In Order that your Website performs at its optimal best to serve the purpose you intended for it in the first place it is important that you pay extra attention to every minute detail within its Design.
I have laid down here five very important ‘rules of thumb’ that you should implement to ensure your Website performs at its best.
1. Have clear and simple navigation
It is most important that you provide a straightforward and uncomplicated navigation menu. It should be so simple that even a young child would be able to master it.
It is recommended that your visitors should be able to reach your main content by only having to click to 3 levels - e.g. Home>Articles>Web DesignArticles (this is good for the Search Engines too)
It is a good idea to stay away form multitiered drop-down menus and complicated Flash based menusIf the Visitors to your site have difficulty in navigating or they become frustrated because your site navigation is so complicated they will leave your site very quickly.
2. You and Your Visitors should have a clear indication where they are are on your site.
When visitors click on your Domain you want them to become deeply engrossed in browsing throughout your site.
However it is important that both they and you know exactly which part of your site they are in at any given point in time. If navigation to the various Areas of your site is clear your visitors will be able to reach the information they are looking for easily. This means they will stay longer and come back again often. Your visitors won’t ‘abandon ship’ if you don’t confuse them.
3. Splash pages are a NO NO!
What are ‘Splash Pages’? They are those beautiful pages you see when you first visit some websites. They perhaps have an attractive image and often words like ‘Enter here’ or ‘Welcome’.
They serve no real purpose and waste a busy surfer’s time. Splash Pages are likely to give your potential visitors a reason to promptly click on the “back” button.
It is far wiser to give your potential site browsers real value ‘up front’ and forego the pretty but unnecessary Splash Page.
4. Banner Advertisements should not be used excessively
Banner Adverts speak ‘you will have to pay me something’ and even the most inept of Internet users have learned to ignore them. They take up valuable space and you will be wasting that space if you use them even though they can look attractive at times.
It is far more valuable to provide good quality content and then interlace that content with your desired and relevant links.
This way your Visitors will not feel they are being pushed to buy but instead will have the feeling that they have made the decision to buy for themselves.
5. Be very careful when using audio on your site or avoid it altogether
I am aware that the use of audio and video on a website is becoming more and more popular. However if you want your visitors to remain a long time browsing on your site and spend time reading your content you must ensure that they are not being annoyed by some audio going on and on, monotonously looping round and round. This aggravation is sure to drive them quickly away.
If you feel it is right to use audio make sure that your Visitors have control over whether they have to listen or not - If you provide muting or volume controls they can make that decision for themselves.