When building your own website it is vital to consider a number of salient points which will help produce a user friendly well optimised website. Below is a 16 point list:-
- Headings are extremely important more especially as search engines pick up pieces of headline snippets for web searches. So ensure that all your headings are concise and relate specifically to the topic.
- Ensure that all font is the same size and is easy to read.
- Any styles, font, colors used throughout the site are consistent on each page. Also remember that choosing the right color theme will be a deciding factor as to whether or not users stay on your site and browse or leave quickly.
- Use bold text sparingly and only where essential.
- Ensure that the content is literate, knowledgeable and easy to read.
- Try to avoid pop-ups, which can be invasive to a user.
- Ensure each of your URL’s are meaningful and that a user can immediately identify with what will be displayed on the page. This also helps with SEO performance.
- Ensure your navigation is user friendly and easy to navigate around and try not to create too many sub directories / navigation systems as this only confuses a user and they soon loose interest.
- Ensure any internal links are consistent throughout the site and make them stand out by putting them in a different color or underlining them.
- Any search box available to a user should be easy to access (usually on the right hand side) and work properly. There’s nothing worse than a search box not turning up any results.
- Ensure that your site loads quickly to avoid losing valuable customers and SEO performance.
- All images within the site should have appropriate ALT tags more especially to help those users with visual impairment so the functionality isn’t lost. Also remember search engines don’t read pictures so they need telling what the image is all about.
- Ensure that flash and any add-ons are used sparingly and also that they don’t interfere with your SEO performance. CSS & HTML 5 will greatly help if you want to include these features within your website.
- Ensure that your company logo is consistent & prominent throughout the site and that your tag line sums up what your business / brand is all about.
- Ensure your home page is clear, concise and sums up everything about your business quickly.
- Ensure that the site layout, colors used & font sizes are all consistent with your brand identity.