So you have decided to get your business running on the information highway known as the worldwide web or Internet. There is a lot that you need to know before you hire a web design firm, so that you can give them guidance on how you want your website built. You need to put extra focus on even the smallest details to get the best results from your site so that it will bring back a return on your investment. Here are some of the most important issues. The first on the list of "do-not" is to never use "splash" pages. These are also known as doorway pages.
If you have ever been to a site that has nothing but a very detailed high-resolution image with a message like "click here to enter" or "welcome to our site" then you know what I mean. The simple fact of the Internet is that users as a rule are in a hurry to find what they are looking for and coming to a page that wastes their time will just make them leave. You need to have a valid, content rich front page that will give them a reason to stay at your site. You will also alienate the search engines by featuring a page with little to no content. Another big blunder I often see is the use of overly excessive banner ads which not only make your site slower to load but take people away from what you want them to see, which is your content. The experts will tell you that people tend to have banner blindness anyway so you are just wasting your website space that you allot to those ads.
The better way to go is to have good content with anchor text links within the content that may prompt people to click on instead of shoving banners in their face. A few banners here and there are fine as they add variation, but don't overdo it. Navigation is another important factor in web design and it should be clear and easy to follow.
As I mentioned above most people on the web are in a hurry to find the best information they can so you want the navigation menu to be as simple as possible. This means you should avoid or minimize the fancy Flash type as well as the multiple drop down menus. Do not use auto looping audio on your website or audio that automatically starts as soon as the page opens. If you want to offer audio on your site, give the visitor a choice to click a button to get access to it, don't force it on them. Again, you want the visitor to stay on your site as long as possible and most people will leave a site immediately that has audio they can't get rid of. These are just a few of the things you will want to discuss with your web design team prior to the development of your website.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as Fairfield County web design at http://www.audinwebdesign.com