Apr 16, 2010

"page not found" a wasted opportunity

From time to time when you're doing a search you may land on a 404 page. You know - the "page not found"  error message that causes you to click the back button (or close a window). Sometimes it's because a page has moved, been renamed or was just typed incorrectly.

What a Waste! 

You can create a custom 404 page for your site. That way, if a customer lands on it, they can at least easily navigate to any other page on your site. If have not already created a custom 404 page it's a wasted opportunity to keep customers from going elsewhere.

It's Easy!

If you have a good host, and access to ftp then it's only 2 simple steps to rescue customers from the pesky "page not found" black hole.

Step1. Create/Edit your .htaccess file
  • Open a note pad and type: (If you already have a .htaccess file then just add this line to it)
ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html
  • Save the file as .htaccess to your computer
  • Upload to the server using ftp in the root directory

Step2. Create your custom 404 "page not found" page.
  • Create a new html page with your main page navigation, or a site map. 
  • Let the searcher know the page they were looking for no longer exists.
  • Save the new html page as notfound.html
  • Upload it to your server using ftp in the root directory.
That's it! 

Now test it. Let's say you were wanting to purchase one of our ring guards - and by mistake you type the url as viewithere.com/ringad (or went to a page that I moved or renamed).

Instead of a generic browser error page you now see  viewithere.com/ringad (you'll have to click on the link to see what I mean). You'll notice a line that says:
We're sorry the page you were looking for was not found! It may be an old link - but you can visit any of the following pages :)
 Now a customer can easily stay on our site to find what they were looking for.

Apr 5, 2010

Customize your Blogger Header

I was surfing sites over the long weekend and saw someones company "blog" on their site. When I clicked the link I was sent to a "google blogger" page that matched their site perfectly. It made their "free" blog more impressive and professional.

Make your blogger header into a streamlined nav bar.

It wasn't as difficult as I thought and if you have an image editing program and a html editor it's just a few short easy steps to looking more professional.

Step 1
a) Create your navigation image in a program like fireworks or photoshop. Here is an example of what I mean:

b) Upload it to your server (or a free space) and copy down the URL

Step 2
a) Open your html editor (I used visual page -most html editor programs will have mapping tools)

b) Start a "new project" and insert your new image. Once it is opened if you right click (or go to image tools) you'll see a "local mapping tool".

c) Using the mapping tool highlight the area you wish to be a link and link it to the www page you want it to direct to.

d) Once completed view the page source- You'll notice it mapped the coordinates for you (I wouldn't know how it would be done manually) copy the image html into your note pad.

Step 3.
a) Go to your blogger layout to "customize" edit the header first. Take out any image already there, the title and description can be left if you want it shown.

b) "Add an element" just below the original header. The element you want to add is HTML/Javascript

c) Paste your image map code in the element box, save and....your done!

Visit our blog to see the mapped image nav bar in action http://view-it-here.blogspot.com/ - mouse over the tabs and the social network images.

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