Website design do’s and don’ts

Look, you’ve heard the expression, “You only get one chance
to make a first impression,” right? Well, it also holds true online as well. We’re going to talk about
avoiding the common mistakes in your website design
that can actually drive visitors away. We’ll cover how to make sure
your pages load faster, making your site
is more mobile-friendly, improving general accessibility and also improving
the quality of your content. Right, first you need speed. Internet users aren’t famous
for patience, and if your page takes too long to load,
they’ll probably leave. There are lots of technical things that you or whoever builds your website
can do to speed things up, like choosing the right technologies
or hosting solutions, but there are also some simple fixes. If you have images on your pages,
use the smaller ones you need. Ditch large high-resolution files if they’re only going
to appear as thumbnails. Plenty of software programs can resize
or actually compress images to make them smaller, and this
translates to a faster loading time. Simplify your design. Generally, the more you limit
what your visitors browsers have to download and reuse,
the faster the pages will load. Use the same background image
across many pages, and ask whoever’s building your website
to be efficient with code and scripts. If you want to test how you’re doing,
try opening the site on your mobile, using a data connection and not Wi-Fi,
just to see how quickly it loads. You need to make sure your website is
easy to use on a mobile. Let’s be frank. More and more people are using
their smartphones as their primary device to browse the web, and if your site is
difficult to use on these devices, you’ll potentially lose customers. The easiest way for you to have
a mobile-friendly site is to build it that way from the start. You can use an approach
like responsive design, which automatically detects
the type of screen being used and displays the site accordingly. It does things like stacking text
and photos vertically on a smartphone
when it’s being held upright. if you want to get a sense
of whether your site is mobile friendly, try Google’s mobile-friendly test tool. Keep in mind things
like swiping or tapping, which are unique to touchscreens. Be sure the components
of your website respond properly to these kinds of inputs. Use widely recognized icons. Making content clear
and well-organized will help visitors using smaller screens
actually find what they’re looking for. You’ll want to make it easy
to find your address and phone number. Most devices are equipped
with GPS and mapping features which can help visitors
when they’re actually on the go. And of course when they’re accessing
your website from a mobile, it should be easy for visitors
to give you a ring. You’ll also want to remember
that people are viewing your site on different browsers
like Chrome or Firefox and also different platforms
like Windows or Mac. Do a test run from as many computers,
devices and browsers as you can. Does your site look right on every case? Are you prompted to download plugins? This could be an extra step
that may send visitors away. Lastly, remember that your website
is not just for selling. It’s also for solving. Imagine if you’re a visitor–
ask yourself why am I here? What am I trying to do
or what problem am I trying to solve? For example, if you own a bakery
that makes custom cakes, someone is probably visiting
your site because they need one. You could write pages
about your decorating style and maybe even some inspirations,
but a testimonial and photos from a real-life customer
might be a better bet. Those are some common mistakes
that trip up many websites. To avoid them, make sure
your pages load quickly, look great and behave properly no matter
what device and browser a visitor uses. Think of your customers
when you create content. Answer their needs and you’ll have
a better chance of bringing them in.

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