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There was a time long, long ago in technological advancement years when website design was out of the reach to all but the relative few who could write the hyper text markup language better known by its acronym ‘html’ from start to finish. Website design, then as now, was in high demand for those with the tools and ability to help a client target an audience, develop a world wide web presence, and populate it with fast loading (at 28.8 Kbps) web pages.

Of course those early days saw sprites rendered in 256 colors as opposed to today’s true color programming (eats up lots and lots of  resources) , and those historic basic colors ruled in a tile-based world and we thought they were something. Specificity of product, of course, especially if images were to be employed, became the real challenge as they could be inordinately cumbersome and slow to load. The result being one of three options, to wit: (1) wait and wait and wait – maybe while you mow the lawn, (2) become exasperated with the tedious task of internet speed – actually modem speed – to the point of “clicking off” the website, or (3) losing  your treasured internet connection.

website design ideas
website design ideas

Website Loading Speed

In 2008, companies such as AOL, Net Zero, and many other Internet Service Providers (ISP) offering cheap internet connections assures that there remains enough people using dial-up to connect to the internet that one doing website design must be ever cognizant of loading speeds. The standard for this measurement remains 28.8K for the Computer Man Website Design Team although no one in the United States can expect to efficiently, if at all, cruise the internet at that speed.

The difference being that almost anyone can design and build some measure of a website in the 21st century with little or no help. Many companies that offer internet hosting also offer basic website design and promotional tools. One can sign up for a sub domain, build a nice web site, add an avatar and promote it to a few search engines in an hour or less.

Missing in this scenario are the tags a website needs and any special requirements of the entrepreneurial enterprise. If the site is personal for family and friends such an under taking may be more than sufficient. All that is left to do, is an e-mail to your contacts to let them know where they can find your postings, photos, etc and you only need to change the web site when the spirit moves you.  If, however, you hope to use the site to generate revenue either as a hobby or primary source of income you could be way off base.

Let’s be clear. There is no problem with a sub domain per se or as pertains to search engines. The search engines treat a sub domain as the separate website that it is. Perhaps we can cover this complicated subject in a separate article.

No. The problem is with the flexibility of the primary domain’s shared website design templates. These are templates set up specifically for sharing as little bandwidth (space) as possible with sub domains. When you compare the features and space allocated to you with that of the host, you will quickly see many of the limitations of the majority of these hosts and arrangements.

Best practices, even if using a free sub domain, is to create your website the way you want it with a third party program and upload it to your new sub domain. This can be done relatively easily with such programs as Alley Code, Evrsoft, Coffee Cup, Page Breeze or other free html editors. You can also use free WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get – maybe) website creators such as Nvu or Sea Monkey. For a Free online store creator one might try the free version of “easy store creator”… of course. What else would it be?

Some sites look like a parking place for ads.  It can be very hard to find what the site can offer as any content is burried under advertising.  First impressions are vital – one click of the back button and your visitor is gone for good.  If all that fills your browser window is a large header graphic and some ads then would you bother scrolling down to see more?  Worse still, imagine one of those ads offers just what you were looking for – you would click away without even remembering the rest of the site was there.

It may seem pessimistic to think about your visitor leaving when they have only just found your site but don’t miss any opportunity to encourage them to return.  Make sure you have a simple signup form on your home page and offer visitors something useful.  This may be a newsletter to keep them informed of your latest offers or an ecourse, for example.  This is the only circumstance when a pop-up may be appropriate on your home page.

Back to your piece of paper and work out where you want your visitor to go next.  Try and keep the links from your main page at 5-10 only.  There is such a thing as too much choice and too many options can give the impression that little of your site will offer what your visitor really wants. Would you spend time reading through lots of options when it is easier to click away and start again with another of the 8 billion sites competing for your attention?  Not only are fewer links less confusing for your visitor but again less links mean a faster load time for your page. Work out the logical groups for your site’s information then link to these group menus from your home page.

What is the colour scheme for your site?  Do you want something vibrant to inspire action?  Are calming pastels that instill confidence closer to your goal?  You will want to keep within a simple palette of colours thoroughout your site so it does not seem disjointed so consider your site livery carefully.

Does your shop window invite customers in off the street?  Does it look like a classy establishment or a flea market?  Keep your homepage clean, clear and simple and it will welcome website visitors into your site.

Does your shop window invite customers in off the street?  Does it look like a classy establishment or a flea market?  Keep your homepage clean, clear and simple and it will welcome website visitors into your site.

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