8 Tips for Designing a Great Website Copyright 2004 by Ivana Katz
3. Provide an easy to use navigation system.
This is one of the most important issues to consider when designing a website. You need to ensure your visitors can find what they are looking for easily. Most websites either display their navigation bar on the left or at the top. And since most people are used to this type of navigation, it’s best to stick with it.
It also helps to include your navigation bar at the bottom of each page to save your visitors from having to scroll back to the top.
4. Don’t go overboard on special effects
Whilst it is ok to have one or two special effects to jazz up your website, spinning graphics and logos often distract your visitor from the content, not to mention they can take too long to download. Your visitors may click away even before your spinning logo finishes loading.
Ensure your visitors can read the text on the background, ie. no black writing on dark blue background or yellow on white. Also be careful that your links are visible before and after being visited. The default for links in most programs is blue (before being visited) and burgundy (after being visited), so if you have a dark background, ensure your links are light.
6. External Links
It is a good idea to open links to other websites in a new window. That way your visitors can easily return to your site when they are finished browsing the external link
7. Site Map & Search Feature
If you website is more than 15 pages, it is useful to have a site map or a “Search” feature to ensure your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.
8. Content is King
While it is important that your website looks clean and professional, it is far more important that you concentrate your efforts on the content and promotion.
If you want a professional website, things to stay away from include:
1. Flash intros, revolving globes, beveled line separators, animated mail boxes
2. Loads of pop up or pop under boxes
3. Autoplay music. Allow your customer to play music only if they choose.
4. Hit counters of the free variety, which say “you are 27th visitor”
5. Date and time stamps, unless your website is updated daily or weekly
6. Busy backgrounds.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and get yourself focused on what to include on the website and the best way to promote it. We will cover these topics in future articles.
About the Author:
Ivana Katz is the owner of Websites 4 Small Business, a company specializing in the design and promotion of small and home-based business websites. She believes that every business deserves to have a successful website, no matter what its budget is. For more information visit
www.web4business.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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