FACT: Your web site appearance can make you thousands of dollars OR it can kill your business - DEAD!
Why is it so crucial? Given a choice of restaurant, which one would you enter? The one with entrance under construction, bizarre color scheme and hand written menu? Or one with an immaculately dressed host standing in doorway welcoming you to a table where even color of menu coordinates with rest of decor which is, well, just right?
Lesson: first impression has tremendous IMPACT on how visitors to your site perceive it from there on. The exit is only a click away for unimpressed!
Take a minute to review my story and see if it rings a bell with you. Above all, learn a VERY important lesson:
I started on internet about a year ago full of enthusiasm to get my first web site up and running. I dabbled with FrontPage. The first results were encouraging - so I thought. Then I started noticing other web sites out there - professional ones. Hmmm. Now I was not quite so content. Compared to some other sites I saw, whole thing began to look rather 'amateurish'. After countless frustrating hours fiddling with various programs, kicking computer and feeling more and more frustrated, my site still looked like work of a greenhorn!
I liked color scheme of black, red and orange for some reason. After a couple of months some thoughtful person who had visited my site sent a brief message: "Sorry to say, I could hardly read a word on your site! Your body text is orange, one of worst choices you can make!" I was shocked. The page looked so nice in my Internet Explorer window. So orange was a big mistake! Time for a redesign.
OK. Off we go again. I changed colors to red and grey with body text in a dark grey. Very smart I thought. After hours and hours laying out many pages and formatting paragraphs I was well pleased with results. I came across a copy of Netscape's browser and decided to install it to see how my site looked to a large chunk of internet community who did not use Internet Explorer. HORROR! What a mess! The page that looked good in IE4 was totally disjointed in Netscape. The paragraphs were all uneven and tables didn't even line up. Picasso would have been proud!
My dissatisfaction was growing. On top of that, I read a comment from a savvy internet entrepreneur who said there was only one design program he was aware of which delivered clean html code which looked good in all browsers. Which one? Dreamweaver from Macromedia. Gulp! You mean I had spent last four months sweating with FrontPage only to be told that design program of choice is a different one? Could I stomach another sharp and tedious learning curve?
Around this time I received an interesting offer from a guy named Micah Cranman. He owns a web design firm, Sybren Design and is also a subscriber to my ezine The High Achievers Journal. He had taken a look at my site and suggested a total reorganization. I was skeptical. After all, I had given birth to this thing, we were bonded, it was mine! Anyway, his offer sounded good so I accepted.