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 Website Tips
   

Building a website requires careful planning to make it work the way it should. You not only want to attract your future customers, you want to retain them and ensure they keep coming back. We've given you some simple tips to help you meet these goals.

Minimize download time - Research shows that most visitors to a website wait 8 seconds for the page to load. If it doesn't load by then, they're gone. Too many websites include excessive images on their home page causing the page to download very slowly - especially on a 28.8 modem (yes, they're still being used)! Use images only when they add value. Additionally, images should be sized at design time as opposed to using large pictures that are sized by the browser at display time.

Don't be subtle about colors - PC settings, such as the number of colors, display resolution, etc., can greatly affect how your website looks. More than one company learned the hard way that visitors coming to their site could not discern any text because it disappeared on a nearly identical color background. Play it safe - stick with contrasting colors.

Monitor size counts - We receive many requests from customers asking for certain dimension images or borders on their website. What they're forgetting is that there is no way of knowing what size monitor (or display resolution) your visitor has. Bottom line - what looks great on one monitor may not look so great on another. Spend time testing various display resolutions and screen sizes to make sure the website will always look great.

Different browsers work differently - Every website developer wishes there were standards for browsers, but there aren't. A public website must be designed for the lowest common denominator, meaning that some of those new features just can't be used.

Watch your cookies - People are becoming more and more concerned about invasion of privacy. Many are easily troubled by the web server download of software to their PC, therefore they turn the cookies option off. If you use cookies, some visitors aren't going to be able to visit your website.

Design your web page - Good websites don't just happen, they're designed. And this means much careful planning before the web developer starts coding.

Ask yourself:

  • Why do you want to have a website?
  • Who is in your target market and why does s/he want to come to your website?
  • What is the message you are trying to convey?
  • How will the website benefit the viewer?
  • Will the viewer navigate from one page to the next?
  • Are there other issues must be resolved before coding the website?

If you don't plan ahead, you'll waste time and money re-coding your website after it's launched.

Be consistent - Each page of the website should look like it belongs. If you are trying to send a consistent message (name, logo or motto) then repeat it on every page.

Don't send your viewer away - We are always surprised at the number of websites that provide links to other sites! It took effort to bring a viewer to your site and unless this is your website's sole purpose, don't do it! Provide enough value to keep them looking at your products and learning about who you are.

Keep it fresh - Long before the Internet, McDonald's founder Ray Kroc said, "When you're green you're growing, but when you're ripe you begin to rot!" The same thing goes for websites. If you want people to come back, then you've got to keep updating your website.

Test, test, test - Testing your website to assure that there are no errors is essential. When you believe the site is "perfect", ask someone else to test it. You'll be amazed at what they'll find!

Our staff deals with these and many other issues every day. We'll work hard for you to make your website work the way you want it to.

   
 
 
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