When developing the look and feel of your web site, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. A consistent web site not only lets users know where they are, but can also help to establish brand awareness, and allows for continuity regardless of who is working on your site at any given time. The following easy-to-follow tips have been designed to make sure your site gets started down the road to web success!
Consistency: The Key to Web SuccessThe most important aspect of web site design is without a doubt establishing consistency. In order to successfully establish consistency within your web site, try using database templates to create a common look and feel for your site. Although database templates are not the answer for all web sites, and may not be practical for smaller sites, it is extremely important for all pages in your site to share common elements, and exhibit a high degree of page-to-page consistency. The advantage of database templates is that they are extremely easy to create, and make your site consistent regardless of changes in personnel. Database templates also allow you to make changes to your site much more easily, and allow you to change certain elements without recreating the entire page from scratch.
If you are creating a smaller site, you will have a bit more leeway to work with, however you should still aim to maximize consistency. Consistency can help give your site a more professional look and feel, and also makes for easy navigation.
Another important aspect of site design is the placement of company logos or other symbols of your site that will be used to create brand awareness. By placing logos in a common position on all your web pages, users will be able to easily determine that they are at your site. Many sites still do not recognize the importance of this, however if you follow this simple rule of thumb, your site will have a much greater chance of establishing itself among users.
Use Common Images
In the Internet business, speed is king, and you can help to decrease the loading time of your web site by using common images on your pages. If you use common images, your site will load faster because the images which have already appeared on a previous page will be loaded from browser caches, rather than from the server itself. This decreases the number of files to be loaded from the server, and thus decreases loading time. If you must change images from page to page, try to use common elements from other pages in order to decrease loading time. This tactic is especially useful for title bars, which can be broken up into individual images. When a new page is loaded, the elements from the old page are loaded from the cache, leaving only the new elements to be loaded.
Prioritize Site Content
Another useful tip which can help make your site design more effective is to prioritize all content and images. By doing so, you will be able to attract the user's attention to the important aspects of your site, and thus ensure that the things you want to be seen are seen first. Once you have prioritized your site, make sure to place the most important sections near the top of your page, and make them larger in size.
By following these four simple tips, you will not only help make your site more professional in appearance, but will also help to decrease loading time, and establish brand awareness among your users. Site design is an enormous task, and requires a great deal of though and planning, however, these simple tips will help put you on the right track to establishing a successful Internet presence.