by: Stefan Mischook of www.killersites.com
Web site designers today have plenty of options in terms of tools
and technologies they can use to build their web pages. Many questions
come up: should we use Flash, do we need database driven web pages,
did we need a shopping cart for our e-commerce web site etc ...
This article takes a step back and deals with some of the fundamental
questions/issues in web site design.
1. Do not use framesets in your web sites: They are not required
in most cases and framesets will kill you with search engines.
2. Do not use a 'heavy' background in your web pages that distracts
the user from what you are trying to present to them and makes
the text hard to read. Remember what you are trying to do with
your website, and I think for most, it is not trying to impress
people with some tacky background tile. Keep it easy to read;
there is a reason why solid colored text on a solid colored backgrounds
are used often on web pages and in print.
3. Use sharp clear pictures: This is really important, a good
looking web page can be made with just one clear sharp image and
at the same time, the best looking web page can be made to look
bad with just one crappy image.
4. Get sharp clear copy of your logo: If you are a company, you
want to look professional so that people have confidence in giving
you their money, a crappy looking logo isn’t going to do
5. Avoid the IE page transitions: IE (Internet Explorer) can create
many special effects, things like page transitions (page wipes
etc …) are tempting and may be suitable sometimes, but for
99% of web sites they are not.
6. Avoid the flying text: Again the decision whether or not to
do this has much to do with the content of your web pages, but
it should be clear that for most websites this would not be a
7. If you are trying to sell something, having live credit card
processing will increase your sales substantially. Sometimes when
people want to start selling online they avoid the perceived trouble
of hooking up with a credit card processing service because of
the programming required. This is a big mistake, studies have
clearly shown that web pages that provide credit card processing
in their e-commerce enabled web pages (web pages that sell stuff)
have much greater conversions.
Above all, make the web site pages no more than 60-70k (I shoot
for 50k) if you can, and keep things very simple so your clients
have an easy time finding things. You can help this along by strategically
making use of the browsers caching capabilities. In a nutshell;
web-browsers will reuse images that it has loaded. So (if for
example) if you have an image on your 1st page that you also use
on 2 other pages in your website, this image only gets downloaded
once by the browser and subsequent times the browser will automatically
load a copy of the image it has from its’ own cache. This
can really speed up things from the surfers point of view and
also saves you bandwidth.