Website Design: Do’s and Don’ts

When designing a website your choices may seem staggeringly endless. But how do you decide what makes a website work and work well? It’s not all about snazzy, sexy design. It’s about functionality.

Thou shall not use…

Under Construction Pages: A website should only go live once it’s done. If you’re just sprucing up your completed website, then just post a last updated date.

Page Counters or Framesets: Both just make your website more complicated!

Chat Rooms: Does anyone you know chat in chat rooms? The answer is probably no, right? The only good reason to use chat rooms is if you have thousands of visitors a month and if it’s a subject worth chatting about.

Flash Intros: They may look cool, but it’s best to only use Flash intros in special situations.
New Browsers or Special Plug-ins: Should only be used if your website is on a must-see list; otherwise, you are limiting your audience. With CSS and HTML, you can create great- looking pages without the fuss.


Thou shall use…

Relevant Titles: One of the most important qualities of a web page is its page title because people pay attention to them. If your website is about dogs, your title should be along the lines of: ‘How to take care of dogs.’

Consistent Structure: Web pages should be consistent throughout because people not only like consistency, but also expect it. Windows and Mac programs all have the same look and feel… consistency!

Site Map Pages: They make it easier to find information on your website and site map pages are also good to help search engines crawl your website content. Include a page with text links to all of the website’s sub-pages that are organized in proper categories.

Custom 404 ‘Page Not Found’ Pages: Design your own page, rather than relying on web servers. Tell visitors that they have found the right website, but not the right page and include links to the homepage or the site map page.

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