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101 Best Websites blog

Archive for the ‘Site development’ Category

How to Promote Your Website

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

So you’ve already got your website set up. You’ve got your online business going, and you’re ready to bring in the big bucks! But the problem is, just having a website doesn’t mean people are coming to your page. You’ve gotta learn to promote it. Whether you’re selling furniture out of a StorageMart Canada unit, or making t-shirts on Etsy, you need to know how to best promote your website to increase your business and revenue.

A. Stay Focused

When promoting your website, it is important to remember to stay consistent. Pick two or three key messages that you can use in all of your advertising. For example, “(website name) provides the highest-quality antique furniture.”

If you’re a self-starting, entrepreneurial type of person, it can be difficult to stay focused, with so many ideas constantly bouncing around. The problem is that if we start too many projects, each of them is likely to suffer because of a lack of focus on just one. So when picking methods to promote your website, make sure it is all consistent and easy for you to manage.

B. Search Engine Optimization

Even if your business model is unique by its nature, your website is still competing with hundreds of thousands of other websites out there. Do a search on Google or Yahoo for your business, using keywords that describe your business. If your business does not come up on the first page, that means it is buried under a bunch of other websites promoting similar businesses.

The solution is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This method of online marketing basically takes keywords about your business and uses them to your advantage. So the next time somebody searches using those specific key words, the more likely they are to find your business on the first page of search results. This will draw what is called “ organic” traffic to your website.

C. Integrate Social Networking

Implementing social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, adds a whole new level of experience to your website. Social networks, for the most part, are a free method for promoting your business, because you can reach a much wider audience through having current people who “like” your business suggest it to other people.

To add another level, if relevant, would be to start a blog. Many businesses have a blog to complement their websites. This would only work if consistently updated, and if the business actually has updates that consumers want to hear about. You have to be the best judge of that.

Don’t forget to have links back to your website. After all, that’s why you started these social networking pages in the first place.

As with any new website, it will take time to build up a following of consistent visitors. But as long as you stay focused and persistently promote your blog, you will soon discover the true meaning of success.

HTML5 – demos and tutorials

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

It’s the new big thing in the world of HTML and CSS – HTML5 is here. Sort of.

Although it’s not yet fully supported across all browsers and the spec is still in discussion, the basics are now known and developers areound the world are starting to embrace the new HTML standard. If you’re unsure of what the differences are and how it will affect you as a designer and front end developer, take a look at our new 101 Best site:

http://101besthtml5sites.com/

We’re trying to get together a gallery of the best HTML5 sites including demos and tutorial sites to help you get started producing your own HTML5 website.

Let us know what you think, and start submitting your own sites to the list!

101 Best Websites updates and new software!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

After months of development and testing we can now bring you our new and improved system making 101 Best Websites the most feature rich showcase site on the internet today!

The new features include:

  • Editing and ownership of your submissions
  • Up to 4 images per site, either automated screen shots or directly uploaded from your desktop, realtime!
  • Time sorting – view entries in time order so you can see what’s hot now
  • Vastly improved performance.  With 200,000 votes to sort through, this was a key element.  For the geeks amongst you, we have our page execution times down to under 0.01 of a second
  • Greater security for all users with a much improved user authentication system

We’ve achieved all of this whilst still maintaining our XHTML Strict validation, and still kept the site as accessible as possible using unobtrusive javascript and allowing every aspect of the site to degrade properly.

There’s also the addition of a Disqus comments system which will allow more in depth discussion of the sites and design.

Take a look around and let us know what you think!

Updates and 101 Best Twitter Apps

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

We’ve been working hard over the last week trying to get the updated version of 101 Best Websites live but it’s proving trickier than we realised – moving all the entries to the new database and making sure all our registered users are transferred without a hitch. We’ve come across a few problems which are taking longer to solve but once they are sorted out it’s going live and will be quicker, easier to use and generally better. With an improved rating system and submissions process, better comments, better search and an all round improvement in performance.

In other news, we’ve just launched another 101 site – 101 Best Twitter Apps we’ve added nearly 50 apps to the directory already so you can take a look and see how the new 101 Best Websites will work once we’ve moved eveything across. The categories and topics might need a bit of refining on the Twitter Apps site and we’re open to suggestions.

101 Best Twitter Apps is a list of the top Twitter widgets, desktop applications and automatic tools to improve your Twitter experience. It joins our growing group of 101 best application sites. You can find out more about the other 101 best sites here.

We haven’t forgotten our design roots though and are looking at launching another site in the next couple of weeks for showcasing the best in design – from architecture to print and automotive to modern art… Watch this space for more info 🙂

New sites and new targets

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

It’s been a few weeks since my last post – and since then we’ve been regularly getting over 1,000 visitors. Our visitor numbers have jumped considerably – growing on average 25% month on month. And you may have noticed the recent increase in approved submissions, we’re getting more and we’re trying to keep the quality high of everything we approve. The next target is 1,500 visitors a day 🙂 and we’re aiming for that by end of October!

The big news though is our growing list of 101 Best sites! As I’ve mentioned we’ve been working hard on a new bit of code and we’ve finally got it to a stage for us to use as the main backend system for the 101 Best sites.

Our new sites are:

http://101bestandroidapps.com/

http://101bestblackberryapps.com/

http://101bestiphoneapps.com/

Although 101 Best Android Apps isn’t strictly new we’ve managed to transfer over the users and send out emails to everyone to let them mknow the new features. Why not check them out and see what’s coming to 101 Best Websites. We’re hoping to start the mammoth job of transferring the sites and users next week for a relaunch the following week once everything has been tested and checked.

Although the design will stay pretty much the same it’s the new backend system that gives us more flexibility and the ability to add new features faster then ever before. There are a few nice touches though:

  1. Submissions can now include up to 4 images.
  2. The voting system has been tweaked to make it fairer.
  3. You can now view the best sites over the last few days, months or all time.
  4. The site list and pagination is better and now shows up to site 101 – is it better to be 1st or 101st?

Future developments will include:

  • The ability to “claim” your site.
  • External widgets to allow voting from your own site.
  • Apps for various sites and mobiles to allow submissions and voting and showing off!

Getting over 1000 visitors in one day…

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Just 12 months after we launched 101 Best Websites we’re getting close to 1000 visitors a day, which we’re pretty excited about! Last Tuesday we got 952 unique visitors and even with the weekend drop in traffic (only 500 visitors a day) we still managed over 5000 visitors for the week.

So, we’re looking for a big push this week, more visitors, more submissions and more high quality websites to add to the showcase. Over the last week or two we’ve seen more submissions than ever and we’ve been more selective about what we’re adding to the directory.

If you’d like to help us grow why not bookmark your favourite site design? Or link to it from Twitter or Facebook or your own blog?

We have some big plans over the coming weeks for a new site launch and major improvements of 101 Best Websites including: better site submission, profile pages, voting and comments. So any help to get more people reading and voting on the site is only going to make it better for everyone…

Any ideas to help us reach our target are appreciated!

Thanks,

The 101 Best Websites team.

Creating a fair voting system

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Over the last 6 months we’ve learnt a lot about how the voting system works.  We’ve studied the stats, looked at trends, and discovered that there needs to be some changes!

The idea of 101 Best Websites was always to create a fair representation of how good a websites is, based on it’s design, functionality and usability.

Some users would submit their site, we’d authorise it, then invariably they user would come back, vote their site high (understandibly) and then every body else the lowest.  One case in particular, the user voted over 200 sites down over a two hour period!  This pattern then continued with various different IP addresses for a few weeks.

The other issue we’ve encountered is Spam Bots.  I’m not sure how they work, but they manage to spoof a different ip address and create unfair statistics.

Using all this information, we’ve managed to upgrade the voting system to create a new, fairier reflection of users votes.  It will take a few weeks before the old votes are outdated (we feel it would be unfair to remove old votes), but you should start noticing some differences very soon.  With at least 2,500 page impressions a day now, we have the traffic to get things sorted 🙂

We would love to tell you how it works in detail, but then this might offer the people out their trying to fool the system a way to do just that, again.  Basically though, if your voting average is very low for a period of time, your votes won’t be registered.

Happy voting 🙂

101bestwebsites.com

RSS and Twitterfeed working again!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

After a few weeks of problems with the RSS feed we have finally got it sorted and working correctly. Not sure why it stopped working but you can now subscribe via Feedburner.

The Twitter feed is now working as well! https://twitter.com/101bestwebsites gets updated with all the news and latest sites we’ve approved and you’ll appear on the homepage here if you mention 101 Best Websites in your own Tweets 🙂

We’ve finally cleared some space in our schedule to get working on all the little bugs and errors on this site so expect to see more improvements and announcements over the next couple of months.

Thanks for all your support so far, keep those submissions coming in!

Six months since launch – new ideas needed!

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Can you believe we’ve had this site up and running for six months now? We can’t! Six months of 101 Best Websites. We’ve been so busy working on other projects and just popping on here to approve submissions and check everything is going ok that the time has just flown past.

And there’s still stuff we haven’t managed to cram in – so much for our “Build a web app in 48 hours”, this is turning into the longest 48 hours ever. But, we have some time coming up in the next couple of months that we’re going to dedicate to fixing a few issues and adding some features to this site:

  • Getting the comments/SEO reports/rankings styled up a bit better
  • Getting the rankings to work!
  • Sorting out the pagination
  • Only allowing 101 sites in each category to appear (the original purpose of the site)

We’re also planning to get a few other ideas for improvements and that’s where we need some help… What would you improve or add to the site? Or even off the site: a facebook app or iPhone app to add/vote for sites. Would you like to see a little gadget to add to your site to show off your position on 101 Best Websites?

Any and all ideas welcome.

Server issues

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Due to heavy traffic we’ve had to move servers, but made the mistake of ordering a managed server from 1and1!

Unfortunately it’s heavily restricted and doesn’t run MySQL 5.  We’ve managed to adjust all the code to run on MySQL 4, but there are a couple of problems left over which we are working to resolve with the server guys.

For the time being, we are unable to accept any new submissions, please accept our apologies for this and try again tomorrow.

Thanks

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