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July 24, 2007

Blog Startup: Template Organization

This weekend was very busy; I have been working hard on the new design and its layout/structure. I was going to post about it on Saturday, but I wanted to release my new blog by the end of the week. Template design is crucial and important. I want to make sure everything is organize and easy to navigate to all readers.

Designing your own successful web page can seem difficult and nearly impossible if you do not do a little research first. The reason you need to know the basics of web page design is because the design of your website will actually influence whether or not people continue to visit your site and ultimately, whether they will buy from you or not. Obviously, a lot is riding on your website design so it is worthwhile to take this seriously and put some effort into doing it right the first time.

A design flaw many beginners run into is organization. Your website must be well organized, and not just to you, but to the average person who has never visited your site before. It should be obvious where the information is and how visitors can get to it without wading through a lot of other links and information they are not interested in. Check out some larger, more successful sites to see how they deal with organization and just follow their lead.

With this specific blog, I decided to go with web templates, as these days templates are getting real popular and can be easily manageable. This blog as well is template base from Brian Gardner. I like this specific template for this blog because it has a blog feel to it and is very easily manageable. Of course I reorganize some things and added a small banner to make the blog look a live.

Template or Create your Own?

The first obvious mistake you should be aware of is using a template that is very popular. If many people use the same template, your website will not appear unique at all and your credibility as a solid, different website will be tarnished. In other words, you will appear generic just like your next-door neighbors. I made sure not a lot of users were using this specific template, by simply searching the footer that is usually left on a template.

But, if you want to create your own design, you can. But you will need to plan first. Ask yourself:

  1. How many columns
  2. Where is the MAIN content
  3. Where is the MAIN navigation
  4. How will they Contact me
  5. Ease of Navigation
  6. Will it be interactive

To me, these are the main issues that I look for and plan for when I decide to create my own design. But with this new blog I am creating I have decided to use a template, as it is very simple for me to use. I always look for ease of navigation when finding a template:

Fluent and intuitive navigation is vital to satisfactory user browsing experience and fruitful search engine optimization for obvious reasons. It is indispensable to ensure that the organization of your site is hierarchically logical and consistent. It is advisable to include a site map if your site has more than 10 pages. It is also wise to stick to obvious descriptions – titles for navigation buttons/ tools. It is an absolute must that all internal web pages sport a link to the homepage. This also increases the number of links pointing to your home page.
Source: Isha Sharma

The organization of your menu bar is very important it will help the reader easily flow with your website, making them stay on your website much longer than usual.

As well as the importance of navigation, color plays a big role as well. Internet readers usually stereotype your website by design and color. People who visit your website usually form an instant opinion about you and what your website offers. They can’t help themselves. Their instant opinion is formed in their subconscious mind. If you have been reading my blog, you can tell I talk about the mix match colors of web sites I review.

I have created a good report on web design which is far longer and lengthy than this post, It talks about template design with 3 columns and why it is beginning to be more popular than other layouts. If you would like to download this free report, just enter your name and email in the form above within the middle column.

Again, designs and layouts are important to your readers. It will determine re-occurring readers or losing prospects. It is all about flow when it comes to your web design and layouts.

Author:  Ian has just started up a new blog and is writing every step that he takes to achieve its success. To read more about blog startups, visit IanFernando.com

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