Make your site make sense. Quick easy tips for an effective website.


1)Avoid the lake of fire.
Picture an old action movie. The hero needs to skip across the tops of stones to avoid falling down to the floor which is a pool of hot lava. Many websites use this design. Do not over-link your site. Often while surfing, people will come across the sites where absolutely everything on the screen is active. Like the hero, the visitor is forced to skip across the surface of the screen being careful not to touch lest they be taken away from the front page information they are trying to read. People do other things while surfing, the computer is a multi-taskers dream. To leave people with a lake of fire means they have to tread lightly around your page while changing the music, or closing a message, or moving files etc. . . .. Unless of course you are a flagrant spammer/marketer; in which case the lake of fire will serve well to bring people to your pop-up for debt consolidation and penis enlargement pills.

2)Adequate labeling.
Hey, its incredibly cool that you use the less predictable “starter” instead of “homepage” and that you’d prefer to have people “shout at” you rather than “contact” you. Its also wicked that you’re brother’s drawing of a dragon on a mountain is the best artist’s depiction of the essence of Megadeath you’ve ever seen. So you set up your site. People come by, they have no idea how to navigate the site and miss out on your excellent link to Megadeth’s myspace. Be cool, be unique, but don’t take it so far that people have no idea what the fuck they’re looking at.

3)Keep things working.
“I don’t know, they look like a real band/web developer/government agency. . . .wait, the links don’t work. Must be somebody’s fake”. Here’s the thing people, unless you’re bringing a huge community to the internet which you’ve already acquired elsewhere. You, me the rest- we all need to be fakers who are believable. Look at this bolg!? Some people came here thinking this was a respectable source of information. If the tune didn’t play, or the pictures didn’t load, they may have left before reading anything pre-assuming I’m full of shit (rather than finding out for themselves). “Real” sites run by people making money always work properly.

4)Be present and available.
This ties in pretty close with the last tip. Big Ben in London is an old format that continues to work and display a time. If it’s info wasn’t current, would people keep looking at it so often? Not such a great analogy. . . .There are many types of people on the internet, many of these types need to have an active webmaster to keep them coming back to a site. Most important are other traffic junkies, if they know you’re working hard on your site, they don’t mind the mutual exchange. Even the average surfer though isn’t going to keep coming back and looking at your site unless they really love you. Who wants to read the same mediocre novel over and over? Ah, but a mediocre well updated blog is OK

5)Look the part.
Don’t have a snowboarding site that looks like its a band, or a band that looks like a paper distributer, or a paper distributer that looks like a snowboarding site. Again, be creative, be unique, but be predictable enough that people understand what’s going on.

6)The best foot forward
I need to sort this one out myself. Have the right type of front page for the right type of visitor. If you’ve got some cool graphic intro that takes 10 secs, that’s great for some visitors and terrible for others. Take a band. They give out cards at their show to promote the website. A potential fan from their show might be blown away when they type in the address and see some wicked video before getting to your homepage. However, another potential fan, with far less potential, is surfing bands randomly on a social networking site. He links to the same band wanting to hear the music, instead he has to contend with an annoying graphic and moves on to the next band in frustration. Try and make your incoming links transit people effectively to the info they need. . ..and provide pertinent links.
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10 Responses to “Make your site make sense. Quick easy tips for an effective website.”

  1. remistevens Says:

    OK computer is getting disconnected, don’t know when ill be up and running in the new place. obviously i did not write this post this weekend.

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  3. Marcus T Says:

    ahem….that’s MEGADETH.

    Tip #7 Fact Checking and Spelling.

    Credibility is measured not by a person’s knowledge but by how intelligent they sound. Take Dr. Phil. Here’s a man that is making a killing from common sense. Do you think he’d be as successful as he is if he said what all his viewers are thinking? “All youse peoples is retarted!”

    Good luck with the move! Do you need a hand?

  4. After5PC Says:

    Good tips here. I especially like #2

  5. matt Says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  6. exuvia Says:

    Alien web abduction; drawn out by artificial intelligence to be scanned by evil intention. Read my brain soft-more! Link me back to my home page; I don’t find this a bit interesting. I don’t have any interest in participating in your program and I don’t care how fast you can have me there and back. Blue ray, tooth or moon; up yours! let me down or I will reboot… Put your chip on a leash and load me on the first bandwidth back to my IPN; Now! And don’t ping me I’ll ping you.

    How is that for a lake of fire?

    Best of wishes for your move.

    Exuvia

  7. remistevens Says:

    Hey thanks all, i’m all moved in.

    whoops, i guess they didn’t REALLY want to kill anyone with their music.

    I often worry about that #7. there must be people out there who are turned away by “bolg” too quickly to realize its a joke. but, you’d have to be pretty stupid to miss the humour.

    the new landlord has got the blue ray teeth cyborg upgrades. half the time i don’t know if he’s talking to me when he’s here or someone on the other end of his ear enclosure. why do people need to be so damn connected? personally i enjoyed it. got some work done, haven’t heard a phone ringer in over a week, watched my “Get a Life” downloaded dvds

    Watch Get A Life

  8. exuvia Says:

    #7 is an important creative tool. Without dyslexia and a delightful twist of words much poetry and interesting prose would never have seen the printed page.

    As my friend George says: … you just have to be aware of the rules you break.

  9. Marcus T Says:

    True ’nuff! Intentional spelling twists and such are an effective way to gain interest. (bolg included)

    However, mere tiping erors can just mak tings loooked rushed and sloopy.

  10. remistevens Says:

    I love sloopy writing.

    There is a Douglas Copeland novel, can’t remember which one. An entire page is filled with nothing but the letter “R”. . . .Friggin awesome!

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