How to Build & Create Your Own Web Site
Create a website development plan that is integrated with your
overall marketing processes; the content should be consistent with
offline materials (if you have any), the graphics/images should be
web friendly and consistent with your overall branding, style guide,
usage of colors, etc.
When creating a website, try not to get "geek crazy" - meaning you become so in love with the
latest design technology, your web site gets bogged down with graphics,
plug ins, GIF garbage, etc. But, conversely, check your ego at the
door when you work at your design. There are too many sites cramped
with meaningless junks they literally turn visitors away. A decent
design is what you need.
Pay attention to "load times," how long it takes a web site to load
on a 56 kbps modem (this is an industry average), if its more than
12-18 seconds you may experience the "click of death" - the site
doesn't load quickly and the surfer is gone. Of course if you are
targeting broadband customers who are reaching your site via ISDN,
DSL or Cable modem then you can build a website that incorporates
multimedia-ready content that may include streaming audio or video,
Shockwave or Flash capabilities - go ahead and let those digital
geeks get carried away with cutting edge content!
Keep it simple - make a website easy to move around in, build a menu
structure that is consistent with industry standards, local menus
(for a page or section) on the left and global menus (overall site
navigation) at the top and/or bottom of each page, keep as much
information "above the fold" (above the cutoff point at the bottom
of a monitor), don't make people use horizontal scroll bars unless
Inculcate "digital speed" into your overall site design, your
visitors should be able to get to their desired area of your site
within one or two mouse clicks; they will quickly get frustrated if
they have to click around multiple menus to find the information
they are seeking.
Develop content that is web-enabled, people don't read web site
content like they do offline media, keep your paragraphs short, no
more than two to three sentences, put in white space between your
content, include links in your pages - don't try to tell your whole
life story on your site - get people to call you, e-mail or fill out a
Make your site permission-based marketing ready - Seth Godin, author
of "Permission Marketing" book champions building a long term
relationship with a customer by asking their permission to continue
to market to them and incorporating value/information in all
Ensure your site is optimized for Search Engines by identifying 8-12
keywords that people will use to find your site, then incorporate
these keywords in your site content (to drive relevancy with
search engine spiders/bots) and then get lots of
links to your site. It is estimated as much as 70% of all traffic to
most web site comes through search engine. If you want to attract
tons of visitors, this is an important step to take.
Delve into your log server files to uncover "digital tracks" made
through your web site - your log files are raw
data that show how and from where (in most
cases) people accessed your web site, where they
went on your web site, how long they stayed,
etc. There are many products on the
market that can achieve such purpose.
10) Think global in your overall
site design - the greatest Internet growth is occurring outside
North America, so it is essential to build a site that can be
accessed easily by people around the world. What issues do you need
to look at? Load times are very important (again), develop content
that avoids colloquialisms that may not be understood by others who
may not speak the same language. You may want to
make your web site content available in diverse
languages to your
ecommerce capabilities can be utilized by all.
With all that said, the final question is how
do you start a website? It's pretty aimless
to learn all about what your site should have if
you don't know how to build a web site! Here
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