- Internet & the Web
Ten Top Tips For Website Design
Give Your New Website The Best Chance
With over 360 million websites on the internet today it is hard to stand out from the crowd. But there are several standard practice design elements you can make sure you include in your website design to give you the best chance of internet success.
Here are ten tips for website design, particularly aimed at small online e commerce companies.
Website Design Tips
The internet services company, Netcraft, estimated from a recent survey that there are well over 360 million websites on the internet today. Of these, hundreds, if not thousands are directly competing with your site for traffic and customers. So how can you ensure that your site stands out from the crowd? Here are ten useful tips to website design, particularly aimed at smaller ecommerce websites and companies.
1. Content is Key
This cannot be stressed enough. No matter how many bells and whistles your site comes with, the thing that will keep clients coming back is interesting, relevant and up to date information. Ignore this at your peril.
2. Keep it Simple
The most professional looking websites use simple designs with limited colour schemes. Avoid pop ups, excessive use of flash and video and steer clear of music and sounds. Using between 3 and 5 colours also adds to how professional a site comes across.
3. Design for Multiple Browsers
The majority of internet users use one of four major internet browsers although there are lots mores out there. Always test your site with at least Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari or risk alienating a large proportion of your potential clients.
4. Optimise For Search Engines
Search Engine Optimisation is essential if your site is to attract large volumes of traffic. Be sure to stick to white hat methods and follow good SEO practise. Even consider enlisting the help of an SEO consultant for the best results.
5. Use Trusted Online Transaction Sites
One of the challenges facing E-commerce websites is that matter of trust between company and client. By using the likes of Paypal you not only protect yourself and the customer, in turn you increase the likelihood that a visitor will actually spend money on your site.
6. Structure Your Site With Ease of Navigation In Mind
It is essential for your visitors to be able to easily navigate from your home page to the content, products or services they are looking for. If they cannot, the visitors will simply look elsewhere and leave your site.
7. Avoid Flash Heavy Welcome Pages
Not all internet users have high speed connections and do not want to be waiting around for 2 minutes whilst your welcome page loads.
In addition, introduction or welcome pages rarely have very much useful content and hence, do not perform particularly well on search engine results pages.
8. Distribute a Weekly Newsletter
By building up a database of clients' email addresses you can quickly and cheaply notify your existing customers of any new products or services you are offering, along with promotions or offers that your company has decided to run. This way, the next time clients require your services they are much more likely to return to your site instead of looking elsewhere.
9. Avoid Reproducing Browser Functionality
'Back', 'Print' and 'Close' buttons are all there for the user to click in the browser. Reproducing browser functionality clutters a webpage and is completely unnecessary; avoid it!
10. Use Internet Conventions
This is a rather basic point but failing to underline hyperlinks or link back to your home page can severely undermine the professionalism of your website.