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Plan your website before you start building

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Make your website fit your goals

Think hard about what you want to get visitors to your website do, or what you want them to learn, then design the layout of the site, the copy (words) and the graphics to get them to do it.

Navigation

sample site plan

It will probably help to sketch out a plan like the one at left.

The most important information should be highest up the tree: on the home page or one click away from Home.

Words: You are the only one who knows what you want to say about yourself, your company or your product!

  • Write interesting, informative and concise copy.
    If you're describing a product you're offering, for example, tell the visitor what it is, what it's for, how it's different from others offered on the net and how it will benefit the person who buys it.
  • Write your copy in a tool such as Notepad or Word. It's a much better editor than most online site builders provide, and it has Spell check.
  • Spellcheck or you'll look like an amateur.
  • Review your copy to make sure it gets your message across.
    Get friends, employees or anyone who owes you a favor to look over your copy and make suggestions. If you really don't think you're capable of writing the quality copy you need, you can hire a writer from a website like crowdSPRING to do the writing for you.

But remember, it's still your website! It's you who must make sure the website says what you need it to say.

Pictures

Need a logo? Try crowdSPRING!
  • Be consistent
    Use the same logos and designs on your website that you use on signs, business cards, packages and in printed brochures. This gives your company a coherent image and improved recognition.

    If you don't have images, you can buy high quality photos for as little as 50 cents a photo at sites like Deposit Photosstock photos or iCLIPART.com..

    If you don't have a logo, CrowdSpring has 75,000+ designers to compete for your biz
  • Make sure the graphics serve the goal of the site and help tell your story
  • Use animation sparingly.
    Its purpose is to attract the eye to the most important feature on the page, not to distract the visitor.
  • Keep your images as small as possible so they take less time to load. There are free, easy to use sites such as or TinyPng that will allow you to minify your images.