You have decided you need a website for your business. If you want to develop a website yourself and do not know a lot about web design, here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are designing your web pages.
1. Don’t use strange fonts that are unreadable. Script fonts look pretty but are pretty hard to read.
2. Do not install a ‘Testimonial’ or ‘Recommended by’ page unless you plan to make sure customers are leaving comments on a timely basis. Sure it looks good to have someone else’s word that you are the best but if that comment was from a year ago, that doesn’t look so good. So unless you are willing to keep up with that, don’t do it.
3. I am amazed at the sites I see with an ‘Events’ page and the last event was months ago. That’s not good for business. Just because it is easy to create an events page, if you do not run many events, don’t have it. Just like the ‘Recommendations’ page, if you can’t keep it current, put that on hold until your business is in a position that it can maintain that type of page.
4. Do not make your text blink, change color or use harsh colors, bad for the eyes and you will loose the visitor.
5. Do not use pop ups, there are a lot of pop ups blockers out there.
6. Do not sign visitors up for a email newsletter without their consent. Just because they viewed your page doesn’t mean they want to hear from you every week.
7. Do not use a complex URL, only use keywords which will improve your search engine ranking making it easier to find you.
8. Do not have music play when visitors land on your site, not much to gain from it and a lot to loose.
9. Avoid using Flash to much, this will slow your page load time way down and risk losing a visitor.
10. Do not hide Links, people will wonder what is going on. If you include a Link make it a color that stands out, most links, if input correctly, will automatically highlight in blue and underline.
The one last Do Not I will mention is please do not use Horizontal scrolling. This is really annoying and for people who aren’t internet sophisticated, they are used to scrolling up or down, this will totally confuse them and discourage them from ever visiting your site again.
Always keep in mind your customer and who you want visiting your business website. If you have a business that doesn’t relate to media and internet then you need to build a site that showcases your service or product in a way that will be user friendly to your next door neighbor, grandparents and others. Test it out on your friends first and watch how they navigate your site before you go ‘Live’ with it. This might save you time in the long run.
Fix it first, don’t be in a hurry to just get something out there.
Any good tips to add from your experiences ?