Top Ten Web Site Design Tips – Develop an Effective Internet Property

Top Ten Web Site Design Tips site design tools directory >>> Web design over the years has run the gambit from an incredibly simple, solely information oriented medium, to today’s high level multimedia destinations. For the ecommerce site reliant upon both the acquisition and long term maintenance of its visitor base, the best approach lies somewhere in the middle. The following list of suggestions should help you find that hallowed mix of speed, simplicity, and interest generation. 1. Clarity Counts The home page of an internet business must always be considered the operation’s storefront. In its development, one must ensure that this high traffic zone clearly indicates the site’s intent, and if applicable, its product lines. Let your visitors know exactly what you offer, in a fashion that is efficient, and appealing. Failing to communicate clearly and effectively in this location will result in many of your potential customers simply hitting the back button, and moving on effortlessly to one of your competitors. 2. Speed Counts Anyone familiar with the online experience understands the value of an efficiently designed, and quickly loaded site. Although this awareness is virtually universal, many site owners/designers fall victim to the desire to present as much information and graphical demonstration as possible to their visitors, in the hope that this level of coverage will convert into additional product sales. This approach may in fact result in their downfall. Site download times vary significantly across the web, and up and coming high-speed technologies such as cable and DSL indicate a future of far greater flexibility in this area. Today’s online customer does not share in that flexible approach. The majority of web users continue to use a standard modem connection, with the 28.8 modem continuing as the most prevalent. With this fact in mind, it is clear that a graphics laden site will result in download times that far exceed the patience factor of many potential customers. Studies indicate that the most effective properties boast home page download speeds of no greater than 10 seconds with a 28.8 modem. Drift too far beyond that number, and you risk the loss of a good percentage of your operation’s potential sales base. 3. Let Them Contact You Establishing a web presence that places the visitor within their comfort zone, enabling a sense of trust that can result in a purchase, is a multi-faceted process. One of the most important first steps in presenting your organization as one worthy of the visitor’s business, is the clear communication of a means of contacting you, or your customer service representatives. The most effective form of contact from the perspective of the online purchaser is without question the 1-800 number. Second on the list is the establishment of a customer service oriented email address. The most recent offering in the world of internet business is live online customer service via Java based chat windows. Regardless of your selected medium(s), ensure that their availability is clearly spelled out on every page of your site. Contact information hidden away for only the most determined searcher to find will only result in reduced visitor trust, and less potential for profit. 4. Navigation – Make it Obvious The current catch phrase in the design of web site navigation tools is "intuitive", or ensuring that site visitors can find their way around the site, in its entirety, with little or no thought process necessary. The goal is to ensure simplicity, guiding visitors to their desired destination via tools and scripts that flow seamlessly, creating customer comfort, greater product exposure through extended visits, and an improved potential for revisits and recommendations. Creating ease of navigation within your property is inevitably dependant upon the nature of that property. What may seem clear to the designer of the site, who has an inherent understanding of the nature of the site, may seem pure confusion to the newcomer. Step back often, take a look at the property through the eyes of your visitors, ensuring that you can easily see the pathway to each area of value to the guest, and equally important, a return pathway that is clearly visible. Analyze your traffic regularly for a better understanding of what is, and is not working for your visitors. 5. Provide Information to Your Guest Online properties whose intent is the showcase, and ultimately the sale of specific products often fail to address the visitors need for information on that product. Delivering specific content that answers the questions of the consumer in full will result in a far higher buy rate thant the operation that simply presents the product for sale. Content organization and presentation is key. If unable to find the the information they seek easily, they will very quickly decide to search it out elsewhere. Keep site information efficient, well laid out, and above all grammatically correct. 6. Provide Value to Your Guest Site add-ons such as a search tool for highly information based sites, or live customer service for products that generate a number of client inquiries, can play a large role in property success. Choosing to offer every tool available simply because it is out there serves only to clutter and confuse. Select your add-ons with your visitor’s wants in mind, and place them carefully based upon primary and secondary needs. Primary add-ons should be located where immediately visible upon site entry. Secondary interests can be placed in areas that require scrolling, or page changes. 7. Speak in Their Language The art of developing a successful internet business relies heavily upon the operator’s ability to make their potential clients feel at home. One means of doing this is to speak in their language. When developing your content, write as if you are communicating with your customers face to face. If your customer base tends to communicate in simple terms, then present your information simply. If you are targeting a more technical group, then speak technically. Speaking their language avoids potential alienation of clients that can develop when we present beyond their ability, or willingness, to understand. 8. Provide Options for Payment Internet purchases continue to grow from year to year, but this does not indicate that there is a complete acceptance of the medium. Negative press surrounding the security of online business transactions has resulted in a wariness amongst purchasers that continues to this day. Dealing with this issue means providing your clients as many purchase points as feasible. Credit cards, though the most popular means of online payment, continue to be viewed by some internet shoppers as "risky". Incorporating options such as order via a toll free number, print and fax forms, and alternative online payment processes like Pay Pal will ensure your client comfort. 9. Clearly Indicate Site Policies Deciding to develop, and incorporate clearly stated site policies regarding such issues as personal information use, product guarantees and returns, and shipping guidelines, can go a long way towards placing a potential buyer at ease with their purchase. Take the time to assemble your organizational approach to these issues and post those intentions for interested clients in appropriate locations. For example, privacy policies should always be clearly visible, or accessible, from any medium for data collection, such as during mailing list sign-up, or at shopping cart checkout points. 10. Tell Them Who, What, and Where Defining the nature, product line, and geographical location of your organization for your clientelle serves to address the issue of trust, by assuring your visitors that you are a real company, worthy of reliance, and not some fly by night snake oil salesman waiting for the opportunity to abuse their financial information. Successfully develop that sense of trust, and you grow a loyalty within your customer base that can serve only to enhance your business popularity, and overall online success. 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Tips on Selecting a Professional Web Designer

Selecting a Professional Web Designer Choosing a designer to develop your web property is without a doubt one of the most important decisions you will make in the preparation of your online business, and can have a significant impact on your overall potential for success. Effective web design is a product of experience, a keen understanding of the competitive world of ecommerce, and the technologies relative. Selection of a developer lacking in up to date technical knowledge, or one without an eye for the customer can set you quickly on the road to dot com failure. Some criteria to carefully consider when selecting your central development team include the following: Experience what properties have they developed to date? what has been the success rate of those properties? have they developed ecommerce sites, or purely information based properties? can they provide references who may be contacted? Technical Scope what development tools have they utilized in the past? what ecommerce solutions have they recommended? are all site add-ons developed in-house, or are they usually out-sourced? if out-sourced, who is the provider, and what is their range of experience? what is their comfort level with relatively new technology, such as database development, Flash development, Java? Customer Fulfillment what do they consider the determining factors in developing a customer oriented site? what steps would they take pre-development to determine the property needs necessary to customer satisfaction? what history of customer based development can they show? General what is the projected timeline for development of the property? have they experienced delays in delivery in the past? do they offer site maintenance and upgrade options? will they train the owner to administer the site, once launched? Pricing what financial commitments do they require prior to beginning the design function? what is the projected overall cost, including all recommended elements? what are the projected costs for regular site upgrades? can these projected costs be put into writing? do they provide any form of satisfaction guarantee? A careful exploration of all potential options can mean the difference between overnight success, and almost instant failure on the web. Finding the perfect mix of developer experience and pricing can be a challenge, especially for the business owner uninitiated in the technologies and terminologies of the internet. With attention to detail, any avid learner can pick up a sufficient level of knowledge to make the right decision, one that results in their online success. Would you like to use this article on your site, or have it emailed to you   Related Subjects: Develop your own website Top ten web design tips     top of professional web designer page

Website Design Software – HTML Editors

Site Design Software featured site design softwares and services >>> With the variety of costs associated with business startup, online or off, many fiscally cautious entrepreneurs are giving careful thought to potential opportunities for cost reduction. One area receiving a considerable amount of attention in today’s online world is the realm of site development. Costs associated with site design and building can range from as little as $149 for a single page "business card" site, to many thousands of dollars for more extensive, and feature rich projects. With all the potential avenues for investment when developing an online presence, including additional feature incorporation, location marketing, customer acquisition and maintenance, today’s online entrepreneur may give serious consideration to building all, or portions of their property on their own. Doing so can seem a daunting task for the uninitiated, especially with the level of technology available in today’s market. The true wonder of that technology, however, is that much of it has been applied toward ensuring the availability of development tools that focus entirely upon simplicity, and ease of use. The product range in today’s market is substantial. The following are examples of design/development tools available: True Development Softwares For the online entrepreneur willing to start from scratch, custom developing their site from the ground up, the following HTML authoring tools allow total control over your location’s environment. Today’s editing softwares are comparitively easy to use, with substantial training and help documentation included. Some of the most popular include: Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 Microsoft Frontpage 2002 Truly Simple Development Softwares Similar in nature to the above development softwares, this group of easy to use editors allow the relative newcomer to web technology a quick and easy means to self-develop a completed web product. Most packages offer point and click, template based options, with the ability to edit the HTML if additional customization is required. NetObject’s Fusion MX Adobe’s GoLive 5.0 Homepage Builder 5.0 Allaire Homesite 5.5 Truly Simple Development and Hosting Packages This group of online, hosted options allow the inexperienced designer a simple means of quickly generating a ready to use site that includes hosting as part of the overall cost. These packages vary in the level of customization available, and should be carefully reviewed prior to initiation of an agreement to ensure they meet with your overall business needs. Many offer a free trial period as well. Homestead Professional Yahoo Store Builder   Related Subjects: Professional Design Groups Additional Design Tools Top Ten Web Design Tips     top of website design software page