The 8 Most Important Website Design Principles

The 8 Most Important Website Design Principles
 by: Brian Basson

Building an Innovative and Effective Website, by making full use of available technologies, is crucial for the future success of your current or future online business. There are literally 1000's of great ideas out there, but finding the right ones and applying them to your website, is where the real trick lies.

Applying the best tips, tools and other design principles to your website, can bring you untold success on the internet. At the same time, using powerful and innovative ideas in the design and development stages of your website, will level the playing field for your business, and raise it's competitive edge on the internet.

We have been doing web development for more than 7 years now, and during this time, many important design and development principles have come to light. Don't waste valuable time by making the same mistakes many other web designers and webmasters do. The following 8 powerful website design principles will assist in helping you make the right choices for your online business :

1. Do-it-yourself OR outsourcing ?

Before you start compiling your new website, you have to establish your skill level to tackle the specific project. If you have sufficient html understanding, a good idea of graphics and colors, plus fair writing skills, you mostly can do the website design yourself. If, however, you don't have a fair understanding of html, it would be advisable to outsource.

2. Dynamic vs. Static web pages

Do you want your site to be static, i.e.. no input from visitors, or dynamic, i.e.. fully interactive, with visitors being able to log on, take part in forums, post information, etc ? Many new and fantastic scripting languages are available to make your site more dynamic and bring it to life.

3. Web Site Title vs. Domain

Before registering a domain for your site, take some time to think of related words or names that best describes your business. Compile a few possibilities and then check for availability on the internet. The best ones would normally already be "taken", but innovative thinking can get you very far !! When compiling you main page, use this domain name and extend it to your website's main page title tag. This is step 1 in getting future good search engine rankings.

4. Build your site around important keywords

When building the content part of your site, remember to include a fair dose of important keywords and phrases that best describe your business. These keywords, the words and phrases people use when searching for relevant information on the internet, should also be extended to all the important tags of every web page of your site. Be careful though not to overdo it, as search engines penalize "keyword stuffing". Also use full sentences and make them sound natural. The clever search engine algorithms have recently just become even more advanced, and can now track unnaturally sounding sentences !

5. Optimized Title, Description & Keyword Tags

Each page of your website should be individually optimized in terms of the message you want it carry. Every page is different and there for a specific reason. If the page info and page tags do not match in terms of keywords, the page will not show up in search engine results. Search engines want to give searchers relevant results, and by not applying this principle, your site will not rank well.

6. A Site Map with links to all pages

Assist the search engines by making it easy for them to index your site. If all pages can be reached from a central point like a sitemap, you will firstly make sure that the search engine spider finds all your site pages, and secondly help visitors to find relevant info and pages quickly. Sites with good structures and fresh content gets spidered more often.

7. All pages back-linked to the Site Map and Home Page

Visitors to your website will not necessary land the index page or sitemap. It is therefore imperative to give them a way to get to your index, site map and other important pages. A well structured informative website also receives more return visitors.

8. Standard background & fonts on all pages

By keeping pages uniform, you ensure your visitors know they are still on your site. Having various banners, backgrounds and fonts will only confuse visitors. Try to stick one font, or two at the most. The human eye needs to adjust every time it reads text written in a new font. Do not irritate your visitors by using many different fonts - they will leave in a flash !

If you have an existing website, but nothing much have been happening for you, try to apply these 8 principles and see what good transpires...

This article was posted on March 01, 2005

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