Whether starting from scratch with an HTML editing software, or with a ready made free web site template, it's imperative to work toward presenting a good impression on the first visit, especially on the Internet where those first impressions are made in a matter of seconds, and second chances are rare.
Here are a few ecommerce web site design tips that will help to quickly gain a visitor's interest, and keep her browsing for more.
1. Capture the visitors attention immediately with an interesting headline or a thought provoking question. A first time visitor will spend no more than a few seconds in deciding to browse the web site further or to click away.
2. Ensure that the web site will load quickly into any browser by keeping large graphics, animations, and flash presentations to a minimum. Those features should be used only if they contribute to an overall message, and not for perceived entertainment value.
3. Avoid overbearing color schemes or busy background patterns. What may look great on a living room wall could prove irritating to an online viewer. Background colors for text areas should be limited to white or pale shades, with dark or black common faced font (ie. arial or verdana) for maximum readability.
4. Compose your primary message to focus on the visitor's interests, needs, and desires. Then demonstrate how the web site or product can help to fulfill those. Few visitors will be interested in the web site owner's accomplishments or the business history. If that data is necessary, place it on a separate "about us" page.
5. Inject a conversational style into the text and the message conveyed. In most cases, it's best to avoid dry corporate syntax or technical jargon, unless the web site will cater to visitors who speak those languages. A site that portrays a personality and a casual human element will be much more attractive to repeat visitors.
6. A majority of Internet users are intelligent and educated, so proofread text areas for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. This is an absolute must toward presenting a professional image.
7. An effective ecommerce web site design should be clean and free of clutter. Ample white space surrounding graphics and text areas will make for ease of readability. Paragraphs of text should be limited to five or six lines.
8. Ease of visitor navigation can be accomplished by placing a standardized menu on each page of the web site, containing links to all other pages on the web site. A visitor should be able to navigate among and between separate web pages with a single mouse click.
9. For a large site, break the content into sections and create separate pages accordingly. Most Internet users do not like to scroll down indeterminately on overly long pages. Manage your individual page length to three screens maximum.
10. Openly display the owner's name or company name, a physical address, plus an email link and at least one other contact method (ie. fax, telephone) in any ecommerce web site design. This will serve to cultivate visitor trust and add credibility to the web site as well as the owner(s).
11. Before publishing the web site to the Internet, validate and check the HTML code for errors by visiting http://htmlvalidator.com or a similar HTML validation site.
12. After publishing, but prior to any promotions, test all web pages for proper resolution in several browsers. A web page that looks great in one browser may not work at all in another. As of this writing, the three most commonly used browsers are MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
In the initial stages of web site development, the tips presented here will help to lead any beginning webmaster to an effective and successful ecommerce web site design.
Of course, there is much more to be said about optimizing a web site for search engines, and about the actual mechanics of building the web site. Resources and tutorials toward those ends are freely available online, and can be accessed with a simple query to any major search engine.
Get No Nonsense Information and Resources for Serious Internet Marketers FREE of Charge at: http://DanBCauthron.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dan_B_Cauthron