Thursday, May 27, 2010

Things You Should Avoid When Designing a Website

Being a web designer/developer for over a decade, I have seen everything when it comes to website design “The good, bad and ugly”. Designing a website that produces results takes a lot more than just a good looking site. It is the combination of visual appeal and all the things going on behind the scene that make the difference between success – and failure.

11 tops mistakes made – when designing a website.

Think about your target market – who are you building this website for – you or your clientele. Make sure you target market will be drawn to the design of your website, not be repelled by it. If they don’t like what they see – they will be gone before they read the copy.

  1. Are you designing your website when you don’t have a clue? If you are not a “designer type”. Hire someone to design a really good looking site – do not throw up something that looks amateurish.

Leave it to the experts – at least the initial design and implementation. Looking professional is one of the most important things you can do. It doesn’t have to cost you, an arm and a leg – this is your business. Always remember, first impressions are lasting impressions.

  1. Optimize your images so they load fast and look good. If a web page takes more than 15 seconds to load – the visitor will be gone. In fact, Google (just this year) is ranking websites on how fast they load, so be aware. Another tip, do not compress your graphics to much – it will cause them to look pixilated and unprofessional.
  1. Make sure your navigation is direct and straight forward. It should take no more than 3 clicks for your visitors to be able to get to anywhere they want to go on your web pages. Make sure your navigation is direct so people know what pages they are accessing.
  1. If it takes longer than 4 seconds for a visitor to understand what your business is – then you are in trouble. A visitor does not really care how wonderful you are in the beginning. They are usually looking for an answer to a problem or concern. You need your home page to be direct and to the point – providing your visitors with “what is in it for them”.
  1. Use a font that is universal. Did you realize if you use a font that is unusual in the body of your website – it will not show up on a computer that does not have that font? It is replaced with another font that may not look the same as yours? This will cause you website to look a lot different than you think it does, this can be a major problem. Tip: Verdana is an excellent choice when putting in your page text – it was developed for easy reading on the internet.
  1. Do you have color derangement syndrome? Don’t let it happen to you! If you do not have a clear color pallet, you have multi-colored text and mismatched shades of color on your website – your website looks terrible. A good rule of thumb is to stick with 3 complimentary colors, unless you are building a tribute to the 60’s psychedelic generation! Make sure you have the proper “RGB” colors. There are so many websites that can show you complimentary colors and different color pallet you shouldn’t have to stress, you are not on your own.Not all colors look the same on all computer monitors so be careful.
  2. Make sure your website designer knows how to SEO your website. What is SEO? It is search engine optimization, not all web designers are created equal – find one that will optimize your website so that search engines can find your website and place it on the top of their directory. Not everyone has tons of money to advertise – and this is one thing all good websites should have – proper optimization.
  1. Have a way to collect your visitor’s information (often called an auto-responder). You need to capture the names of people who come to you website – how are you going to contact them otherwise? Most people who go to a website do not buy the first or even second time they visit. If you offer them something of value for just an email and name, they are motivated to sign-up for the free information or gift. You then have permission to contact them when you have new information – a special or something of value to tell them about.
  1. Do not develop you website using the latest and greatest programming language (unless you need it). A simple. .html web page is perfect for 90% of businesses. You can add other programming language elements right in the web page – you do not need to spend a fortune (and it does cost a lot more) to get a web site developed. Make sure the person you are working with isn’t pulling your leg when they suggest you need a fancy, smancy website – that in the long run, will not give you what you are looking for, but will drain your bank account.
  1. Splash pages may look cool but are they practical? I am a designer and love the look and feel of a beautiful flash page. I like the movement in the design – but a flash interface or splash page is not picked up or indexed by search engines. Getting exposure everywhere you can on the internet should be one of your top priorities. Tip: Placing elements of flash in your website gives you the same beautiful look and feel without compromising your valuable marketing opportunities.
  2. Have a good analytics program to monitor your website. My favorite is Google analytics the code is free and all you have to do is register and place it on your pages (or your webmaster does). Once the code is placed properly you will be able to see who accesses your site, how long they stay, what pages they go to and much much more. One of my favorite things to see is from what parts of the world my visitors come from - it is fabulous!

If you have any questions or I can be of service don't hesitate to email or call! (801) 910-4825

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions and Valuable Results