The Secrets to Building
a Successful Website
If you're doing
business on the Internet, one of the most important aspects of your success
is your web site. If your web site doesn't look professional, no matter what
product you're offering your chances of success are minimal.
Before you begin, if you've never designed a web page, it would be wise to
become familiar with HTML. (Hypertext Markup Language.) A great place to
start is NCSA Beginner's Guide to HTML:
15 Tips for designing a successful web site:
(1) The main page of your web site should load in 8 seconds or less with
a 56K modem.
According to two recent surveys, conducted by Forrester Research and Gartner
Group, ecommerce sites are losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue each year
due to customers click- away caused by slow loading sites. If a page takes
too long to load, your potential customer will not wait. Ultimately costing
(2) Make sure you include proper META tags in the HTML of each page of your
web site. META tags are HTML code that enable the search engines to determine
what keywords are relevant to a specific site. About 80 percent of all web
site traffic originates from the eight major search engines. It would be
a good idea to make sure you've done your homework and fully understand how
to optimize your web pages prior to designing your site. This will save you
a lot of headaches in the long run. For further information on META tags
read the tutorial entitled, "Building Your Site."
(3) Be cautious when selecting your background and text colors. Busy backgrounds
make text difficult to read and draw the attention away from the text. Always
be consistent with your background theme on each page of your site. Your
site should be nicely organized and uniform throughout. Keep in mind, colors
affect your mood and will have an affect on your visitors as well. Bright
colors such as yellow and orange, cause you to become more cheerful or happy,
while colors such as blue and purple have a calming effect. Dark colors such
as brown and black have a depressing effect. A good rule of thumb would be
to use colors based upon the type of effect you're trying to achieve.
(4) Use minimal animated graphics. These can be very distracting and can
cause your page to look unprofessional. In addition, animated graphics cause
your page to load more slowly. Fancy graphics won't make the sale.
(5) Your main page should specifically let your visitors know exactly what
you're offering. How many times have you visited a site and never figured
out exactly what they were selling? If your potential customer can't find
your product or service, they definitely won't waste a lot of time looking
for it. They'll go on to the next site and probably never return. They're
visiting your site for a specific purpose. They want something your site
offers. Whether it is information, a product or service.
(6) Try to avoid placing banner exchange banners at the top of your page.
These can instantly take your customers or even be indexed by search engine
robots. Limit the number of banners on your site to no more than two per
page. One is ideal.
(7) Always, include your contact information on each page of your site and
try to reply to all comments and suggestions within 48 hours. This will help
promote good business relationships. Your business relationships are the
key to your success.
(8) ALWAYS check
and double-check your site for spelling errors and make sure your images
and links are all working properly. If you have several errors, this will
make your site appear to be unprofessional. If you are designing your site
using an HTML editor, use spell check. Proper grammar is also very important.
If you've been out of school for a while it's probably a good idea to refresh
your memory. Visit any of the following sites for a crash course in writing
Guide to Grammar and Writing
A Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
Simpler Words And Phrases
(9) Design your site to be easily navigated. Place your navigation links
together at the top, bottom, left or right side of the page. Use tables to
neatly align your links. If you are planning on using graphic buttons to
navigate your site, keep in mind that with each graphic you add to your page,
it will take that much longer for your page to load. If you only have a handful
of navigational links, using graphic buttons will be fine. If you have over
six links, it would be wise to simply use text links to keep your load time
(10) If you must use frames, use them sparingly. Frames, if not properly
used, can make your site look unprofessional. Avoid making your visitors
have to scroll from side to side to view your content. This can be very
irritating and cause your visitors to leave. If you must use frames, offer
your visitors a choice. Frames verses No Frames.
(11) Try to keep the number of clicks required to get from your main page
to any other page on your site down to four. Keep in mind, your visitors
may enter your site from pages other than your main. Always have good
navigational links on every page and place your company logo on each page.
(12) If you must use Java on your site, use it sparingly. Offer your visitors
a choice. Java verses No Java. Java can be slow and has a tendency to crash
browsers. Try to avoid using those pop up boxes asking for your visitor's
name, etc. Those pop up messages are very unprofessional and can be very
frustrating to your visitors when they're trying to view your site.
(13) Do not set sound to "autoplay" when someone visits your site. This can
be very distracting.
(14) All web browsers are not created equally. View your site through different
browsers and screen resolutions so you will see how your visitors will view
your site. Visit:
Site Inspector - Check your web pages for HTML validity and browser
NetMechanic - Provides a variety of free services for your web site including;
browser compatibility testing, graphic file size reduction, link check, HTML
check, load time check, spell check and more.
(15) Continually add new content to your site. Give your visitors a reason
to keep coming back.
* Design a quality e-book to give to your visitors. It's not as difficult
as it sounds. If you can create a web page, you can create an e-book. The
focus of your e-book should compliment your web site. Simply write about
your passion. If your passion is sales, then you could share some of your
knowledge and experience by designing your e-book to provide a complete sales
training guide. If your passion is home based business, you could write an
e-book about how to start your own home based business. If you're writing
about your true passion then you shouldn't have any trouble coming up with
something to write about. For further information on e-books, read the article
entitled, "How to Create an E-book and Drive Massive Traffic to Your Site
by Giving It Away."
If you'd rather not write your own e-book, you can pick up some free e-books
to add to your site here:
* Provide your visitors with quality, informative articles. Everybody loves
free information. It's the top-selling product online, so use it to your
advantage. Write your own articles or you can pick some up at the following
Marketing & Advertising Supersite
Before using any articles, make sure you view the author's copyrights and
make certain the article may be published. If you're not sure, contact the
author and request permission to publish their article whether it be on your
web site or in your e-zine. Most articles for publication can be used free
of charge as long as the authors credits or resource box is included.
The best advice I can offer is to Keep It Simple. The simple, well-designed,
professional looking web sites make the sales.
Always strive to learn. Knowledge is the key to success.
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
You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print,
in your ebook or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author
bylines are included.