Great Ways of Designing a Web Site Hosting Top Reviews

Great Ways of Designing a Web Site

Great Ways of Designing a Web SiteGreat Ways of Designing a Web SiteA web site provides a great opportunity to showcase your products and services to the world. Online information seekers use your web site as a window to get a glimpse of your business offerings. Needless to say, organized crisp web sites attract more users and have a higher probability of converting casual readers to clients and even repeat customers. How do you build a great web site? The answer is simple – through careful planning and extensive research. To start with, think of a web site you really like and identify the features that make it worth visiting repeatedly. Use the same principles to design your own site. Though there are no strict rules to follow, the guidelines described below will help you find your way through the creative process of designing a web site. Deciding Web Site Objectives and ContentIt may sound too obvious, but several online setups are wrapped up annually because of their poorly done web sites completely lacking in content and focus. Sites that present bits and pieces of information, arranged unsystematically, waste everyone’s time. Users may initially spend some moments at these sites but will stop visiting it after realizing the web site’s non-informative nature.One of the key steps in developing a successful web site is to be sure of what you want to project and achieve through it. Refer to your business goals when deciding your web site objectives. It is a time-consuming and repetitive process, but keeping the end result in mind helps filter out elements that may later become a hindrance.Compiling and Organizing ContentOnce you are done defining your objectives, start compiling content. Your company’s vision, goals, products, services, and contact information form a good starting point. The type of customers you want to cater to and their needs with respect to your products comprise another aspect of building content. Compiling content will give you tons of information all of which may not be required on the web site. Sort through the collected data to identify topics that meet your business requirements, and are representative of your company’s offerings. Group these topics into logical categories and organize them in a sequence to form a natural flow of reading. Categorizing information will also enable you to identify the innate arrangement of these topics on your web site. It is better to have a small informative site rather than presenting a big site with loose shallow content. Users go to a site looking for some information and if they do not find what they want, they quickly proceed to other sites. Always remember that users can see through sites that lack substance. Instead of doing a hasty job of creating and launching your web site, spend enough time carefully researching and writing content for it.Writing Web Site CopyCreate an interesting to read copy for the identified topics. Many a times, users leave a site because the language used is too complex, sub-standard, or flowery. Use simple sentences and relevant examples to communicate your message. Find the keywords that online visitors use the most in search engines to find information related to your products and services. These are the terms most suitable for your business venture. Use these terms sufficiently in the site to attract more customers.Ideally, a web page should communicate a single idea with appropriate links for related information. Too many topics on the same page confuse the readers. Web site content should flow from one page to another. Randomly placed pieces of information will baffle the readers thus driving them away from your site.Apart from the actual visitors, Search Engine web crawlers visit your site. Web crawlers, also known as spiders, have in the past few years gained tremendous popularity because of their impact on marketability of a web site. It is now imperative to build search engine friendly sites so that spiders can easily go through them and index them. For search engines to assign a high ranking to your web site you should develop high quality content with appropriate keyword density. Planning Web Site LayoutWeb site layout is of key importance in retaining visitors. If your web site design is complicated, it will take visitors no time in moving on to other user-friendly sites. To be successful, your web site should always be functional, practical, and focused. When designing its layout think about it from a user’s perspective. To come up with a basic layout, begin by sketching a web page on paper and mark placeholders for navigational menus, main text, header, footer, contact information, and other standard web page elements. Concentrate on devising a simple intuitive navigation system for your visitors. To enable users to easily find their way through your site, every page in the site should tell them their current position and the method to proceed to another page. Location indicators help orient the users as they can enter a web site from any of its pages. Even if users enter your site from the homepage, location indicators assist them in knowing exactly where they are with reference to other pages. A good example of location indicators is page titles, which should be defined carefully and sport the same look and feel on all the pages.Always include an uncomplicated set of navigation controls for your users to move around the web site. These should remain the same for all pages and work with location indicators in helping users find what they are looking for. To make your site more user-friendly, include a secondary navigation system by including a search box, a drop-down list box listing major content headings, and a site map. A site map, which lists all the web pages of your site, is actually a necessity because it functions as a table of contents. You can use it to organize and structure information on your site while your site visitors use it to quickly locate information they want to search.As the standard web page elements give uniformity to the web site, you should keep the layout simple so that it does not change drastically from page to page. This draft should essentially function as a template for your web site. With slight alterations to the template, you should easily be able to create all pages of the site.Deciding Colors and Fonts to be usedThough advanced operating systems and graphics software support millions of colors, an equal number of users all over the globe are still on the older systems and Internet browsers. What your web site visitors view ultimately depends on how much their systems and software can handle. Therefore, no matter how many colors you use on your web site, chances are there will be numerous people who will not be able to see them. Worse still, some colors may dither and become painful to the viewers’ eye. Go for the standard 216-color palette supported by all versions of operating systems and browsers.Apart from system limitations, different colors communicate different meanings. All baby-related sites have a pastel color scheme for a reason. Same goes for the brightly colored sites related to older kids. In contrast, bright colors are taboo for the web site of a last rites managing service. So choose a color scheme as per your business requirement and make your web site visitors feel comfortable by offering them a familiar environment.In any case, opt for colors that are easy on the eye and do not make your site flashy. Internet browsers installed on your visitors’ computers should be able to supersede your color scheme to enable people with special vision conditions view your web site according to their systems’ settings.Background is an important element of a web page. It should adequately support your business undertaking and avoid distracting readers from the main content. If possible, select a single color as the background for your web site. If you do have to use a pattern or a graphic as the background, ensure that it is subtle.Text is what your web site viewers read to get an idea about your products and services. Therefore, it goes without saying that the text font used in a web site should be clear, legible, and in accordance with common readability standards. Fancy fonts like BrushScrD and italicized text appear nice and are relevant only in some places. However, if used throughout a web site, they become irritating. Use standard fonts like Arial and Times New Roman with relative font sizes because users can if required alter their size using their browsers. Avoid using fixed font sizes because browsers cannot overrule them thereby restricting people from resizing them according to their requirement.Two ways of drawing attention to a piece of information are underlining it or writing it completely in UPPERCASE. Avoid both these tactics because they hamper reading. In addition, underlining text other than hyperlinks may confuse the viewers because conventionally only hyperlinked text is underlined in a web page.Deciding what Graphics to be usedA picture is worth a thousand words, but it does not mean that you flood your web site with pictures. Instead, you should use graphics sparingly and only when required. There should be a good balance between the text and the images used in a web site. If you are designing an online shopping mall, you will need to include more graphics. However, if your web site is educational and has history-related content, it will obviously not have several graphics. It is possible to use graphics with fewer colors on school web sites, but fashion house or photography related sites would require you to use heavier images with more colors.Keep the objective of the web site in mind when deciding the number and type of graphics to be included. Also ensure that the graphics used are appealing to the eye. They should not be gaudy. While surfing the Internet, you too might have noticed that flashy images disturb the eye and viewers want to move away quickly from such a graphic. The images you use should be done tastefully in color combinations that the human eye and mind deem interesting. Eventually, they should go well with text color and background color and/or image.Use minimum animation because it will make the web site heavy and continuously distract the users from reading what they want to read. Animation becomes a powerful tool when used to show the working of an object.In a nutshell, you should use graphics and animation only if required. One of the major factors that determine the success rate of a web site is its loading time. More the number of graphics, higher is the load time. A slow loading site often frustrates users. Subsequently, most would leave the site without even having a look at it. Ensuring Effectiveness of a Web SiteThe Internet is full of all kinds of web sites. Internet users too visit several web sites when looking for some information. However, they go back to only a few selected sites for more information or to make a purchase. You too must have experienced something like this. When designing your web site, think about such sites and write down their strong points. You will realize that you liked a web site and found it effective primarily because it met your needs and was easy to use.Though technology may have advanced tremendously, users have not upgraded their knowledge about computers and the Internet. It can be attributed to availability of user-friendly software. This implies that the least computer savvy users define the functionality you include in your web site. You run the risk of confusing and driving away non-technical people by using too many complicated design elements. When aiming to develop an effective web site, consider the following tips:Your web site should enable users to achieve an objective, be it finding driving directions, looking for a tool, or detecting remedy to an ailment. Include resourceful, informative, valuable, and practical content.Users should find your site easy to navigate. Make you site intuitive so users automatically know the next step. Including a link to the site map on every page within the site will help users locate the required information and reorient themselves if they do get confused.Information should be well organized, to the point, and assist site visitors quickly find what they want. A time-consuming information search usually makes the visitors restless and they go to another site. You can prevent this by using adequately optimized graphics and developing a web site that take little time is loading.Organize content such that the most important blocks load first at the top of the page. Ensure that all important pieces of information are no more than three and if possible only two clicks away. It is very difficult to find deeply nestled information and frustrates users.Use a color scheme and page layout that is appealing to the eye. Anything shocking or jarring will prompt the user to immediately leave your web site.Test your web site thoroughly to make certain that it will work in diverse situations. It should run successfully on all types of computers, operating systems, Internet browsers, and networks. All kinds of users ranging from a regular person to people with special needs should be able to view your site. Aside from testing system compatibility, you might also want to test your web site’s functionality. It should do what it is supposed to do based on the navigational elements included in it. Finally, proof the site content. Ensure that the content is simple to read, does not have any grammatical or spelling mistakes, and communicates the same meaning to everyone. Images used should integrate well with the text.Before launching your web site, show it to others, observe how they navigate through the site, and take their feedback. You will be surprised by the numerous comments that make sense. Make modifications accordingly.Tracking Web Site PerformanceEven a newly launched site with excellent design may not necessarily generate quick desired results. Or, it may be unable to sustain a consistent response after an initial receptive phase. This may occur because of the difference between you and your clients’ perception of what is useful and the way it is communicated through your web site. Changing times also play a role in making a site obsolete. You can however prevent your site from becoming uninteresting or outdated by tracking user activity on the site. Knowing what the users do when they visit your site helps you better understand their requirement. Some of the important information that tracing user activity tells you includes, the precise entry and exit points of your web site, pages visited, time spent on a page, and number and type of products bought. If visitors generally spend a good deal of time on informative pages but do not seem to make a purchase, then it is a good indication that there is a problem with product advertising pages and/or the checkout system. Going through these pages and fixing the problem will surely convert readers into customers. Similarly, comparing least visited pages with recurrently visited pages gives you indications about the elements lacking in less frequented pages. You can even detect emerging shopping trends by studying user activity on your web site. This information can then be used to offer larger quantities of popular products while removing less selling items from your product list.Several performance tracking software are now available in the market. Select the one that gives you the most comprehensive statistics. The latest performance tracking software should also inform you of the specific search engines used by the visitors to access your web site, the precise keywords used to find your site, and other sites linking to your web site.Being a Step AheadTracking web site performance is fruitful only if you put in the effort of incorporating the changes necessary to maintain a profitable business. Be in touch with the latest industry-related developments and regularly update your web site content to keep user interest alive. Ensure that the new content is as useful to the users as the earlier one was.Advertise your web site judiciously and cleverly. A few advertisements with complimentary sites will prove to be much more beneficial than link campaigns with several unrelated sites. Similarly, appropriate keyword density in the content will ensure first-rate search engine rankings, which can tremendously boost traffic to your site. Always be in touch with your customers. Know what they want and maintain your site in harmony with their requirement. You can achieve this by starting a newsletter or including a feedback form on your site. Be proactive and do not shy away from working hard. Online ventures are easy to start and maintain is a false notion probably stemming from the ease of using computers and software.Designing a web site can be a quick activity. But, designing successful web sites is a time consuming painstaking process that requires a thorough understanding of customers. The best sites take care of their customers by addressing their needs and remaining open to client opinion. They make their visitors feel comfortable in a consistent environment, offer prompt customer service, establish a rapport with visitors, understand the need to carefully handle personal information, and stay away from spamming activities. Over time, these sites become dependable, trustworthy, and hence popular.Incorporating Copyright, Legal Disclaimers, and Privacy PolicyFinally, your web site copy should not be in violation of the copyright act. This implies that websites own their content and no one should copy content without prior permission from its developer(s). Thus, you should not copy content from other sources without prior approval. In turn, you should also take measures to protect your content by incorporating a legal disclaimer on your web site. This disclaimer legally binds web site visitors to the copyright act and informs them about the results of violating it.Often companies collect customer data like their name, address, email ids, and telephone numbers through their web sites. If you use your web site to sell something then you will prompt your customers to key in their credit card numbers. Even informative sites collect personal information to better serve their clients. Without having any knowledge of how their private information is used, none of your web site visitors will disclose any data for fear of it being misused. To convince your clients that you will never misuse any personal information or divulge it to other web sites without seeking prior permission, you must include a privacy policy clearly stating the method and objective of data collection on your web site. This will enhance interaction and customer feedback, which is so crucial to your success. Reader commentsComment on this article


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