The Front Page of a Winning Web Site
For #TBT -- originally published April 29, 2003
Even if you're not writing your own code, you should know what makes a winning web site. In fact, if you browse the web yourself, you already know which sites you spend time on and which you click away from. A little analysis would tell you why certain front pages catch your eye, but as your time is better spent on your own business, choosing a good web designer makes the most sense. Here are some tips to measure whether your site's front page is a winning one.
Look at your web site from your customer's point of view. As your online sales staff, you certainly want your site to be as well-pressed, friendly and informed as your human sales force. Is it colorful and attractive? Do the graphics fit with the theme of your product, whether it be industrial or homespun? Are the colors and graphics consistent with your logo and other marketing materials? Does it look professional? Check out the sites of your competition. You'll get great ideas on what works and what to avoid!
One major trap to steer clear of is over-developing your front page. Keep it simple and urgent so that the page loads quickly, provides immediate basic information, and guidance to further details. Leave off the overblown graphics and Flash movies. They may be cool, but how do you feel yourself when you're waiting and waiting for them to load? Your customer may not have the latest and fastest computer, so make it painless for them. Once you have caught their attention on the front page, you can draw them inside for specifics on subsequent pages using your navigational menu.
Trickier to design well than you might think, the navigational menu is the next most important part of your web site. While creativity can be advantageous, don't sacrifice ease of use. Put the buttons where they are expected and make sure each link is clearly identified, but don't offer so many choices that your customer becomes confused. Links on each page will always allow your customer to get back quickly to where they want to be.
The remaining pages of your website may include photos, videos, catalogs, order forms and any number of other interesting things, but your customer may never get there if your front page doesn't stop them in their tracks. Whether you are starting from scratch or want to update your current site, a good web designer can create the web presence that best represents your business.
If you are ready to begin your Internet venture, or if you just need some assistance on your current journey, let us be your guides. Contact us now and let us outfit you for the wilds of the world wide web!