What it Takes to Start a Website

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October 2, 2012 by Scott Innes

So you’re finally decided to start your own website, eh? That seems easy enough, all you have to do is find a domain name, pay a few fees for a host, and play around with the pages using Dreamweaver. A website can’t really fail, can it? As long as your have one, it should be successful, right?

Well, it’s a little more complicated than that (obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing about it!). Let’s start with a few basics.

A website must, and I mean MUST, run fast. Or at least not run slow. Web users do not have much patients to sit around and wait for a load screen. “If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year”, according to KISSmetrics. I would assume that this ~14% decrease would transfer into non e-commerce websites since people who are frustrated with load speed will not view your website.

A website must be pleasing to the eye. There is no specific colour that is wrong or right. The colour must match the overall message of the website. A animal rescue site would not benefit from having a blood red background. It sends the wrong message.

Another must for websites is that it must be easy to navigate. If a website requires the user to get from page to page to page, have an option for them to go back to the homepage (or any other previous page). If the user must click “back” until they go to where they want, they might get frustrated and just leave. Vancouver Island University is a great example of this. For every click the user goes deeper, they are just one click away from any of the previous pages (including home page).

There are tons and tons of information on how to set up a website properly: WebsiteSetupGuide, GirlsGuidetoWebDesign, and WebDesignFromScratch are just to name a few websites with ideas. I think the aforementioned concepts are some of the most basic, but most important, in website design.


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