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Design Sense Graphics & Web Websites

Protecting your web forms from spam

Web forms can be used on websites in many different ways and can be a great tool for gathering data or allowing your customers to make contact with you.

However, including a web form on your site can open you up to receiving unwanted spam. Spam is often submitted by automated spam robots that search the internet looking for forms, and often once they find yours you will often get a large volume of spam in the first hit.

While we don’t want to deter your customers from sending you their information by making your form too difficult to submit, there are a few simple countermeasures that can be added to stop (or at least slow down) spammers.  Hopefully this article will help you decide which option will work best for you.

Hidden Fields

This option is invisible to customers but may not block some of the smarter spam robots out there. A field is added to your form that is visible to robots who read the code, but hidden from the customer using css or javascript. If a value is entered in this field, the form will not submit, thus stopping robots who cannot tell the difference.

Human-friendly Question

Another option is to add a basic text question that would be easy for a human to answer, but that a robot could not answer. This could be a simple maths problem, or something everyone would know e.g. The colour of the sky is? This is a fairly common method and should not annoy your users too much or prevent them from submitting the form.

CAPTCHA

This is probably the most secure option, however as you may have experienced, CAPTCHAs can be quite hard to read, and may annoy or deter users. We recommend only using this method for important forms, or if neither of the above methods are working and you are still receiving a large volume of spam.

There are other solutions available, so speak to us if you don’t think any of these will work for you. And just note that spammers are always finding new ways to get around your countermeasures, so any method implemented may not be a permanent fix.
 

Design Sense Graphics & Web Websites

How much does a website cost?

There are many solutions available today for getting a website for your business or organisation. These can range from free sites that you create yourself, to complicated multi-page database powered sites that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get up & running. Unfortunately there is no 'standard' across the web development industry that dictates how much a website should cost, or what you will receive for your money.

Avoid the cheap & nasty

With so many free options out there, you may ask 'what's the point of using a professional?' Ultimately, if you want a quality website that looks great, is original, consistent with your organisation's branding, AND works well, then you will have to pay for it. There are so many factors that work together to make a website successful - some of which you may not even be aware of, or more importantly, have control over if you use a free website tool. You will save yourself time, money and stress in the long run if you leave the details up to a reputable company such as Design Sense Graphics & Web.

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Design Sense Graphics & Web Websites

Keeping your website up-to-date - Content Management Systems (CMS)

Keeping the information on your website relevant and up-to-date is extremely important!! Although the thought of this can be daunting, in reality it does not have to be a huge task, and little-to-no technical knowledge is required to achieve this if your website includes a Content Management System built by Design Sense.

What is a CMS?

A Content Management System can be built into your website to allow you to make changes to certain text, images, documents etc. or can be used to manage an online store, blog, calendar etc. Design Sense custom-builds a CMS for each new website, tailoring it to the individual needs of the client. The CMS is very simple and easy to use. Unlike other Website Development providers, the CMS that Design Sense offers does not use a 'back end', but alternatively everything can be edited using the interface and navigation system of the actual website. All you have to do is log in, find the page you want to change, and click 'edit'.

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Design Sense Graphics & Web Websites

Will my website be found by Google? (About Search Engine Optimisation)

With so many people now searching for services online, it is important that your online presence is professional and stands up against the competition. However, just because you have a website does not guarantee that people are going to find it. There are many factors that can affect your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Rank, and it can take time for your website to ‘climb up the ladder’.

What is my SERP Rank?

Whenever someone conducts a Google (or any other search engine) search, the result page will show a list of links to web pages that relate to the words that were entered in the search. These links are displayed in order of relevance based on a series of factors such as your website content, page description, number of pages in your site and incoming links. The higher up the list a website is displayed, the higher the SERP Rank.

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Design Sense Graphics & Web Websites

Design Sense Content Management System (CMS) vs Wordpress

What is the difference between a custom Content Management System by Design Sense and popular free open-source CMS platforms such as Wordpress?

We often have clients asking us to compare our quotes with others they have received for websites built using different open-source CMS platforms. However this is like asking us to compare apples with oranges. There are a few key differences between what we offer for CMS and the free solutions out there. For the purposes of this article, we are using Wordpress as the main comparison.

Flexibility – Function & Design

Wordpress is a free publishing software that can be used to create basic websites which include a blog in the standard installation.  All other functions that you may want on your website e.g. a calendar, online store etc. must then be added by using plugins or widgets. While there is a vast array of these to choose from, you may not be able to find one that does just what you want it to. In comparison, when Design Sense builds a custom CMS for you, we can tweak every last detail down to a T so that it will operate exactly how you want it to.

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