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Do's and Don'ts for a new Website

by Chris Pritchard General SEO

If you are planning a new website it is too easy to get caught up in the design and lose sight of why you are building it in the first place. This is not an extensive list, but does contain a few tips thay may help you get your design back on track.

If you are planning a new website it is too easy to get caught up in the design and lose sight of why you are building it in the first place. This is not an extensive list, but does contain a few tips thay may help you get your design back on track.

Do

  • Provide something of value. All visitors to your website will be driven by the same motivation: What’s in it for me? Your visitors want to discover something useful for them, so tell them how they will benefit from what you have to offer, not about how great your products and services are.
  • Design your site with your users in mind. Try to see your site though you visitors’ eyes, not through yours. Think about what they want to see. After all, the site is for them, not just a means of showing off you cool your design.
  • Make it easy to find your stuff. Organise your site in such a way that makes navigation easy and intuitive. Your visitors aren’t looking for a treasure hunt, they want access to information without having to search high and low for it.
  • Respect your mobile visitors. It is estimated that by 2014, more than 50% of Internet traffic will be from handheld devices. However, it amazes me how many new sites I see that are still designed for the desktop computer. Responsive design is relatively easy to implement and there is no excuse for not using it – unless you don’t care about losing over half of your visitors!

Don’t

  • Have a splash screen. This one is guaranteed to make your visitors hit the back button before they have even seen your website. Most people find it really annoying to visit a website only to be greeted by a page that says “Click to Enter.” If I didn’t want to enter, I would n’t be here, right?
  • Let the design overshadow the content. As a website designer, all too frequently I am asked to come up with a great design before being given the content. This really doing things backwards. The design should have a single purpose: to show the content in the best possible way.
  • Use popup windows. This is one of my personal pet peeves and I know it is shared by a great many others. They are annoying and guaranteed to lose visitors. Don’t do it!
  • Use too many images. Even though broadband speed is increasing, having lots of large images will slow your site to a crawl. Research has shown that any page that’s takes more than half a second to load will drive people away. It is also important to remember that many visitors today use handheld devices and mobile phones to surf the web and many of them still have slow Internet speeds.

Keep these points in mind and your website will stand a better chance of being noticed. Ignore them at your peril.

For more information on this topic, or for a free consultation in the Oxfordshire area, contact us today.

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