Thursday, March 1, 2007

Webdesign don'ts

Your website is the life and soul of your Internet presence, if your website appears and acts unprofessional your company will seem unprofessional and people won't feel confident buying from you.

With that said webdesign is a complex issue and I could discuss it for days with you but for this article and for the moment anyway I'll concentrate on sharing the things you shouldn't do when it comes to designing your site as ultimately bad webdesign affects people more than good webdesign. These don'ts of webdesign are in point by point format.

Don't use frames. Frames are a thing of the past and are out of fashion, they mostly confuse visitors and they basically destroy your chances of getting good search engine traffic, not to mention the problems associated with bookmarking and printing pages that use frames.

Don't limit access to your site by requiring visitors to already have or download a certain plug-in, this is the same as increasing download time and most people won't bother to wait for the download, they'll just visit your competition instead.

Don't have scrolling pages which require the visitor to scroll sideways to see the whole page. This is so annoying to most visitors that they'll leave straight away. This happens when you design your site at a certain resolution and someone visits with a resolution lower than that. Design for a resolution of 640x480 if you want to be sure that your pages avoid having scroll bars. You're pretty safe however designing and maximizing your pages for an 800x600 resolution because most people nowadays surf in that resolution.

Don't annoy your visitors with blinking text, pages full of banners, continuous background music that slows down everything, pop-up windows, text that's hard to read because it's a similar color to the background etc. If you do annoy them you can bet they won't return.

Don't use under construction pages, you're only wasting peoples time if you direct them to a page that's not ready so never link to pages unless they're finished.

Don't make visitors wait, if people have to wait for a page to download because it's bogged down with too much graphics and other media they'll just leave.

Avoiding the above don'ts of webdesign will at least give you a chance of retaining visitors and maybe even have a few of them return.