I have reviewed hundreds of websites in past few months. Some good, some bad. I have learned the hard way by doing my own research and applying logic as to what are the good website design practices.
So I thought best is to write an article on 'good website design practices' that you can use to make sure that your website is useful to the visitors.
(1) Navigability Navigation should be easy. Visitors must always know which page they are on. Do not confuse visitors; this is the last thing they want.
(2) Fast loading time In a recent survey, if your web site does not load in 12 seconds or less on a 56k connection, statistics show that 43% of visitors will leave the site. There are two main parts of website- images / graphics and content.
(a) Images Keep number of images to minimum. If you think they are necessary, keep them small. There are still some internet users out there using 56K dial up connection!
(b) Web pages Keep them short and readable. Never use fix font on WebPages. Let visitors have the privilege of adjusting the font size to suit their needs.
(3) Cross browser platforms Check your website on as many browsers and systems as possible. It should display properly on most internet browsers and systems.
(5) Flash Intros Simply get rid of them. There is still a big percentage of internet users who do not have Flash players installed on their computers. Take mine, for instance, I do not have it either!
(6) Use of CSS (Cascading style sheets) This helps both in SEO and website loading time. External CSS is mostly preferred.
(7) Website content: Content is the key to any website. With it comes the importance of categorizing the content in an ordered way. Visitors should be able to easily navigate between related category pages.