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Web site design challenges are far and wide, depending on the type of site being built. Here is a quick take on core web site design challenges and how to handle them to build a high quality web site.
What’s the SEO Strategy and how does it map to the web site design? Bring the SEO geeks/agency into the web site design tent and have them involved early on. Or, your going to spend more money downstream trying to fix the Content and Menus so they are search friendly and deal with other SEO issues.
Use WordPress for your platform. Why build a web site in plain old HTML in today’s Web 2.0 world. WordPress has tens of thousands of plug ins that extend its functionality, an equal number of developers familiar with the platform, is very/very SEO friendly, has a built in Content Management System, is Open Source and much more.
Great web sites are like a beautiful woman’s dress – the simpler the better, less is more, with minimalist design elements, universal menus at top and bottom, should be able to navigate through the site in 2-3 clicks easily, have integrated calls to action like signing up for Newsletter. Speaking of women, better design the site with a color scheme that is appealing to the latter. Hello guys, the largest demographic on the web is women and they typically like (ignoring Courtney Love) softer color pallets, minimal in your face calls to action – in short a color and design scheme that is on the feminine side.
Layout the menu structure first. Think of Menus as the frame of a web site – once these are mapped out you will have a good sense for how many pages of content you’ll have, how to integrate Social Media elements (when & where), etc. And, don’t forget Keywords in the Menus – these can be important for SEO results.
Pick a URL that reflects your core branding and has high trafficked keywords in it. We would refer you to an earlier blog post that will give you much more information about this important process.
Web developers almost always fall in love with their own work – it just comes with the territory. Be prepared to reign them in if they get carried away with imagery – you want enough images to break up the text but you don’t want so many that your load times (time it takes the site to be viewed) to be slowed down, as this negates search rankings, especially via Google.
Sociables are the little Twitter, Like (Facebooks newest), Facebook and/or other icons that should be incorporated with your site so that people can easily share the site – this drives incremental viewer and traffic. Don’t forget to include a Twitter plug in for your site if you have an account or other useful plugins that will show your visitors fresh content.