Web Don’ts – Don’t Frustrate Your Visitors

Web Development – a Complex Task

We are living in a real eBusiness era with more and more companies realizing the importance of having an online presence. Yet, these companies still don’t understand that the Internet is more than just a global network connecting billions of computers. Internet has succeeded in doing what power and territory-hunger rulers were only dreaming about. Internet defines and unites the global village.

It is this village opening new ways for commerce, and with the milliard inhabitants out there, the competition is harsh and the struggle for first positions in major search engines makes it even harder for many low-budget eBusinesses to deliver what the Internet users are really looking for: quality content in an adequate package.

As content is “food” for the search engines too, it is vital for the web designers to find a balance between substance and design, in order to keep both the robots and the users happy. So far this seems to be a distant ideal, since web designers seem not to be able to focus on both of the issues. This is where the idea of SEO expert comes in handy. Yet, because paying a small fortune on SEO and another on web design doesn’t sound very appealing to low budget eBusinesses, there are companies offering an “all in one” solution: graphic design, coding, programming, content management, marketing and SEO – and they call this web development.

The question is: can big results be achieved with little money? Not really, but it is not impossible to keep it up with some of the most experienced developers if the basic rules are respected. Many new Internet entrepreneurs believe that all they need to do is to put up a web site. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A web site can mean the difference between success and failure. While time, money and experience are needed to achieve astonishing results, basic principles are the ones keeping a website away from failure.

Major Don’ts

First rule when you create a web site is: do not frustrate your visitors.

Difficult navigation is what drives away more than 87 % of the Internet users. So if you have to be innovative, try it another way, not by creating impossible menus and confusing layouts. Brand your web site. Respect your visual standards used in your offline activities. Don’t use different colours and styles for each web page. Consistency is what you need to be easily remembered later.

The design is one of the most powerful tools a web site has. It tells the surfer how professional your business is. Don’t use annoying flashing banners, blinking texts or arrows. Keep it simple, easy to read. Decent.

As an Internet user yourself you’ve probably experienced the frustration of waiting for a web page to load. This happens with most of the flash sites but also with other graphic-based web sites. Slow downloading is what drives away more than 84 % of the Internet users, according to NetSmart.

Unless you have a world-known web site everyone dies to visit, forget the flash idea. Don’t get this wrong, flash is a great technology, perfect for astonishing online presentations, but when it comes to the first page of your web site, you’d better find another way to amaze your visitors. With more than 85 percents of users out there having flash plug-ins, there are still the 15 percents that don’t. So try not to ignore a minority.

Be sure your visitors are able to find enough information about your company, your services and products and make sure they are able to contact you if they need. The information should be actual and up to date, unless you run a history web site. Try to offer interesting content, as more than 50 % of the visitors tend to walk away if the text is boring. Write and design with your visitors in mind.

Don’t use “under construction” or “coming soon” pages. Your visitors will hate you if you do. If you are not ready with the content, just don’t publish that page.

Don’t use pop-ups – they are as annoying as blinking images, or maybe worse. Google, Yahoo, and Earthlink… they all provide toolbars with pop-up blockers. Have you ever wondered why? That’s right: because people hate them. If you really want to point out a new great service or product you provide, than try to attract your visitor’s attention another way. Create a “What’s New” category for instance – and keep it actual if you do.

Make sure your web site is compatible with all the browsers. Forget the “best viewed with” idea. People will walk away instead of changing their browser to view your site.

There are many other don’ts when it comes to web development. Point is if you stick to the basics you stay away from failure. And success will come along, in little steps.