Effective ecommerce web site design is almost an art unto
itself, but it can be managed by even the most rank beginner if
a few undercoming concepts and principles are attended.
Whether starting from scratch with an HTML editing software, or
with a ready made free web site template, it's imperative to
work toward presenting a good impression on the first visit,
especially on the Internet where those first impressions are
made in a matter of seconds, and second chances are rare.
Here are a few ecommerce web site design tips that will help to
quickly gain a visitor's interest, and keep her browsing for
1. Capture the visitors attention immediately with an
interesting headline or a thought provoking question. A first
time visitor will spend no more than a few seconds in deciding
to browse the web site further or to click away.
2. Ensure that the web site will load quickly into any browser
by keeping large graphics, animations, and flash presentations
to a minimum. Those features should be used only if they
contribute to an overall message, and not for perceived
3. Avoid overbearing color schemes or busy background patterns.
What may look great on a living room wall could prove
irritating to an online viewer. Background colors for text
areas should be limited to white or pale shades, with dark or
black common faced font (ie arial or verdana) for maximum
4. Compose your primary message to focus on the visitor's
interests, needs, and desires. Then demonstrate how the web
site or product can help to fulfill those. Few visitors will be
interested in the web site owner's accomplishments or the
business history. If that data is necessary, place it on a
separate "about us" page.
5. Inject a conversational style into the text and the message
conveyed. In most cases, it's best to avoid dry corporate
syntax or technical jargon, unless the web site will cater to
visitors who speak those languages. A site that portrays a
personality and a casual human element will be much more
attractive to repeat visitors.
6. A majority of Internet users are intelligent and educated,
so proofread text areas for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
This is an absolute must towards presenting a professional image.
7. An effective ecommerce web site design should be clean and
free of clutter. Ample white space surrounding graphics and
text areas will make for ease of readability. Paragraphs of
text should be limited to five or six lines.
8. Ease of visitor navigation can be accomplished by placing a
standardized menu on each page of the web site, containing
links to all other pages on the web site. A visitor should be
able to navigate between and between separate web pages with a
single mouse click.
9. For a large site, break the content into sections and create
separate pages respectively. Most Internet users do not like to
scroll down indeterminately on overly long pages. Manage your
individual page length to three screens maximum.
10. Openly display the owner's name or company name, a physical
address, plus an email link and at least one other contact
method (ie. fax, telephone) in any ecommerce web site design.
This will serve to cultivate visitor trust and add credibility
to the web site as well as the owner (s).
11. Before publishing the web site to the Internet, validate
and check the HTML code for errors by visiting
http://htmlvalidator.com or a similar HTML validation site.
12. After publishing, but prior to any promotions, test all web
pages for proper resolution in multiple browsers. A web page
that looks great in one browser may not work at all in another.
As of this writing, the three most commonly used browsers are
MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
In the initial stages of web site development, the tips
presented here will help to lead any beginning webmaster to an
effective and successful ecommerce web site design.
Of course, there is much more to be said about optimizing a web
site for search engines, and about the actual mechanisms of
building the web site. Resources and tutorials towards those
ends are freely available online, and can be accessed with a
simple query to any major search engine.