Stick to Your Subject
Don’t try to please everyone. Always have your goal in mind. Designing a website can be fun and also challenging. However, your reason for designing a site should not be to win awards or to make it look attractive. The site should accomplish its intended goal. It is important to have the goal of your site in writing before starting the design work. This will help you align your design with the overall objective.
First Impressions Count
What message are you sending out to your customers? The homepage of your website should clearly describe your site. This page should not be too cluttered. Use interesting graphics and inviting text to lure your visitors to go deeper into the website. If you want to appear as a serious business, purchase your own domain name. Avoid using free hosting services.
Design Sites, Not Pages
Your main concern should be the overall design of the website. When you design a website from scratch, you need to create a design which has a consistent feel and look, makes sense to users and can be easily extended in future. A consistent web design differentiates professional sites from amateur ones.
Make Navigation Easy
Visitor should find it easy to navigate from one page to another in your website. It is vital to link in a well thought out, consistent manner so as to help users navigate. Make sure the links to your pages are clear. If you are selling products or services, make it very easy for visitors to buy. Display your business name, email address, phone number, and address on every page. Encourage customers to get in touch with their comments and questions. Include links to other websites when necessary.
Market Your Site
Make sure that the URL of your website is on all company letter heads, business cards, phone systems and brochures. Consider banner advertising and swap links with related websites. List your website with the leading search engines. Be sure to read their submission conditions first.
Keep Your Site Current
Give people a reason to visit, revisit and recommend your pages. For your website to be successful, it needs to be rich in relevant, current and helpful content. You could offer regular articles that would be interesting and helpful to visitors, or have occasional attention-grabbing events. Your visitors are likely to be attracted by the words ‘Free’ and ‘Discount’. If you use these words, make sure you are offering something valuable.
Ask users about your website. Create a survey and offer rewards to the people who respond. Ask your friends to visit the site and let them share what they think about it. Their responses can offer valuable input concerning what needs to be improved. Always look for ways of improving your site. Keep doing market research and subscribe to professional E-zines. Find out what your competitors are doing well. Always ask for feedback from relatives, customers and friends. This will help you see your website from a very different perspective.