A small business website has to have good design aspects overall if you're to succeed. A good balance needs to be found between using good designs and including all the necessary information that visitors require. A flashy layout may initially look good to potential customers, but won't be helpful if vital information is left out. Sites that are difficult to navigate, don't look complete or incorporate elements only compatible with certain browsers will likely drive customers away. Yahoo Affiliate Program and GoDaddy provide tools to help you.
1. Poor Navigation
Customers who visit your site should be able to access the product and services information easily. Links should be available on the very first page that your visitors arrive at. If you sell products, there's nothing wrong with having an HTML-driven main introduction page instead of having your domain point to a storefront. However, it should be obvious to customers where they need to go to find things. Site visitors shouldn't have to pass through several pages to access main product navigation.
2. Incomplete-Looking Sites
Most potential customers will leave websites that they feel look incomplete. Your basic introductory pages with company policies listed should be finished before being accessible. Make sure you don't have any links that point to pages that you haven't even added to your site yet. You can hide pages that are still in progress by changing the permissions on each of the files. This is a better option than directing visitors to pages that remain "under construction" for long periods of time.
3. Designs That Only Look Good with Certain Browsers
Many well-intentioned webmasters create sites that only look good when certain browsers are used. This is a common mistake that often results in a lot of frustration. At a minimum, a site should properly display in the most updated versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox. Other browsers worth keeping in mind include Google Chrome, Safari and Opera. It's a good idea to preview your pages in different browsers before publishing them. This will allow you to possibly avoid embarrassing mistakes.
4. Overusing Flash and Other Special Effects
Flash and other elements can help you create dazzling displays on your pages. However, they might not work well with older browsers or dial-up connections. It shouldn't be necessary for visitors to download special software to navigate your pages. Always provide a way for visitors to bypass Flash screens. Consider whether other effects, such as customized cursors, music on auto-play and automatic scrolling are necessary. In most cases, they aren't, and can safely be skipped.
5. Incorporating Links to Personal Interests
Most business owners do like to share their interests. It should be kept in mind, though, that links to a lot of links of personal interest or widgets unrelated to the business should be avoided. This can make the site appear needlessly cluttered and poorly-organized. Instead, company owners should consider maintaining a blog that highlights any special personal interests.