COMMON MISTAKES FOUND ON WEB SITES & OTHER TIPS
TOO MANY GRAPHIC IMAGES
If a web page takes more than ten seconds to load, a visitor is not likely to wait that long. Having a lot of graphic images on a web page slows down load time considerably and can cause a potential client to become discouraged and leave. It is recommended to keep a web page under 80K bites. Graphic images should be optimized by using the least amount of colors possible, where the image still retains most of its original value. The less colors a image has, the smaller its file size. Viewers like web pages that load fast, and are more likely to use your site on a regular basis, if they don’t have to wait.
Although connections are becoming faster with more afforable DSL and cable company services, I still would not recommend going over 100k bites per page. Besides, not everyone will want to upgrade to faster online services.
Continuous animations should be avoided completely. They are distracting and don’t let the visitor be at peace. They take complete precedence over the viewers attention. Continuous animations are like irritating children during a business meeting. If you have a cool animation that you just HAVE to put on your site, make sure it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to load, is small in display size, and only animates one time and stops.
Note: The only exception to this rule, would be a flash intro page, as seen on this site.If you do use a intro page, make sure to include a clearly visible link to enter the site and provide a link to skip the flash intro.
Heavy graphical backgrounds should also be avoided. Busy backgrounds can make the text hard to read, and also can take a long time to load. If you feel you need a heavy graphical background, make sure it ties into the overall goal or feel of the site, and should be very light, so it doesn’t overwhelm its visitor.
ABOUT HOMEPAGE LINKS
The homepage is the user’s map in case they get lost. It is the north star in the sky. Therefore it is important to have a link to the homepage on every webpage. This is very important for effective navigation. The homepage link should be very visible and close to the top left side of each page. It is also recommended to have a homepage link at the bottom of each page.
HOMEPAGE SITE DESCRIPTIONS
It is important to explain what the site is about and what users can get from it. This is something that many web designers overlook. A site description or “‘mission statement” is needed on the homepage. Most of the time, it should be brief and to the point. Your visitors shouldn’t have to guess what your site does. Being too involved in making the site look pretty, you can easily overlook this.
INCONSISTENT NAVIGATION AND LINK NAMES
Having consistent navigation and links (button names) on each page is very important for user ease. Having different navigation layouts and link names from page to page can confuse a user. An example would be to call a link ‘motor vehicles’ on one page and call the same link ‘cars’ on another. Both links should be called either ‘cars’ or ‘motor vehicles’. This also applies to page titles. Link names should link to pages that have the same page title.
EFFECTIVE META TAGS AND KEYWORDS
Having effective meta tags is also very important. After all, if your site is not out there with good page ranking, no one is ever going to see it. This site and many others we have created have achieved PR (page ranking) 3 and greater. Reason being, having effective meta tags with the appropriate keywords. Google sends out robots, which use your meta tags to help index you site. A site description shouldn’t be too long, should be to the point and non redundant. The keywords used should be appropriate to the sites purpose, and found in body text throughout your site. Repeating keywords more than 2 or 3 times is not recommended. Some people preach that being linked to other sites also greatly affects page ranking. I personally believe this theory to be over rated, but somewhat important, none the less.