Designing a website is a long and complex process. The details to be considered may seem countless and the list of to do’s virtually endless. But there are some design and development items that are more important than the rest. And while you work on your web page, make sure you keep an eye out on some really essential details.
There may be no sure shot recipe to developing the best website, but there are common elements consistently present in websites that have landed the top spots and help with conversions. So it will really pay to take inspiration from them and follow after their best practices.
Below are some important elements that may land you a spot at the top web pages.
Creative visual design
Any website that’s not pleasing to the eye will automatically drive traffic away. Good visual design is basic in any web page. Keep it updated, clean, and simple. The saying ‘less is more’ is best applied to web design. The public’s impression on your site says so much about your business as a whole.
Functional user interface
Consider your average web user, and make sure the navigation around your site is easy to understand for your target market. Make everything easy to find; eliminate every possibility for confusion. Browsers jump from one site to another, and chances are they won’t sweat it out if they can’t navigate their way around you page.
Also, make sure your web page has everything that may interest your target audience—do research on what they would most likely look for, what catches their attention, and what they would find amusing enough to pass on to their friends.
Duplicate navigation at the footer
It is important to repeat your web’s navigation keys at the footer. This is very important to help browsers easily find what they need. Users often slide vertically through a page from top to bottom, and having the same navigation keys below maybe strategic to your business. I know this is highly debatable right now due to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates and the fact that having duplicate links may cause issues with your SEO efforts, but in terms of usability and conversation optimisation, I still holds water.
Eye catching and visually pleasing design may only take you so far, your web page needs to have meaningful content to educate and inform your users. Web copies must be short and straight to the point, and communicate well what your brand and business is all about.
If your site is heavy on blogging, make sure your content is informative and updated. But don’t oversell yourself; be discreet and sincere about it.
Clear contact information
Ultimately, all your efforts to design a winning web page, and build meaningful content will go to waste if your prospective client can’t find a clear way to contact you. There’s nothing more irritating for your market than to want to consider doing business with you, but can’t find a way to get in touch.
Make sure your contact details provide at least two contact numbers, an email address, and when possible the business address. And then, make sure you respond promptly to inquiries and questions.
Cross browser compatibility
Not all users are into Firefox, your clients may be using another browser. Make sure your web page displays well across different browsers like Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer 6, and other mainstream web browsers. Not to mention that more people today are moving away from using PC and turning to Mac. So make sure your site is compatible to both platforms.
Optimize images for web use
Make sure you compress your images when you save them for the web. It has to be small enough for better functionality yet retain its good quality for viewing. Print work would require a much higher resolution, but this is not the case with the web. You need to consider quicker download time for your viewers. Images that take forever to download will most likely turn away users.
Certain software have ‘Save for Web’ options that automatically save and convert images for web use. This option preserves the quality of the images while making them download much faster.
Track your standing
There are a lot of groups that offer services to track your standing online. Essential information will be supplied to you regularly. Information like your web hits, unique visitor count, most visited page, and how users found your site.
Make sure you consider these elements while planning, designing, and developing your web page.