Make sure that your web site loads fast, in the space of time a user has to wait for your website to load they will have lost interest and be looking elsewhere. Ideally your site should not take longer than 15 seconds to load, if the site takes longer than this reduce waiting time by avoiding Flash Intro’s and minimising the amount of large images you have.
Make sure that your site can be viewed on computers of all kinds of resolution, the best method being to ensure that you website is designed in terms of percentage not pixels. Further to this make sure your site is browser compatible; ensuring that it looks good on different browsers such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.
Once a website has uploaded a visitor must be able to clearly navigate through it. Use a homepage or site map for users to refer back to, make sure that important links are prominent on the homepage allowing the user to move between them quickly and without hassle. Ensure that all information can be accessible from all parts of the site by having a static menu or a footer containing important links.
Do not overcrowd your website with information; visitors will be intimidated when swamped with lots of data. Present the information in a readable format and font choosing a professional colour scheme that suites the business of the website. When choosing a font try to use a common one such as Arial or Verdana, if you use one that is not available on the visitor’s computer then the text will turn to your computers default font. Along with unprofessional font’s try to avoid cluttering your site with images and impractical design, keep your site neat and simple.
Always check and then double check that there are no broken links in your site before you upload it to your web server. Dreamweaver provides a tool for checking them, if you don’t have Dreamweaver then once your site is uploaded then check it using an online tool.
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Article Author: This article was provided by Patty Frito, a graphic and web designer in Fairfax, Northern Virginia.