Ten Design Mistakes to Avoid
Avoid these mistakes and your site will be steps ahead of your competition.
1. Not planning your site
Before you even have a website, you must have an idea, a focus. Why do you want a website? What are your plans and goals for the site? Sit down and draw out a map of possible pages and ideas for your site. Include your site's purpose --whether it is to sell more product or make the public more aware of your issue -- whatever it may be. Build your site from it's strong foundation (your goals) and you'll have a better, more solid site.
2. Failing to put contact information in a plainly seen location.
This could be disastrous. If a customer doesn't see this information, they can't contact you. You should consider a 'Contact Us' button or link from your Home page. Even better, make a link to your email address in your header or footer, somewhere that will show up on every page. Even if no one ever contacts you this way, just the presence of this information comforts edgy customers.
3. Broken Links
Do you enjoy clicking on a search result only to get a Page Not Found Error? No one likes them. Check your site statistics at least once a month (if not more) to make sure you don't have bad or broken links.
4. Outdated Information
A sure turn-off to a potential customer is the presence of old information. If it's July and your website is announcing the 'new' products available in February, your site just lost major credibility. Make sure your information is up-to-date. Consider adding a 'Whats New' button or a Business Blog.
5. Too Many Font Styles and Colors
This is a huge pet-peeve of my company. I've had people ask me to review their website and the first thing I notice is 4 different fonts. It looks bad, unorganized and unappealing. Different colors may attract the eye for a short time, but constant flashing or otherwise bright fonts (and graphics!) become annoying. Beware, this is a sure-fire way to scare people away from your site!
6. Orphan Pages
Every website has a heirarchy, a sort of tree that branches out from the Home Page. While most of your visitors visit you through your home page, there are times when a page further down interests someone, and they may copy that link and send it to a friend. This is where you need to pay attention. That friend may like what you have to offer, but they can't find out how to contact you, or how to get back to your Home Page. That's an orphan page. Every page on your site should, at a minimum, have a link back to your Home page. I would suggest adding a contact link at minimum.
Frames at one time were the talk of the industry. They were the original Content Management System (CMS) for your site. Nowadays they are few and far between. If you are designing a site, don't use frames. Newer technologies such as server-side includes are much more common and accepted. Your pages look fresher and those silly bars don't get in the way.
8. Disabling the BACK button and excessive Pop-Ups
Have you been to a website and decided that it wasn't the information you were looking for? When you clicked the BACK button, did you suddenly get a barrage of windows (or, pop-ups) to your dismay? These things rarely actually work, and worse off, the reason you hit the BACK button is because you DIDN'T want any more information from that site. Don't break the BACK button. There are other ways to get your user's attention.
9. Slow loading pages
While personal and hobby sites may normally be slow, there should be no reason for your business or other professional website to be slow loading. Today's Internet surfer won't wait long for information from your site - there are too many others with the same thing! Make sure your pages load quickly. If the server is slow, consider a different host. If your webpages are full of applets or large graphics, consider a page/site redesign.
10. Using Leading-Edge Technology
While the Internet is all about new and fancy stuff, don't be the first to do it. While it may 'look cool' to you, you ultimately need to decide if it actually enhances your user's experience. Do the flashy cartoons make your customer more apt to buy from you? Probably not. How many of your customers have to install a Plug-In just to see your page right? Do they have to upgrade their browser to contact you? Not good. Wait until the technology is either more of a standard or gone - you'll save face with potential and future customers.
About the Author
Will Hanke is a self-proclaimed geek who owns and operates Lighthouse Technologies (www.techlh.com), a web development and hosting company based in ArnoldMissouri. For questions or comments, email him at email@example.com. And buy yourself a good virus program so he doesn't have to fight your emails with anti-virus spray.
Website Conversion Secrets Revealed
In my last article entitled, Maximizing The True Value Of Your Traffic (found at http://tinyurl.com/2cf84), you discovered the importance of generating positive responses from all your visitors.
How to save money on a website
Know what you want
Transforming A Site From Good To Excellent
One of the challenges of moving a web site up from good to excellent is transforming it from just a bunch of web pages and graphics to an interactive experience. Another term for this is community - a place where people can come to communicate with others. The very best web sites have mastered this transformation, thus attracting return visitors again and again.
Designing Your Websites Directory Structure
Any kid, and their grandmother too, can make a webpage. There are many "wysiwyg" webpage design applications that let you create a webpage as easy as typing text. But only a few people can create a WEBSITE. The stumbling block is knowing how to link webpages together to form a website. I have seen many websites that consist of a single webpage - about a mile long!
How to Use Sliced Graphics to Layout Your Web Site
The problem with designing your site as a graphic, is that it would take too long to load. Your visitors would leave your site immediately and move to your competitors web site. How can you resolve this?
Give Your Website A Chance
I often wonder how serious people are when it comes to their websites. I thought that most everyone knew that the phrase "Build it and they will come" no longer applies on the internet but I'm not sure how many people really believe it.
Explode Your Homepage And Replace It With Something Dynamite!
You know that I'm always extolling the virtues of an all-round website marketing approach that doesn't just focus on search engines? Well, you'll be suprised to hear there's a big problem with this.
Your Website Visitors - Will They Stay?
I'm sure you've all heard the saying 'Build it and they will come'. Although that may have been true a few years ago, now we must work, and work hard, to get visitors to our websites.
Web Design Tips To Boost Your Sales
The way you design your web site affects your visitors' online experience. As each visitor to your site is a potential customer, the easier they find your web site to use and the more they enjoy being on it, the higher the chance that they will make a purchase.
Tried and Tested Tips to Improve Your Website - Part 1
1. DO NOT use excessive graphics or banner images on a single web page. They tend to slow the loading of your Web page. Impatient surfers might close their browser and move on. If you have many images on a single page, consider deleting few of them or moving them to a new page.
Graphic Terms- The Basics Part I
You're almost set. The content of your website, e-book, or software is complete. Ready to put together your e-book or software on the market. In order to turn your prospect into buyer, the look of your e-cover is just as important as the content. What to do? If you're adventurous and seeking the how-to's of self-design below is a short list of terms you'll need to know. If you're considering having your e-cover professionally designed (smart move) the terms below will help you talk intelligently about your project.
To Hire or Not to Hire a Website Designer
In the early years of the internet the actual design of a website was either very basic or had to be done using a software package that needed a specialist to use it. Not surprisingly, website designers were in short supply and could command huge fees for their services. All that has changed dramatically and website design is not such a complicated procedure as you might think.
Your Website Hurts My Eyes: 7 Reasons to Tone Down Your Advertising
So you're on the computer, as usual. Your eyes are smarting. Your back hurts. You want to jump in the car and sail down the highway with all the windows down and your hair flapping in the wind. But before you call it quits for the day, you have to look up just one more thing. Maybe it's web marketing, maybe you want to buy some artwork to hang in your office. Off to Google you go.
Flash - To Use Or Not To Use?
Out there in the WWW there are thousands sites using flash for their needs. But the majority sites are not in this list. Let's summaries some facts about flash using on YOUR web site and after that it's you who will have to decide: to use or not to use. There are some facts about Macromedia Flash Technology:
KIS - Keep It Simple
There are many ways to add fancy bells and whistles to your website, but most of them are not going to do you any good. In fact they will slow down the time it takes to load your website and take up valuable space that you are paying for. Besides that, people with older computers will not even be able to see some of these fancy additions you are using.
A Web Site That Sells Is All One Needs To Have A Successful Online Business!
There are more than billions of Web Sites, running Online Businesses, offering products and services. But only a few Web Sites manage to make any sale.
Quality of Your Text Layout and Design
Why is the quality of your text layout and design important on your web site? For the simple reason that people tends to stay longer on a web site that radiates quality and simplicity.
Do Your Website Yourself - 4 Simple Steps to Get Your Dreams on the Web
Many people hire professional web site designers for as much as a thousand plus USD! You can, and very easily, make a web site for almost one hundredth of that price, and probably in half the time. Here are 4 easy steps to get you started.
Service Professions: Does Your Website Follow These 5 Simple Rules For Getting More Clients?
There are literally thousands of different options, styles and formats to choose from when designing your service professional business website. But there are 5 things every site needs to be successful:
Web Advertising: 10 Little Known Tricks To Help Convert Your Traffics To Buying Customers
You may not believe it, but people still judge things by their appearances.