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Planning a website to market your home based business part2

Hello ... part1 of this article I covered defining the purpose of your website and planning it on paper.In this second part I will cover ... the page elements of your site. The look and fe

Hello again!!
In part1 of this article I covered defining the purpose of your website and planning it on paper.

In this second part I will cover designing the page elements of your site. The look and feel of a site is very important, and it must convey what your site is about.

A site for an artist would be a lot different in style to a site selling electrical goods.

Having planned your site already on paper you know where you want the page elements to go, but now you must give some thought to their design.
What will they look like? Do you want a simple background to your page or do you want something a bit different?

One of the most important things to consider is the download time of a page. Most people won't want to hang around while complicated large graphics slow down the time it takes for them to view your site.

Keep the background simple. White of a very pale colour with dark text is best. If you do want an image don't go for anything complex or large. Make the image file size as small as possible and make it very pale so that you can easily read the type over the top. Don't make the background image fight against the text!!

Only use one typeface in your website. Just decide on a typeface and stick to it.

Just use a normal size type for the main text on your page. The page heading should be a larger size and maybe in bold as well.
Use a dark text on a light coloured background. Reading text on a computer screen is always harder on the eyes. Most people wouldn't appreciate red text on a green background!! They would probably leave your page very quickly.

Break the page up with lots of headings and small clumps of text. People read differently on a computer screen in comparison to reading a book or a paper. They tend to scan a page looking for interesting bits of information that stand out.

If you want to highlight any words that are very important either use bold or a second colour. Don't underline text as it will look like a link.

The main navigation bar is usually on the left of the page or under the header.

Make the main navigation bar consistent throughout the site and give it plenty of space so that it's easily seen.

Don't use large graphics for navigation buttons as it makes the page slow to download.
Rollover buttons can look good but make sure that the graphics are optimised first so that they are as small as possible.

Debabblizer is great for optimising images and supports many different file types.

If you don't know how to create rollover buttons they are very simple and just require two small images both of which are the same size.
Make sure that both graphics are in the same directory and name them image1.gif and image2.gif

Here is a tutorial that you may find useful, it shows you how to build rollover buttons using javascript. You don't need any knowledge of programing.

A good graphics program which is inexpensive and capable of doing lots of things with graphics is Paint Shop Pro.
Download it from here at just $99 and get $75 free software
You can create images using it's advanced drawing tools or import your own.

Also if you use graphics make sure that you use alt tags with descriptions. this is a good idea as if the buttons take a few seconds to download the alt tag will appear first. It's also good for the visually impaired.

If you use plain text links in your navigation bar instead of just giving the page name e.g. "blue widgets", make it more interesting encouraging visitors to click on the link. e.g. "For an outstanding, hard wearing blue widget click here"

Design a logo for your site. This will appear at the top of every page in your site. Keep it simple and make sure that the image doesn't take more than a couple of seconds to download. Design it on paper first and then create it using a graphics program.

Building a website isn't difficult. Knowing what your site is about, carefull planningComputer Technology Articles,(maybe some basic knowledge of HTML) and some software is really all you need.
There are also many tutorials and articles on the internet which can help.

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