Owning your own website is a must if you are doing business on the Internet.
There are so many factors involved in creating a web site layout and or design that there is really no right or wrong design.
A web site that may have looked clean and crisp in the template stage can totally change when you add your text and other content.
The saying - less is more, often applies where creating a web page, by having a clean crisp design with minimal graphics your site is quicker to load and easier to navigate around and easier to read without the distraction of flashing animated images and banners.
The resulting layout of a web site is often a product of the content that is added to its pages.
This is where it is of the utmost importance to research the focus of your site before you start work to create it. The same applies if you are selling widgets, flowers, coins, supplying information of marketing an Affiliated member opportunity.
There are so many variables to keep in mind that it is best to sit down with pen and paper to list all the items you will or at least, what you want to place on your Web site.
Make a list of the topics, products or services you wish to promote. This is important later when you start promoting your web site in search engines.
Search engines give more importance to a page that is focused on one topic for two reasons. Firstly because search engines want to provide the most defined search results for their customers and secondly if a page is about one topic or product you can optimize your keywords and content, increasing the chance of your page appearing at the top of search results.
For web sites that have between ten to twenty pages you can use a button or text menu bar to link to all pages. When your site starts to grow beyond 20 pages a button or text menu can start to take over the page. With my ezine as an example I have created sub menus for the achieves and other related groups of products or information.
The next step is to create a small number (6 to 10) of product or service groups. Then you can have these 6 to 10 groups accessible from the main menu. You can either create a small directory or second level pages for each group, or the other alternative is to use drop down menus.
This is where you hover your cursor over a button or link and a sub menu drops or scrolls down with the links for that group of products or services. The drop down menus often created using java script. Some templates come with the scripts included or you can search for the scripts on the net.
The layout and design of your site should use the same template to create every page to enable your visitors ease of locating the product and services they are searching for.
The most user friendly color for the page back ground is white with black text. White being a neutral color and black being a contrast.
Using a clear easy to read font is important too. Pages that use Italics are harder to read. By all means use Italics to highlight a quote or to make a point. The same applies to bold, colored and underlined text, use sparingly. Pages that over use bold and multi colored text can look very amateurish.
The overall design should enhance the information you are providing for your site visitor. Too many animations and different colors also distract people.
Many newer high profile, high traffic sites are using less graphics at the top of their pages. Usually there will be a logo in the top left corner of the page as this is the first area of the page most people see. Second they see the main headline in the center of the page and from there they either look up to the top right corner or scroll down the content of the page.
There are some very clever graphics used on Web sites, but it is generally thought that a simple logo or easy to read company name will be retained by more sites visitors than a more complex one.
Using a simple header (logo - Company Name) at the top of your web site is also of a higher name branding value.
Even the placing of the menu bar can have an effect. There are No set rules here, the buttons or links can be places at the right or left side of the page or across the top or a combination of both. Many sites also have a number of text links at the bottom of the page, usually company information and disclaimers etc.
Make sure you also include a site map containing links to every page on your site. The propose is to assist search engines finding all your pages to spider and for your site visitors so they don't get lost. Your site map link should be easily found.
The web site layout and design is usually arrived at by the site owner and or webmaster and as we are all individuals we all have our personal color preferences, likes and dislikes. This being the case, do some home work and compare your design with other Web sites selling or promoting similar products and services.
Make sure your theme falls in line with other similar sites. If you are going to sell home made chocolates from your web site, I would suggest rather than showing a closed chocolate box, you would be better advised to show a person holding an open box with a few chocolates missing and the person taking a bite of a chocolate with a big smile on their face. This gives you a subliminal message of how yummy the chocolates are and will even get your mouth watering.
A picture can express a thousand words, but too many pictures on your site can be distracting.
My conclusion on good web site layout and design will be different to yours and I don't have any problems with that. But the end result of your web site will tell the tale when you check the sales you make.
In all this there is ONE point I wish to make very clear to you and that is, you cannot in all honesty promote any product or service on the Internet to its full potential market without owning your own Domain Name and Web site
Reason Number One.
Search Engines, If you are promoting anything on the Internet you need to have your site listed as it is very hard or almost impossible to list an affiliated member site.
Reason Number Two.
With the ISP's filtering or dumping tons of email every day you do not know if the person or prospect you are writing to will receive your email or if their ISP will filter and delete or dump it. On the other side is that email being sent to you is also being filtered so any email even from a family member or business contact may be filtered, never to be seen again.
Domain or web site names are under nine dollars at Godaddy.com
ItsYourNet offers very affordable hosting of your website with all the bells and whistles Including unlimited email aliases and a templated web site builder. ItsYourNet.co.nz
So for less than forty five dollars per year or eighty three cents a week.
How or where else can you get better advertising exposure for 83 cents a week that you have full control of.
May all your Web site promotions be successful.
Editor of ~ The INDEX ~ ezine.
Your Free Weekly Internet Marketing News, Ideas, Resources and Sources Ezine.