Adding Finishing Touches To Your Business Website



Before your business website is ready for the world to view, adding a few finishing touches can help avoid an "image wrecking" disaster.

Validate:
To begin with, run your pages through the validator at W3.org (the link can be found on the bottom of every page at this site). This will highlight any errors on your page that may cause problems in other web browser types and versions. It may be worth noting that although the W3 Consortium set the guidelines for web browser (User Agent) manufactures, at the time of writing this article, not a single manufacturer has released a browser that conforms to the HTML and CSS rendering specifications 100%. However, if you validate your page, you are at least off to a very good start. If you are having difficulty correcting the errors, or understanding the terms, you can contact us for assistance.

Spelling Grammar & punctuation:
With your page code cleaned up, read through every page and check for spelling errors, grammatical errors and correct punctuation. If possible get a third party to do this for you. The danger here being if you wrote the content, you are likely to "scan" the pages rather than "read" them.

Structure:
Once you have completed the above, check the alignment of paragraphs and spacings, the use of Bold and italic fonts and colour usage. A website can appear "amateurish" if there is no consistency to the structure. 

Customer View:
Now you need to view the site from the customers perspective. Your objective is to entice the customer to use you as their supplier, whether you have an ecommerce website or a brochure style site you have to make an impact on the viewer. 

Before you begin, we are going to give you a little tip on how you can spot a huge error on so many business websites. When checking a customers path through your website, never assume they arrived at your main or index page. Always assume they came in from one of the more obscure pages as well when doing this check. The reality is, if you have followed these tutorials in their entirety, a vast percentage of your "traffic" will likely come from Search Engines and directories to pages that contain specific words or word groups.

Now is obviously a good time to check your website navigation structure. Every page must at the very least provide a link to the home page.

If you can understand that the customer requirements of your website differ to the requirements of your business you are at first base.

Remember the expression "first impressions last"? Never has this been so true than in the environs of the WWW. From the second a potential customer clicks on the link to your page, the clock starts running. Get this wrong at your peril.

page loading:
As we have already discussed, no matter what page a customer arrives from, they have to be convinced that you are the company they want to give their business to. Every page should load rapidly, if it contains pictures or other images, ensure they are accompanied by some text so the visitor can at least begin reading while the page finishes downloading. 

Presentation:
Do all the pages look as though they have been constructed by a professional. Have a look back at your competitors websites and ensure you project the most professional image. This includes some very basic fundamentals such as avoiding images with a "jagged edge" appearance, very large bold text, site traffic counters, "best viewed with..." statements and "busy" page backgrounds.

Pages:
Now you are ready to develop the visitor into "your" customer. Go through the process of making a purchase or other relevant usage of your business website. Think of all the issues that may be raised by various customers.

What are the delivery times?
What is the companies security and privacy policy?
What are the guarantees and returns policies?
Is all the product information available?

All this information will furnish the customer with the security they are making the best choice when purchasing from your business website. Backed up with your own copyright notice and terms of use, you are ready to launch your website. 

Remember, if you have any difficulties with these areas you can contact us from any page on this website by selecting Contact at the top of every page.

Next we look at the various e-business models, how you fit in to them and the changes that affect your business.

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