50+ Key Points for Your Homestead Website

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Thanks for viewing this message. I thought it might be helpful to have a list of things to consider as we build our Homestead websites. So I’ve spent a few hours condensing some of my design standards into the below key points for your quick reference purposes. I hope you can rip through them, and occasionally refer back to them as needed:
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SiteBuilderPros

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Posted 6 years ago

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SiteBuilderPros

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Color Scheme

- Choose up to 3 colors that work well with your logo, theme, etc
- As needed, use different shades of those same colors for tasteful variation
- Maximize your aesthetic influence to captivate your audience and drive sales
- Taken for granted, poor choices may cause your visitors to lose interest
- Keep it consistent and pleasing to the eye throughout your site

Background

- Use neutral colors and/or subtle patterns by today’s standard
- When matching your color scheme, be sure not to distract from content
- Tiled images are a bust with the exception of seamless patterns
- Keep it consistent with the general styling of your design

Page Headers (and/or general header area)

- Likely to convey the overall quality of your site
- Typically consist of wide images by today’s standard
- May alternatively include other eye-catching graphics
- Include your phone, business hours, and/or locale for convenience
- Are a pinnacle from which to place your logo on display

Logos

- Are simplistic by today’s standards
- A must for being recognized above your competitors
- May include concept graphics, or be implemented as text only
- Done well, are effective even without taglines
- Should make a lasting impression!

Call to Action

- Easily implemented with buttons
- The “X” Factor in customer conversions
- To be notably displayed on your homepage, and as otherwise necessary
- Encourage visitors to shop, download, subscribe, contact, etc
- Focus: What should be your visitor’s next action?

Connectivity

- Blog to provide important updates
- Guestbooks enable visitors to post positive feedback
- Contact buttons and forms provide a quick messaging option
- Add a “Subscribe” option for your newsletter or video channel
- Now throw in some social media icons... Boom!

Domain Names

- Should never be disclosed until secured through a registrar
- Correlate with the name of the individual or entity to which a site’s devoted
- The fewer characters used, the better for marketing purposes
- Afford professional email address personalization

Building Trust

- Use reputable payment integrations and ecommerce systems only
- Provide information about yourself, your organization, mission, and/or locale
- Present your credentials, experience, networks and/or trade associations, etc
- Getting good reviews?.. Publish comments from your satisfied customers
- Got VIP’s?.. Sometimes (especially locally) it’s about “who” you know!

Layout

- Create well-balanced pages with highly visible navigation
- All pages should be “properly centered” and the “same width” throughout
- Consistent content alignment prevents jumpy page shifts during navigation
- Limit page widths to common screen resolutions - no horizontal scrolling!

Content (in general)

- Focus: Minimalist design by today’s standard
- Please avoid lengthy pages to appease the short attention spans
- As needed, compress and/or resize images to prevent slow page loads
- Text color should contrast with its background for the visually impaired
- Limit off-topic content and advertisements to sidebars and footers
- Minimize the need to navigate for higher customer conversion

Content (specific to index page)

- Honestly, is your homepage “really” interesting?
- Try to grab their attention as soon as your homepage has loaded!
- Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially when added to image sliders
- Challenge: Clarify your product or service onscreen (before having to scroll)
- Written content focus: What makes you stand out from the crowd?

SEO

- A critical element to your success online!
- Keeping pages organized and uncluttered with extras is a necessity
- Use (actual) page names and inviting descriptions under “Page Settings”
- 250+ word minimum on homepage, 100+ word minimum per page thereafter
- Ensure that written content is relevant to each page to boost keyword density
- And tricking the search engines?.. Don’t even think about it!




Make no mistake, this is by no means an all-inclusive list of solutions to our design issues. It is simply a way to highlight some things that may be missed during the design process. But more importantly, it’s a way to get us to really think about how to design our websites more effectively, rather than simply adding text, images, and other content to pages, as there are inherent differences between the two.

By the way, I’m no expert so don’t be fooled (LOL)! Please let me know what I missed. And if you have any ideas, then I look forward to you contributing to the list.

SiteBuilderPros
Thanks in advance if you 'd this post!
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SiteBuilderPros

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Thanks Mike! As time permits, I'd appreciate it if you'd elaborate some (post links, etc) on SEO using the "Reply" option - that is of course, if you don't mind.
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Mike F., Alum

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Absolutely!
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SiteBuilderPros

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Sorry to put you on the spot, but I know from some of your other posts that you're well-versed in this area of design, LOL!
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SiteBuilderPros

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And I hope that other members elaborate on whatever may be their strong suit as well.
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susan2829, Champion

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SEO and web design go hand in hand and ideally a site should be constructed with that in mind.
Here is a web site design checklist : http://www.homesteadconnection.com/We...
For SEO for SiteBuilder sites: http://www.seobuildingblocks.com
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Mike F., Alum

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Regarding SEO, It's a great idea to do a little SEO research before you dive in too deep with the construction of the site. Much of the SEO work can be done during the initial building stage. Learning a little about SEO up front, can keep you from redoing much of your site later on. Visit this blog for some great SEO tips that just about anyone can do. http://www.homestead.com/blog/05/2013...

If you struggle with some of the more technical things, you may want to take a look at this SEO ebook. https://community.homestead.com/homes... It does sell for $50 but will be the best $50 a novice webmaster can spend when it comes to marketing a site.

Anyone who wants the ebook can reply here and I can contact you personally for the details.

Thanks!
Mike
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SiteBuilderPros

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You're killing it Mike.. and I'm taking notes! Thanks so much!
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SiteBuilderPros

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Welcome aboard Drew! What I like about parties is that there's always room for one more, especially admins. For future reference if you further elaborate on any of the above key points, you might want to use the "Reply" option.. if you know what I mean ;)

Thanks so much!
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Drew N, Alum

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Excellent point, I moved it.

Drew
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SiteBuilderPros

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Smart move, LOL!
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Drew N, Alum

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Good morning and sorry for being slow to the party. This really is great stuff. Thanks for posting it. My biggest, clarification, really, is that while a picture is worth a thousand words to your site visitor, it is extremely important to remember that to the search engines content is king. That means text. Any word(s) you could want to be searched by, must be in the natural flow of your website's text content. Get the search engines interested and more folks will come and see those pictures.

Thanks

Drew