Many people falsely believe that flashier websites are best, but that’s almost never true. Simplicity is often the key to success. Outlined below are some helpful tips to keep your website simple and clean.
Functional websites work out for all visitors, regardless of their browser, so it’s essential that your website is tested across all the major platforms. Each browser is a little different, and a site that looks fine in Firefox may look wrong in Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. Therefore, you should check how all the pages of your website display in all the major browsers on the market, before turning your site live.
Incorporate a search function that lets visitors find what they need. Visitors may look for something specific, and that box will be the one of the first things they look for. If there is no search box, they are not going to take the time to look through all your content. They are just going to move on. Put the box on the right-hand top of the page.
Go easy on the graphics in your website creation. While they’re essential to creating a cohesive and professional site, too many can make it look cluttered. Graphics should be used to improve the site, not overdecorate it. Your site may be easier to use with just the right amount of graphics.
Always double check pages for broken links before publishing a page. Visitors become frustrated easily when they click a link and find that it leads to the wrong place. Most people choose one of the many programs or extensions available that verify working links but it can also be completed manually if you only have a few to do.
It’s a good idea to set up your site so that it can retain a copy of user information that must be entered repeatedly. For example, if a person has to enter their information to register for an account, and then is filling out a form on your website that requires the same information, you want to have their data saved, so that they do not have to take the time to fill everything out again. Developing “sticky” data like this streamlines the user experience, and your visitors will likely appreciate the convenience.
No matter what type of website you design or who the audience is you want to target, always keep the page load time under ten seconds. A great website should pop up without lagging delays. Most people who use the Internet want instant gratification, so it is best that your website provides it.
Utilize newsletters if you want repeat visitors. By giving your visitors an opportunity to keep current on your site offerings, you increase their loyalty. Put the sign-up box near the top of your site so they can easily find it, and check how many sign up when you move it around your page. Make sure the newsletter only goes to those who actually asked for it, or you’re going to get some serious blowback.
Choose file types carefully. Your graphics should be GIFs and JPEGs. These files will help you to conserve the most amount of space possible. By converting your file types to more manageable sizes, you will provide your visitors with a better experience.
Try the common “newsletter” technique to keep your readers reminded of your services. Giving your customers a reminder that you’re still online and have some great deals or new content that will bring them back to your site for more. Put the form for signing up in a prominent location, such as a sidebar, and use it to compile a list of visitors who opt in to your newsletter. Make sure you only send out the letter to those that have explicitly requested to view it.
Make your website as fast as possible. When visitors are faced with long load times, the usually leave soon. Use less graphics, avoid Flash, and optimize your HTML.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your “About Us” page. Add some autobiographical information to share with visitors. Add a little spice to this webpage! Provide some insight about your own story. How did you get inspiration? What are your goals? What led you to web design?
As previously mentioned, the load times of flash sites just aren’t really worth it. Your site is more likely to be successful if it looks good, but not flashy. Try these tips out seriously, and you can go far.
Keep your homepage simple. People will quickly decide whether or not they want to do business with you by how your homepage looks. Provide simple content on what you do and how to contact you.