Some advice on creating websites and website content is so academic, the nitty-gritty helpful tips are overlooked – so this is a common sense guide to setting off on the right path.
Only List Prices in One Place
It’s a slippery slope when you start listing prices across your site. Sooner or later, the inevitable will happen and you will update some – but not all – of the new prices. What’s the guessing that your next client finds the only one at the discounted rate and holds you to the bargain? Use links to track back to a master price list if required.
If you can reuse content at some point in the future then think generic. Avoid mentioning current events or pinning down dates on a calendar. A good example would be a campaign designed for the Holidays. Choose your colors and style then rotate out the look when you’re ready. Next year at the same time, dig out your generic campaign and it will only need a minor revamp instead of a major rework.
Naming Conventions for Pages
The links are displayed at the top of the browser so keep them consistent and logical. They may follow your menu structure but plan ahead in case your menu structure changes, does the page name stand alone and make sense? This also helps with any optimization of your site – thinking ahead about the perfect page name will help later.
Naming Conventions for Images
When a picture is new and you can’t wait to showcase it, you’ll upload it immediately. Perhaps the name is a filename like DCS00345.jpg. Take a few extra seconds to rename the file first and adopt a naming convention that works for your business eg sunflower design fluffy pillow. In the future, whenever you need to find that great picture again, chances are you’ll search on at least part of the title and will find it. Spending too much time thinking of how best to rename the images? Just stick to sunflower fluffy pillow1, sunflower fluffy pillow2 etc. They’ll still come up on the search and you won’t agonize over how many permutations of the words you can find.
Don’t Duplicate Content
Utilize internal links to other parts of your site. Not only does this ‘de-clutter’ the pages, you will only have one source of data to update with changes. If you want the same data displayed on multiple pages there are better coding solutions (eg widgets, headers, footers).
Open Links in a New Window
Especially if you are linking away from your site, make sure to select ‘open in new window’ so that if your viewer clicks and then looks around on the new site or gets distracted, your site is still open and they are reminded to continue on your page.
It’s not enough to use a responsive design template. Take the time to look at your site on a variety of mobile devices. Check out not only the layout, but the page load times and the ease of navigation.
Organize your Source Data
When you start a folder and have maybe a few dozen files, it’s easy enough to see the screen and find what you need. As your number of source files grow, this can become a time burden. Start out with logical folders and subfolders then stick with your system. It is your own personal virtual filing cabinet. This also reduces the need to fit every keyword into a filename, if a picture is within the ‘summer’ folder the need to add ‘summer’ to the title is negated.