Here are 4 Steps to make your first web site look Professional!

One of the best experiences in life is starting your own business. You learn a lot about business, people, finances, and advertising/marketing. When a small business is starting up most of the time there is very little if any budget for web design. Usually this area gets overlooked, sometimes it makes a difference and other times it doesn’t. In today’s business world everyone has a web site of some sort.

The trick is to design your first web site to look professional by following the basic rules.

Rule number One. Don’t try to be creative instead be clear. The easiest and best looking web design use a white background, one type of font (the only exception is the logo), two sizes of fonts (size 14 for headings and 10 for the content text) and one font color (black). Use the standard layout, from top to bottom: header with logo, navigation bar, two or three column content area with text and photographs, and then a footer with duplicate navigation and contact information. Use column widths that allow 8-10 words per line and keep your web page width to 8.5 inches or 760 pixels centered.

Rule number Two. Don’t be gaudy instead be simple (KISS). Only include enough information using both text and pictures to get the point across. Your web site is a teaser to get them to call or e-mail. The exception here is if you have a product for them to purchase online for which you want to include as many details as possible. This also allows the web page to load fast giving people a chance to see your web site before they can hit the back button on their browser.

Rule number Three. Don’t be confusing instead be organized. Every web site should have some form of “Home – About Us – Products/Services – Contact Us”. Use the first paragraph or two from both the About Us and Products/Services pages on the home page with a “more” link that takes the user to the appropriate page.

Rule number Four. Don’t be secretive instead be encouraging. You never know when a client is going to feel the need to call. Place your phone number in the header next to your logo and in the footer of your web page. By doing this you will have the phone number at the top and bottom of every web page. Your are telling the client that it is OK to call you and buy your products or services.

It would be nice to take credit for all of these web design secrets but they have been right in front of us since the very first newspaper that was every printed. Follow the rules and your very first web site will be successful.

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