Excellent web design is central to your website’s success. An effective design can expand your client base and increase profitability. Conversely, if the design is poor, it would repel the users even if you have wonderful products and service.

Consider the following dos and don’ts when designing your website to turn it into a profit center for your business:

Top 10 Dos of website design

1. Do simplify onsite search and navigation. It should be easy to search information on you site. All pages also need to have the key links to information that would enhance the user experience. Any useful information should not be more that two or three clicks away else you risk losing the user. You would ensure repeat visits from your customers if you save them time by offering fast navigation and speedy access to information they are looking for.

2. Do keep your website content simple and easy to understand. Develop clear, effective and to-the-point content to capture customer attention and help them comprehend better what you have to offer. Develop content such that it keys in on customer problems and offers effective solutions to them.

3. Do give your site a consistent look and feel. Creating a consistent look and feel for your whole website through the use of similar fonts, colors and layouts is a must to give it a professional look. This is especially important with regards to the interlinked pages.

4. Do make sure your website works well on multiple browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer, for greatest impact. If you plan to make your site available on mobile phones then include testing on mobile browsers to your test plan.

5. Do include your contact information on every page. List your physical address including other contact information like phone and email on the ‘Contact Us’ page. It is also important to list phone and email at the bottom of each page for easy accessibility.

6. Do ensure that each page has the most relevant information at the top of the page so that the user knows precisely what the page is about and if they want to scroll down or not.

7. Do use high-quality pictures and graphics. Keep a good balance between the image resolution and time to load them. High quality graphics will attract users but would be a turn off if they take too long to load.

8. Do use bullets, icons, boldface and italicized words, color and headline to attract customer attention to crucial segments of your content.

9. Do make sure that your security and privacy policy are easily visible to customers and stated in clear terms. Take all important steps to make your website secure for customers.

10. Do use clear and concise page titles. Site visitors see web page title in search results and clear effective titles can considerably increase the traffic coming to your website.

Top 10 Don’ts of website design

1. Don’t clutter your website. Unorganized web pages are hard to read and navigate. Limit the amount of information you present on each page. Each page should preferably deal with only one topic, product or category.

Any advertisement on the web pages must be non intrusive else the site visitors would leave and most likely not return for a repeat visit.

2. Don’t make excessive use of bandwidth consuming audio and video features, such as graphics, animations and photos. These can make your pages slow to load, annoying the customers and deterring website usage.

3. Don’t use text and color combination that makes content difficult to read. Additionally, don’t include distracting visuals on your web pages.

4. Don’t add any information or features to the site that do not serve the expected purpose. It would be a waste of time for your visitors to use features or browse information that does not carry any meaning for them.

5. Don’t let the content of the links get stale. Periodically refresh the content and update the links to relevant information. Out-of-date links are annoying and can seriously affect your business reputation.

6. Don’t stuff the site with technical terms or jargon unless your website is designed to address the needs of a small segment of technical people. Moreover, do not use conflicting information in your site. In addition to confusing customers, such information gives a highly negative and unprofessional image to your website.

7. Don’t use flashing icons and text as that can distract browsers and may be detrimental to the popularity of your website.

8. Don’t fill up your web pages with advertisements. Also, keep a check on pop-ups as they can irritate prospects.

9. Don’t include introductory advertisements on the first page before your web content is displayed. Such advertisements put customers in a sore mood even before they see your content.

10. Don’t just brag about your company’s achievements. Provide your users easy to digest information and back it up with references and customer testimonials to permit them to judge your performance.

Follow the dos and stay away from the don’ts to design an effective website, and greatly increase the probability of successful web entrepreneurship.

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