The Top 10 webSite Design Dont's
By Stephen Fasenfeld
Last month I was sitting on a plane coming back from Cincinatti
in the USA to Ireland after having been at an Internet marketing
seminar. Instead of catching up on my reading and the ton of information
I learned, I struck up a conversation with my neighbor who was called
Sam. He told me he had just graduated from college and was intending
on setting up a web design business.
I hesitated for a second, not knowing if I should tell him what
I did, but I went ahead anyway...
He was stunned.
So why am I telling you all this. Simple really.
The most interesting question Sam asked me was what I considered
to be the Top 10 Web Design Dont's. This is what we concluded from
our brain storming session..........
It seems obvious, yet many, many webpages contain spelling and grammatical
errors. There is nothing more unprofessional than poor grammar and
misspelled words in the content of your site. At best visitors will
think that you pay no attention to details, and at worst they will
think that you're illiterate.
- Don't ignore the 10 second test.
Don't let your page take longer than 10 seconds to load.This
is critical when designing your website. Remember that you only
have a few seconds to capture a visitor's interest and attention
- and you can't even attempt to do that if your pages take more
than a few seconds to load.
There's rarely a need for a page to be over 25k in total size.
If your pages must be over 25k in size use multiple tables to
break up your text and images.
There are several things you can do to ensure that your pages
load as quickly as possible. It all starts with using the fastest
webserver that you can find, but in terms of designing your
webpages here a few tips not to do:
- Don't use "Welcome to My Site"
Phrases like "Welcome to My Site", repetition of your company
name and other self-serving statements only cloud your message
and are of no interest to your visitor. Your home page and virtually
every other page on your site should begin with a compelling,
stimulating, interest-generating, headline or opening equivalent
that tells your viewers "what's in it for me if I read this
"Welcome to My Site" comes across as amateurish. The point here
is that to bear in mind that you have a limited amount of space
on your page. Put into operation the AIDA principal. Create
Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.Don't take up precious
real estate that could be better utilized for benefit-related
- Don't use Large Useless Graphics
Very few sites need many graphics on their site, just a few
to get their point across. I recently went my banks site and
it took forever to download, I didn't have the time to hang
around. Considering that they are trying to move everybody to
a paperless society, it is rather ironic that they keep us waiting.
While you don't need the fanciest graphics in the world, you
will need to incorporate at least a few of them into your webpages.
At the very least you should include your company name or logo
somewhere in every page - usually as part of a header or footer.
Rather than using free or generic clip art graphics, spend some
time learning to create your own - or hire a graphic designer.
- Don't spend too much time talking about yourself.
Over Use of "We, Our, Us, My, Me, Mine" and Your Company Name.These
are self-serving words that turn off readers. Instead, you should
use words like "you" and "your."
Visitors care about themselves not about you, they only want
to know how you can help them - so don't waste too much time
talking about yourself or blowing your own trumpet.
Tell the visitor exactly how they will benefit from exploring
your site, and by taking the action that you want them to take.
The last thing you want to do is start out a webpage by talking
about yourself. Do however talk about yourself on your Contact
Us Page. There will be a lot of people who want to find out
more about you.
- Don't use"Under Construction" Signs/Notices
Don't ever use an "Under Construction" logo: If it's under construction,
then don't put it up. It looks foolish.It just wastes your visitors
time and could possibly frustrate or annoy them. Every page
on your site should have a purpose or reason why it's there.
- Every page should also have a "call to action" - -- what you
want the visitor to do after reading the information. If you
do insist on putting up your site even if it is not ready, give
the visitor a freebie to get their email address, sop you can
contact them when the site is ready.
- Don't send visitors away with offsite links in prime locations.
If you owned a bricks and mortar shop would you send them away
the moment they arrived. When a potential customer arrives,
why give that person an immediate opportunity to leave and never
return? No, of course you wouldn't. The webis the same.
Unless your primary income is derived from selling advertising,
don't send visitors away with links to other sites - especially
not in prime locations like at the top of your main page. It's
one thing to swap links or banner ads with a small number of
strategic partners but don't put them at the top of your pages
where it's the first thing a visitor will see.
If you must link externally, do it on a page that's buried deep
in your site that can only be accessed after viewing the important
pages on your site.
- Don't forget to test your site with other webbrowsers.
A couple of years ago Netscape Navigator was the leading webbrowser,
not any more though. Internet Explorer has practically stolen
the market. 95% of visitors who come to my sites use Internet
Explorer.It is still advisable though to see what your screen
looks like through different browsers.
Some people will be using smaller monitors which will make your
site look very different. Bear that in mind when designing your
site.Never make any of your pages wider than 600 pixels - horizontal
scrolling is unacceptable.
- Don't forget to track your site and analyze your traffic.
Tracking your visitors and pages viewed gives you a great indicator
of what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.Your
website isn't up to scratch if it doesn't do it's job.
The only way you're going to be able to tell is if you track
your site using a comprehensive site tracking system. Your website
is the heart of your online presence, and knowing how people
use it -- or don't use it -- is the only way to make it even
- Don't forget to proofread and spell check your entire site.
Before you launch your website for the entire world to see, be sure
to run every page through a spell checker. And if your writing skills
aren't the best, have someone who is qualified to do so proofread
your site. Remember, for most of your visitors your website is the
only thing they will have to form an impression of you and your
Your copy is a reflection on your professionalism (or lack of it),
your attention to detail (or lack of it) and your commitment to
excellence (or lack of it.) Why give visitors any reason to doubt
you? Use spelling and grammar checkers to make sure your copy is
If you have just half an hour spare when designing your site try
putting into operation 50% of the above points, you will see a dramatic
increase in people returning to your site and enjoying the experience
and ultimately buying your product if you are selling a product.
Even if you are not selling a product, you want people to stay and
not leave the moment they arrive. Try it, give it a go and you will
be amazed at the results.
See how Stephen Fasenfeld designs a website from the ground up right
before your very eyes watching audio and video tutorials. In less
than 10 minutes you can see the same secrets he has used to show
over 6,800 people in the last 6 months how to design their own website.
Check out ==> http://www.121dreamweavertutorial.com/
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