3. Design Rules

What to do

Design for professionalism

When was the last time you were impressed and happily bought from a poorly designed site? Was it because the product was so perfect for you that there was almost no choice? Did you go back and purchase again? A good design can honestly be a huge influence in creating trust, professionalism, branding and repeat sales.
Make sure your design speaks out to your customers about who you are, what you do, how large your company represents.

Post Contact Information on Every Page

Make sure your customers can contact you; Customer service plays the largest role in converting sales now and in the future.

Limit your site to one Font

Maintain consistency through your site. Use only one type of font for all your categories and main text. Only go outside of this for special design techniques. Ashop Commerce has web safe fonts such as Ariel and Verdana which are quite common and often look good. You'll convert more sales in an uncluttered, consistent shop.

Fix those broken links

Broken links only cause frustration to your site visitors. It is unprofessional and says you are not maintaining the site. Here is a tool to check your site for broken links.

Your homepage should be only a click away

If you lead your customer too deep within your site offering more and more detail or special deals, make sure they can find their way back to the home page with one, easy to find click. Best to use your header logo as a hyperlink for this.

Freshen up your site daily

Update your site frequently! Give your customers another reason to return to your site and spend more time browsing with useful information to read about. Be the sole source of information in your industry for all products, tips and breaking news. Updating information and including new pages also provides search engines with a reason to spider your site more frequently. Most search engine marketers and specialists agree: adding one page of content per day (an article, a product feature) will significantly help your long-term traffic.

Limit Pop-up Windows

Only use pop up notices if your customer requests them or is vital for them to know about. They are simply annoying!

Fast Loading Sites Convert the Most Sales

Online consumers and search engines love fast loading, easy to browse sites. Limit the use of large graphics to navigate your site.

What to not do

Not planning

Planning is an extremely important part of developing a world class online store. You should think about how your customers will see you and how you are going to entice them to buy from you.

Map out your site logically before designing. Ashop Commerce will help with the clear category navigation design built into the software

Outdated Information

Once you have set up a great site, don’t just leave it to die. Your customers and the search engines understand if a site is left alone. It will affect your rankings and sales if you don’t change anything for a while.

Plan to add a page of fresh content to your site as often as possible. Google’s spiders show a preference to sites which add or update content daily.

Horizontal scrolling

Just because you may have a high screen resolution with your computers monitor, it’s doesn’t mean everyone does. The majority of internet users are still using 800 by 600 resolution screens. This means to see the whole website without scrolling left and right, your page table should be set to 780 pixels wide to fit perfectly including the vertical scroll bar.

Change your screen resolution, and take a look at the site in all of the available options that you have.

To do this:

1. Right click on your desktop.
2. Click Settings.
3. Move the Screen Resolution Bar to 800 x 600 and click ok.
4. Once your screen refreshed check for horizontal scrolling.

Slow loading time

Flash animation can make your site look fantastic but will loads of graphics really increase sales; No, only use high end graphics and flash animation if it has a solid purpose, use it to point to a sale or advertise a new product, don’t just add a nice graphic because it looks good.
Also, if it takes more that a few seconds to download you are pushing away potential customers.

Try to keep your web pages under the 100k mark. Test your site, check the time it takes to load from a dial-up account and remember a large number of your visitors are going to be accessing your site via a dial-up service.

Broken Links

Broken links diminish credibility. Check your site constantly.

Web design and site usability are major factors in e-commerce success and failure. Follow these guidelines to ensure you have a better chance for success.


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