Top 10 Tips to a Great Website
Make Your Website Valuable to Your Visitors
There are no magic pills to create a great web page that everyone will visit again and again, but there are things you can do to help. Some key things to focus on are making the site as easy to use and user-friendly as possible. It should also load quickly and provide what the visitors want right up front.
The ten tips in this article will help you improve your web pages and make them something your visitors are interested in reading and passing on to others.
1. Keep your pages short, but not too short
You want the contents of your web page to give them what they want quickly, but provide enough detail for those who want expansion on the basics. Writing for the web is different from writing for print. People skim online, especially when they first get to a page.
2. Keep your focus on fast pages.
Speedy pages are always important. The thing about speed is that people only notice it when it's absent. No matter how fast the average connection is for your visitors, there is always more content, more data, more images, more everything for them to download.
3. Keep images small and use sprites whenever possible
Small images are about the download speed more than the physical size. Beginning web designers often create web pages that would be wonderful if their images weren't so large. It's not okay to take a photograph and upload it to your website without resizing it and optimizing it to be as small as possible (but no smaller).
CSS sprites are also a very important way to speed up your site images. If you have several images that are used across several pages on your site (such as your navigation icons or your logo), you can use sprites to cache the images so that they do not need to be re-downloaded on the second page your customers visit. Plus, with the images stored as one larger image, that reduces the HTTP requests for your page, which is a huge speed enhancement.
4. Keep links current.
It is important to use an HTML validator and link checker to help you check older pages for broken links. Broken links are another sign for many visitors (and search engines, too) that a site is not well- maintained. And why would anyone want to stick around on a site that even the owner doesn't care for? Unfortunately, link rot is something that happens without even noticing.
5. Check your spelling and grammar.
It may seem unfair, but people judge websites by the quality of the writing, and spelling and grammar errors are an obvious indicator of quality for many people. Many people are not tolerant of spelling errors. You can write a completely error free topic for years, and then have one simple “teh” instead of “the” and you will get irate emails from some customers, and many will give up in disgust without contacting you at all.
6. Use appropriate colors.
Remember that web pages are, by their very nature, international. Even if you intend your page for a specific country or locality it will be seen by other people. And so you should be aware of what the color choices you use on your web page are saying to people around the world. When you create your web color scheme keep in mind color symbolism.
7. Write as globally as you can.
As mentioned above, websites are global. So great websites acknowledge that. You should make sure that things like currencies, measurements, dates, and times are clear so that all your readers will know exactly what you mean.
8. Good navigation on your websites is critical
Navigation on your websites is what gets visitors around on the web page and the website. Long web pages can benefit from tables of contents using anchor links to help visitors get around. But you should also have good site-wide navigation.