The 5 Most Important Elements Of A Web Site
The 5 most important elements to a successful website design:
1) A BALANCE BETWEEN VISUAL APPEAL & FUNCTION – With the increased use of broadband, many designers have begun to lean heavily on visually stunning formats such as flash, or high resolution graphics. However, without balance, a website build totally in flash will be overlooked by search engine spiders, as spiders only read code and not embedded elements, and load slowly. Build your key menus and navigational controls in flash or with a 'clean' visual appeal, and have a separate navigation bar towards the top or bottom of the page in plain text with links.
2) KNOWING YOUR TARGET- You must understand the type of internet viewer you wish to attract. Your websites credibility should attract your target audience. Determine who your potential consumers are, what do they like, how do they think. Design based on what they would find interesting and helpful, not on what you may prefer. This will help viewers stay longer and make them more likely to become customers.
3) COMPANY REPRESENTATION- Know thyself … It's also important to understand what your company represents, and how it should impact your site design. If you like dark and stylish visual elements, but your website is about being a balloon artist … you will be misrepresented, and your viewers will find you uncredible. Take a fresh look at your company to see what you are saying about yourself.
4) FAST LOADING – It is a fact that the average time a viewer decodes to stay on a site is 8 SECONDS or less !!! Always keep your total page size for broadband users under 250k and under 100k for dialup users. "Know Your Target". If your products and services are more attractive to a dialup user type user, keep it simple, and vice versa.
5) SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION – Your source code and meta tags are king. You want actual text, not images for your search terms I the first 80 lines of code. You also need your meta tags, keywords, and descriptions to be present. Although, backlinks are still the most effective means of page rank, they do not help you much if your page is not enhanced with proper text, meta tags and keywords phrases.
Many designers today spend most of there time in one of two "camps". Either visibly stunning, or strongly strong with no visual appeal. Be both and enjoy great success.