Website templates are very affordable and they save you a lot of effort and time when you want to create a new layout for your website. However, a lot of people make mistakes in the process of choosing and using a web template and end up with something that was unlike the image they had in mind. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid those mistakes.
The first obvious mistake you should be aware of is using a template that is very popular. If many people use the same template, your website will not appear unique at all and your credibility as a solid, different website will be tarnished. In other words, you will appear generic just like your next-door neighbours.
To whole point of using a web template is to save time and effort. You just change the title and appropriate details and you’re done. The biggest mistake one makes is to customise the template beyond recognition. While that may be good in the sense that you’re creating a unique graphic, you’re defying the very purpose of using a web template which is saving time and effort.
However, on the opposite side, if a template you purchase is suitable but some changes must be made to suit your site’s theme, then you will have to take some time to make the changes. For example, you can find a very nice template that suits your hobby site except the original designer has put an image of stamps in the header. You can find images of garden plants and spades to replace the stamps for your gardening hobby site. However, do only make the necessary changes and don’t redesign the whole template.
In some circumstances, some people simply make the wrong choice of templates. This is a very subjective issue but you have to be careful in selecting templates to suit your audience. Do not choose templates just because they are pretty, choose them because they serve your purpose.
When it comes to your website, extra attention should be paid to every minute detail to make sure it performs optimally to serve its purpose.
Here are five important rules of thumb to observe to make sure your website performs well.
#1 Do not use splash pages
Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a website. They normally have a very beautiful image with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just pretty vases with no real purpose. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the “back” button! Give them the value of your site up front without the splash page.
#2 Do not use excessive banner advertisements
Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valuable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, and let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.
#3 Have a simple and clear navigation
You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.
#4 Have a clear indication of your pages
When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Don’t confuse your visitors because confusion means “abandon ship”!
#5 Avoid using audio on your site
If your visitor is going to stay a long time at your site, reading your content, you will want to make sure they’re not annoyed by some audio looping on and on on your website. If you insist on adding audio, make sure they have some control over it – volume or muting controls would work fine.