Now when I look back on that first website, I'm forced to come to an inescapable conclusion:
You see, like so many beginners, I had succumbed to lure of 'technology'. Instead of designing my site according to what my *visitors* wanted, I designed it around what *I* wanted to show off.
Don't make these common website blunders! Visitors come to your site for a reason - make it easy for them to get what they want. Here are a few tips ...
__1. Don't Use Flash Frivolously.
Flash movies are all rage these days. Sure, it's new and cool and can do all sorts of neat things - but just because you CAN use it doesn't mean you SHOULD.
This is particularly true of content-rich websites. Visitors come to your site looking for information, not for an in-your-face Flash movie. Annoy them and it only takes a simple click of mouse before they're gone forever.
Flash requires users to download a plug-in, if they don't already have it. It can chew up your machine's resources and make it darn near impossible to get out - even a 'Skip Intro' link is hard to click on if your computer is too involved with Flash! And it takes too long to load. Not everyone has a high-speed modem!
Of course there are legitimate reasons to use Flash. For example, graphic artists or web designers who sell their Flash talents will want to showcase it. If you use it make sure you give people OPTION of viewing it or not. A couple of suggestions are:
* Put two links on your entry page: one to view site using Flash, other to view it without Flash.
* Move your Flash movies deeper within your site. If your visitor wants to view them, they can simply click on a link.
__2. Use Graphics Sparingly.
The *right* picture can say a thousand words. But don't use graphics for sake of using them; unless they convey something specific and relevant to your site then you might as well leave them off.