Many people think that a flashy website looks great to the eye and thus attracts more visitors, however this is only if they have fast internet connections. Many successful websites try keeping things simple so that the majority of people can get their desired information. Outlined below are some helpful tips to keep your website simple and clean.
Don’t neglect cascading style sheets. Using a style sheet makes it easy to give all pages of your site the same look and feel. It also reduces the file size of your pages, as the CSS file can be accessed once on the server and then from the user’s local cache thereafter.
Don’t disable the visitor’s right-click functionality. Some sites do this in order to prevent people from copying and pasting text or saving images from the site. The thing is, it doesn’t work and disables other useful functions. OCR can be used to capture text from such sites, and grabbing images is as simple as taking a screenshot.
Use ALT tags whenever possible. These helpful tags describe an image to a viewer, assisting the visually impaired, as well as those who prefer to browse without images. As an added bonus, some search engines include these tags in their rankings, so you may get a boost by using them.
Test your website before it goes live. There’s nothing worse then launching your new website and having to take it down right away due to bugs or other issues. Get a group of people together who are using different web browsers and computer platforms, and ask them to use a beta version of your website, writing down any issues they come across.
Use images wisely. Bitmap images do not tend to fare well for internet use, and some GIFs do not work well with lots of color. Image size is important as well, as larger images may make your viewers have to wait for them to download. Choose smaller images, and use them sparingly to make your site more manageable.
To help you design a more professional looking site, do not include an image in the page background. A background image screams low quality site, plus these site usually take forever to load. When you are going for a more professional look, the last thing you want is your visitors waiting forever because images are still loading on your pages.
If you have several pages on your web site, use a navigation bar at the top to help visitors find the information they need right away. Include contact information, so they can speak with you if they’d like. Headings should be clear and visible, and paragraphs should be concise as well as easy to read.
Do not use blinking, scrolling text or other animations. Also, steer clear of sounds or music that plays automatically. All of these things are distracting to users and provide nothing of value. In addition, connection speeds vary from one site visitor to the next, and everyone does not have the same speed. Those users with slower connections will resent the slow-loading elements of your site.
As mentioned earlier, flash websites are visually attractive, but the load times are not worth it. Find an even balance between flashy and simple. The tips above can help you achieve that goal.