With so many websites competing to be found, your website should be a reflection of your business.  So what does it say when your website has some simple glaring problems?  You’ve just given your competitors a gift by giving your visitors an excuse to leave your site.  Getting in front of your potential customers, presenting your business professionally, and hopefully getting them to become a client – this is everyone’s ultimate goal.

Here is a short list of easy things to look out for, that people have come to expect of a website.

Clear and Easy Navigation.

How easy is it for your visitors to find your information on your website?  When a visitor comes to your website for the very first time, can they find their way to the various parts of your website that can answer their possible questions? This is how you need to critically look at your pages. Your navigation should be easy to find, located on your page within the boundaries of convention. Your links should use words your visitors would use. Resist the urge to name your links something unusual just to stand out.  Your content and images should give you that edge.  And remember, the Home link should be accessible from all pages!  If the trail goes deeper than two or three levels, consider using “breadcrumbs” somewhere in the upper left hand side of the page to help your visitors know where they’ve come from.

Clear, Clean Designs and Images.

White space tends to give a web page a feeling of openness.  We’re bombarded by so many images and colors when we surf the internet, that our eyes tend to rest upon the cleanness of white space.  Use it to your advantage.  Break up text into short paragraphs. Keep your images and designs clean and simple.  Images should be surrounded by white space so they stand out.

Check for Broken Links.

There is nothing more unprofessional than broken links.  Over time, outside links can change, and even the links within your own website can change.  Periodically test them on your site – and make sure they’re fixed as soon as a broken link is found.

Fast loading pages.

No one likes to wait even a few seconds for a web page to load. If your page isn’t available in the short span of time that represents our patience, then your website may as well not be there.  It’s already competitive enough out there on the World Wide Web – don’t give your competitor the leg up by slowing down your load page times.   This is such a simple thing to do, and can mean the difference between getting your website in front of a potential customer or not!

Browser Compatibility.

Microsoft IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari – these are just some of the web browsers that people use to surf the internet.  Your web site should be tested using various versions of IE (6.0 and up), along with Firefox, Chrome and Safari.  If you’ve done your job right, then all will display as expected for the majority of your visitors.  Make sure your message is as professional looking as possible, by testing your layout in as many browsers as possible.  Remember, it’s all about your visitors’ experience.