So, you have decided you want to build a website, but you are not sure where to start? Well, deciding to build one is actually the first step in building a website, so congratulations! Now, once you decide you want to build a website, the next step is deciding what exactly you are going to put on your website. Basically there are two different kinds of websites: business and personal.
Business websites: These websites, as their name implies, will either give information about a business, or will offer a product or products for sale.
Personal websites: These websites are used by people to talk about their family, post thoughts, poetry, drawings, just about anything that you could think of.
Almost anyone can build a basic website, and it’s not even required that you know HTML in order to produce an eye catching, fun to browse website that will keep people coming back for more. If you don’t have the money to pay someone to build your website, and you need a type of structure to go by, there is plenty of website building software offered both in stores and on the web.
But no matter how you build your website, whether you step out on your own or you use website building software, there are some basic guidelines to remember:
1. Keep it simple
There is a story told me about a little boy who was building a kite. He had all kinds of cool ideas of what he wanted to put on his kite, and ignored what was suggested. When he went to fly the kite, it wouldn’t fly because there were way too many decorations on it.
You may want to put a lot of things on your website, but too much tends to clutter the website and make people stop looking at it, because they can’t find what they are looking for easily. So keep your website simple, keep it clean, and give people easy access to what they are looking for.
2. Make it easy to navigate
This is especially important if you are offering products or services on a business website. Chances are, if the potential customers can’t find what they are looking for easily on your website they are going to go somewhere else, no matter how good your products are.
A common misconception is that a side bar on every page is enough for navigation. It also is a good idea to have a small navigation menu at the top of the screen, and a search box doesn’t hurt either. Sometimes people want to be able to search for what they are looking for quickly.
3. Keep your website consistent
When you are reading a book, how often do you see pages with different colors? Not very often, and the reason is because people like consistency. Choose a color scheme for your site and stick to it. One other thing to remember is to make it easy on the eyes. Lots of flashing lights and moving images might seem like a good idea to you, but it can be a real turnoff to some people. There’s nothing worse than losing potential business because your website gives someone a headache.
4. View your website on different browsers
Once you have your main page up, it’s a good idea to preview it on several different web browsers to see how it looks. There’s nothing worse than having a website all complete and have it look horrible on the browsers that most people commonly use – Internet Explorer and Firebox, so make certain that it looks decent before you finish it and are disappointed with the results.
5. Don’t use huge graphics
Graphics that are large tend to slow down your website’s loading speed, so when adding pictures and graphics to your website, keep them small with an option to click on them to view a larger size.
These are the basic things to remember when you are building a website. There are, of course, other things that are optional, but the guidelines listed above are the most important to remember.
Some other things that you might want to consider for your website are the following:
- If you have a business website, you might want to register with something known as Paypal. Most customers use it and enjoy it, and it allows them to pay for services and products quickly and easily.
- A guest book is always a nice addition to a website. This lets you know what people think of your website and allows them to leave any suggestions that they might have.
- A hit counter gives you a good idea of how many visitors you have to your website each day. Again it’s not necessary, but always something nice to know.
Your website should be a reflection of you or of your business, and something that you can be proud of. Don’t get discouraged with it, and above all have fun.