Your website is where your business resides -- it's like headquarters of an offline company. Hence, it is important to practise good design principles to make sure your site reaches out to the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible.
Make sure you have clear directions on the navigation of your website. The navigation menu should be uncluttered and concise so that visitors know how to navigate around your website without confusion.
Reduce the number of images on your website. They make your site load very slowly and more often than not they are very unnecessary. If you think any image is essential on your site, make sure you optimize them using image editing programs so that they have a minimum file size.
Keep your text paragraphs at a reasonable length. If a paragraph is too long, you should split it into separate paragraphs so that the text blocks will not be too big. This is important because a block of text that is too large will deter visitors from reading your content.
Make sure your website complies with web standards at www.w3.org and make sure they are cross-browser compatible. If your website looks great in Internet Explorer but breaks horribly in Firefox and Opera, you will lose out on a lot of prospective visitors.
Avoid using scripting languages on your site unless it is absolutely necessary. Use scripting languages to handle or manipulate data, not to create visual effects on your website. Heavy scripts will slow down the loading time of your site and even crash some browsers. Also, scripts are not supported across all browsers, so some visitors might miss important information because of that.
Use CSS to style your page content because they save a lot of work by styling all elements on your website in one go.
How to Have Websites Built For You the Cheap Way
Normally, if you want to have professional designer's custom build your site, you must be prepared to dish out at least a few hundred dollars. All this can change if you know where to find the best deals, the best designs for the lowest price. Here's a rough guide:
First, you must understand that it is a rip off to get companies to design websites for you. Have you ever seen those advertisements in newspaper classified ad sections that offer a 5-page website at $500? These companies are established companies with physical locations; therefore they have to increase the amount they charge to pay off some overheads: office rent, designer's wages, advertising costs and so on.
Therefore, it would be wise to find freelance designers who work from home. These people are often working from home so they do not have a high operation cost like that of a company. On the other hand, they will be able to design images with quality similar to those of designers from big companies, so it's a "no-brainer" choice.
However, choose freelancers with care. The best way to do this would be to go to elance. There, you can post the abstract of your project and get thousands of freelancers to bid on your project, so you will surely get the best deal. On top of that, you will be able to choose the designers based on their experience, past transactions and ratings, so your value for money is secured.
Another route you can take is to design your website yourself. Think about it, if you only need 5 simple pages to present some simple information, why waste hundreds of dollars for it? Just spend a little time to sit down and do it yourself. You'll be able to design your own sites even if you do not know a single line of HTML code with the help of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) programs such as Microsoft FrontPage, Macromedia Dreamweaver and so on.