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 you business.
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.
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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 and Punctuation -
- Exploring English -
- 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.