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Marketing and Coding Decisions About Your Website

Aug 7, 2008
Whether you like it or not, you need a website in today's computer-oriented world. Ten years ago, the transition to the Internet was a lot more difficult and many saw it as unnecessary. Now, the majority of businesses start out online, and few do not even find it necessary to establish a traditional brick-and-mortar store. When designing a website, there are a plethora of decisions one has to make, and each one has a direct effect on how successful you will be.

Webmasters often wonder if their site should be fully Flash animated or simply HTML/CSS. Both design schemes have their advantages and disadvantages. Flash animated websites are very appealing to the eye, can be navigated in unique and interesting ways, and present information dynamically and interactively. With a Flash site, users can examine products in depth, view them from any angle, and experience stimulation that cannot be provided with HTML.

Stunning animations naturally compel visitors to look deeper in to a site, and just getting a customer to acknowledge your product is half the battle. New technologies have allowed Flash files to become more compressed, meaning that it does not take as long to load Flash pages as it once did.

However, for some slower connections, it can take awhile for each page to load. The main disadvantage of Flash is that pages of this nature cannot be interpreted by search engine robots. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to optimize them. Since search engine optimization should be a key focus for all websites, total Flash integration should not be considered. Most websites which utilize Flash have a combination of Flash elements and HTML components, such as a Flash introduction page which leads to the primary HTML pages.

When it comes to design, more needs to be done than just deciding where to put Flash and HTML. With just HTML alone, hundreds of design choices can be made. Tables, navigation panels, and main content blocks need to be combined perfectly so that readers can easily find and ingest what they are looking for. Frames should be avoided altogether, as they unnecessarily segment a website and negatively affect search engine optimization.

The color scheme of a website must be carefully considered. The colors you choose and the way they are arranged strongly impact a person's emotions and psychological assessment of your business. Most web designers place a high emphasis on color and understand the vast importance of it, so if you are making a website yourself, you should at least consult a designer and ask for their opinions on the matter.

If you are hiring a web designer to create your website, there is still a lot of work you need to do so the final piece is as effective as possible. Write down everything you want your website to be able to do, and what you hope to gain from the website, such as sales, leads, or opt-ins. Make sure to identify the keywords and key phrases you want to target for search engines, as designers can incorporate those in to the website for you. Take a few hours to brainstorm about every aspect of the website, and develop a detailed blueprint for the web designer to follow. Do this, and it will be as if you built the website yourself.
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