Who Is Your Audience?

March 14, 2017

Understanding the type of people who visit your site is a very important task because you can use that information to enhance your site to suit them. As a result, you will gain more loyal returning visitors that come back again and again for more.

What is the age level and what kind of knowledge does your audience have? A layman might linger around a general site on gardening, but a professional botanist might turn up his nose at the very same site. Similarly, a regular person will leave a site filled with astronomy abstracts but a well educated university graduate will find that site interesting.

Take your audience’s emotional state into consideration when building your site. If a very irritated visitor searches for a solution and comes across your site, you will want to make sure you offer the solution right up front and sell or promote your product to him second. In this way, the visitor will put his trust in you for offering the solution to his problems and is more likely to buy your product when you offer it to him after that.

When you design the layout for your site, you have to take into account the characteristics of your audience. Are they old or young people? Are they looking for trends or are they just looking for information served without any icing on the cake? For example, introducing a new, exciting game with a simple, straightforward black text against white background page will definitely turn prospects away. Make sure your design suits your site’s general theme.

Try to sprinkle colloquial language in your sites sparingly where you see fit and you will create a sense that your audience is on common ground with you. This in turn builds a trusting relationship between you and your audience, which will come in useful should you want to market a product to your audience.

Good Design Practices

August 29, 2016

Your website is just like your physical address, except instead of being where you live, it is where your business resides — it’s like the headquarters of an offline company. Hence, it is important to practice good design principles to make sure your site reaches out to the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible.

Make sure you have clear directions on the navigation of your website. The navigation menu should be uncluttered and concise so that visitors know how to navigate around your website without confusion.

Reduce the number of images on your website. They make your site load very slowly and more often than not they are very unnecessary. If you think any images are essential on your site, make sure you optimize them using image editing programs so that they have a minimum file size.

Keep your text paragraphs at a reasonable length. If a paragraph is too long, you should split it into separate paragraphs so that the text blocks will not be too big. This is important because a block of text that is too large will deter visitors from reading your content.

Make sure your website complies to web standards at www.w3.org and make sure they are cross-browser compatible. If your website looks great in Internet Explorer but breaks horribly in Firefox or in any other browser, you will lose out on a lot of prospective visitors. Always check out how your website looks on mobile devices.

Avoid using scripting languages on your site unless it is absolutely necessary. Use scripting languages to handle or manipulate data, not to create visual effects on your website. Heavy scripts will slow down the loading time of your site and even crash some browsers. Also, scripts are not supported across all browsers, so some visitors might miss important information because of that.

Use CSS to style your page content because they save a lot of work by styling all elements on your website in one go.

5 Important Rules in Website Design

August 18, 2016

When it comes to your website, extra attention should be paid to every minute detail to make sure it performs optimally to serve its purpose. Here are seven important rules of thumb to observe to make sure your website performs well.

1) Do not use splash pages

Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a website. They normally have a very beautiful image with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just that — pretty vases with no real purpose. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the “back” button! Give them the value of your site up front without the splash page.

2) Do not use excessive banner advertisements

Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valuable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, and let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.

3) Have a simple and clear navigation

You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.

4) Have a clear indication of where the user is

When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Don’t confuse your visitors because confusion means “abandon ship”!

5) Avoid using looping audio on your site

If your visitor is going to stay a long time at your site, reading your content, you will want to make sure they’re not annoyed by some audio looping on and on on your website. If you insist on adding audio, make sure they have some control over it — volume or muting controls would work fine.

Generating Revenue With Good Planning

August 17, 2016

For your business to work well, you must make firm, workable plans to reach your goal and the same goes for website designs. With a well thought out website design, you will be able to create a site that generates multiple streams of revenue for you. In fact, may websites turn into online wastelands because they are not well planned and do not get a single visitor. Gradually, the webmaster will not be motivated to update it anymore and it turns into wasted cyberspace.

The crucial point of planning your site is optimizing it for revenue if you want to gain any income from the site. Divide your site into major blocks, ordered by themes, and start building new pages and subsections in those blocks. For example, you might have a “food” section, an “accommodation” section and an “entertainment” section for a tourism site. You can then write and publish relevant articles in the respective sections to attract a stream of traffic that comes looking for further information.

When you have a broader, better-defined scope of themes for your website, you can sell space on your pages to people interested in advertising on your page. You can also earn from programs such as Google’s Adsense and Yahoo! Search Marketing if people surf to those themed pages and click on the ads. For this very reason, the advertisement blocks on your pages need to be relevant to the content, so a themed page fits that criteria perfectly.

As Internet becomes more widespread, advertising on the Internet will bear more results than on magazines or offline media. Hence, start tapping in on this lucrative stream of profit right away!

Miscellaneous Website Design Tips

January 8, 2012

Here are some miscellaneous website design tips.

1. Design your site at 1024×768 screen resolution to ensure that your entire web page is displayed on the majority of your visitors’ browsers. (Set your margins to zero. Pixel count should be at a maximum of 900 pixels wide.) There will be some white space at higher resolutions, but if you use this resolution, the majority of your visitors will never need to use a horizontal scroll bar. If your visitor must use horizontal scrolling they may become annoyed, possibly causing them to click away from your site. Test your site at different resolutions. PLEASE NOTE: The lowest resolution you should use is 800×600 pixels.
2. Every page should have a prominent title and that title should match the link to that particular page.
3. Include your site name using either a graphical logo or text on every page. Make sure it links back to the home page just in case your visitor clicks on it.
4. Your site design and images should tie in with your site name.
5. Use Java sparingly. Use Javascript instead if possible.
6. If you use a pop-up window for your newsletter/e-zine subscription form or for special offers, use a JavaScript that sets a cookie on your visitor’s computer. The pop-up will only show up on your visitor’s first visit to your site and they won’t be annoyed by seeing the pop-up more than once.
7. If you use frames, use them sparingly. Poor usage of frames makes your site look unprofessional. It’s also difficult for search engines to index web pages consisting of frames.
8. Use tables or CSS to neatly align your links.
9. Try to make every page on your website no more than three clicks away from the homepage. Design your site wide, not deep.
10. Repeat the navigational links on every web page.
11. On every werb page, include a “Home” link which takes the visitor back to the home page.
12. If appropriate for your site, use a “breadcrumb trail”. Ex: You Are Here>Home Page>Main Category>Subcategory>Content. Always include “You Are Here” so your visitors know exactly where they are on your website.
13. If your site is large, include a site search form at the top of each page.
14. Check all your links at least once weekly to eliminate any broken links.
15. Always include links to your Legal Statements such as your Terms of Service, Disclaimer, Legal Information, Privacy Policy, Contact Information, etc. at the bottom of every web page. If your website sells a product or service or has a link to a site that does, include a Compensation Disclaimer. PLEASE NOTE: This is required by US Law!
16. Cross link relevant pages. Ex: Link your “FAQ” page to your “Contact Us” page as your “FAQ” page might answer your visitor’s question.
17. Your buttons or links should lead to important information which explains the content of your website in more depth.
18. Minimize the number of hyperlinks you use in your text.
19. Offer your visitors a PFP (printer friendly page) website by installing a free CGI program.
20. Be consistent with your background theme on every page of your website.
21. When you set the font typefaces for your site, use 3 to 4 options. If your first font choice is not available, one of the others can be utilized by your visitor’s browser. The easiest font to read on-line is Arial while the most web friendly font is Verdana as it is wide and easy to read. Avoid using small serif fonts such as Times Roman.
22. Always use both Arial and Helvetica when you set your font tags so that your website is viewable by both Windows and Mac users.
23. Use different font sizes in your content. This enables your visitor to change the font size in their browser (which is very useful for people with vision problems).
24. Be consistent as to font types and sizes throughout your website.
25. Use a maximum of 3 text colors plus a highlighting color. For example black text, red text for emphasis, blue text for less emphasis, and yellow for highlighting. Dark text on a light background is the easiest for your visitor to read.
26. If you use an icon, place explanatory text below it. Ex: If you use a picture of a house to denote your home page link, include the word “Home” below the graphic.
27. Set alternative, descriptive text in all of your images. If your visitor has turned off graphics, the text will appear in place of the image. Also, if your visitor is visually impaired, their screen reader will be able to read the text. Always include one of your keywords in the alternative text tag .
28. Always use JPG (JPEG) format for photos and GIF or PNG for web images and clipart.
29. Use enhanced features such as Flash efficiently and SPARINGLY. Give your visitors a “no flash” option.
30. If you use a table, set the width in percentages, not in pixels. This will allow the table to adjust its size to the browser window. An exception to this would be if you use a table to anchor an image such as a header graphic. In this case, you would use pixels for all of the tables on your site.
31. If you want a border around a table, use a colored border of size 1 or 2 or use CSS for a dotted or dashed border. Using a standard black border looks unprofessional.
32. Check, double check and recheck your content for spelling and grammatical errors. Even one error will be apparent to your visitors and make your site look unprofessional. Use a spell checker and have someone else proofread your copy.
33. Your website should be simple but aesthetically pleasing. Subconsciously, visitors will associate your product’s quality with how your website looks.
34. Jazz up your web pages by using bold headlines, highlighting, colored table cells, and graphical arrows and/or bullets.
35. Use the same graphical bullets, arrows, dividers, etc. throughout your site to cut down on loading time as the graphic only needs to load once for multiple instances.
36. If you would like an image to be displayed as soon as the web page loads, place this code in your head tags :

Change image.gif to the name and extension of the image that you want to load immediately.
37. Encourage feedback from your visitors by including an anonymous on-line contact form and email link.

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