web designYour website is the first glimpse a potential customer will get of your business, your offerings and what you can do for them. Is your website looking like something out of the AOL era? If you’re stuck on Web 1.0, you might be missing out on customers who are surfing on their mobile devices, customers searching for you in the search engine, and even those who know your Web address but leave because the page takes too long to load. These tips will help you revitalize your website and build something you and your employees can be proud of.

Large Images and Sliders
One of the most effective methods to sell your product is with visuals, and many businesses are using a prominent image on the front page to do just that. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see the top half of the page (known as the area “above the fold”) slide dynamically to reveal another picture. This George Lucas-style cutting technique is easy with a bit of javascript.

Simplify Your Navigation
Customers come to your site and they want to find what they are looking for immediately. Unless they really want something, they aren’t going to spend a lot of time searching your website when they can find their item easily someplace else. The solution? Reduce your top menu navigation to no more than ten items. Doing so will keep your customers focused on finding the items they want to buy quickly.

Using a white background is probably the most effective method to display important information. You might feel tempted to use a background image, or even gradients. Those won’t work for a few reasons. First and foremost: images take time to load so you’re reducing your page speed. Secondly, gradients obscure text, making it difficult to see what your key offers are.

Color Coding
Try to pick a three-color scheme that will fit your website, but definitely use no more than four colors total on your page. More than four and your text might prove unreadable, or your site might become an ugly mishmash of colors. Too much color can ruin your work faster than poor copy or forgetting the call to action.

Banner Ads
The final note is about ads. People don’t like them, so it’s a good idea to avoid placing them on your website unless you absolutely need to do so. Most websites that are not blogs will be fine to skip the ads. Ads also make your site look cheap, because the assumption is your products don’t sell and you need ads to cover the revenue. Unless the ad is crucial to your operations, think twice before you place it.