On September 16, 2009  

web design website maintenance checklist

Maintaining your website regularly is a must. Website maintainance can reduce errors, update your website and keep your website functional. Web maintainance is difficult and time consuming.

Here is a checklist to help you do this hard work:

  1. Keep your domain records and accounts up to date. Update your domain register before it is expired.
  2. Update your copyright notice in your web footer and anything with the lines of “@2009 your name”. The overlooked the copyright notice makes the website look outdated and unmaintained by the owner.
  3. Check your website email addresses and make sure they are all active.
  4. Check links. Website with broken links looks unprofessional and cost your business.
  5. Test forms. “Contact us” or other forms are the communication media between you and your customers. Test those media whether operates in the expected way. Also remember to check the errormessages and automated messages.
  6. Check search engine visibility. Search engines bring you traffic, but rankings may change. Find out the reason, changes in the search engine ranking formulas or changes made by your competitors, and take actions accordingly.
  7. Check insite search. Insite search is a efficient way, for many of your web visitors, to find information they need. Ensure your site search working properly.
  8. Check site download speed.
  9. Check confirmation and automated messages. Check the content of the confirmation or automated messages from your registration, enquiry, and other forms, and ensure it match your current marketing messages.
  10. Update time references. Information with specific time reference on your website need to up to date.
On September 16, 2009  

There are lots of ways to improve web design. Here are some simple tips for you to share:

Tip 1: Fast Speed

Not everyone has ADSL 2 Plus or faster internet connection. Lots of people still use dial-up modems to access internet. Please take off any fancy redundant images or plugins and quicken your web pages’ download speed. People will leave your website if it takes them over 10 seconds to open. Probably they won’t visit again. So, start checking your website assets and evaluating the loading speed of your website. If you don’t know how to do that, learn it or leave to web design professionals.

web design - grade your website level
What is the grade level of your website?

Tip 2: Readability

web design - readability is the important factor to let your vistor stay

For the visual aspect, there are a lot we can do in the web design.

  • Choose the colors carefully, like the safe combination – black text on white background.
  • Underline the links.
  • Use headings and subheadings.
  • Make the headers of the same importance in the hierarchy look identical.
  • Paragraph the text with roughly 4 sentences in each paragraph.
  • Use white space.

For the content of the texts, state your message in a manner of clearness and easy understanding. Short sentences and words may help.

Tip 3: Consistent Layout

The style of layout should be the same throughout your websites. The different layouts in the different web pages will confuse the reader: “Am I visiting the same website?”

Tip 4: Easy Navigation

web design - navigation is the key
Easy navigation is a part of a successful web design.

  • Use navigation buttons and bars in the same place on every page.
  • Include a homepage link in your navigation bar that can guide visitors back to the homepage wherever they want.
  • Offer a search tool to help users find information they need on your website.

Tip 5: Browser Compatability

web design browser compatability
So many web browsers, is your website READY for them?

There are many people who use Firefox, Opera other than Internet Explorer. Use the program code carefully (Web design standard: W3C compliance) while you are doing your web design work. Make sure your website runs properly on the most of the web browsers. Don’t exclude any of your web readers just because they favor certain web browser.

Tip 6: Provide options

If you really want to add music to your website, give the readers choice to turn the music on or off. They don’t like to be forced to listen when open your website. Please leave out pop up windows or plugins. You just make us no choice, and we hate that!

Definitely there are plenty ways to improve your web design.

If you need any further suggestions or little help about your website, please feel free to contact us @ web design melbourne – keynear creative studio.

On September 1, 2009  

Keeping things simple is an open secret to success and happiness. Same in the web design world, the expression “keep it simple, stupid” is accepted widely by most of the web design professionals, and valued as a basic rule.

Simplicity doesn’t mean boring. Simplicity can be achieved by avoiding any unnecessary web design elements. In another word, simplicity equals necessary or essential.

Here is a extremely bad web design example taken off from this “Mew’s Webpage”, that shows the unnecessary element (the cluttered background) messing with the texts.

Can you distinguish between texts and the background on that web page?

It is a rather complex job for web designers to set up a user-friendly website with all the information presented and unnecessary details removed. A fancy layout website with overdone graphics, flash animations and pop up windows can reduce the website’s usability, distract the reader’s attention, shade some of the information. This would be an unpleasant web suffering experience for the readers. They may not come again, which makes you lose.

Easy navigation is another crucial factor for a good web design. Web users are getting impatient, and they are unwilling to take time to learn complex things. It is critical to have simple web design to guide users to find the information they need by a couple of clicks. Web pages cluttered with information drive away users, as they cannot find what they are looking for.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s website.

We can tell from this site that a good website includes:

  • Simple background. The background is plain, and there is no bright colour interfering the reading.
  • Simple navigation. The clean clear header navigation keep consistent throughout the site.
  • Focused information on each page. Each page contains related information only, that would less the readers’ option, eliminate readers’ extra thinking and decisions.

Fancy layouts and navigation menus cost more time, effort and money than those of simplicity and consistency. Fancy ones slow the download speed of each web page. Web users will leave the website if they take more than approximate six seconds to load a page. To us, what a waste!

Use simple techniques, such as XHTML, CSS, in your web design, other than Adobe Flash, Java Applet or Microsoft Silverlight. Web pages built under those simple techniques can be well presented on most of the web browsers. Also, it is good for the search engines to rank the website.

Simplicity should be always kept in mind throughout the web design process, no matter who the web designer is, what the web site we design. This rule benefits us when we KISS it: keep it simple, stupid.

Our web designers always keep the KISS principle in their mind at every stage of web design process. They manage to figure out the right balance between the information and its presentation on the screen, and build nice, clean and functional web sites.

Get a free quotation for a simple but high quality web site for your business now!