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Web Site Design***
Secrets to Building a Successful Website
If you're doing business
on the Internet, one of the most important
aspects of your success is your web site.
If your web site doesn't look professional,
no matter what product you're offering
your chances of success are minimal.
Before you begin, if you've
never designed a web page, it would be
wise to become familiar with HTML. (Hypertext
Markup Language.) A great place to start
is NCSA Beginner's Guide to HTML:
15 Tips for designing
a successful web site:
(1) The main page of your
web site should load in 8 seconds or less
with a 56K modem.
According to two recent
surveys, conducted by Forrester Research
and Gartner Group, ecommerce sites are
losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue
each year due to customers click- away
caused by slow loading sites. If a page
takes too long to load, your potential
customer will not wait. Ultimately costing
(2) Make sure you include
proper META tags in the HTML of each page
of your web site. META tags are HTML code
that enable the search engines to determine
what keywords are relevant to a specific
site. About 80 percent of all web site
traffic originates from the eight major
search engines. It would be a good idea
to make sure you've done your homework
and fully understand how to optimize your
web pages prior to designing your site.
This will save you a lot of headaches
in the long run. For further information
on META tags read the tutorial entitled,
"Building Your Site."
(3) Be cautious when selecting
your background and text colors. Busy
backgrounds make text difficult to read
and draw the attention away from the text.
Always be consistent with your background
theme on each page of your site. Your
site should be nicely organized and uniform
throughout. Keep in mind, colors affect
your mood and will have an affect on your
visitors as well. Bright colors such as
yellow and orange, cause you to become
more cheerful or happy, while colors such
as blue and purple have a calming effect.
Dark colors such as brown and black have
a depressing effect. A good rule of thumb
would be to use colors based upon the
type of effect you're trying to achieve.
(4) Use minimal animated
graphics. These can be very distracting
and can cause your page to look unprofessional.
In addition, animated graphics cause your
page to load more slowly. Fancy graphics
won't make the sale.
(5) Your main page should
specifically let your visitors know exactly
what you're offering. How many times have
you visited a site and never figured out
exactly what they were selling? If your
potential customer can't find your product
or service, they definitely won't waste
a lot of time looking for it. They'll
go on to the next site and probably never
return. They're visiting your site for
a specific purpose. They want something
your site offers. Whether it is information,
a product or service.
(6) Try to avoid placing
banner exchange banners at the top of
your page. These can instantly take your
customers or even be indexed by search
engine robots. Limit the number of banners
on your site to no more than two per page.
One is ideal.
(7) Always, include your
contact information on each page of your
site and try to reply to all comments
and suggestions within 48 hours. This
will help promote good business relationships.
Your business relationships are the key
to your success.
(8) ALWAYS check and double-check
your site for spelling errors and make
sure your images and links are all working
properly. If you have several errors,
this will make your site appear to be
unprofessional. If you are designing your
site using an HTML editor, use spell check.
Proper grammar is also very important.
If you've been out of school for a while
it's probably a good idea to refresh your
memory. Visit any of the following sites
for a crash course in writing and grammar.
Guide to Grammar and Writing
A Blue Book of Grammar
Simpler Words And Phrases
(9) Design your site to
be easily navigated. Place your navigation
links together at the top, bottom, left
or right side of the page. Use tables
to neatly align your links. If you are
planning on using graphic buttons to navigate
your site, keep in mind that with each
graphic you add to your page, it will
take that much longer for your page to
load. If you only have a handful of navigational
links, using graphic buttons will be fine.
If you have over six links, it would be
wise to simply use text links to keep
your load time down.
(10) If you must use frames,
use them sparingly. Frames, if not properly
used, can make your site look unprofessional.
Avoid making your visitors have to scroll
from side to side to view your content.
This can be very irritating and cause
your visitors to leave. If you must use
frames, offer your visitors a choice.
Frames verses No Frames.
(11) Try to keep the number
of clicks required to get from your main
page to any other page on your site down
to four. Keep in mind, your visitors may
enter your site from pages other than
your main. Always have good navigational
links on every page and place your company
logo on each page.
(12) If you must use Java
on your site, use it sparingly. Offer
your visitors a choice. Java verses No
Java. Java can be slow and has a tendency
to crash browsers. Try to avoid using
those pop up boxes asking for your visitor's
name, etc. Those pop up messages are very
unprofessional and can be very frustrating
to your visitors when they're trying to
view your site.
(13) Do not set sound
to "autoplay" when someone visits
your site. This can be very distracting.
(14) All web browsers
are not created equally. View your site
through different browsers and screen
resolutions so you will see how your visitors
will view your site. Visit:
Site Inspector - Check
your web pages for HTML validity and browser
NetMechanic - Provides
a variety of free services for your web
site including; browser compatibility
testing, graphic file size reduction,
link check, HTML check, load time check,
spell check and more.
(15) Continually add new
content to your site. Give your visitors
a reason to keep coming back.
* Design a quality e-book
to give to your visitors. It's not as
difficult as it sounds. If you can create
a web page, you can create an e-book.
The focus of your e-book should compliment
your web site. Simply write about your
passion. If your passion is sales, then
you could share some of your knowledge
and experience by designing your e-book
to provide a complete sales training guide.
If your passion is home based business,
you could write an e-book about how to
start your own home based business. If
you're writing about your true passion
then you shouldn't have any trouble coming
up with something to write about. For
further information on e-books, read the
article entitled, "How to Create
an E-book and Drive Massive Traffic to
Your Site by Giving It Away."
If you'd rather not write
your own e-book, you can pick up some
free e-books to add to your site here:
* Provide your visitors
with quality, informative articles. Everybody
loves free information. It's the top-selling
product online, so use it to your advantage.
Write your own articles or you can pick
some up at the following sites:
Marketing & Advertising
Before using any articles,
make sure you view the author's copyrights
and make certain the article may be published.
If you're not sure, contact the author
and request permission to publish their
article whether it be on your web site
or in your e-zine. Most articles for publication
can be used free of charge as long as
the authors credits or resource box is
The best advice I can
offer is to Keep It Simple. The simple,
well-designed, professional looking web
sites make the sales.
Always strive to learn.
Knowledge is the key to success.