Designing your website entails quite a few important considerations if you want to make a site that will perform well. A non-commercial website can get away with things that a commercial website cannot. Let’s look into some of the design aspects that you can’t afford to miss on
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How you approach the navigation structure for any site will have a huge impact. This doesn’t mean that you should squeeze in the navigation into your web design after it’s done, but rather it should be incorporated in it from the ground up.
Your navigation shouldn’t be confusing nor inconsistent, but rather should be in a flow. If your visitors find the navigation hard to understand in terms of knowing how to go from one page to the other, then they tend to leave early. Part of the website experience, which obviously must be positive, is that the navigation is simple so that people use it without thinking about it.
Include RSS Auto-Discovery: In case you offer an RSS feed for the content of your website (most of the sites do offer it and if you don’t, you should), make sure you include the auto-discovery code in the website’s header. This helps all of the browsers and RSS readers find your feed automatically and alert people to its presence. RSS feeds are a wonderful way to alert readers and tell them about any changes that you make on your site; this one little feature can make a major difference in how things run for you.
Alternate Domains: to make sure that your brand is protected and that everybody can find your site, you should register alternate and multiple versions of your domain name with a variety of extensions. This is a step that just prevents others from using the available (similar) domain names for themselves. It’s not really related to your website design but take this step anyway so that you won’t accidentally lose any valuable readers. All you do then is re-direct all of your domain names to the main site–an act that is often done by bigger companies who want to protect their brand and raise awareness for their sites. For example, don’t just limit yourself to the .com–you need the .org and .net as well so that you’re covered in the three most popular extensions. This will also help your site have no competition from other domain extensions in the search engines. You will design your site and then perhaps keep refining it as time goes on. What you do and how you handle it is your business, but just keep in mind that your visitors and market are the only people you need to please.
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