Website Tips

By Brenda Essig aka Zanymuse (Zanymuse) on May 9, 2010

There are many factors to consider when building a web site. Today I want to go over a few of the things that every site owner should keep in mind as they prepare their sites for public viewing.


1.  Content: If you plan to add advertising to your site in order to make money it is important that each page should contain at least 75% content and no more than 25% advertising. I recently purchased a magazine that was over 60% advertising! They got my money once but I can guarantee they will never get another penny of my money. So why would a visitor return to my website if they saw more ads than content? The hard truth is that they wouldn't!

Here at Cubits, Dave will establish the advertising sizes and locations and he is savy enough and experienced so that I have no fear of losing visitors to excess. But that advertising must be backed up on every single page by CONTENT. And that content must be good, honest, original and reliable information.

2.  Avoid distractions: Who could concentrate on your content if it is filled with annoying animations and scrolling text? Your visitors may find your flashing signs and scrolling text to be as cute as you do...but I promise you that most of them will not! So please keep in mind that a little goes a long way when it comes to animations. Keep it simple! For example: This is why my own, over the top, annimated banner is set to run once and stop. After all...I think those bouncing blocks are cute for my Playpen but even in a playpen enough is enough!

Scrolling text is annoying too! The reader is forced to read at your set pace instead of being allowed to scan the text at their own speed or find where they left off easily if the phone rings. You may think it makes people see how talented you are at web design but in truth it shows that you have not kept your readers best interests in mind.

3. Background images: I have read many experts that say they are bad, distracting, unprofessional, amaturish ...That they should not be used. I do not always agree with the experts. I think they can add character and charm to a site if they are used carefully and artfully to inhance the site.

We are currently unable to use background images in our Cubits. But many of us have other sites we want to link our cubit to so I decided to include this in my article.

 

2010-05-09/Zanymuse/8ebf36    

  A site named Brown Bag Lunches using a crumpled bag as a background looks fine to me and it reinforces the sites name and purpose.

 

 

 

2010-05-09/Zanymuse/da3008

 

 

 

 

 

Fine Menswear does not make me think it would be an unprofessional site. I think it looks elegant and refined.

These work because the text is placed in solid color blocks where it is easily ledgible.

 

 


 

2010-05-09/Zanymuse/a11f8b

Wildflowers however seems to scream out that the site is not only unprofessional but it is annoying because it strains the eye to attempt to read it.

If you are going to use background images use tiling images and  keep them small so they load quickly for the viewer but not too small! 2-3 inches square works well and the resolution should be set low also to reduce file sizes to as low as possible without losing the desired effect.

 

Color schemes are equally important. Be sure that your background color and your text colors are chosen to make them contrast enough to be easily read. Some color combinations just do not work!  Make sure that yours are easy on the eyes.

4. Navigation: Make it easy for your visitors to navigate your site. Include a link to you home page on every page. Put it at the top and bottom of each page so they can find it easily without excessive scrolling.

Don't make your visitors return to the homepage to get to the rest of your site. Include a menu in the sidebar of each page so they can peruse the entire site easily. Organization is the key to sucess in getting your visitors to view more of your valuable content.

5. Page Length: Most pages should be limited to two screenfuls to avoid excessive scrolling. Articles are an exception to the rule. Keep them to a maximum of 6 or 7 screenfuls. If your article exceeds that it should probably be broken up into seperate pages. Think of them as chapters in a book.

6. Image size: Compress your image files. There are many free image editing softwares out there today which can be used to reduce the file size for your images such as GIMP. While a large file size is needed for printing images, this is not true of images for viewing on the web. The standard is 72 px per inch for web use and of course the size of your image does not need to be bigger than life to be viewed comfortably. Opening a picture from a thumbnail and having to scroll across, up and down to view it is not just unnecessary but it is annoying and makes the viewer see your picture one section at a time without being able to enjoy the whole of it.

7. Text: Keep your lines of text to 600 px or less. This allows the reader to easily scan the text without strain. Break up your text with paragraphs. A little white space gives the eye a chance to focus.

Related articles:
rules, site building, web tips

About Brenda Essig aka Zanymuse
I have been playing on the www for many years and in the process have created several small web sites. I am curious by nature and the opportunity to be a small part of this new community as it evolves has been a real pleasure.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Enjoyed article cannagirl May 23, 2012 4:14 AM 0
Excellent article Bluespiral May 19, 2010 12:50 PM 0
Great article, Brenda Candyce May 14, 2010 3:38 PM 5
Another hit valleylynn May 10, 2010 8:06 AM 0
Very Informative! TwinLakesChef May 9, 2010 10:31 PM 0

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