Web Site Do's and Don'ts

copyright by Cheryl L. Coccaro

This article is about making a good first impression on your Web Site.

After viewing many jeweler's web pages I come away thinking....what were they thinking when they chose that theme, color, or the use of that picture? We join forums and ask others what they think of our own site and rarely do we receive any negative comments. A few forums really do tell the truth and it can be hurtful. We must remember that we can not " hear inflection in our voice like when speaking," when typing out our comments.

We could be helpful to them and help them perhaps increase sales by commenting on both the positive and the negative about their site. You could email them off the board with a suggestion or two and save them some personal embarrassment of a public forum reply.

Others may find that they like the look, which you did not and it may just be fine with them. I know that when I personally receive an email with a suggestion, I take it to heart and evaluate the advice. I ask myself...what value will this add to my site, how difficult will it be for me to accomplish that task...i.e.: retaking photographs, re-editing the coding, changing the font type and the background colors. Is what they are commenting on important to me and my site?

Many times I quickly click away from a site because each page does not look the same. The formatting is different, the backgrounds, fonts, and even picture sizing confuses my eye. I like clean and easy to follow sites that almost take you by the hand (mouse) and have your travel effortlessly through each page.

My personal gripes are sites which bombard you with sound. They have playing in an endless loop some music which plays when you arrive on the site. If you have to stop to turn down or up your volume control, then that is one more step I do not care to make.

If you are going to go through the trouble of putting music on your site, then have a button which allows the viewer to turn it off or at least notify them that music is coming.

Pictures too large in size which stall my computer when loading. I am a patient person but find this a quick turn off. I just click off the site as my time is valuable.

I would suggest having thumbnail pictures with a larger view available should the viewer want to see a larger version of the item. Oversized pictures just take too long even if you are on a high speed cable connection. Save your photos in JPEG (.jpg) format resolution size 72 or 96 dots per inch. I take my photos and resize them down in my photo editing program to 300 x 300. Most of my photos are that size on my jewelry web page.

You have the option type when Saving your photo...choose a .jpg format which usually is in the dropdown box.

Professional looking sites that appear polished and well put together rank high on my list of nice sites. When someone chooses a cutesy site with animals, odd colors and different clip art photos all scattered around, I find myself being turned off. I want to sell quality pieces and want my site to represent that. Now if this is a family site with outings, parties and events that is entirely different. Go ahead and have fun.

Why not feature just a few pieces on your home page. You want to tease the viewer into seeing more, not overwhelm them. They should represent what your jewelry site offers so the viewer wants to see more.

I am always frustrated by a site that has nice pieces that are not priced. Sites that say "contact me if you are interested" really say...I don't know what to charge so I'll decide when I hear from you. If you can't afford a Merchant Account then at least use Pay Pal's Shopping Cart and their Buy It Now buttons for a seamless sales process.

**

Different Font Types and Styles:

I have duplicated the following paragraph in different fonts so you can see how confusing to the eye it can be when you are not consistent in you use of Font types and sizes.

(Verdana, Regular Font, size 12)

You should also consider what font you use should be compatible with most computers. Using Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman and Courier are standard fonts that will be acceptable. Once you choose a font type, stay with it. Don't make different paragraph with different fonts. Uniformity is important and easy for the eye to read. (Verdana, Regular Font, size 12)

(Arial, Bold Font, size 12)

You should also consider what font you use should be compatible with most computers. Using Arial, Verdana, New Times Roman and Courier are standard fonts that will be acceptable. Once you choose a font type, stay with it. Don't make different paragraph with different fonts. Uniformity is important and easy for the eye to read. Arial, Bold Font, size 12)

(Times New Roman, Regular Font, size 12)

You should also consider what font you use should be compatible with most computers. Using Arial, Verdana, New Times Roman and Courier are standard fonts that will be acceptable. Once you choose a font type, stay with it. Don't make different paragraph with different fonts. Uniformity is important and easy for the eye to read. (Times New Roman, Regular Font, size 12)

(Courier, Regular Font, size 12)

You should also consider what font you use should be compatible with most computers. Using Arial, Verdana, New Times Roman and Courier are standard fonts that will be acceptable. Once you choose a font type, stay with it. Don't make different paragraph with different fonts. Uniformity is important and easy for the eye to read. (Courier, Regular Font, size 12)

**

Choose a simple background that will not be confusing to the eye. Your text should be easily readable and it should not conflict with your photo's. If your photos will have a gray background you would not want to have a red website background. Although things will pop, it is harsh on the eyes.

You shouldn't leave them guessing what state you are located in or how much shipping will be for their purchase. Of course you have also included in your Frequently Asked Question page what your guarantee is and return policy.

I like a clean and simple site with each page looking generally the same. What do you like? You should give some thought to the above information before embarking on creating your jewelry web site.


Cheryl Coccaro is the author of "Easy Internet Selling" and the creator of My Perfect Ear, a unique and eye-catching earring display.




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