Return to Basics

If you have your website done by a non-professional, you may end up paying the price later on. There are many fine details that determine whether your website is perceived as a site that attracts visitors or just sits out in the far reaches of cyberspace.

Right now 50% of website viewers still have screens under 15 inches. You want to have the size of your webpage fit their screen size. People are reluctant to scroll over. Although a webpage that is 1080 pixels looks fantastic on a 17 or 19-inch monitor, the average person still has to scroll across to read all of the information.

The front page needs to come in fast, less than 10 seconds is great and no more than 30 seconds (as of July 2004, 51% of the U.S. connects to the internet through high speed -broadband). To keep the file size down, try to have only one or two pictures on the opening page. It is best if the total file size for the front page is between 60 and 80k. Donít make your front page very long. Ideally, everything should fit in the first screen shot. If that is not possible, do not have your visitors click on the scroll bar more than once. Statistics show that less than 10% of web surfers will click on the scrollbar three times.

Be sure to include your contact information on every page so that no matter which page an incoming visitor lands on, they do not have to dig around for your telephone number. Include your business name, phone and fax number, email address, physical and/or mailing address and your hours of operation.

Be sure that your navigation is simple and easy to use. It doesnít matter whether you use graphic buttons or text links for your navigation, but it is very important that you are consistent and use the same type of navigation for each page. Many website designers like to use frames as an easy way to organize a website. This can interfere with the search engines making them unable to register your website. You can use frames sparingly on the inside pages.

There are now so many websites in cyberspace, we are a visual society. You must catch the visitor with their first impression, or they will be off to the next website. Visual quality ensures interest and allows your business message to be seen.