Have you ever wondered what makes those particular websites stand out as being great? Great websites usually in turn become popular. But what is it that makes them so great? Often it has lots to do with the website design. If a site has very poor site design, it will not be a joy for the user to visit and so therefore the website will be stuck in the cold dark realms of isolation where GoogleBot remains the only visitor.
What I am going to give you in this article is five tips on how to turn your not-so-good website into something great - into something memorable to the user, causing them to return to the site.
1. Site load times - There is nothing worse than visiting a website and it taking a long time to load. The average online user is not very patient and so if the site does not produce what they want quickly, they will hit the back button. What is too long you ask? If a site takes more than 4 seconds to load then it is in severe need of improvement. Studies have shown that if a site does not load before that time, the majority of users will have hit the back button by then.
2. Avoid using Flash - This second tip will actually have significant impact on your site’s load time. Using Flash will almost always make your site take longer to load and so the simple solution is to always avoid it. Having small areas of the site you may say is fine; however, that does not stop the problem of browser compatibility. Not every user will have flash installed, and so even though you may have something that looks great in Flash, if only a selection of your users can view it, it is pointless.
3. Ensure easy Site Navigation - Most times if a user is interested in your site, they will not just stay on the homepage; they’ll want to view other content on your site. For example, if a user is at a business website and they want to find the business’ contact details page but cannot due to poor site navigation, that business will have lost a sale. Make sure you have a clear menu system that presents itself in a logical manner, rather than just having a whole lot of links all around the page.
4. Control the use of Colours - Everyone hates plain and boring black and white websites. People love colour and so it is important for a site to have a least some colour on it. But there is an extreme that some people have gone and that is to have too many colours. Instead of the colours of the site complementing the content, often it can distract from it. Avoid that ditch.
5. Maintain Text Readability - In your endeavour to make the site colourful, a thought may have popped in your mind to change the colour of the body text too. Avoid giving into those urges. Why? Because text readability is of critical importance on a webpage, for otherwise the site is useless to the user if they cannot read it. Black text on a white background has always been and always will be the easiest combination for readability. Aim for that and you’ll be on the right track.