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Tips & Tricks of Planing Your Website
Elements in Webdesign knows how hard you work to do what you do outside of trying to get a website together, so we've compiled some of the more pertinent things you should consider when you're planning to have your website created. We hope to alleviate some of the pain and time involved in all of this planning as we want this transition to the web or to your website's update to be as smooth as possible. Here's our current list of Tips and Tricks for planning your site work.
Choosing your website color scheme
Keep your colors to a maximum of 4 colors in your website's color scheme. You can alter those a little bit to make them slightly darker or lighter shades of a color, but don't over do the number of colors so your site doesn't look too loud or obnoxious. This of course wouldn't pertain to a site that is dedicated to Art projects or products such as Paintings or Sculptures, you may want a little more color in that type of website, although not necessary.
Stay away from loud and obnoxiously bright colors for backgrounds and text, and make sure your text colors blend will with the background color so it doesn't hurt people's eyes to try to read it. Remember, you want them to stay on your site and be comfortable reading, not chase them away because trying to read it gives them a headache.
Menu Link Setup
Make sure your menu is very easily navigated and not over abundant with redundantly repetitive links. In other words, don't repeat links in multiple places on your menu. Create good categories for any drop-downs so that they make total sense to the visitor so they will know where to find what they are looking for.
How to avoid fuzzy unclear images
Make sure you provide your web designer with the largest images you can acquire so they can resize them as needed themselves. This assures that no matter where your images may go they will almost always look nice and clear because they didn't have to be stretched. Stretching to make a smaller image larger takes a lot of clarity and focus away from most images, so it's always better to shrink a larger image than it is to stretch a smaller one.
Can your page elements be seen
Although there are some really great Flash sites and Flash elements available such as Flash Galleries, Flash Menus, Flash Video players etc., we suggest that you stay away from Flash based elements. This will assure that your visitors should be able to see those items no matter what type of computer or mobile device they may be on. Granted, there are a handful of mobile browser apps that will be able to see and allow your visitors to view the Flash element, but…. Why take the chance that your visitors will know they can do that and lose them because they cannot see your menu to get around your website, or they cannot view the cool video that you have put on the page. Better to be safe than sorry in this instance.
Don't make your users squint to read your pages
Make sure your text size is large enough that people can read it without making it overly large. This will allow your visitors to see your text easily while allowing you to get more content on your pages.
Are you overdoing the emphasis on your text?
Don't make a lot of text in Bold (other than titles that is) so that the purpose of your bolding of the text is not lost on your visitors. One of the biggest mistakes we see done on many websites is to put tons of sentences and paragraphs in bold and bright colors so that it's almost all like that. You totally lose the meaning behind the bolding of the text or coloring of the text when you do that. Only off color and bold text that you want to truly emphasize as important. Remember, although we may all think our words are all very important, only certain things are important enough to emphasize them on the website pages.
Tell us about yourself, no really, tell us something
Make sure your About or Bio pages include more than a couple small paragraphs on the page. Tell them about yourself, tell them about your business, get into some details about all the different things your business or you yourself do. Be sure to include how long you've been in business, various locations you have been at if your business has an actual store front in a town. Remember, talking "about" your business is more than just an address and phone number.
Just how good is your service(s)?
Testimonials are a great way to advertise your successes. Gather your customer or visitor comments as often as you can so you can put together a great area of your website as a testimonial to your visitors that your products and/or business is appreciated and that your previous customers or visitors are happy with their choice to use your site or business.
To spam or not to spam
Although there are many times that posting your email and/or phone number are necessary (mostly if you have a very active business that people will be looking for that information on your website), there are times when you will want to just add a contact form to your website and let that be the sole means to start communication with you or your business. This practice will keep the thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of scammers and spammers from gaining your email address or phone number to add to their spamming lists. When this information is provided directly on a website, it is gathered by the search engines when they crawl the site and then posted on the search engines for the entire world to see, forever just about. Even when your pages have been updated and rescanned by the search engines, the old versions of the pages are still out there and spam bots can still gather those unprotected pieces of information whenever they want to.
Is your email address recognizable?
Make sure you set up an email account on your hosting server account so you can be recognized by your email recipients for your business address rather than a generic email like Gmail or Yahoo. Doing this gives your email recipients much more trust that you are truly who you say you are when they receive an email from you, and it will be less likely that they will assume you are a spammer.