Professional Site Design Tips

Before you start designing your website take the time to sit down and make a plan and consider the following tips when creating your site.

Getting Started

  • Purchase a good domain name, one that has your main keywords in it.
  • Make a list of keywords you want to target.
  • Create page names that incorporate your keyword phrases.

Professional Layout & Design

  • Minimize clicking
  • Include a way to get back to the home page, on every page
  • Include a menu on every page
  • Avoid using images in the navigation when you can use text links instead.
  • Don’t use frames
  • Make your contact info very visible on every page
  • Make sure your site is browser compatible
  • Check out your site on different browsers
  • Your layout should be consistent throughout the site
  • Use UTF-8 single universal character set
  • Use Flash and JavaScript sparingly
  • Don’t let flashy multimedia ruin your site
  • Don’t use pop-up windows
  • Don’t use auto-loading sound

Photo Tips

  • Make sure the photos you select are appropriate for each page.
  • Optimize and or compress all of your images when saving them.
  • Include your keyword phrase in the alt tag on every image.
  • Use your targeted keywords when naming your images.
  • Use keywords in close proximity to the image.
  • Your images should download quickly
  • Don’t use large image backgrounds
  • Don’t use animated GIFs

Website Content

  • Make sure each page in your website has something valuable to offer
  • Use professional looking fonts
  • Text area should be 450 t0 600 characters wide
    Use contrasting colors to make your text easy to read
  • Make the text large enough to read
  • Increase the line spacing to improve readability
  • Spell check every page
  • Don’t make your page too wide
  • Don’t type more than a few words in ALL CAPS
  • Don’t use blinking or scrolling text

Links

  • Make links stand out
  • Explain what you’re linking to
  • Link to other sites that are relevant to yours
  • Open External links in a new window
  • Use descriptive link text
  • Test your links
  • Periodically test and remove dead external links
  • Don’t hotlink to other sites’ images
  • Don’t underline words if they’re not links
  • Don’t open internal links in a new window
  • Don’t use Click Here

Extras

  • make sure your pages validate through the W3C
  • Create a custom 404 error page
  • Create a Google Site Map
  • Create a favicon
  • Upload a robots.txt file