10 Good Rules for Websites

by Tammy Finch

With so many people building or managing their own websites, I thought I would share a few tips for good website building.  

1.  Own Your Data.  There has been a rash of lawsuits from Getty Images and photographers against people using images found on the internet.  Next month, I will write something on this topic but for now, make sure all data you use is yours or you have permission to use it.
2.  Well-Written Content. Even if you have a beautiful, well-organized website, if your content doesn't make sense, you will lose all creditability.  There are plenty of content writers out there if you are not comfortable with writing for the web.
3.  Check for Errors. Have a few pairs of eyes look at your website before launching it.  Send the link to a friend or colleague to look for errors.  It's hard to proof your own work so content editors are very important.
4.  Design for Everyone.  Keeping your site simple will help you keep it cross-browser compatible.  Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.  There are too many browsers to please but it is very possible to make your site work correctly on each one.  Just check before launching.
5.  Keep it Professional.  Your website is a reflection of your company.  Make sure it shows your professionalism.  
6.  Build your Brand.  Have a domain name that matches your brand.  Siteoffer.com has domains for $15 plus free forwarding.  So even if you are not ready for a website, purchase your domain now before your competition does.
7.  Navigation on Every Page.  Please, please make sure people can find their way around your website.  Visitors should be able to click to get to anywhere in your site.  Organization is key to every website.
8.  Faster is Better.  The phone commercial is correct, "Faster is better." Internet users are impatient and if your website loads slowly, they will find another site that doesn't.  Keep your images low resolution and go easy on the animation.  
9.  White Space is Okay, really.  You don't have to load each inch of your site with information.  White space is important so visitors will not be overwhelmed with clutter.
10.  Call to Actions.  Believe it or not, many website visitors do not where to click so you may need to tell them.  "Click here to find out more" "Click here to save 10%".  Give them a reason to click and they will.  This is especially important for eCommerce sites.  Don't forget your social media links.  Even there you may need icons that say "Follow us on Twitter" rather than just the Twitter icon.  
I hope these help you with your website planning.  Even if you are not building your own website, keep your web person in check by reminding them of these guidelines.  Your website is an important tool for keeping in contact with new and current clients, keep it professional and you will continue your success!

Source: http://peorialife.com/monthly-articles/201...