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Website Design Dos and Don’ts  for a Successful Online Presence
 

Website Design Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Online Presence

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My presentation on dos and don'ts for a successful website presented at the Asbury Park Press on October 29th, 2009.

My presentation on dos and don'ts for a successful website presented at the Asbury Park Press on October 29th, 2009.

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    Website Design Dos and Don’ts  for a Successful Online Presence Website Design Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Online Presence Presentation Transcript

    • Website Design Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Online Presence Brad Williams WebDevStudios.com
    • Who Am I?
    • Brad Williams CEO & Co-Founder, WebDevStudios.com Organizer NJ WordPress Meetup Co-Host SitePoint Podcast Advisor SitePoint Forums Co-Author of Professional WordPress (March 2010) Who Am I?
      • Dos and Don’ts for website design
      • Tips on selecting a development company
      • Online resources
      Topics
      • Use hierarchy (pages and sub-pages) where appropriate
      • Use dropdowns to save precious space
      • Don’t clutter your top level menu items
      DO: Create easy to use navigation
    • DO: Create easy to use navigation Menu dropdown expands horizontally to maximize space Menu dropdown shows page hierarchy
    • DO: Create easy to use navigation Website utilizes both horizontal and vertical menus Vertical menu showing page hierarchy
      • Web safe fonts are fonts supported by all major browsers and operating systems
      • Guarantees your visitors see what you see
      • Avoid any font licensing issues
      DO: Use web safe fonts
    • DO: Use web safe fonts
      • Internet Explorer 6/7/8
      • Firefox 2/3/3.5
      • Chrome 2/3
      • Safari 3/4
      • Opera 9/10
      DO: Test your website in ALL browsers Great free resource: http://browsershots.org
    • DO: Test your website in ALL browsers Using Internet Explorer 8
    • DO: Test your website in ALL browsers Using Chrome 3
      • Don’t make it a challenge to contact you
      • Majority of traffic is looking for contact info
      DO: Make contact info very accessible
    • DO: Make contact info very accessible Contact information is easily found in the header And in the footer on every page of the website Source: http://www.lesliecatorealtor.com/home.asp
      • Sitemap contains links to all of your website pages
      • Helps navigating your site and finding resources easier
      • Used by search engines to find new pages to index
      DO: Create a website sitemap
    • DO: Create a website sitemap
    • DO: Create a website sitemap
    • DO: Create a website sitemap <url> <loc>http://webdevstudios.com/</loc> <lastmod>2009-02-05T04:43:39+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>daily</changefreq> <priority>1.0</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://webdevstudios.com/contact/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-09T13:55:24+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> <priority>0.6</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://webdevstudios.com/questions/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-08T19:02:23+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> <priority>0.6</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://webdevstudios.com/support/wordpress-plugins/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-07T13:19:32+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> <priority>0.6</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://webdevstudios.com/support/wordpress-plugins/nextgen-public-uploader/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-05T23:24:52+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> <priority>0.6</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://webdevstudios.com/support/</loc> <lastmod>2009-09-26T13:56:39+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> <priority>0.6</priority> </url> Sitemap protocol: http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.php
      • Don’t move elements on each page
      • Keep navigation and other elements in the same spot throughout your website
      • Visitors expect all elements to appear in the same spot, don’t confuse them
      DO: Keep element placement consistent
      • Create good custom content related to your business
      • Will help generate new traffic and possible leads
      • Create at minimum 1 new post per week
      • Easiest/cheapest form of online marketing
      DO: Create a blog and use it
      • WordPress.com
      • Blogger.com
      • LiveJournal.com
      DO: Create a blog and use it Free blogging services:
    • DO: Create a blog and use it
    • DONT: Use flash
      • Search engines have trouble reading flash
      • Flash is not installed on every computer
      • Flash is not supported by most cell phones
      Hindering navigation will result in lost traffic * Flash banners used correctly can be effective
    • Your flash website on my iPhone
    • DONT: Use flash Adobe has an extensive list of flash supported mobile devices http://www.adobe.com/mobile/supported_devices/ If you use flash make sure to offer a non-flash alternative
    • DONT: Have a splash screen
      • Avoid extra clicks to enter your website
      • Visitors don’t want to see a preview of your website, they want to see your website
      • Could hinder search engines from accessing your site
      • Screams 1990s
    • DONT: Have a splash screen Source: http://www.bwaslotcars.com/
    • DONT: Play music on your website
      • Music eats up valuable bandwidth, slowing your website load speeds
      • Perceived as very amateur
      • Visitors can be startled by music and will leave your website because of this
    • DONT: Host your own videos
      • Videos eat up bandwidth and require a fast server and connection to load quickly
      • Nobody wants to wait for a video to buffer
      • Using a video hosting site doubles your videos footprint
      • Recommended video hosting sites:
      • http://youtube.com
      • http://vimeo.com
      • http://viddler.com
      • http://revver.com
    • DONT: Use a crazy background
      • Background images should be very subtle and not too busy
      • Navigation and content can be lost in your background
      • Very distracting for visitors drawing their attention away from more important elements
    • DONT: Use a crazy background Background overwhelms website design
    • DONT: Use a crazy background Background compliments website design
    • DONT: Use animated images
      • If they charge per page: RUN!
      • Demand a CMS (Content Management System)
      • Ask about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques used
      • Look at work examples, case studies, client lists, and references
      • Search them on Google, Facebook, and Twitter
      Tip on selecting a website dev firm:
      • Website Resources
        • http://browsershots.org
        • http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.php
        • http://www.adobe.com/mobile/supported_devices/
        • http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/
      • Blogging Sites
        • http://wordpress.com
        • http://blogger.com
        • http://livejournal.com
      • Video Hosting Sites
        • http://youtube.com
        • http://vimeo.com
        • http://viddler.com
        • http://revver.com
      Resources
    • Brad Williams [email_address] Blog: strangework.com Twitter: @williamsba Everywhere else: williamsba Contact