What Authorities Suggest for Web Pages|
The following three articles relate to good web page design and are recommended reading. Likewise, follow the links where applicable for more information. These articles have be placed here, from their original locations to save bandwidth of the original owners, who are hereby recognized and noted.
Carson E. Whitlow, Webmaster
Good Advise for Business Web Pages
From: "WebProNews" - 06/11/01
The main Web page for a business should load in 10-15 seconds or less.
The biggest mistake made by new businesses on the net is trying to impress customers with a fancy, super-duper all-action web page that takes 10 minutes to load. Problem is, after the first 30 seconds your potential customer is gone! He or she is off surfing a competitor's page.
I cannot emphasize this too strongly. YOUR FRONT PAGE MUST LOAD QUICKLY! Then, after you have captured a customer's interest,you can get a litlle fancier on your internal pages. Customers will wait longer once you have their attention. (But not much longer. Keep internal pages to under 1 minute to fully load. Preferably, much under.) Also, remember that a page that loads to your PC from your ISP in 15 seconds will not necessarily load that fast for someone across the country that has to traverse 10-15 nodes to get to your page. Bandwidth can kill you!
Here are some points to remember:
Business web pages should NOT have:
(A). SOUND - long download, little or no benefit.
(B). ANIMATION - cute, but again, your customer is long gone before it loads (the exception is small animated GIFs. Emphasis on SMALL). You can search the web for these, or create them yourself with the appropriate software. Also, there is a usenet group that has many resources available, and can even create them for you.
(C). LARGE, BRIGHT-COLORED or MULTI-COLORED backgrounds. A solid grey, beige or tan is recommended. Graphic backgrounds can be used, provided they are small, load quickly, and do not interfere with reading the text. (DO NOT distract the customer from your message. You are trying to sell them something, not decorate their monitor.)
Also, remember that not everyone has the same browser or resolution as you. A page that looks really good on your screen can be hard to read on someone else's. WebTV is especially prone to this. --Stay away from red in the background. It bleeds into the text and can make it nearly impossible to read.
Try to view your page on different computers with different browsers at different resolution. (The library is one place to try. Also, a friend's house.) Remember, this is a business! You are trying to appeal to as many people as possible.
(D). Java or frames. These can be used with great effect on internal pages, but web robots will not index your page if they run into either on the front page.
(E). Tiny, hard to read text. I know you have a great message, and wonderful products, but the guy with a small monitor will never know if he can't read it. Keep your description economical. Too many words comes across as a 'hard sell' and turns off many potential customers.
Business web pages should ALWAYS have:
(1). Your business name, full address, telephone, email address, and contact person name and email. (EVERY page on your site should have this.) This builds trust in your customers. They know who you are and where you are. Also, your order form should be available from every page. If your customer gets an impulse to buy, LET HIM! Do not risk losing his interest while he is trying to find the order page.
(2). Simple, descriptive links from your front page that tell your potential customer where to view the products, pricing, detailed descriptions, and anything else YOU would look for if deciding on a purchase.
(3). Pictures of your products. Simply describing it doesn't work. You MUST have a picture. A GOOD picture. The better the picture, the more likely you will have a sale. Start out with a small thumbnail that can be clicked on to bring up a larger image, and say this in the link, so customers are not surprised by a 3 minute graphic download that they didn't really want. All product pics should be jpegs to load in the smallest amount of time.
(With orchids, this is not always necessary because of the product and the clientele. However, occasional pictures are useful, and with little known mericlones, especially, this may be a helpful. - C.E.W.)
Tried and Tested Tips to Improve your Website - Part 1
- DO NOT use excessive graphics or banner images on a single web page. They tend to slow the loading of your Web page. Impatient surfers might close their browser and move on. If you have many images on a single page, consider deleting few of them or moving them to a new page.
- You should include these elements on your website: About Us [Brief description of your company and its products. You can include a few personal details about yourself and your employees], Contact Us [Provide the postal address, telephone, fax, email of your company or business.], A Links to Related Sites page, A Home Page link on each page and Site Search tool to allow visitors to find information on your site.
- Give something FREE on your website. You can offer free ebooks, articles and/or software. The stuff that you give away should be related to the topic of your website and should benefit your vistors in some way. This helps to keep people coming back to your website.
- You should specify colors for page background, text, active link, visited link and Url links in the body tag. This will ensure that your site is displayed exactly as designed. Although most people are used to reading text on a white background, you should avoid the white background because it strains the eye.
- In the Keywords Meta tag try to use both singular and plural variations of the words. e.g. internet cafes, internet cafe. DO NOT use a keyword more than 3 times and DO NOT repeat a keyword one after the other.
- Other than the Keyword and Description Meta tags, you must try to use keywords in following areas: the Title tag, the Content of the page, Image names, Image alt tags, Href title attributes and in the Text of a link.
- Now a days most surfers are using PHRASES for search terms. This means that you should also use phrases in the Meta keyword tag. For deciding the keywords use the suggestion tools provided by Overture or 7Search. Overture is more popular than 7Search. You can also use the trial provided by Word Tracker.
- Try to keep the size of the HTML file of your web page under 32 kilobytes[kb]. Always check the web page/s for errors in spelling and grammar before uploading it to your server. After uploading the web page/s get friends and colleagues to read through your site and point out any errors they see.
- Check for broken links on your web pages on a regular basis. You can do this manually or use a software program to do this for you. Links to website which have shut down or sold out will lead to broken links.
- If you have an Autoresponder to build an list, use a double. The first message should ask for confirmation and have a link that allows users to remove themselves from the list. Only if the user sends the confirmation, should the 2nd message be sent.
Provides CONTENT of VALUE to Webmasters and Website owners.
Five Common Web Design Mistakes
By Charles Nixon
There are often many mistakes encountered when creating a webpage or website. Learn about the top five website mistakes, and how to avoid them.
Web page size. If your website takes longer than 10-15 seconds to load you should consider optimizing it for the web. This is one of the biggest mistakes a web designer can make. You may have cable and love to fill your website with graphics, but if your visitors don't have cable or a fast connection at all your chances of getting them to wait that 10 to 15 seconds for your page to load is very slim.
Flashy ads. Ok, so you have to bring in some cash some how right? So you sign up to a bunch of banner ad affiliate programs. Only problem with this is their banners are animated and constantly flashing while your visitors view your website. This can be good in some cases for getting some money. But visitors can be easily annoyed by these banners.
If your trying to get customers, having these flashy banners increases your chances of your visitors leaving. Lots of people may be drawn into these ads (probably your best customers) and if they click that ad, they are now a customer to someone else thanks to your affiliate program.
Confusing Navigation. Before you build a website you should make a sitemap for how everything is going to be setup. Come up with a plan to have some form of contact information on each page. If your visitor comes to a page and wants to purchase something and they cant find a contact link they will most likely change their mind while searching for it. Keep your navigation consistent on each page. If your visitor has to learn to use a different type of navigation system on every page they will become easily annoyed.
Confusing Content. You want to make everything easy to read and navigate. If you know someone thats in their teen years you should come up with some questions to ask them about your website. Like: What do you think my site is about? Would you buy this product on my website? Can you understand the information on this (blank.html) page?
If you can get a teen, or even any average person to answer these question's honestly you can find ways to change your setup so that anyone and everyone is drawn in to purchase from you.
Advertising. When you advertise your website the number one thing that you do not want to do is spam. It is very easy to advertise your website all over the web for free! You can use forums, article submission groups, online communities, chat groups, news feeds, and much more. If you do resort to spam this could hurt your website sales. A lot web surfers will go around and if they find spam they will report it to someone that will post it on a website that degrades or gives bad reviews on your website.
If you can avoid these five mistakes that almost every webmaster experiences than you will be on your way to success in no time.
About the Author:
Charles Nixon - Website Designer Driven by Creativity Building websites to increase sales, and build web presence Did you start your business to create a website? or to run your business? With competitive pricing and your project delivered on time and on budget CharlesNixon.com may be the web design firm for you!