The Birth of a Successful Internet Business --Designing Your Website
When preparing to design your website, you must
first decide on your website's focus.
If you're designing a mini-site, your website
should focus on one particular product. However,
content sites are a bit different. If you're
developing a content site, your site should focus
on a subject on which you have a great deal of
knowledge. And, should relate to your products or
services. In addition, your images, ezine and
content should also relate.
Designing Your Site
When you begin designing your site, your top
priority must be your products. If your potential
customers can't find your products, you're not going
to make any sales. It's that simple. Every part of
your website should have one specific purpose -- to
lead your potential customers to your products.
For example, if you will be providing your visitors
with tutorials, these tutorials should relate to
your products or services. They should identify a
problem, provide instruction to assist your visitors,
and promote your products as the solution.
The main page of your website is your storefront.
It should load quickly and provide your visitors with
a complete overview of everything your website offers.
Instead of trying to cram all of your information into
your main page, consider creating sections. These
sections can contain highlights of your information
with a link to further information. You can divide
your page into sections by using tables. These
tables can contain colored heading sections for
information such as news, articles, products or
whatever you'd like.
It's much better to keep your main page down to
the most essential elements. You can then use links
to additional pages to provide the detailed
information. A good rule of thumb is "less is more."
In other words, keep your main page as small as
possible, while at the same time, include your
most important elements.
According to two surveys conducted by Forrester
Research and Gartner Group, ecommerce sites are
losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue each year
due to customer click-away caused by slow loading
The main page of your website should load within
8 seconds or less with a 56K modem.
There are many things that can cause a web page
to load slowly including:
=> Large graphics => Too many graphics => Animated
graphics => Too many banners => Special Effects
=> Large pages
You can significantly decrease your site's load
time simply by optimizing your graphics. This
process will decrease your graphic's file size
without sacrificing the graphic's quality.
You can optimize your images right online. Visit
GifWorks for further information.
Enhancing Your Site
There are a number of ways you can enhance your
site without using a lot of graphics. For example,
if you can use the same small images such as bullets
or arrows, it will give the illusion that you're
using a lot of graphics. However, your graphic
will only have to load one time. This will
enable you to "recycle" your images to keep your
page's load time down, while at the same time,
enhancing your site's appearance.
In addition, you can enhance your site by using
tables with colored backgrounds instead of images.
If an image doesn't enhance your page in some way,
you'll be better off to just leave it out.
If you'd like to set up your web page using tables,
try to place your Heading text above your table
code. If this isn't possible, make sure you include
your most relevant keyword phrase within your top
left table cell. This will assist you in ranking
higher in the Search Engines.
When designing your site, keep in mind, your
visitors will have many different screen resolutions.
The resolution of a monitor refers to the total
number of pixels. The higher the resolution, the
greater the number of pixels. Higher resolutions
present higher quality images.
To accommodate the majority of your visitors, use
a standard screen resolution of 800x600 pixels.
Another way to ensure that your web page will look
great to all of your visitors is to set it up using
tables. Instead of using a fixed width within your
table code, use a percentage. This will enable your
web page to span a certain percentage of your
visitors' screen size. For example, if you set your
table width at 90%, your web page will automatically
resize and span 90% of your visitors' screen
size, no matter what screen resolution they're using.
Although there are an unlimited number of background
and text colors you could use for your web page,
a white background with black text will be your best
You must be very cautious when selecting your
background and text colors, as reading on a computer
screen is much more difficult than paper. You must make
your web page as easy to read as possible.
You can add color to your pages using tables with
Before you begin the actual design process, I highly
recommend that you download and install two web
browsers -- Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
These are the two most widely used browsers on the
Internet. Why download and install both browsers?
So you can view your pages through both browsers, as
they are not created equally. Your page might look
great when viewed through Internet Explorer, but
may not display well when viewed through Navigator.
It is very important that you take the time to
design your web pages to accommodate both browsers.
In addition, you can also visit AnyBrowser to view
how your site will look through different browsers
and screen resolutions. http://www.anybrowser.com
Above all else, your product must be your main focus.
Your product should be displayed above the fold of
your web page. This is the top portion of your web
page that is visible when your page is first loaded,
without scrolling. This is the most important part
of your entire page -- use it wisely.
Take your time and plan your website very carefully.
There is much more to web design than meets the eye.
Do your homework and learn how to design a website
that sells. It will be well worth your time
Copyright © Shelley Lowery
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed
web design course, Web Design Mastery.
And, Ebook Starter - Give Your Ebooks the look
and feel of a REAL book.
Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a complimentary
subscription to Etips and receive a copy of the
acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet
Marketing Strategies." http://www.web-source.net
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