Sunday, October 22, 2006

Blink and you missed it..

Well it was brief but for a while we did have a free hosting account package, unfortunately it just wasn't sustainable. The package should draw to a close sometime next week, so for those of you still thinking about it, its not too late.

Those that already have a free account, rest assured your account is safe. We won't be changing any free accounts, they will remain free for as long as you require them, we just won't be taking on any new clients.

I hope that at some point in the future the free hosting will be brought back.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The YouTube Effect

For quite a while now I have had clients asking for “a site like YouTube,” or “a video type site” when discussing the specifications of their new site, even though many of them had never visited YouTube or even had a clear idea of just what the site was about. They’d heard the name and that was enough, it was the latest buzz phrase, the site that should be emulated or at least the five million hits a week should be.

Now after the $1 billion acquisition of YouTube by Google even more clients are asking about YouTube and even more now actually know what the site is and what it does.

That is some achievement for a site that was only launched in February 2005, not only was it getting so many visitors and worth so much money but people who had no idea about the site had heard of it. Of course as I have to point out to my clients you can’t have a site like YouTube and expect the same success and they can’t really have a YouTube like site as part of their business site however they can look at what made YouTube so popular and see if their site can offer something similar.

YouTube is all about user generated content, your typical business website is not going to try and emulate that, but they can emulate the more personal approach.

Many sites now have RSS feeds and Podcasts and now as YouTube has demonstrated you can have video on your site and people will watch it, assuming it is at least partly interesting and assuming that the visitors to the site are actually interested in what you have to offer.

Of course there is also nothing stopping the company from not only placing their videos on related subject matter on their own website but they can also upload them to YouTube and engage in some viral marketing. The trick with viral marketing is to create an advertisement that is interesting, that people will want to share and discuss and that also mentions your product and/or your company.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

eBay Special Offers

Once again here at Horizon Web Development we are offering our excellent eBay packages. These will be available for a limited time and I'm going to tell you what's on offer and how to get as much as possible from this offer. For just £9.99 you'll get:
  • Five custom designed pages
  • One year's free hosting
To get the full benefit from this offer you have to be in the market for a website, if it is something you've been thinking about for a while but couldn't justify the outlay, then take advantage now! You're going to get the site designed for practically nothing (just £9.99!) and then hosted for free. A domain name will only set you back £10 so you're looking at a virtually risk free scenario. If you already have a website you're happy with, purchase it anyway and then transfer the hosting to Horizon Web Development as you'll get hosting for one year and you can transfer to the free fully featured hosting in the second year!

Another tip to get your full money’s worth and more is to fill out the spec form as fully as possible and then add in section 6. “I would like to see a draft version of the site, preferably in picture format before you begin.” That way you’ll see the design in the early stages (as non eBay customers do) and have more influence on the design. The alternative is to wait to see the coded design on the internet, which is generally quite a bit quicker, but 90% of people tend to settle for the first design they see up rather than suggesting changes or asking to see another design.

I should point out that I am not sure how long these special offers will last, I do know that this is the last run of them so when they stop appearing, they won’t be back!