Developing a website is similar to building a house. You have to lay a secure foundation and use the right materials to ensure that your creation lasts a long time. Domain name selection, keyword research, good Web design and search engine optimization are some of the key ingredients of a good website.
Do Choose a Good Domain
A domain name is like a sign in front of a store: it can either invite customers to come and look inside or drive them away. When choosing a domain name for your website, pick one that’s inviting, catchy and memorable. Avoid domains that are confusing, easy to misspell or embarrassing. Long, keyword-stuffed domains with hyphens are poor choices as well. In short, select a domain that you can brag about.
Do Plan Your Website
Don’t plunge into Web design without planning it first. Establish key points; identify your audience, the purpose of your site and how you will monetize it, if at all. Research your target keywords. Sketch out a site map that shows you how many pages you will make and how they link to one another. Decide which information is the most essential and give that priority. Without clearly identifying your site’s purpose and goals, you won’t know if it is a success or not later on. So plan early on.
Do Make Site User Friendly
Visitors move quickly through Web pages. If information is buried several pages deep in your site or located somewhere that is not obvious, it can and will frustrate people and send them away. Keep your guests happy by making your site easy to navigate. Add a menu bar, use readable fonts, avoid busy backgrounds and present vital facts upfront. Test your website for usability. If a first-time visitor cannot find information quickly, your site navigation needs improvement.
Do Use Styles
Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is surely one of the finest things that have happened to website development. CSS streamlines HTML programming by separating design and appearance from document structure. When you use external style sheets, you can make changes to your site design without having to edit each page. This not only spares you a lot of trouble, but it also keeps your HTML code neat and trim.
Search engine optimization is necessary for the long-term survival of any website. Target your keywords in the title, section headers and links in your Web pages. Even more important than the search engines are your human visitors. Create useful content for your audience’s sake, not just for Google, Bing or Yahoo! If you provide valuable content to readers, the search engines will come to trust your site anyway.
Do Not Write Bad Code
If you are a Web programmer, you should know how to write clean and valid code. If you are only a beginner or know next to nothing about HTML, use an HTML editor that generates clean markup, such as Adobe Dreamweaver. After you have made your website, use a code validator. Proper coding helps ensure compatibility with all platforms.
Do Not Use Large Images
Avoid using excessively large pictures. You want your website to load as quickly as possible, and large images slow it down. You do not need to use images that are several megabytes in size. Even 500KB can slow down a person with a slow dial-up connection. Optimize your pictures for the web by compressing them. Chances are, visitors won’t be able to tell the difference.
Do Not Spam Your Content
In an attempt to manipulate search engine results, some authors deliberately “spam” keywords in their Web pages. This is known as “keyword stuffing.” Avoid it at all costs. Develop content with people, not search engines, in mind. Use keywords only as frequently as feel natural to you. Read the final copy to yourself to make sure it sounds right.
Do Not Finish a Site
Good websites are never finished. Instead, these websites are always evolving. Update your site regularly by adding fresh content, improving design and layout or adding new features. A website that is no longer updated may soon be outranked by competitors or abandoned by its following. You do not have to change everything, of course. If your topic is evergreen, many of your articles should stand the test of time.
Do Not Use Illegal Content
Illegal content includes using copyrighted images and text without permission or “scraping” content from other websites. Do not plagiarize other sites. Make sure your content is unique. If you outsource your writing, verify that your writers submit only original content. Use a plagiarism checker to do this. If you need to use pictures, use your own, buy stock photos or use free clip art that is licensed for commercial or noncommercial reuse. If you really want to use a copyrighted photo, ask for the owner’s permission first.
This concludes our top dos and do nots with building a website, please share this post with others that it may help.
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