The Birth of a Successful
Part six of ten -- Designing Your Website
to design your website, you must first decide on your website's focus.
If you're designing a mini-site, your website should focus on one particular
product. However, content sites are a bit different. If you're developing
a content site, your site should focus on a subject on which you have a great
deal of knowledge. And, should relate to your products or services. In addition,
your images, ezine and content should also relate.
Designing Your Site
When you begin designing your site, your top priority must be your products.
If your potential customers can't find your products, you're not going to
make any sales. It's that simple. Every part of your website should have
one specific purpose -- to lead your potential customers to your products.
For example, if you will be providing your visitors with tutorials, these
tutorials should relate to your products or services. They should identify
a problem, provide instruction to assist your visitors, and promote your
products as the solution.
The main page of your website is your storefront. It should load quickly
and provide your visitors with a complete overview of everything your website
Instead of trying to cram all of your information into your main page, consider
creating sections. These sections can contain highlights of your information
with a link to further information. You can divide your page into sections
by using tables. These tables can contain colored heading sections for
information such as news, articles, products or whatever you'd like.
It's much better to keep your main page down to the most essential elements.
You can then use links to additional pages to provide the detailed information.
A good rule of thumb is "less is more." In other words, keep your main page
as small as possible, while at the same time, include your most important
According to two surveys conducted by Forrester Research and Gartner Group,
ecommerce sites are losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue each year due
to customer click-away caused by slow loading websites.
The main page of your website should load within 8 seconds or less with a
There are many things that can cause a web page to load slowly including:
=> Large graphics
=> Too many graphics
=> Animated graphics
=> Too many banners
=> Special Effects
=> Large pages
You can significantly decrease your site's load time simply by optimizing
your graphics. This process will decrease your graphic's file size without
sacrificing the graphic's quality.
You can optimize your images right online. Visit GifWorks for further
Enhancing Your Site
There are a number of ways you can enhance your site without using a lot
of graphics. For example, if you can use the same small images such as bullets
or arrows, it will give the illusion that you're using a lot of graphics.
However, your graphic will only have to load one time. This will enable you
to "recycle" your images to keep your page's load time down, while at the
same time, enhancing your site's appearance.
In addition, you can enhance your site by using tables with colored backgrounds
instead of images.
If an image doesn't enhance your page in some way, you'll be better off to
just leave it out.
If you'd like to set up your web page using tables, try to place your Heading
text above your table code. If this isn't possible, make sure you include
your most relevant keyword phrase within your top left table cell. This will
assist you in ranking higher in the Search Engines.
When designing your site, keep in mind, your visitors will have many different
The resolution of a monitor refers to the total number of pixels. The higher
the resolution, the greater the number of pixels. Higher resolutions present
higher quality images.
To accommodate the majority of your visitors, use a standard screen resolution
of 800x600 pixels.
Another way to ensure that your web page will look great to all of your visitors
is to set it up using tables. Instead of using a fixed width within your
table code, use a percentage. This will enable your web page to span a certain
percentage of your visitors' screen size. For example, if you set your table
width at 90%, your web page will automatically resize and span 90% of your
visitors' screen size, no matter what screen resolution they're using.
Although there are an unlimited number of background and text colors you
could use for your web page, a white background with black text will be your
You must be very cautious when selecting your background and text colors,
as reading on a computer screen is much more difficult than paper. You must
make your web page as easy to read as possible.
You can add color to your pages using tables with colored cells.
Before you begin the actual design process, I highly recommend that you download
and install two web browsers -- Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
These are the two most widely used browsers on the Internet. Why download
and install both browsers? So you can view your pages through both browsers,
as they are not created equally. Your page might look great when viewed through
Internet Explorer, but may not display well when viewed through Navigator.
It is very important that you take the time to design your web pages to
accommodate both browsers.
In addition, you can also visit AnyBrowser to view how your site will look
through different browsers and screen resolutions.
Above all else, your product must be your main focus. Your product should
be displayed above the fold of your web page. This is the top portion of
your web page that is visible when your page is first loaded, without scrolling.
This is the most important part of your entire page -- use it wisely.
Take your time and plan your website very carefully. There is much more to
web design than meets the eye. Do your homework and learn how to design a
website that sells. It will be well worth your time and effort.
Copyright © Shelley
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web Design
And, Ebook Starter - Give Your Ebooks the look and feel of a REAL book.
Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a complimentary subscription to Etips
and receive a copy of the acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing
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