The elements that make up your website are more than just words and pictures.
On this page, we'll give you an overview of some of the things that make up your website design, and what's involved in bringing them all together to make a website that will please you as the owner, will be attractive to your visitors, and will provide exactly what your customers and potential customers need to know, in a way they can understand, and will work to help them become and remain your loyal customer.
The elements we will cover on this page (quick links for easy access) are:
The most important thing you can determine for your web site is its purpose. Why do you even have a website. We will work with you to determine the answer to this, along with exactly what it is you want your website to accomplish.
Everything else that makes up your web site will stem from the answer to this question.
If you jump into building your website without first determining what you want it to accomplish, you could be wasting inordinate amounts of time, effort, and money.
You want your website to have a professional "face," to project to your visitors that your business or your personal web site is not just something "thrown together" as an afterthought.
One of the best ways to accomplish a professional appearance for your site is to have a consistent theme throughout the site. This means consistent use of colors, element locations (for example, you don't want your visitors to have to search each page just to figure out how to get to where they want to go next), graphics, and other elements of your site.
Another very important element for your website is your navigation system, the type and placement of links on which your visitors click to go to other areas of your site.
You need to pay close attention to both global and internal links.
Global links are those navigation links that appear consistently on every page. On this web site, you'll find the global links in the menu-navigation bar at the top of each page.
Internal links are those that take you to specific locations on a page. We have an example of these types of links at the top of this page, in the table just before the "Website Purpose" section. To see what these do, scroll to the top of this page, then click the "Navigation" link in that table. It will bring you right back here.
One of the most overlooked elements of a website is copywriting.
By this, we mean "writing copy" (the text that appears on the page), not the legal copyright protection for created content.
Copywriting is a specialized skill that transforms ideas into easily-understood writing. It involves such specialties as idea-leading, concept development, proper word usage, and reading level adjustment, as well as meticulous attention to such basic elements as spelling, grammar, and syntax.
Copywriting is much like teaching in that most people think they can do a good job of it on their own, without specialized training. Most people are wrong. Just like teaching, copywriting is a highly specialized skill requiring hours of study and practice. For example, can you explain the importance of a properly written headline? Do you know the effect on your website of split testing? Can you accurately estimate the Fleisch-Kincaid readability index of your writing, and do you know why that's so critical to how your content is written?
To put this in a more accurate perspective, given the same amount of formal training you have in copywriting, if you think you can fly a multi-engine jet aircraft to a safe landing in zero visibility and gusty winds, or play a violin concerto with orchestral accompaniment, then you might be able to write your own copy effectively.
If not, then you should consider hiring a trained copywriter. David Miller Web Designs can provide a trained copywriter. For more information, please see our copywriting page.
In addition to WHAT you write on your web pages (the copy, or content), it is also important to lay it out so your visitors see what they arelooking for right away, so they are led logically from one section to the next logical section, in a way that keeps their interest and focuses their attention.
There has been considerable research performed on web site visitors' eye tracking patterns. Using the results of this research helps us lay out the design of your web pages so your most important sections get seen quickly by most of your visitors.
Besides the careful placement of elements on each page, it is also important to select or design effective graphic elements - photos, drawings, charts, graphs, etc. - to reinforce your visitors' grasp of the concepts, and to move them towards your web site's objectives.
Over the years, internet web pages have evolved from simple, text-only pages with a few links to the advanced stage we see today. Some web sites are full multimedia presentations, complete with motion video and Dolby sound.
David Miller Web Designs follows all the latest "Best Practices" in web site design, using those techniques proven to be most effective at communicating your message to your visitors. These techniques include everything from font size and color to the distance between lines to the judicious and proper use of white space, graphic elements, classification and categorization, navigation, and many other elements.
Web pages, after all, are simply presenters of information and offering visitors the opportunity to take action immediately.
Everything on your web site should use all the best practices possible to effectively present your information and give your visitors the ability to take action now.
Please send us an email or call us if you have any questions about how we can help you do this with your web site.