Author: Adrian Singer
1) An eye catching header
The first thing someone sees when they visit a web site is the header. A poorly designed header is going to cost you a lot of lost traffic.
Your header should contain something unique that catches the attention of visitors. Most good headers have a logo, picture or other graphic, along with a phrase or two describing the purpose or main feature of the web site.
Your header should match the theme of the rest of your site, and you should NEVER place an advertisement above it (especially one that blinks or flashes)!
2) Uncluttered layout
Web 2.0 is all about blending simplicity with attractiveness. You don’t want your site to be all text with a white background, but you also don’t want it to have a million advertisements, widgets, etc.
Your layout should make it easy for your user to find the navigation (see #3) and it should also make your content the focal point of your web site. Although you will most likely have advertisements on your site, find attractive ways to integrate them into your layout.
3) Easy to use navigation
This is a MUST! If users can’t navigate through your site, they are going to leave. Your navigation menu should either be under the header or on the sides of your page.
The navigation (and your web site) should be constructed in a logical fashion that makes it easy for users to get from one area to another. You should also make sure that your visited links are a different color from the rest of the links.
4) Original content
At the end of the day, original content is what is going to make or break your web site. If you don’t have anything interesting to offer to your visitors, they are not going to come back to your web site. If you are in the stages of planning your web site and are unable to come up with any ideas for original content, you need to scrap the idea and start on something new.
One thing to keep in mind is “content” does not just refer to written articles. Content can be anything from movies to games to pictures. As long as its interesting and original, the traffic will come!
5) Several ways to contact you
It may rarely ever be used, but if visitors to your web site have a way to contact you, they are going to automatically trust your site more than a web site that has no way to contact the owner.
Whether its a phone number, e-mail link, e-mail form, livechat (or all of the above) just make sure your visitors can clearly see that you are available to them.
About the Author:
Adrian Singer is an Internet Consultant with http://www.SoftwareProjects.com[divider]