Having an impressive looking website doesn’t always mean a lot in today’s world of technology. Sure, on the outside, these websites may look trendy and cool, but click around enough and you’ll find that many have terrible functionality and could be compared to wandering through a maze. Why should you settle on having a half usable website when, after following a few do’s and don’ts, you could have a truly great site?
There’s no place like Home(page)
Do This Make your homepage easy to navigate
No one likes to be confused upon arrival. Not at the airport, not at a grocery store. So why would you make your website’s homepage confusing? It is the first thing customers see when they visit your site, and it needs to be concise and clear. Make sure visitors are certain what you want them to do – whether that’s to purchase an item, view a gallery, or enter an email address.
Not That Clutter things up
This is one thing many new web sites fall prey to. It’s easy to want to jam pack your homepage with all possible information about your business. However, too much content can run potential clients off. Treat every visitor as if they have the attention span of a goldfish – if they can’t figure out what to do in two seconds, you probably need to reconsider the structure of your homepage.
Don’t hate, navigate!
Do This Make it easy for visitors to find your navigation
Going along with the above do and don’t, making your navigation readily available and obvious is another important aspect to your website. You don’t want to make people spend their valuable time searching for navigation. Spend as much time creating your navigation page and visitors will having an easier time traversing your site.
Not That Cram too many links
One thing that can serve to be overwhelming to visitors is too many links under your navigation page. Not only does is clutter up your page, it also can confuse and bemuse people. If you must include lots of links, be sure to break them up under categories, so it feels a little less intimidating.
Knowledge is Power
Do This Give people a chance to leave their information
An impressive looking website, combined with easy navigation tends to instill trust in visitors. This is where you can grab their attention and ask them to leave a record of them visiting. This can be as simple as leaving their email or signing up for a deal. Whatever the case, this information will help fuel your business. Make sure the submission form is easy to find and even easier to fill out or people will just skip it.
Not That Make visitors uncomfortable
No one likes to be visiting a website and then be bombarded by pop-up windows every ten seconds, begging for your information. Not only is this annoying, it’s also intimidating. Be sure to ask for basic information, and take care that visitors don’t feel like they have to leave their age, sex, or location in order to be kept up to date with your website. Also be sure to give people a way out – letting them know how to unsubscribe to notifications.
When in doubt, hire an expert
Do This Be willing to hire someone who knows what they’re doing
There is nothing more valuable to you and your website than a web site designer who knows his business. These people will work closely with you to make your website come to life. Yes, designers cost money. But in the long run, your website will run smoother and look nicer for it. Working with a designer will also help keep your project on track.
Not That Cut corners
We all appreciate trying to save a few bucks. However, your website is not the place for penny pinching. In today’s tech world there are people who are good designers and people who don’t have a clue. And we all know who the less expensive hire would be. A professional website should be worked on by a professional. Period.
Do This Guarantee your website looks good on mobile devices
In today’s tech world, the mobile device is king. From iPhones to iPads, to Kindles and smart watches, everyone has them, and these devices are generally what your website will be viewed from. To ignore this trend towards mobile design (also called responsive design) would be nothing short of disastrous. Make sure whatever designer you go with is both familiar and competent with responsive design, and can show you examples of sites they’ve done. If your site looks like trash on mobile, then why bother even having a site at all?
Not That Rush into things
We all know how it feels to be excited about a project coming to completion. You have waited for it, and you’re willing to skip steps in order for it to be ready. You could be convinced to just stick with the desktop version of your site. However, at the risk of alienating many visitors, you need to commit to having a mobile version. Having this will push you and your website into the mobile age and help garner support and visitors.
Obviously there are many ways to successfully go about building and maintaining a website. Enumerated here are just a few suggestions. However, should you decide to follow all, or even a few of the do’s and don’ts listed here, you will notice a drastic increase in traffic to your website and potentially new business.