Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thinking about redesigning your website?

Website redesign is always done with a certain objective and the investment done in projects should be justified by the returns. Every department of an organization has an opinion on how the website should look and feel and try to influence the web master for the same. I would recommend that there should be am interdepartmental meeting to freeze the scope of website project and technical details before the project is awarded to some vendor. The web master should be candid in explaining the effect of different features on user experience,business value and site performance.

Some of the common mistakes during redesigning projects are:

Site map: The site map should be structured in such a fashion that distribution of content on pages are even. Don't get carried away if you have more content for certain pages.
Content: Be truthful and don't boast about your capabilities. The client visit your website before awarding an order to you. They would be having false expectations and that may result in dissatisfaction and payment delay etc.
Flash - For an example of how Flash can ruin the user experience before it ever begins. It should not be used to make website more interactive and not to showcase your creativity.
Too Many Images - Adding too many images to your design can take away from the content and make it difficult for the user to find the compelling offers that you worked hard to create. When you do use an image, be sure to add an image Alt Tag, which helps Google associate a keyword with your image.

Yahoo recommends following techniques to optimize the images for a website:

1.CSS Sprites are the preferred method for reducing the number of image requests. Combine your background images into a single image and use the CSS background-image and background-position properties to display the desired image segment.
2.Image maps combine multiple images into a single image. The overall size is about the same, but reducing the number of HTTP requests speeds up the page. Image maps only work if the images are contiguous in the page, such as a navigation bar. Defining the coordinates of image maps can be tedious and error prone. Using image maps for navigation is not accessible too, so it's not recommended.

Load Time - Slow loading pages are less likely to be crawled or visited frequently by users and search engines alike.
Lack of Compelling Offers - While it's important to follow SEO best practices, it's also important to think about the true goal of your site - generating leads . Determine the offers you want to include on the home page of the new site.
Complicated Navigation - Complicated navigation makes it difficult for Google and your visitors to find information.
Dynamic URLs - Dynamic URLs are less SEO friendly than static because they do not include targeted keywords but instead include characters such as: ? = &. While Google can crawl dynamic URLs, static URLs give you control over the keywords that appear in the URL structure. Static URLs can also lead to increased click-throughs from search results because users can read the URL and know what the page is about before clicking.

  1. Six mistakes at time of website redesigning :
  2. Best practices for speeding up your

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