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Avoid the Following Web Site Mistakes to Help Assure Your Maximum Visibility Online

1. When you have a web site, it is important to focus on your clients. One of the biggest web site mistakes is organizing your site in such a way that it benefits the company but confuses the client. First, find out what your clients want, and then attempt to make a web site that makes it easy for them to get it. Too many web sites are designed so that only the designer understands how to use the site!

2. Many businesses get so excited about the potential that they approach web site design totally backwards – they get a domain name and the hosting, develop the web site, and determine what customers want.

Here is the correct order of the steps for lower cost and improved success:

a) Define customer expectations and needs

b) Develop the web site – you can reserve a domain name at this time, but hosting is not needed yet

c) Select the hosting and activate domain name

d) Upload web site to server and integrate your internet presence into your marketing approach

3. Think about the Web browser that your visitors will be using to view your Web site, along with the screen resolution. Make sure that your Web site shows up properly and is easy to read. For example, view your web site in Internet Explorer and Firefox, the two most popular browsers, before finalizing your design. Your site may render differently from browser to browser. Having a site that is difficult to explore is one of the biggest web site mistakes that you might be making.

4. Some Websites make the mistake of requiring users to download software applications in order to use the web site. Having special programs that must be downloaded before parts of your site can be viewed is a huge mistake. Studies have shown that people simply do not want to download items onto their computers in order to view a web page. The only exception would be PDF ebooks. PDF’s are the industry standard and most computers have a PDF reader built in. M ost people are comfortable with downloading ebooks in PDF format.

5. Web design software allows a designer to place more graphics on a website than is practical. Even though a large image can be sized smaller it could still consume a large amount of bandwidth and slow the loading of the web page. This is a sure way to chase visitors away. In addition, personal photos do not always present a professional appearance and should be used sparingly, if at all.

6. Avoid plug-ins, special effects, complex visuals, and other gimmicks. These often take a long time to load, require special software or, at worst, crash visitors’ computers. Unless your web site is designed to be a work of art or performance piece in and of itself, and exists primarily for entertainment purposes, avoid the fancy stuff. Most people visit a web site to get information or a product as fast and as easy as possible.

Finally, one of the most common mistakes is to assume that visitors will suddenly start flocking to your web site as soon as it is on line. “If you build it, they will come” does not apply. You have to tell them you built it and where to find it. As soon as you are happy with your web site, get going with the basics of online marketing.