Guidelines to Web Design
When it comes to your website, extra attention should be paid to every small detail to make sure it performs optimally to serve its purpose. Here are five important guides to observe to make sure your website performs well.
Do not use splash pages
Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a website. They normally have a very beautiful image with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just that — pretty vases with no real purpose. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the “back” button! Show them the value of your site by providing “at-a-glance” information on your homepage.
- Do not use excessive banner advertisementsEven the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valuable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, and let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.
Limit the number of images
Although pictures play an important role for people surfing the web, they slow down the load-time of your website. It is becoming less of a problem with today’s broadband speeds, still it is a good practice to keep them to a minimum.
Have a simple and clear navigation
You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.
Have a clear indication of what page you are visiting.
When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know where they are at that moment. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Don’t confuse your visitors because confusion means “abandon ship”!
Avoid using audio on your site
If your visitor is going to stay a long time on your site reading your content, you will want to make sure they’re not annoyed by looping audio. If you insist on adding audio, make sure they have some control over it — volume or muting controls would work fine.
Site Maps should be made for every site
A sitemap may seem redundant on a well-planned site, but it serves a greater purpose. Search Engines find this page and follow all links within it which helps your sites ranking. Also, Links to your pages should be placed at the bottom of each page, especially your homepage. If your page buttons are images, it is the only way search engines know where to crawl. The homepage is the most important page because crawlers/spiders/search engines look there first.