do you want in a web site ? What do your clients want and expect?
First, you need to
consider why you are building the site. Without a clear objective,
your site will not have a clear direction and will appear confusing
as if you dont know what you are doing. It is not the intent
of the visitor to figure out what the purpose of your site is; it
should be immediately apparent. Ask yourself the following:
What is the main purpose of my site?
Who is the intended audience?
We keep the answers to these questions at the forefront while creating
your site. Remember, that the site we are creating is not aimed
at pleasing just you. Although it is important that you like the
site and believe in it, the goal is to create a site that appeals
to your intended audience.
Your web site exists
for your customers, not for you. Focus on what they expect and need,
not on what you want. (Don't know what they expect and want? Ask
them!) The details may differ from industry to industry, but here
are some basics from Internet user studies about web surfers in
web sites that are easy to navigate.
Content that is easy to read, reliable, and accurate.
Tools (shopping carts, database applications and so on) that are
easy to use.
Their time to be well-spent, not wasted.
A way to get help if they need it.
The key to design
is Simplicity and it must express what They Want mentioned
above. Simplicity in design leads to a more enjoyable experience
for your customers. Your web site will be easier to use, and will
lead to more sales, signups. You need your visitors to take action
and it must be the another primary consideration for your web site.
One of the basic
rules of being a professional web designer is: Just because you
can, doesn't mean you should. A professional designer can build
a flashy, complicated, graphics-heavy web site; but those types
of sites tend to get in your customers' way. There is a 5 second
rule ! Most visitors will go back to search results if they don't
see something they are interested in within the first 5 seconds.
Keeping it simple
doesn't mean keeping it boring, plain, or ugly. Quite the contrary,
simple designs can be (and usually are) more appealing to the eye
than sites that are burdened with heavy graphics and page load times.
Simple designs are more likely to succeed on different platforms
and on different browsers (Explorer, Netscape, Safari, Mozilla,
etc.) So we keep it simple.
Keep It Consistent
Your web site must
maintain a consistent look from page-to-page, and
it must maintain a consistent navigation scheme from page-to-page.
look" means that design elements (such as your logo, your site
menu, etc.) should be positioned in the same place on every page
of your web site. If your site menu is on the left side on one page,
then on the bottom of the next page, then at the top of the next
page, you invite confusion and you get in your customer's way. A
professional design doesn't get in the way of what your customer
wants to do on your web site, it helps them do it!
navigation scheme" means that your site menu should be
available (with a few acceptable exceptions) on every page of the
site and should function the same across the site. If your menu
uses a rollover feature where the links change color, for example,
that should be consistent across the site. The idea, again, is to
help your customer use your web site. Inconsistent navigation schemes
and inconsistent appearances lead to confusion and they will not
How to be listed in them.
must focus on your customers' needs, and now we're going to ask
you to stretch your definition of a "customer" to include
the online search engines. Site design must take into account the
needs of search engines so your web site has a chance to be listed
and rank highly in search engine results.
ideas presented above constitute a good start that is search engine
friendly. In general, when you serve your customers well, you will
likely also serve the search engines.
design, in a nutshell, means that your site:
* Has focused content,
with information about Product #1 separated from information about
* Has an adequate amount of text on every page to describe the product
or service shown on
* Has at least one complete text-based menu on your site for search
engines to follow.
* Doesn't rely strictly on DHTML or java script to present the site
* Doesn't use Flash or other animation to present information that's
not available in plain text
elsewhere on the site.
There are many other considerations related to content, coding,
etc., that make a search engine-friendly web site, but the above
are the main elements related to the design of a site.
Once your site is
completed, we hand submit it to the various search engines. It usually
takes from 3 days to a year to be included in the search results.
Most will not include your site unless most of the above qualities
exist. Some search engines require up to $250 fees just to look
at your site. But there's good news.. We Trigger Search Engine Spiders
to visit your site and most will automatically include it if it
is professionally done. By the way, Search Engine Spiders, also
known as a robot or a crawler, is actually just a program that follows,
or "crawls", links throughout the Internet, grabbing content
from sites and adding it to search engine indexes.
I could probably
add 100 pages here about web design. The above is the basic concept.
It is easy for someone to become overwhelmed with the process used
to creat a web site. That said; Let me take the worry and confusion
out of it all by working for you.
Your dollars will
be well spent.