Livecity Blog


Does my website really need SEO?

- Posted by Livecity In category SEO

The answer is provided by a headline on the SEO tools page here on our Livecity website: “An optimized site is a gateway to discovery!” You can use our templates to create a stunning website for your business, but on its own, that isn’t enough. Imagine any store in a mall with its security shutters permanently lowered. No matter what’s inside, it can’t be sold if potential customers don’t know it’s there and can’t access it.

What exactly is SEO?

It’s also easy to assume that everyone knows the answer to this question. However, you might be new to the process of website creation, or have heard the term but have only a rough idea of what it means. Search engine optimization was first recognized as a valuable tool about twenty years ago. It is the way in which any page on a website is made visible to those who might be looking for the services or products it describes. The SEO process considers the likely words or phrases people would use when searching and then utilizes these to improve the page or site visibility. The higher your site is ranked on a search engine, the more people are likely to find it and then click through to visit.

Using our Livecity SEO tools is a particularly easy way to make the most of this process by adding valuable descriptions and keywords to both your whole site and individual landing pages.

Avoid empty promises

Returning to our original question, the answer is “yes” but with an obvious proviso that the process needs to be correctly handled. First, a word of warning. If you see ads offering to take you right to the top of the Google rankings – then beware. The company itself tells us that nobody can make this guarantee and any processes involved are likely only to work in the very short term. Then the search company finds out what is happening and you could well be the subject to penalties for improper practices.

Gaining the benefits of SEO

Here are five key reasons for using effective SEO on your business website:

1. It works! The process and the thinking behind it does yield effective results, if correctly handled and accepting that these results do build gradually.

2. There is no reason to think that point one is going to drastically alter in the immediate future.

3. The number of customers searching online for products and services continues to increase and is likely to do so. The business marketplace is becoming increasing an online place.

4. Compared to other forms of online advertising, for example pay per click or buying leads for email campaigns, SEO is highly cost-effective.

5. The use of mobile devices is soon expected to pass that of traditional desktops. Especially for local businesses, this means that searches can become more frequent and quicker to be acted upon. Standing on main street of a strange town, it would take you no time to find a place to eat or stay!

The final and vital reason

Simple really – your competitors are almost certainly all using SEO. If you are standing still wondering whether to use these techniques then you are actually yielding your business battleground to others who seek out the same customers as you do. Case proved!


5 Things people hate about your current website

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

Even the best website has room for improvement, but many sites have a few issues. While you might not regularly ask your customers or even people you know what they think about your website, it can be a good way to see what you can be doing better. A better website can mean more customers, and more return visits by existing customers.

If you're worried about asking friends, family, and customers what they think, take a look at our list of the five things people will probably say they hate about your current website.

1. How it looks on mobile browsers

A growing proportion of internet users are doing all or most of their browsing on phones and tablets. It's no longer enough to simply make a website look fantastic on large screen computers. You also need to ensure that it'll look great on a smaller device. This means no tiny buttons for navigation, huge images that won't resize, and no Flash.

Flash has been a great way to make your site look great. Unfortunately, some of the most popular phones and tablets don't support it. This means that if your site is built entirely in Flash, these users won't be able to see what you have to offer, no matter how it looks.

2. The navigation (or lack thereof)

Website users like to be able to get around. Having a clear navigation structure makes this possible. Remember that whatever page a visit starts on, you want them to explore the rest of your site. This means having navigation on every page. While it doesn't need to be a bar across the top of the page, it should be available somewhere.

Another key part of any navigation is a page with contact details. Don't just rely on a contact form, as many users won't want to contact you in this way. Instead, have a page that includes your address, phone number, and email address. A contact form can be added alongside this, but should never take its place entirely.

3. The loading time and auto start media

Whether they're using a phone, tablet, or computer, people want websites to load quickly. If it doesn't, they'll move on to a different one. One of the big offenders for slow load times is multimedia that automatically starts. This is a double sin for any website, as it makes the page sluggish and can be an unwelcome surprise to have your video start blasting out of the speakers.

4. SEO focused copy and stock photography

SEO is important, and so are images. However, your website should always be made for people first and search engines second. This means making sure that any copy you have on your website reads well and is easy to understand. Keywords can be included, but shouldn't be your main focus.

Similarly, your images should be real photos of what you actually do, not stock photos that users have seen on hundreds of other websites. It's better to have fewer images that are unique than lots of stock photos.

5. Out of date content

This is a quick way to turn anyone off your page. Don't just create a site and run. A simple addition like a blog can make a big impact, and give you a way to regularly update your content. This will help with your search engine rankings and make customers more interested in your site.


5 frustrating reasons why I'll leave your website in just ten seconds or less

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

Imagine you have a store in a busy shopping mall. Many people will stroll by your windows, stop for a moment, and then a number of them will call in. These are casual visitors who will have a quick glance and then either stay or leave. A second group will have visited the mall for a small number of specific reasons and visiting your store is one of them. They will enter, try to find what they are looking for. If they find it, or are greeted by a member of your staff, then they will stay a while.

This process is much the same when you use the terrific tools here at Livecity to create your own business website. Your aim should be to retain, and then work with, those interested visitors. Imagine you are one of them. Here are five reasons why you might arrive at the website but then quickly leave.

I’m in the wrong place - 1

You have used a search engine to seek out a specific product or service. You believe you have found it so you click through. Instead of finding the information you seek, you have arrived at a general homepage. You quickly return to the search engine and try another link. Solution: make sure you have landing pages that are specific to each individual product or service search.

I’m in the wrong place – 2

As with the previous point, but I am responding to a time-limited or special offer. When I arrive at the landing page it either tells me the offer is no longer available or makes a different, current, offer. I shout at the screen and promise never to trust that business again! Solution: use separate landing pages for any special offer. Once it’s over, change the copy to provide a link to where the product or service is now located. You will probably still lose some visitors, but others will still want the item, even if at the original cost. At least you are making the best of a bad job!

It’s too technical for me

You arrive because you want to buy a product or use a service about which you have only a limited knowledge. The page you visit is packed with information, but it is expressed in highly technical terms, or industry jargon. You quickly realize that you don’t understand much of what is being said. Solution: make sure the language you use is customer-friendly rather than expert-driven.

I’m quickly disengaged

Allied to the previous point, the page you arrive at isn’t clearly presented, welcoming and user-friendly. It’s like being ignored by the staff when you enter a store. Your positive attitude quickly dissipates. Solution: ensure your site is friendly, simple and welcoming – make people want to stay rather than find a reason to leave.

The next step lets me down

You’re in a hurry and click through to a specific page. It quickly tells you what you need to know and you are ready to complete the purchase. Your second click takes you to a page where an excess of information is required, or you are expected to register to then be allowed to buy. Angrily, you close the link. Solution: keep your processes as quick and simple as you can.

Just ten seconds

Each of the above can lose you potential custom in less than this time. Worse, the prospective customers can then have a negative impression of your business and pass this along to others. It’s very easy to lose so many potential sales without ever even knowing you could have gained them! Use the solutions here to help avoid this sad situation.


How to make a website for free

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

Creating your own website is much easier than it used to be. With many free tools available on the Web, you can start designing your website today. There are three main elements you need to create a website for free. These include your domain name registration, your hosting service, and your website content design. If you already have a domain name, then you can start designing your website using a hosting service. Livecity offers a free tools to help you create your entire website without any existing knowledge of Web design or services.

Register your domain name

Before you can start creating your website, you need to select a domain name - the Web address visitors will use to access your site. You must acquire the rights to the domain name through a registration service. Domain registration is bundled for no additional fee with many hosting plans, and is provided for free if you subscribe to Livecity's Advanced, Professional or Gold packages. If you want to register your domain separately for free, you can register less-common domains through other services, such as http://www.dot.tk, http://www.freenom.com and http://codotvu.com. After you've registered a domain name, you must find a hosting service to transfer your domain to.

Transfer your domain to hosting service

A hosting service stores your website's content on its servers and provides visitors with direct access to your site. You will need to unlock your domain name from the registering service before you can transfer your site to a new host. If you're expecting a lot of traffic to your website, then you may want to select a hosting service with the necessary bandwidth. Some free hosting services include http://www.serversfree.com, http://freehostingnoads.net and https://x10hosting.com. You can transfer your domain to Livecity for a free 14-day trail with 200MB of bandwidth. You can change your plan at any time if you decide you need additional bandwidth or storage space for your site.

Design your pages

Templates offer an easy method to create a professional looking website with no knowledge of coding languages. While you can create your own web pages using HTML and CSS code, selecting pre-configured templates can help your site stand out. Choose from hundreds of themes and styles to find a template that matches your industry, brand or interest. Livecity offers free website templates from top designers that are pre-configured for all of your needs, including e-commerce, landing pages and corporate websites. You can also create an e-commerce Web store on your site using one of Livecity's templates which supports Google Checkout, PayPal, SSL and more. Each of Livecity's templates are designed to optimize automatically to mobile devices.


How to create a website for free with Livecity

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

Many business owners are unaware of the fact that they can set up a c that will attract new customers, as well as serve the needs of existing ones. Livecity is an option that allows business owners to set up a professional website without making a major financial commitment. Another advantage is that you have access to web designers, writers and other professionals who can help you.

1. When you set up a website on Livecity, you have the choice of setting up a corporate site, landing page or shop. Hundreds of colorful, professional templates are available for you to use. Choose a template and click on the blue Open Website button.

2. You will be prompted to open a new account if you don't already have one. This is a simple process that just takes a few minutes. once you are logged in, enter the site name and your phone number into the appropriate boxes. Make sure that you have clicked the button stating that you agree to the terms and conditions.

3. It might take a few moments for your new site to load. Be patient, because this will help ensure that the features you need for your site load properly.

4. The features you will need to make the first few changes to your site can be found by clicking on the right side of the screen. You can change your background, edit the content found on the page, select the fonts for the text and optimize it for mobile users.

5. You can also customize your site further by using the navigation bar at the left side of the screen. Some of the options here include adding images and photo galleries, creating contact forms and adding YouTube videos. Use the pull-down menu near the top of the left side of the screen to see all of the extra features added by category. The Save button at the top left of the screen will save all your changes in case you need to return later.

6. If you need to add additional pages, use the Pages button at the top of the screen near the left side. Enter the name for the page, then choose which of the site menus, if any, you want it to appear in. Always make sure you save your changes so that the site will be just as you left it when you return. After you've made the changes, use the Subscription button near the top right to choose your hosting option.


How to make your own website

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

No medium is more relevant today than the world wide web. Everyone who is anyone is using it to either gain information and amusement or to provide it. The good news is, anyone, even you, can create a website from scratch. You do not need to be a technical genius or a software developer; thanks to the amazing technology and services available over the Internet currently, you can make your website from the comfort of your own home or office. With this website, you can enhance your online presence for whatever business or personal venture you aspire to.

No coding necessary

As a professional in your own respective field, it is no surprise that you have no idea how to build a business from scratch. Still, you need one and you'd like the freedom to be able to accomplish that on your own, without hiring expensive web designers to do the job for you.

You can create your own site using a website builder. A website builder is an application and service bundle which can be accessed and used remotely. There are scores of site builders out there, but the most reliable and intuitive by far is www.livecity.com.


This site builder is by far the most friendly toward web development novices. Unlike other site builders, Livecity does not require you to know or understand any coding language; you can upload information to your site easily using forms and menus. The content then shows up properly on your site without all the back-end hassle of programming.

A unique domain address

Your business will thrive on a domain address that is easily associated with your brand or product. Similarly, if you create a site for a personal reason, a unique domain name associated directly with you can bring visitors to your site in droves.

When you create your own website, you have the freedom and the opportunity to decide on a domain address and claim it as your own. You can acquire it without paying a fortune.

Whether you choose a .net, .com, or .org extension, you can rest assured that your domain name cannot be copied, reused by someone else or stolen while your unique site is up.

Making a website for personal or business purposes will automatically enhance your online presence. It will also make you appear more credible to those who visit it; your potential customers understand that once you have a website, you mean serious business. With the ease of use regarding website builders like the one mentioned earlier, you have no valid excuse not to create your own site today.


What is a widget

- Posted by Livecity In category Tools

Some applications and websites offer their users an extension of the program or service which can be downloaded straight to the user's computer and stored on its desktop. These extensions come in the form of a small, limited user interface known as a widget.

Both the providers and the users of an application or a site usually find widgets to be convenient and even essential tools. Widgets can even be adapted for use on mobile devices such as smart phones. Some are specifically developed for the mobile market, while others serve as a site extension for websites that cannot be accessed by mobile users.

The purpose of a widget

The purpose of a widget is often simple yet essential. A widget serves as an extra incentive for a business or brand to attract loyal customers. Though they are implemented to perform a specific function, widgets can also serve as an additional advertising tool for the business and products they represent.

Most widgets appear in the form of a pop-up window or dialogue box, and they serve as reminders, countdown timers and notification tools for those who use them. They tend to remain on a user's desktop or notification center in the form of an unintrusive icon, thus their extreme convenience.

Benefits of widgets for businesses

At first glance, implementing a widget into a business's website can seem like a hassle. However, when the benefits are weighed against the potential setbacks, the business clearly stands to gain more than it would lose by featuring a widget for those who visit its site. A widget serves as a constant reminder of the business and the services it offers. More importantly, it manages to do so while still being independently useful to its user. Potential customers also tend to praise a business for the virtual convenience it offers them. The more partial a user becomes to a widget, the more he is likely to become and remain a loyal customer.

Implementing widgets into a business website

Normally, building a widget into a unique user interface is known to be a challenge to those who are not software savvy. However, if a business uses a website builder like www.livecity.com to create and maintain its site from the start, implementing a widget into the interface is no hassle. All the website creator needs to do is upload the relevant information into its corresponding fields on the website builder's panel. Website builders take care of the rest, creating a user-friendly widget on your terms.


How to create your own website

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

So you have a great idea that needs a great website to ensure it hits the ground running. What next? Creating websites can be an expensive and complex task if you are not sure about where to go and how to get started. In this post, we give our top tips for creating your own website to promote your ideas, products and services.

1. Plan, plan, plan!

It is no good going into the process of creating a website unless you have put in some thinking time beforehand. Planning is an essential part of any website creation process and there really is no such thing as ‘too much planning’. Planning not only helps you to communicate your ideas better in the short term which means a smoother set up process, but it also means that in the long run you are less likely to run into the types of website problems that could have major negative impacts upon your business or organization.

2. Get fluent in the latest technology

If you are creating a website you are moving into a field that is incredibly fast paced and dynamic. The constant evolution of new technologies mean that new possibilities keep being created for website owners whether you are setting something up so that you can upload pictures of your dog for all your friends to see or whether you are building an online portfolio to show off your latest products and designs. Do you know about making content shareable for all types of social media account? What about how to make videos interactive so that people have more control over what they see and buy? New technologies are important so try to keep up whilst creating your own website.

3. Partner with the right people

Partnerships are possible throughout the entire website creation process whether you are ordering blog posts or photographs or ensuring that your site has the latest tech support and infrastructures. Make sure that you know how your new partners operate and ensure that they have the experience to pull off the tasks you need them to do.

How can livecity help?

Livecity is a website builder that offers the latest technologies in website creation so that you can focus on growing your business. Their expert team has been building Livecity for more than ten years and their services are available around the globe. For more information, visit www.livecity.com.


How to start your own website

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

If you are thinking of starting your own website for personal or professional use, you have come to the right place. Starting your own website is easy: with modern technology and software, you do not need specialist skills and you do not need to invest in expensive equipment. All you need is an idea! In this post, we guide you through some of the early considerations for setting up your own website:

1. Focus your idea

A lot of people have a lot of ideas but if you want your website to be successful, you need to have a good idea. This applies right across the board so whether you want to set up a family website for photo and event sharing or you want to set up a business website where people can order and pay for your products online, this very basic principle applies. Think about what sets you apart and that should soon translate into what sets your idea apart. Once you know that, you start to have the foundations for a truly great website idea.

2. Think about key features

It is no use starting your own website unless you know exactly what you want that website to do. Do you want anyone from anywhere on the planet to be able to access your content? Do you want people to be able to register for updates and product details? Do you want interactive content that people can share on social media sites? Thinking about some of these fundamentals early on can not only save you time in the start up process but it can also help you to maintain a well-functioning website in the long run.

3. Choose the right website builder

If you are building your website yourself, it is likely that you will spend hours tinkering with your website and thinking about content even if it only takes a few minutes to get yourself online in the first place. For that reason, it is important to know in advance if you are using the right website building software for your purposes. Review features carefully and ensure that you know the ins and outs of pricing before you start so that you do not have to worry about being forced to migrate your website later on.

How can livecity help?

Livecity is a content management system that offers its customers the latest technologies and leading expertise in order to deliver the best websites at the best prices. To find out more, visit www.livecity.com.


What is “Google Webmaster Tools” and why do I need to use it?

- Posted by Livecity In category SEO

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is essential to your website’s visibility and viability. Livecity.com provides the tools for webmasters to custom design a professional website, but drawing visitors to the site and keeping them there, is the responsibility of the site’s owner or Webmaster. This is where Google Webmaster Tools come in to play. Utilizing GWT will help build a healthy site. There is no-charge for the service, which is intended to market the search engine and to assist webmasters in promoting their sites and increasing the amount of traffic received. Simply put, and according to Google, GWT provides understanding in how to improve a business or personal website in Google search.

How it works

Google walks you through the process of getting your site recognized. Webmaster guidelines draw on the best practices to crawl, index and rank your site. Following the guidelines will help you tremendously; especially if you adhere to the rules that will keep your site online by avoiding illegal practices. The worst thing that could happen by failing to follow the rules set forth by Google, is total removal of the website. If Google determines that the content on website pages were created with malicious intentions, i.e. phishing, trojans and other bad ware; the site will be eliminated from Google search or, worse case scenario – removed completely.

Livecity.com encourages anyone maintaining a personal or business website, to familiarize themselves with Google Webmaster rules. It is the best way to ensure the site’s success.

Who Needs Google Webmaster Tools?

• Business owners

According to Google, business owners should familiarize themselves with the basics of the GWT. Even if a Webmaster specialist is hired to set up the business’ website, owners should be certain to have access to Google reports. The site/business owner should also have control over the reports and use them to learn how the site is performing and how to improve performance if necessary.

• SEO content specialists

The job of a search engine optimization specialist is to market a site or product online. The marketer should pay very close attention to GWT, as it will assist the specialist on how to increase website traffic, and to augment a website’s ranking in search results for targeted keywords.

• Site administrators

The site administrator will want to closely monitor a website’s activities. Through careful monitoring the administrator will be able to resolve errors that occur. Security issues that endanger the site’s performance, like malware, load problems, hacking and server errors could be corrected as GWT are applied.

Site owners do not have to sign up with GWT for their site to be included in Google search. Inclusion is automatic. But, site owners who do not sign up are not privy to how the search engine works. Sign up to GWT to understand how Google views your site. The tools also assist the owner in making sound technical decisions and to complete market analysis.


What makes a good website?

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

A very simple answer – something that delivers the level and type of response you want, and does so on a repeating basis. That’s what you are trying to achieve when you use our terrific range of templates and tools here at Livecity. Whether your need is to provide a wide range of information and then gain the relevant action, or to gain sales, and often it’s a combination of both of these. Therefore your starting point is to create a series of clear and relevant goals and objectives both for your business and then, by extension, your website.

Changing focus

To achieve these aims, one of the most valuable actions you can take is to stop. And then change focus because success will only really be achieved if you approach the task from a prospective customer’s point of view. Understanding what they want from your website (and business) allows you to match their needs to yours. In this way the synergy to really deliver through your website is created.

How will they find you?

The answer is – through a variety of actions or events. These might include your own marketing activities, through media advertising, social websites, email campaigns and the like. Occasionally, people will arrive at your site completely by accident, and most times, these folk will have no interest. A third way is through actions by others – recommendations by friends, colleagues and family, through social media or elsewhere. Finally, you’ll have those making a welcome return after a previous and positive experience.

Your primary source of visitors

Which leaves, increasingly, the main way people will be driven to your business and that’s through searching. Therefore, an absolute pre-requisite for a good website is to deliver the SEO that allows as many viable searchers as possible to locate you. To achieve this, consider how they search rather than just what you provide. You might offer “professional plumbing services” people may be searching for “leaking pipes in Columbus”. Identifying their key search terms and then marrying these with the relevant services or products you provide bring people to you.

A good website for new arrivals

Like arriving in a new town, people need to understand their way around your website with the minimum off effort. It needs to be both friendly and professional, so that they feel welcome. The specific information they require should be right there without their having to try and locate it. This means that, where visitors are arriving on different landing pages, these should be specifically tied to their search terms.

The language you use, offers you make, and advice you offer, should be expressed in their everyday language, rather than the technical words and phrases you probably often use within your business.

The final destination

Through all this, to be a good (let’s aim for great) website, it needs to move them to where you both want them to be – taking the specific action you both need them to take, and making it easy for them to do so.

Finally to one area we haven’t yet covered. It should look as good as possible – and reflect your business as it does so. Sadly, too often, this seems to be the primary concern of many folk when creating a business website. The terrific Livecity templates help deliver this for you. However, if your website isn’t saying the right things, in the best way, to the largest possible number of people, and at the right time, then it’s look is irrelevant because nobody will be there to see it! The “good” is only really in the delivery.


Five tips for creating a successful website

- Posted by Livecity In category Website Builder

Livecity.com places the tools at your fingertips that simplify the process of building a professional website. A professional website can go live, literally in just minutes. But, as exciting as it is to see a website come to life, just signing online does not guarantee that a website will be successful. So, what constitutes a successful website?

In a sense, a website is a chance at a first impression. An effective website is built to reflect the purpose of your business.

The following five tips will assist you in designing a site that is driven by goals and processes that will create an effective web presence.

1. Appearance

The worse thing that can happen is that after being directed to a specific web page, visitors are nonplussed by the site’s appearance. If visitors find the site confusing, or if the site appears unprofessional, then what does that say about the business behind it? Web pages must be clean, structured and concise. Ensure that the appearance of your site is inviting and accessible. Coordinate colors and contrast of colors very carefully.

2. Make your site user friendly

Most people scan, rather than read web pages. Visitors to your website want to get in and out, gather the information for which they are searching and move on. The site has to be easy to navigate - with easy to scan content. Cover the subject matter in short paragraphs to make it easier for hurried site visitors to scan. Break up the text with white space and correctly use headings, subheadings, bullet points and number lists.

The easier it is for site visitors to follow the content, the more likely they will stay on your site and they will likely return.

3. Relevant content

Know your audience and focus on what they need. Also, fresh content is very important. It is what visitors expect. If the content never changes visitors will not return.

4. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your site to maximize its chances of appearing in the search results of Google and other search engines for targeted 'keywords'. Getting this traffic is vital to the success of your business, so to increase your chances, set up landing pages for keywords that are relavent to your products and services and be sure to include these keywords in meta data, header tags and copy on these pages.

5. Make it quick

How long do you think site visitors will hang around waiting for graphics to load? Speed is optimum. It doesn't matter how great a video or picture is, or how well it represents your business’ philosophy, if the visitor tires of waiting and moves on. Optimize everything; graphics, video, and audio. Websites must have the ability to load fast.

Creating a website should not be daunting. Livecity.com makes building a successful site quick and easy.


The top 5 online payment alternatives to PayPal

- Posted by Livecity In category E-commerce

Most online consumers probably assume that PayPal is the best online payment system, and for good reason. PayPal is marketed as safe, convenient and affordable. Buying on PayPal is always free, but sellers incur a 2.9% per transaction fee. It is used by individuals for personal purchases and by companies. But is the electronic commerce company the best choice for business consumer’s websites? Make the determination for yourself.

1. Google Wallet

Formerly recognized as Google’s Checkout, Google Wallet is similar to PayPal. It offers fraud protection on purchases, and allows members to send invoices and to processes credit cards. Members will pay transaction fees, which are dependent upon the product. One of the main differences between Google Wallet and PayPal is the availability of rapid transfers between the site and your bank account. PayPal requires a 4-day waiting period before funds appear in your checking account.

Getting setup and managing an account is easy. The site is user friendly and the web tutorials will help get you started.

2. We Pay

We Pay is designed for businesses. One of the best features of We Pay is the ability for companies to allow consumers to checkout purchases on the business’ website. In other words, consumers are not re routed through a secondary terminal. Also, WePay users can immediately begin to accept payments and are usually paid in a very short amount of time; generally by the next day.

3. 2Checkout

2Checkout accepts credit cards, PayPal, and debit cards globally. Businesses have the opportunity to reach an international market, as the site accepts 26 currencies. Customers can select from 15 languages; proof that 2Checkout really is a global advantage. It is also free to sign up.

4. Authorize.Net

Authorize.Net has been the recipient of the Customer Excellence or ACE award for five consecutive years. With more than 400,000 merchants, the site claims to be the most widely used of its type on the internet. Authorize.Net provides service to small-medium sized businesses, allowing them to accept payments online, via mail, telephone order, by mobile phone and in brick and mortar stores. Merchant account fees vary, while credit card fees are based on the card company’s Qualified Rate.

5. Skrill

Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill is often considered more user friendly than PayPal. A real perk is that international merchants can transfer account balances to a prepaid debit card nearly instantaneously. Bank information is never revealed, and PayPal requires that customers reveal sensitive personal banking information. Skrill does not. Utilizing a pre-paid MasterCard system, cash can be withdrawn globally from anywhere, and consumers can access one of 1.9 million ATM’s.

It is free to sign up with Skrill, which is available for personal and business use.

Don’t assume that PayPal is the best alternative for your business. It may or it may not be, however, it is imperative that merchants research options that are available to them. Dependent upon the situation, and the fact that we are shrinking globally, an alternative might be considered.


What is a website widget?

- Posted by Livecity In category Tools

"Widget" is one of those buzz words, like "app" or "cloud", that get tossed around a lot in conversations about the modern internet. But did you know that widgets are an easy way to transform your own website, even if you know very little about web design? These accessible, versatile, built-in features allow you to personalize your website like never before. You can even install widgets that let you borrow software and live codes from other pages and developers, such as review and point-of-sale websites.

What can widgets do for your business?

Do you have a restaurant, retail store, or other business that relies heavily on customer satisfaction? Review websites have made modern commerce more democratic than ever, and a good review can be more valuable than paid advertisements. Review widgets make it easier for your customers to leave feedback and view impressive excerpts and rankings. Other widgets offer features that refresh in real time, such as countdown clocks and social media updates. This is an interactive and effective way to get your target audience excited about upcoming events, deals, and news.

Why should you choose HTML5 widgets?

Flexible templates allow you to incorporate a variety of widgets, but you often have to find and download them yourself, and you're also responsible for making sure they're compatible across multiple platforms. Until recently, most widgets operated in Flash, but that compromised compatibility with devices that couldn't download Adobe software. Instead, HTML5 widgets incorporate more universal coding, and don't differentiate between your website and widget content as much. Even search engines will be able to crawl HTML5 widgets.

What are the most popular widgets, and how do they work?

Widgets are plug-in features that can be added to most layouts, but the allocated space is controlled by the company that created it. If a widget is particularly customizable - for example, scrolling updates from your personal blog - you control the content via other websites, and set preferences for how the widget will look to readers. Some of the most common website widget functions include:

  • Social media integration - for example YouTube channel updates, Twitter status, buttons to "follow" pages and Facebook like button and more
  • Search tool - works by crawling your website for key words
  • Video embedding - good way to avoid hosting big video files
  • Advertisements - you can sell permission to advertise within certain parts of your website
  • Navigation - directions and maps to your location
  • PayPal and point-of-sale systems - enables financial transactions with added privacy

When you add these widgets to your website, usually in a sidebar or navigation area, you integrate coding from a separate website and adjust the settings to display content relevant to your business or blog. This can get overwhelming if you install too many of them, but in many ways it's a smart idea to let professional services handle secure data like your social media passwords and your customers' credit card information. Don't try to take on too much of the web design yourself; instead, incorporate a few useful and convenient widgets.


How to create the right logo for your company

- Posted by Livecity In category Web Design

You are using the terrific templates and tools here at Livecity to create a stunning business website. As part of the process, you may well be designing a logo to both represent your company and make it identifiable. Here are some key points to consider as your creative juices flow.

What is a logo and what does it need to achieve?

A logo is a graphic device or a symbol that helps your business to be publicly recognized. Read the previous sentence again. It’s very important that your logo helps your business to be recognized, not that it simply be recognized in itself. If it only achieves the latter, it’s like ads you’ll see and enjoy on TV for themselves, but not then be able to remember who is actually advertising! On the other hand, very few people would ever see the “golden arches” without knowing who they represent.

Your logo reflects and brands your company through the use of a combination of shape, form, font, color and perhaps images. Those reflections will be built up by people as they use your business and should include recognition and a positive reaction.

What your logo needs to be

As well as being recognizable, your logo therefore also needs to be remembered. It should be lurking in the sub-conscious for that moment when an individual suddenly needs a product or service you offer. It should be understandable and describable, therefore simplicity is another key. A complex logo might simply confuse.

Technically, it should also be scalable to work in different sizes and locations and also be effective in mono as well as full color. Finally, it should be relevant both to your business and to how you intend to conduct business.

Key logo creation tips

You are now ready to start on your own creation, or you can use one of the logo creation packages that are widely available. Either way, here are some key points to consider. Firstly, select a quality font. Choose one that accurately represents your company – from the traditional to the businesslike, the modern or funky. Whichever you choose, make sure your name is instantly recognizable when it’s viewed in a series of locations such as your website stationery and business cards, banners, posters and the like.

Tie any image, if you use one, to the name, because together they should tell a story. Never choose an image simply because it’s outstanding or clever, although this is fine as long as it is still relevant to your business and makes sense as a complete graphic presentation.

Choose a color that stands out but also reflects your business – bright pink might be fine for a fashion boutique for young girls but probably not a long-established accountancy firm! Make sure your selection of colors also works together, as you would when decorating a room.

Final point

You might well create several options, or variations on a theme, even ask for the opinions or input of others. That’s fine – but when you decide, then that’s it. Your logo is there to stay, you simply can’t change it after a short period because you’ve changed your mind. Yes, tiny tweaks are okay, and many businesses do this. Your logo needs to build recognition through permanence and presence, so choose wisely and then stick with your choice.


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