The most important thing to remember when designing a website is to keep the design clean. What this basically means is to make it as easy to navigate as possible. Do not clutter it up with all sorts of elaborate designs, images, different sizes of text, and all sorts of intense colors. Not only does this severely slow down the page load time but when the visitor finally gets there he or she will be overwhelmed and click out of the website.
All of these things bode poorly for Google SEO. Two of the most important factors in the mind of Google, especially in the days of the Panda algorithm, are page load speed and visitor quality.
Implementing CSS for Speed and Clean Design
One way to add design features and still keep page load time is by writing a lot of the design into a CSS file. CSS, which stands for cascading style sheet, is basically a blueprint for a browser as to where to put whatever colors, texts, backgrounds, images and other design factors and how they should appear. Just as a blueprint helps the architect build the house, a CSS file connected to the website will tell the browser how to build the website. This speeds up page load time due to the lack of extra coding the browser has to read. Additionally, the information the browser has to read is more organized.
Important and Useful Implementation of XHTML
XHTML is also another good coding tool. XHTML is more organized, is more compatible with multiple browsers and it is based off of XML, which is by far one of the most advanced web design languages a layman can learn on his or her own.
To help incorporate both of these into the website and achieve every goal set by the addition of these practices, one might want to use a blogging software like WordPress. For e-commerce sites, the equivalent would be something like Magento, Prestashop, or possibly Joomla. These allow a lot of the same infrastructure and controls but are not focused so much on blogging. However, WordPress is so customizable that this may prove a moot point.
Friendly to Disabled Visitors
Dealing more with user friendly design, it is increasingly more important to make a website blind and deaf friendly. This is just as essential to a website as it is to a restaurant or public venue to have wheelchair ramps and handicap parking. Most public places have handicap accessible parking lot and a wheelchair ramp.
To make a website blind friendly, it just needs to be designed in a very clean fashion so nobody is relying on images or video to get a point across. Most hearing impaired individuals have a software that allows them to hear the text of most websites over speakers or headphones. For a website to be deaf friendly, it cannot rely solely on audio or video to get a point across. Put the main message and all significant content down as text for both disabilities.
Without a clean layout and easily navigable site, visitors are forty percent to sixty percent more likely to leave the site before attempting to go forward. Especially as an e-commerce site, it is important not to alienate potential clientele. This is even more important if it is simply off of a design oversight or some other easily avoidable problem. In the long run profitability will soar with the right concern for the visitor.
Edited by Jan Corpus