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 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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Ask and You Shall Receive: The Most Powerful Marketing Question You Could Ever Ask Part 1

Ask and You Shall Receive! What could this possibly have to do with marketing your business and attracting new customers?

Plenty! Why does the Bible tell us to do this? Because it works! No, Iâm not saying you should pray for more customers, I have a better idea. Simply put, if you are wondering what your market wants the most, ask them, then give it to them! Letâs take a look at how to apply it to your business.

Ask and You Shall Receive: The Most Powerful Marketing Question You Could Ever Ask Part 2

Ask and You Shall Receive Part 2: What could this possibly have to do with marketing your business and attracting new customers?

Plenty! Why does the Bible tell us to do this? Because it works! No, Iâm not saying you should pray for more customers, I have a better idea. Simply put, if you are wondering what your market wants the most, ask them, then give it to them! Letâs take a look at how to apply it to your business.

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Website Design Mistakes

January 8, 2012

You’ll want to avoid these home page mistakes.
1. Large banner ads at the top of the web page. These increase download time, leave less space for your content, promote a different website, irritate visitors, etc. and if a visitor clicks on the banner, they will be taken to a different website, possibly never to return.
2. Too many ads. Again, these increase download time, increase page clutter, decrease overall ad effectiveness, promote a different website, and the visitor gets annoyed. Try to keep ads to 2 to 3 at the maximum unless your site is geared specifically towards advertising revenue.
3. Too much content per page. If you have too much information per page, you’ll only confuse your visitor. Don’t try to cram everything on your home page. You should have only one main idea on the home page, then build the rest of your site around your sub points. If your site is an on-line store, promote no more than 5 or 6 of your “best deal” or most popular products on the homepage.
4. Poor or unrelated graphics. It’s better not to use any graphics at all than to use poor ones. The graphics you do use should draw your visitor’s eye to important parts of your website.
5. Reciprocal links to unrelated sites or sites of poor quality. Only have high quality reciprocal links with sites that are relevant to your site.
6. Links to other sites on your home page. Why offer your visitor the door when they’ve just arrived?
7. A web based search engine on your site. Again, do you really want your visitors to find information and links to other sites?

Here are some miscellaneous design mistakes as well as suggestions on how to fix them:
1. Poor Loading Time: Cut down on graphics, graphic size and unneeded HTML codes.
2. Animated Graphics, Bullets, Arrows, etc.: Animated graphics are annoying to many people. Cut back on their use.
3. Scrolling, Jumping Or Animated Text And Mouse Trails Anywhere: Scrolling, jumping and animated text as well as mouse trails are distracting and will annoy your
visitors. Don’t use them anywhere, even on the bottom status bar. Do you really want to distract your visitor from your content?
4. Multi-colored Text: Having every letter in a word a different color or using multiple colored text looks very unprofessional and will annoy your visitor. The majority of your text should be one color. Use no more than two additional colors to emphasize important words.
5. Text Is Difficult To Read: Use dark text against a light colored background for optimal viewing. Black text against a white background is best. Also be sure that the text is large enough to be readable but not too large and that the font is easy to read. Arial or Verdana are the easiest fonts to read on-line, 12 pixels is the best size.
6. Too Many Highlighted Words: Only highlight important words and phrases. Use only one color when highlighting. The most frequently used color for highlighting is yellow as yellow is the most eye attracting color.
7. Gaudy Or Distracting Backgrounds: Choose a subtle background color or background graphic for your website as the background should enhance your site, not distract from it. If your visitor notices your background or background color, it is not subtle enough.
8. Different Backgrounds On Every Page: You should use the same background on every page of your site.
9. Multiple Banners: Lots of banners on a single page looks very unprofessional and makes your visitor think your site is no better than a banner exchange.
10. Overall Appearance Of The Site Is Poor: If the website doesn’t look professional, no one will trust the product or want to purchase anything from the site.
11. ANY Spelling Or Grammatical Mistakes: Even one error makes the site look unprofessional.
12. No Contact Information: Your visitor won’t trust you if they have no way of contacting you with any problems.
13. Poor Content: You won’t be able to keep your visitor’s attention if the content on your site is poor or is poorly written.
14. Poor Navigation: Your visitor won’t be able to explore your site if they can’t navigate around it.
15. Broken Links: Your visitor will become frustrated if they click on a broken link.
16. Incompatible Browser: Test how your website looks in multiple browsers.
17. Loud Sound Set To Autoplay: Turn off the sound and give your visitor the option of playing it. If your visitor should decide to play your audio, the volume should be set loud enough to hear but not loud enough to be annoying.
18. Video Set To Autoplay: Give your visitor the option of playing video. Although video is a great marketing tool there are people who find it annoying.
19. Poor Use Of Mouse Over Effects: Only use mouse over effects if they add something to your site.

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