Small Business Web Design – Good Design Practice

A website can have a major influence on the impression potential customers have about a particular business. Small business web design should not be inherently different from any other type of business design, but small businesses are often constrained in the amount of money they can spend on building their website.

Having a website is absolutely essential for some businesses, and highly beneficial to most others. In fact, it is difficult to think of any type of business that cannot derive some benefits from setting up its own website. Good web designers will be able to deliver a product that matches budget and expectations.

Some business owners, particularly those who are running their own business for the first time, can have difficulties in conveying to designers how they would like their website to look. However, there are a set of common denominators that make a good website, and you should discuss these with your designer.

Visual appearance
Everybody’s taste is different, but the majority of people will be put off by sites that appear garish. A site can appear garish because it appears in bright colors, especially if the colors do not complement each other. Using too many different font faces on a web page can also make it appear garish.

If you must include moving text and/or images on a web page, these need to be implemented very carefully. These can often be a nuisance to the viewer, and distract them from the core message the page is trying to display.

The information on a website, especially the home page, should be relevant to the business. If your business is electronics and your home page has no references to electronics, there is a good chance surfers will navigate away immediately.

Load speed
The modern internet shopper is impatient, and likes to see a page load quickly. If it takes more than a few seconds before surfers see something of interest, they will very likely move off somewhere else and miss your sales message.

Downloading image files is often the primary cause of low load speeds. If you want to include images, use low resolution images. It is perfectly acceptable to provide links to higher resolution versions of these images if the customer wants to see them.

Contact details
It is surprising the number of websites that do not provide basic contact information. Failure to provide contact information not only restricts the possibility of making sales, but it also conveys a sense that you are trying to hide.

Even if your site has a contact form, you should still make sure your email address is listed. Many customers like to send emails directly so that they have a copy of the message they have sent.

Businesses that are not purely online businesses should also provide a physical mailing address and telephone numbers. Even online businesses can benefit from providing this type of information, because it tends to increase the buyer’s confidence in the business.

Badly designed websites can be like a maze when it comes to exploring them. A website should be logically laid out and easy to navigate.

One of the best ways to convey to a designer what you are looking for is to make a list of websites that appeal to you, a list of websites that you hate, and your reasons why you like or dislike each site.

Pungky Dwiasmoro Hiswardhani

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