Mastering Web Fundamentals

Whether you have spent one day or many years as a Web professional, there is always something more that can be learned and mastered to push you and your Web enterprise to greater awareness and profitability.

Website Magazine is pleased to announce the release of Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success - our first book and what we hope will accelerate the success of startups and seasoned pros alike. Web 360 is being given away free with every professional-level subscription to Website Magazine. Learn more about the Web 360 offer here

What makes Web 360 unique (besides the fact that we're giving it away for free to those that subscribe, renew or upgrade to Website Magazine's professional-level subscription) is that it is one of the first books to provide a holistic approach - from coming up with the big ideas to analyzing the performance achieved.

Today, let's dig deeper into Web 360 and the fundamentals of Web success and explore the underlying structure.

Below are just some of the things you will find in this exciting new resource:

The Big Idea: What does every great business have in common? Big ideas - and not just big ideas, but great ones, reasonable ones, informed ones. The most fundamental element of your success, and the guiding force for many, if not all, of the decisions you make as a Web professional, is your own big idea. If there is but one thing that I hope you take away from reading Web 360 it is that your big idea is your most important asset, and this book is meant to help you develop that asset and guide it to the highest levels of success and profitability.

Domain Names: The first step of anyone interested in getting involved with the wonderful world of the Web is considering a domain name. As aspiring and even professional Internet businesses quickly learn, much is involved in the selection, purchase and management of domain names. Too often, domain name-related decisions are uninformed or - worse - uninspired. Choosing wisely is a fundamental element of Web success.

Web Hosting: The moment in which many Web professionals fail - whether startups or big businesses - is in their choice of Web hosting. The technical knowledge and expertise to choose hosting that matches the demands of your future audience must mesh with your big idea. Having a good understanding of the Web hosting landscape, and recognizing what features you need (based on your big idea) will serve you well as you move forward.

Software Essentials: From weblogs to wikis, shopping carts to customer management databases, Web professionals interact with software on a near-constant basis. Choosing a solution that matches the requirements of your big idea (as well as your budget) and one with which you feel comfortable working (and eventually mastering) is vital. Finding the right solution to the demands of your big idea is one of the key elements to success.

Web Design: The importance of a quality design, one that is appealing to users and motivates them to take action, cannot be overstated. Effective Web design today is a perfect blend of art and science. Understanding the fundamental principles of good Web design and knowing what techniques and tactics to avoid will mean a lot to the long-term success of your enterprise. One of the many secrets to great Web design found inside this book is that decisions should be based on empirical data more so than instinct.

Content Development: Content is the end-all, be-all of your ultimate success. Placing great care in idea generation, understanding the opportunities afforded in relation to distribution, and constructing content in such a way that is appealing to users and other websites are where your time and resources should be spent. Knowing what resonates with your audience (or prospective audience) will ensure your business is not just appealing but relevant to their needs.

Search Engine Optimization: The attention paid to search engine optimization is in no way unwarranted. Much goes into a successful SEO campaign, and doing it well requires careful preparation and organization in relation to the development of the sites, the construction of content and the distribution tactics we use. SEO is not rocket science, but it is not something that you can take lightly if you rely on the search engines to provide you with the gift of traffic.

Email: Too few Web professionals consider email as an effective marketing or support tactic compared to other available channels (e.g. social media), but it most definitely remains, and for good reason. Having a proper method to acquire subscribers, knowing a few tricks in relation to designing and developing email campaigns and having insights into the key email metrics that matter are, again, fundamental.

Going Local: While the vast majority of websites will not classify themselves as having a "local" focus, every Internet enterprise should consider the virtual footprint they leave on the local Web. This means that all Web-based businesses should make an effort to at least consider developing some variation of a local Web strategy. Once you realize that you do - or could - in fact have a local impact, it is simply a matter of finding creative new ways to leverage those opportunities.

Social Media: If there is one opportunity that can simultaneously help your website and business by increasing exposure and distribution and improving processes and customer support, it is social media. Understanding the landscape is important but even more so is the process of optimizing participation to positively influence the perception of our brands and the bottom line of our businesses. No longer are you able to sit on the social media sidelines because customers, clients and prospects demand your presence and attention.

Internet Advertising: Promoting a website property through Internet advertising is not for every enterprise. It can be costly and time consuming - particularly for those without a deep understanding of the models, formats, tactics and strategies used by others to drive traffic at a cost-effective rate. Understanding the needs and wants of customers (as well as what appeals to them) and how much each new client (and even action - e.g. signup) is worth will serve your website business well.

Analytics: You can't manage what you can't measure, and you most certainly can't monetize it, either. Analytics, the final stage of the Web 360 approach to achieving success online, is an area most Web professionals are hesitant to even try to understand. Only through analytics can you understand what works and what does not, how you might improve and what you should avoid. As you will find, mastering analytics is possible for anyone.

Now You Know: What exactly is it that you are supposed to know now? Whether you are just starting out on the Web and have big plans for your big idea or are a seasoned Web professional looking to master some other element of online success, it is absolutely essential to master the fundamentals of Web success. We teach you how in Web 360.