely to web design blogs By finding a different angle to write about you can pitch your ideas to a greater number

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-market-your-business-with-guest-posting-part-1 (2016-02-18)
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  • How to Market Your Business With a Blog - Part 2: What to Write About - UKWDA
    are a professional not just a hobbyist If you focus on creating web sites for a particular industry keeping up to date with news that is relevant to your clients is equally important Tutorials and How Tos Understandably you may feel that teaching clients how to do things for themselves when you could do it for them and collect a nice fee is madness However providing useful free information is a great way to build trust and make your name known as an authority By appearing helpful approachable and knowledgeable you are increasing the likelihood of prospective clients choosing you for more complex tasks that they need help with in the future Answering Keyword Targeted Questions Doing some keyword research and discovering what people are typing into search engines when they are thinking about hiring a web designer can be a great place to start For example you could write a series of tips articles for hiring a web designer including How to Find an Affordable Web Designer How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Web Designer Things to Consider Before You Hire a Web Designer There are two main benefits to writing articles like these You have the opportunity to target various keyword phrases This can help your article to come up on top when people seeking a web designer search for these questions in a search engine It shows that you understand client concerns and that you ve anticipated many of the questions they may have before they even contact you This can help to build a feeling of rapport with the potential client prior to their initial email It s best not to make articles like these overly salesy which can reduce their effectiveness However subtly referencing your own

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-market-your-business-with-a-blog-part-2-what-to-write-about (2016-02-18)
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  • How to Market Your Business With a Blog - Part 1 - UKWDA
    traffic to your website Higher positions for your website in search engine result pages Increased chance of others linking to your website Becoming known as an authority in the field of web design Developing a more personal voice for your business Great way of staying in touch and communicating with clients Effective promotional platform for your web design services Networking opportunities with other professionals Possibility of your articles being shared on social media Greater exposure for your brand Good way to connect with prospective clients and demonstrate your design process A static site containing your portfolio contact information and some additional information about your services may be sufficient when you re just starting out However if you really want to grow your business engage effectively with potential clients and keep up with your competitors publishing regular content in the form of a blog is a must Many people are put off by the idea of blogging thinking that it takes up a lot of time or they ll never be able to compete with the big names like Smashing Magazine Mashable and so on The fact is you don t need to compete with these big names Remember your blog s main priority is to support your business not to help you towards becoming an online celebrity While it may be nice to become known as an A list design blogger a blog with only a small readership can still provide and create a lot of value It s true that writing a blog will take up some of your time but you ll probably find that the investment is well worth it in terms of additional business and improved reputation A couple of hours spent on your blog every week could add up to some fantastic benefits for your business Getting Started With Blogging Anyone can start a blog with no technical knowledge required although that probably won t be an issue for you If you don t have time to work out how to set up a blog on your existing website it s easy to use a hosted service like those provided by Blogger WordPress com or Typepad and simply include a link to it from your main website and social profiles One of the main reasons that creative professionals put off starting a blog is inertia why spend time that could be spent on client work setting up a blog when you ve done fine without one for so long These free services remove some of these mental objections because they make things so quick and easy you really have no more excuses to fall back on If you re more technically minded and comfortable with coding a distinct likelihood you can opt for a self hosted solution like WordPress and either design your own theme to showcase your skills or opt for a pre designed theme How to Market Your Blog Setting up a blog is just the start To ensure you get maximum benefit

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-market-your-business-with-a-blog-part-1 (2016-02-18)
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