Essentials in Design
Company web sites are becoming more and more popular, and not just with the large companies. A lot of smaller companies are looking at the web as a way to expand their businesses into uncharted territory. With smaller budgets some of these companies go it alone, and wonder why they seem to get no response. Nowerdays all businesses need a Web Precense.

The selection below is a few hints and tips based on what can go wrong with a company web site. Read on an learn from the mistakes of others.

Make it easy to find information on your site
A simple to navigate site is an essential in a business site. If your prospects can't find the information they are looking for in about three clicks or four, then more often than not they will leave and go elsewhere.

Use a consistent style and graphic set throughout the site
Your online style is portraying you to your prospects. If you appear disorganised in cyberspace, what impression does that give?

Make sure there are links to the main page from all pages on the site
Because of the way search engines work, your prospects may not enter your site through your main page. You want your prospects to be able to start at the beginning.

Do not use links that jump to the middle of a page
This often confuses visitors as to where they are on your site. It is also quite annoying when you have found the information you are looking for, press print and find you are printing 14 pages of information, most of which is of no relevance.

Do not use 'under construction' signs
These may look cute - the first time, but they soon get annoying. There is no need to use them, if the page is not finished, don't put a link to it. Only add a page when it is complete and presentable, its more professional.

Do not use blinking or scrolling text
This is quite distracting, and you could suffer from it detracting from the message of your site. This is a sure sign of an amateur site.

Check your spelling
Spelling mistakes give a very poor image of your company, and again send the amateur message to your prospects.

Do not overload your pages with too many graphics
Too many graphics lead to a slow site. If the site becomes too slow, your prospects will not stick around to find out what your message is.

Be careful when choosing backgrounds
Colour choices are important. Background images or colours that make the text hard to read will make your prospects go elsewhere.

Make your primary message stand out
Business web surfers have very little patience, and so will no root around a site for your message. Make it clear from the start what you are all about and you will get a better response.

Don't depend on JavaScript
JavaScript use is on the increase, usually to add little value to a site. It should be used with caution, as it can add quite a burden to sites and not add any real value. Don't depend on it for navigation, as somw company firewalls may remove the script from your pages. Without the script your prospects get nothing more than your front page, and will not stick around to find out why.

Provide an e-mail link for comments or more information
Many potential customers are not interested in picking up a phone or putting a stamp on and envelope, but they will take a few minutes to send you an e-mail - if you make it easy for them.

View the final web page on a web server before making it live
What looks good in the test environment on your development system may not work when you load it onto your web server. HTML generation programs are major culprits in this. It makes good sense to check, and then check again. It is better that you find a problem, rather than your prospects.

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