What 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 don’t 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 general.

They Want:

Fast-loading 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.

"Consistent 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!

"Consistent 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 take action.

Search Engines How to be listed in them.

We 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.

Fortunately, the 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.

Search engine-friendly design, in a nutshell, means that your site:

* Has focused content, with information about Product #1 separated from information about Product
   number #2.

* Has an adequate amount of text on every page to describe the product or service shown on
   that page

* 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 navigation.
* 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.