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Ten ways to design a great website.
This isn't my article it came from This Website

Ten Ways to Design a Great Web Site.

You should never assume the user understands your model or the goal behind your Web site. This means that you should know the purpose behind your site so that you can effectively relay it to the reader. A commercial Web site may have different needs — an online shopping cart, for example — from a personal one.

Assuming you are still reading this post, remember also that attention spans are short, all the more so online where leaving a Web site is just a mouse click away. This means you should never make the reader work to understand your Web site. Make sure that your navigation bar is both visible and clearly labeled. Any hyperlinks should also be clearly distinguishable from normal text, as should any visited versus nonaccessed links. Do not use hard-to-read or tiny fonts — Arial and Helvetica are generally good bets. Animated GIF files should also be kept to a minimum. Also make sure to include a smart search box.

Whether your Web site is for professional or personal use, you should design it with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. It’s better to use Web-safe fonts, for example, over graphic heavy text.

Look at Web sites you like. Almost all sites have a core layout. Find a template you like and use it as your springboard.

Test your site in advance of its launch and regularly thereafter, even if you plan on updating it only infrequently. Make sure your site works on different browsers — especially Internet Explorer and Firefox — as well as across different fonts and screen resolutions. Broken links not only prevent a visitor from getting access to their desired information, but also present you in a less-than-flattering online light.

Or for that matter color or graphics drunk. When choosing your color palette, a minimalist approach is best. This is not to say you should avoid all design effects like drop shadows, only that you should ideally use them to communicate your goal and not just because you can.

Some Web sites have a policy of no white space, also known as the blank space between text or other graphics. Here’s why yours shouldn’t. If used well, white space can help direct a reader’s eye to specific information you want highlighted. White space can also cut down on clutter and create invisible boundaries across texts. A no-white-space policy may result in a disorienting reader-based experience.

Your Web site should load quickly. Don’t make the user follow along with a load box. If you insist on having music with your site, give the user the option to mute it. On the home page and elsewhere, keep pop-ups, banner ads and other ad-like content to a minimum, if not nonexistent. If you’re a Firefox user, you might try the Yslow add-on (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5369), which analyzes the speed of your page. Another useful add-on is Firebug (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1843).

In other words, keep the look of your Web site consistent throughout. If your logo is on the upper left hand side of your Web site, for example, keep it there across all pages. Also make sure to have a tab on every page that lets users link back to the home page. If the reader has to rely on the browser’s back button to navigate around, you didn’t do your job. As a test, ask yourself if you’d be able to navigate your site if it were written in another language. Facebook keeps its layout the same irrespective of language so that even though I don’t speak Afrikaans, I can still get around Facebook’s Afrikaans language site.

Make sure your home page is clean and not overrun with links. The goal is to provide the reader with enough information to enter your site, not to scare them away.

Content is ultimately king. Good Web design highlights the content and adds to it without detracting from the Web site’s goal. Still, good design alone doesn’t cut it. Text matters, so keep your paragraphs informative but short. Simply put, seek out the fluff and cut it.

Source of article is in the link.
Ten ways to design a good website.

Hope this is helpful to many more out there.
That's a really great article. Thanks for sharing it here.

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This means that you should know the purpose behind your site so that you can effectively relay it to the reader. A commercial Web site may have different needs — an online shopping cart, for example — from a personal one.

I believe this is the best tip with regards to SEM. I have seen many sites that have content or codes difficult for SE crawlers to index their pages and others are too slow to download in a browser which produce high bounce rates.
I agree that Webdesign is more important for a website.It should not be too flashy,easy navigation, and should be pleasant to look.They are more like the eyes to a face.If people get attracted there are chances that they may visit the site regularly increasing your pagerank and webtraffic.If someone is knew to web designing then they can opt for predefined website templates already available or third party designing service.This would make the user to create a website easily.Providers like Tucktail.com offer Website Builder as well as Web Design Service for the users at low cost.
Yeah nice why not make a site for berievement as we all have had it at one time or another in our life, so people can post their pictures and loving messages light candles. then the memorys will be in cyberland forever. Just a thought. best for webdesigning http://www.webdevelopmentseo.com/webdesigning.htm
What is the need of xml in the website then?
These are some of the best tutorials well explained tutorials on the internet that I have ever come across. Thanks for taking some time to write it, I am going to share this on social media profile.
Really informative information you have share regarding websites.. It is very useful..
(03-12-2014, 04:35 AM)dellerictwen Wrote: What is the need of xml in the website then?

xml is for helping google while crawling your site.

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