If you soon plan to develop a new website, or if you have an existing one, it’s necessary that you understand the attributes and characteristics that can make or break the effectiveness of your online presence and brand. An unattractive or poorly built website will do more to hurt your online presence than to help it.
Website & Web Page Purpose
A good web design always caters to the needs of the user. Each page of your website needs to have a specific purpose & message. It must fill the need for your website users in the most effective way possible. Minimize mixing messages or topics on any one page. Keep separate topics or messages on their own pages, or create separate visual sections on a webpage with their own topics.
Organized for Good Communication
People reading on the web tend to want information quickly. So it is important to communicate clearly, and to make your information easy to read and digest. Some effective features to include in your web design include:
- Organizing information using headlines and sub headlines.
- Using bullet points instead of long winded sentences.
- Each page or page section keeps to one topic.
Short Load Time
Everyone hates a website that takes a long time to load. Tips to make page load times more effective include:
- Optimizing image sizes (size and scale).
- Do not use very high resolution images. Their data density requires more load time.
In general, Sans Serif fonts such as Arial and Verdana are easier to read online. Sans Serif fonts are contemporary looking fonts without decorative finishes of Serif fonts such as Times New Roman. The good font size for reading easily online is 15 – 16 point.
By placing content randomly on each web page, you can end up with a haphazard appearance that is unattractive and not functional. Grid based layouts arrange content into sections, columns and boxes that line up and feel balanced. Doing so leads to a better looking website design.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Choosing the right images for your website can help with branding and in connecting with your target audience. If you don’t have high quality professional photos on hand, consider purchasing stock photos to lift the look of your website. Also consider using videos and other graphics. All of these can be much more effective at communicating than even the most well written piece of text.
It is now very common to access websites from multiple devices with multiple screen sizes. This includes tablets and smartphones. So, it is important to consider that your website is mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly:
- You can either rebuild it in a responsive layout. This means your website will adjust to different screen widths and platforms.
- You can build a dedicated mobile website. That would be a separate website optimized specifically for mobile users.
Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
There are hundreds of rules and guidelines for effective search engine optimization. However, this is not the place to cover them all. To start, follow these simple rules:
- Use your important keywords frequently and appropriately in your written content.
- Leverage your links. Make them descriptive and use your keywords in the link text.
- Add links to other websites.
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