Ten Basic Steps for Building a Web Site that Works

Written by Lee Traupel


Assemble a Web site development plan that is integrated with your overall marketing processes. The content should be consistent with offline materials;repparttar graphics/images don't have to be identical with traditional media, but should be consistent with your overall branding, style guide, usage of colors, etc.

Hire a Web site design firm that understands your market position. Find one that won't get "geek crazy" meaning they are so in love with their own design capabilities, your site gets bogged down with graphics, plug ins, GIF garbage, etc. But, conversely, check your ego atrepparttar 134733 door when you work with your design firm we've see so many good Web site designs ruined by clients who can't or won't listen to sound advice.

Pay attention to "load times," how long it takes a Web site to load on an industry-average 56 KBPS modem. If it's more than 12-18 seconds you may experiencerepparttar 134734 "click of death" repparttar 134735 site doesn't load quickly andrepparttar 134736 surfer is gone. Of course, if you're targeting broadband customers who are reaching your site via ISDN or DSL, then you can build a site that incorporates multimedia-ready content that may include streaming audio or video, or Shockwave or Flash capabilities. Go ahead and let those digital geeks get carried away with cutting edge content presentation.

Keep it simple make your site easy to move around in. Build a menu structure that is consistent with industry standards: local menus (for a page or section) onrepparttar 134737 left and global menus (overall site navigation) atrepparttar 134738 top and/or bottom of each page. Keep as much information "aboverepparttar 134739 fold" (aboverepparttar 134740 cutoff point atrepparttar 134741 bottom of a monitor); don't make people use horizontal scroll bars unless absolutely necessary.

Inculcate "digital speed" into your overall site design. Your clients/customers should be able to get to their desired area of your site within one or two mouse clicks; they will quickly get frustrated if they have to click through multiple menus to find information they are seeking.

Develop content that is Web enabled. People don't read Web site content like they do offline media. Keep your paragraphs short (no more than two to three sentences), build in white space with your content, and include links in your pages. Don't try to tell your whole marketing story on your site get people to call you (hello repparttar 134742 telephone still works!), e-mail you, or fill out a profile form.

10 Tips for Better Web Site Usability - and Profits!

Written by Marty Foley


Making a web site easy and convenient for visitors to use is a commonly overlooked key to selling more from it. The following tips can help you do just that...

1) A lesson for marketers is to make our web sites, products, etc., compatible withrepparttar largest possible number of users, includingrepparttar 134732 most common browsers and computer systems.

The vast majority of web surfers use Internet Explorer, with Netscape in distant second place. The most popular screen resolution is 800 x 600.

This also means avoiding or using extreme caution with newer technology that people with slower connections and older computer systems can't easily use. One exception may be if you cater to an especially high-tech target market.

2) Unless you have a good reason to deviate from default hyperlink colors, it's best not to. Typically, blue links have not been visited, and purple links have. Other non-link text colored blue or purple may confuse visitors by making them think they are links.

3) A common pet peeve among surfers is slow-loading web pages. When using images on your pages, use width and height attributes inrepparttar 134733 HTML code to specify image sizes. Browsers can then allocate proper space for images andrepparttar 134734 text can start loading (giving visitors something to view) while images load.

4) Make your web pages load faster by minimizingrepparttar 134735 number of graphics you use, as well as by optimizing their file sizes. A free tool for optimizing graphics files is available at: www.gifoptimizer.com

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