There are many factors to consider before developing a new website or redesigning an existing site. Effective websites have certain key elements in common that have helped them succeed. This article will summarize on the importance of each element. In future articles, I will discuss them in more detail and include techniques you can use to help improve your own website.
When a new visitor comes to your site, you want to make a great first impression. The overall appearance of your site will determine whether the person stays long enough to read what you have to offer. If your website does not look professional, chances are high that they will leave and not return again.
When designing your website layout, consider the following:
Website colors and graphics - Choose good colors, meaningful graphics and quality photographs. Your images should be appealing and add value to your message.
Clean page layout - Don't overload your pages with too much content. You want to reduce the amount of information on a page to make it easier for your web visitors to read. You can do this by simply breaking down the content into several pages.
Usable websites provide your visitors with a great user experience. If you have happy visitors, you will keep them coming back.
When designing for usability, consider the following:
Legible text - Select font styles, colors and sizes that are easy to read.
Navigation - Your navigation should be simple and structured well.
Page load time - Make sure your web pages load quickly.
Consistent Theme - Use a similar theme throughout your entire website.
Cross-platform & browser compatibility - Create CSS style sheets for different platforms and browsers to ensure your content is displayed in the way it was intended.
Accessibility - Make your website available for people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically impaired.
We have all heard the saying "content is king." It's true, your site will have a hard time succeeding without it. Not only is it important to have good content, but you should continue to add content on a regular basis to keep people coming back for more.
Interactive websites are great for getting people more involved with your website because they provide a platform for your visitors to interact through blogs, forums, surveys, etc. These features can help bring more traffic to your site and possibly increase your search engine ranking.
Internet security is important, especially if you are conducting online payment transactions. If you are collecting any personal information, it is crucial that your website is secure from potential hackers and fraudsters. If your security is compromised, you can lose customers and it could have a negative impact on your company's image.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A search engine optimized website can help you rank better with search engines. The result would be an increase in targeted traffic from search engines to your website. There are many methods you can use to improve your website ranking, such as optimizing your website, building backlinks and creating good and frequent content.
April Auger, Web Developer
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