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Maximizing Your Website’s Full Potential

Whether your website is for business or personal use its important to follow certain guidelines to ensure users have a good experience .

Theme/Color – This is the first impression the user gets when visiting your site and can be the determining factor if they stay or leave.  When creating a theme for your site keep it simple.  The easiest way to do this is by designating areas for your header (logo/banner), navigation, content, and footer (copyright, contact info, etc) that fit together to create a square/rectangle on the page.  When picking colors try picking ones that flow together and are easy on the users eyes.  There are many tools on the web that can assist with this such as a color wheel which help with getting lighter/darker shades and colors that compliment each other.

Navigation/Menu – This is another crucial part to your site and should be visible on all pages near the top or in a sidebar for easy access.  A menu may also be placed at the bottom for your users convenience if your site content is long or you have a flash (elderly users or older browsers may not recognize this) navigation.  However the bottom of your page shouldn’t  be the primary source of navigation.  Another thing to remember is to never have broken links because they look unprofessional and can frustrate the user.  Even if a page is not up yet you should still never leave the link broken.  Simply create a page letting the user know the page is currently under construction and to check back.

Content – This can also make or break your website.  When adding content be sure to break it up with line breaks, bullets, images, different alignment, etc.  A user does not want to sit and read a wall of text, they want to get the key information easily.  If a page is really long there may be a chance that you could take a section and place it on its own page.  You also want to make sure you keep related information together and unrelated information apart to avoid confusion from the user.

Footer – The final thing in maximizing your sites potential is creating a footer for the bottom of your pages.  A footer should contain copyright information and your contact information such as address, phone, e-mail, etc for quick access to the user.   The footer should not however replace a contact page.

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