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How to Design a Slick and Professional Website

Aug 20, 2008
It's amazing how quickly business changes. Before the internet, the only contact you had with customers was using the phone and face to face.

Now, due to the advent of e-commerce via the internet, customers can discern much about your company without leaving their office or home.

As such, it is very important for all businesses to build a website that can communicate with your visitors even when you are not at work. Most importantly, a professional site will go a long way to converting these visitors into customers!

It should come as no surprise that many companies pay huge sums of money to web design firms to achieve a glossy and professional presence on the web. However, this is not always necessary.

By following these basic tips, you will be able to create a professional and slick looking website that your visitors will love.

- Your site needs to be very easy to navigate. Use navigation buttons that are placed in prominent and obvious places. Moreover, you must ensure that they are clearly marked.

- The navigation links should be placed in the same place on each of your site's web pages. Preferably, these should be located in the same order with the same icon or picture. This gives your website a standard theme and makes it easier for your potential clients to navigate.

- You should make sure that people know which page of your website they are on. Using a "breadcrumb trail" at the top of the page makes it very easy for people to find exactly where they are.

- You should make your website easy to use. You must also avoid filling it up with text because white space is important too. Make sure that the text is formatted so that it fits on your screen without having to scroll left and right.

- You should also try to group relevant content together so that all of the information is readily available in a logical order.

- Make sure that people still know that they are on your website and ensure that you are constantly making them aware of your branding. This can be achieved simply by using a common theme and making use of the same pictures and logos throughout the site.

You should also maintain the same color scheme so that the theme is consistent. This will have the added benefit of reinforcing your corporate image, which should, of course, be in keeping with the image of your industry. Finally, use similar fonts throughout the website to ensure a uniform look.

Additionally, you must make sure that the graphics you use are appropriate to your target audience. If, for example, you are a business that specializes in corporate tax law, then you should not use flippant images such as cartoon characters. Conversely, you will need to ensure that your business is not too plain if you are selling something flamboyant.

You endeavor to know as much as possible about the types of people that you are trying to attract to your site and, moreover, what features they would appreciate.

An attractive, professional website design makes it much more likely that people will stay on your site long enough to read more about your products and service. As such, website design is a crucial element for the success of your e-commerce business.
About the Author
Chris Coleman is a Business Analyst at Capita Technologies. Capita Technologies provides web design services for a wide variety of clients.
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