Website Best Practices

It’s a new year and perhaps one of your resolutions was to have your own business website.  You’ve been putting it off because what to do next can seem overwhelming and very time consuming. The good news is that most providers include templates to help you get started.  And even better still some templates are designed by Industry.  This certainly helps to get you started with publishing your website.

After choosing your template, you are faced with adding content.  Staring at those blank web pages and wondering where to begin can be a challenge.  Hopefully the following best practices can remove the barriers of getting started and change your website status from “under construction” to published!

First consider what the purpose is for the page you are creating.  You can have many different pages but to start the most common include a Home page, a Contact Us page and a Products /Services page.  They all should have a unique purpose.  Think about having a clear single purpose for each page. What do you want your visitors to know when they are on that page?

A content overview/summary and links to help customers navigate around on your website is beneficial.  Pages don’t have to have a lot of content or pictures especially when you are in the early stages of creating and launching your website.  You can always add extra content after you publish your website.

Next, organizing your content in a logical way is helpful for you and your visitors.  Think about what topics are essential in your business.  Create a list and keep related content together. Be consistent in placing elements on each page and titling your navigation links so it looks uniform.  Ensure your visitors know where they are and how to get back to your home page. If you create an outline for each page, organizing will be simple.

Think about the Content. This is usually one of the daunting steps in the process but you know your business best.  Having to write the content should be trouble free once you have your Purpose identified and your material Organized.  It’s best to use words, phrases, and concepts that can be easily understood by the majority of your visitors.  Avoid acronyms and jargon so that you can reach a wider audience.  If you need acronyms then consider including a Glossary page to decode them.

And finally don’t forget to look at your Colors.  If you use a template, ensure the colors and pictures you use are harmonious. If your business has a color scheme then the template colors you selected should be reflective of them.  Also be aware that some visitors may have issues reading so using high contrast between text and background enhances readability for everyone.

Hopefully these best practices will motivate you to get your website up and running.  Once you publish your website, making updates will be no problem.  It’s great to keep your content timely and your website looking fresh as this will keep customers returning.

What you do to make a potential customer’s visit positive and enjoyable will have them bookmarking your site for future visits. Are there other suggestions for website best practices that you’ve seen on some of your favorite sites which would make you want to return?  What has worked best for you in creating your website?  We look forward to hearing from you.
Jean Hendricks Lead Product Marketing Manager AT&T About Jean