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welcome to Russ Nichols' Web site

Russ Nichols
media consultant

We produce press releases, annual reports and Web sites for a range of clients. We arrange press conferences. We write speeches and advise our clients on media strategy. Our expertise flows from hard-won experience as an award-winning journalist in television and print in L.A. and other major markets. 
Here are samples of web sites we have built for our clients.
This Web Site for Gornick & Druckers 
Beverly Hills Barbers is under Construction
and will be online soon. 
We built this Web Site for Nathaniel J. Friedman, 
a Beverly Hills attorney who litigates on behalf of birth-injured infants. Click Here to see the actual site.
How to Build a Web Site That Works

1. Decide what you want your Web site to do. Do you want to sell products online? Do you want to explain your business online and offer information to potential clients? 

2. Carefully plan with your Web site designer. Explain exactly what you want, and how you would like to accomplish your online goals. Let your designer know the kind of "look" you have in mind. Do you want it dark and dramatic, or would you like your graphics set against a white background? Avoid fancy, busy backgrounds. Keep it simple. However, some background designs can enhance a site; for example, a bit of "marble" on a law office site can suggest majesty and stability. If you have graphics, logos or photos you would like to place on your site, bring them all out early in the design process. Rough the site out on paper. 

3. Make your Web site easy to navigate. Make it intuitive for the visitor. And keep most of the graphics relatively small, so your Web site will load quickly. Studies show that most visitors will give a site about 7 seconds to load. If it takes longer, they're gone. 

4. Don't mix a lot of fonts on  site. Pick one type font and stick with it throughout, unless there's a good reason to do otherwise. Font mixing can make a site look cheap and unstructured. 

5. Use animation sparingly. Animated graphics take time to load and usually aren't worth it. An occasional small animated graphic is OK if it spices up the site. 

6. Make sure you use good grammar on the site and there's no misspelling. Seems like a basic requirement, but bad grammar and misspelled words can mark your site as amateurish. 

7. Make sure your site will work well with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape and AOL's proprietary browser These are the three main browsers in use today. Your designer should make sure your Web site looks good on all three. 

8. If possible, provide fresh content that will encourage visitors to keep coming back. Be advised that this will require either an in-house or freelance content provider dedicated to freshening the site on a regular basis. Content can include news of your particular business, industry news, consumer news, general interest tips related to your business--the list is endless. Whatever content you provide should be interesting and brief. No long, boring articles. 

9. Make sure your phone number, business address and email address are all displayed prominently on the site. Your email address should be clickable to automatically bring up a mail form on the visitor's screen. 

10. And finally, make sure your designer registers your Web site with the major search engines, and include your URL (Internet address) and e-mail address on all your advertising, stationery and business cards. 

11. Set a deadline with the designer. 

How to Choose Your Web Site Builder

1. Look at sites your designer has done. If you like what (s)he has done, that's a good start. 

2. Web site building is just like building a house or redesigning your kitchen. Find out what the designer's clients say about him or her. Call them up or e-mail them. Their phone number and e-mail address should be on the site. 

3. It's best to work with someone that you can actually meet with. Meet with Web site builders. You should choose someone you like. You can't work with someone you really don't like much. 

4. Do you want to work with the big guys with lots of impressive corporate sites? Or do you want to work with the neighborhood guy or gal? The big guys will definitely make you a fancier site with snazzy bells and whistles. The local builder will probably give you more personal service. 

5. Find out what your designer charges. Get it all in writing. Some designers will do a Web site for a fixed rate, no extra charges for scanning pictures, etc. Others charge for every element of the site--copy writing, scanning pix, logo design and all the rest. 

6. Look at the Web to compare what your designer charges with other designer's rates. Or get the Yellow Pages out and call around. 

7. Make sure the rates for your site are based on a realistic assessment of the number of pages you will need, the graphics you want on the site, the copy to be written and whether there will be special features, like the ability to sell products online, etc. 

8. Your designer should explain things to you in everyday English. Don't put up with a designer who insists in dazzling you with arcane references to URLs and source code and all kinds of geek propellerhead jargon. (S)he should explain what (s)he is doing with your site and how to get it to do what you want it to do with a minimum of expense and hassle. 

9. At a minimum, your designer should know how to register your domain name and get you a domain name site and get you connected to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider, if you aren't already connected with AOL or EarthLink or some such ISP. A basic domain name Web presence is going to cost you around $40 a month--$20 for the connection fee to the Internet and another $20 for the domain name site. And if you want to change your content often, that is going to be an additional charge, unless you learn how to change your Web pages yourself and upload them. And it really doesn't take a genius to do this. Save money. Get your Web site builder to show you how. 

10. And if you really don't understand this stuff at all, your designer should come over to your place of business and fire up your computer and explain it to you.