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Selecting the right website design will undoubtedly be critical to your success online. If you have an online business, chances are you are not an expert at web design at all. You can either hire your own web designer or you can take the time to buy a website template and work on it yourself.
So how do you pick a website template? Do it right, and you will end up with a website that people will remember, bookmark, revisit and recommend to all their friends. A well-designed template will contain the following characteristics:
It’s unique. You wouldn’t want to use the same template your competitors are using now would you? Find something that’s different from what everyone else is using. Most popular templates and web design trends are overused that you can find over a hundred websites looking exactly the same.
It’s easy to edit. Find a flexible website template – one that you can edit with just about any HTML editor. If a template or design is heavy on graphics, pick one whose graphics are easy to edit or replace. Make sure that the picture files included are also optimized for web display. Otherwise you’re going to end up with slow-loading pages.
It’s eye-catching but not too distracting. Choose a design that will impress your visitors but not distract them from your main content. You’d want your website to stand out for two reasons: good design and exceptional content. Use colors too strong for your niche theme and you’ll end up with visitors who may think you are unprofessional.
It’s NOT a Flash template. Until Flash websites are 100% “index-able” by Google and other search engines, refrain from using them. And it’s not just that. Flash websites load slowly, are very distracting and are difficult to edit or update with content.
It does not contain too many scripts for design. Scripts should only be used only when absolutely necessary, not for adding unnecessary design. If a design element can be accomplished with just HTML, CSS and simple graphics alone, it’s best not to use scripts. It’s just overkill. Scripts should be used to manipulate data and facilitate online transactions.
If a template does contain scripts, check the code. Make sure that all scripting codes are placed at the bottom of the HTML document not near the header. If placed near the top of the document, web pages containing the script will appear to load very slowly.
It’s optimized for SEO and usability. There are many factors to consider here. To start, check the layout. Make sure that the upper left side of the page will allow you to put your most important links and elements there – your header, link to the home page or your page’s title. Upper left is where your main navigation should be. Why? Because that’s the first place visitors will look (because people read from left to right). Visitors only have a few seconds to figure out where to get the information they need before giving up. You’d want to make sure that’s possible with your website design.
Those are the qualities of a well-designed website template. Your website design can make or break the success of your online business so take your time in selecting template.