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How To Design a Better Website

Although the overall design of your website is often a personal thing, there are basic design principles that will make your site more efficient. Whether you have built your own site or are working with a design company, here are 5 design tips to speed up your website traffic, and likely your conversions.

Limit Use of Flash

While Flash definitely has a place in web design, it should be used sparingly. Even if your users have the right flash player—and many won’t—Flash will increase your site’s download time causing your users to wait…which is never a good thing. Flash is also not recognized by search engines, which means it won’t help your SEO.

Compress Your Images

Images are major space suckers on a website, and can take up a lot of space that would be better used for content and other SEO friendly things (like Flash, images can’t be read by search engines). By compressing your images, you can shrink a GIF or JPEG image by half its size. To further decrease loading time, specify the height and weight of your images in your HTML, as well.

Clean Up Your Code

While HTML text is much faster than graphic text, you can make it even faster by avoiding HTML coding like spaces, extraneous tags and white space—as these can increase the size of your files. In all elements of web design, less is more, even with HTML. Also, use defaults for tags or remove them wherever possible.

Pay Attention to Page Size

Bigger is not better when it comes to the size of your web page. Only use content that is applicable and necessary. This will cut down on loading time and help you get higher rankings, as lengthy content bogs down your site and can act like spam. Ideal page size is around 30KB. Also, use thumbnails throughout your site. Thumbnails provide a small, fast-loading image and let users decide whether they want to view the larger version or not.

Switch to CSS

Many web designers now use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) instead of the traditional table layout. CSS can save you time when you update your site and saves your users download time by reducing page size. Any part of your site that loads from a different server – whether it be a graphic, an audio clip, or an ad – will force an HTTP request each time the page loads. Create a website with CSS to reduce unnecessary loading time.

Some of the best website design companies include WebiMax, Dotlogics and Lounge Lizard Worldwide. As a gaming affiliate, what company do you use, or have you designed your site yourself? Any design tips? Let us know in our Website Design and Development Forum.