Best Website Layout – Is There One?
I get asked all the time – What’s the best website layout?
And when I get asked that I honestly have to say there no REAL absolute best layout.
Each website is different, each website caters to a different crowd. Plus the owner of his or her site wants to put their own personality into the website.
But with that said when it comes to your website and it’s design/layout there are certain things you need to keep in mind.
So today I thought I would share with you 7 of what I think are some of the key design elements as it relates to the layout of your website.
Of course this is just me, so don’t beat me up to much if you don’t agree.
So here goes…
1) Mind Your Top Menu
You main menu at the top of your site hold very valuable real estate so don’t clutter it up with none essential tabs.
Things like this can be placed in your sidebar.
And in reality most people don’t even read this stuff. These disclaimers and such are there so you can cover your ass legally. Whether someone reads it or not is not your concern.
2) Get Rid Of Your Meta Widget
You know the one I’m talking about that’s in your sidebar. It has Site Admin, Log Out and all that other stuff.
No one needs to see it, it’s just for you anyway. PLus it also ruins the look of your site (my opinion) so get rid of it.
3) Watch Your Paragraph Size
Your paragraphs should be no longer than 3 or 4 sentences long. And the reason is, it makes things so much easier for people to read then a huge block of text.
Plus it makes you site look a lot cleaner and more inviting.
Tell me which looks better and is easier to read?
Brian is considered the best of the best when it comes to SEO. And has one of the top 50 small business blogs according to Technorati. I just finished reading his updated (2015) ebook How To Get 25,000 Visitors Per Month. And I gotta tell ya what he says makes a lot of sense and he has the proof to back it up. That creating tons of new content is not the best thing to do as advised by many so-called SEO experts.In fact Brian states that “doing that could not be more wrong.”
Brian is considered the best of the best when it comes to SEO. And has one of the top 50 small business blogs (according to Technorati).
I just finished reading his updated (2015) ebook How To Get 25,000 Visitors Per Month. And I gotta tell ya what he says makes a lot of sense and he has the proof to back it up.
That creating tons of new content is not the best thing to do as advised by many so-called SEO experts.
In fact Brian states that “doing that could not be more wrong.”
4) Image Usage
The images you add to your content are there to enhance or reinforce your content, not to take it over.
So it’s best to have small images throughout your content.
I have found that for my site images that are about 150 x 150 pixels works best. For your site it may be different, you just need to play around with them.
These images should also be placed to the right of your content. The reason being is that the image will not interrupt the reader’s flow.
Plus you want to make sure the image you’re using is related to the content it is aligned to.
So if your talking about SEO, you can have a nice SEO image. So it make no sense if you have an image of let’s say a pencil.
A pencil does not relate to the content, which in this case is SEO.
It’s just common sense. But you would be surprised how often I come across an image that has nothing to do with the content at that moment.
Having an image that does not relate to the content is going to throw off your reader. Remember we are visual creatures and we register images more than we do text.
Now of course there are going to be times when a small image to the right will not work and that’s ok.
I have on several occasions needed to use a larger image. When this is required just center the image above and below your text.
Like this: (my old site theme)
And remember less is more.
In most cases 3 or 4 images will do the trick. Or course this depends on the content and how much content you have.
5) Your Sidebar
I like to put things in the order of importance in my sidebar. So if you’re like me I’m always building my mailing list. So I have my optin option at the top of my sidebar.
And after that I have some advertising (I’ll talk about more in a second) and then I have amy Search Box, Categories, Past Posts and then my Policies.
You want to keep your sidebar clean and make it easy for people to find things.
Yes you want to advertise on your site but you really want to be careful when you do. I’ve seen my share of websites where the sidebar has 4, 5 and more advertising banners, this is way too many.
It very distracting and it also makes your website look like shit. Be very sparing with your banner ads.
More often than not 1 or 2 may 3 banners is more than enough. You also don’t want products that are not themed together.
Meaning if your website is about cars you don’t want to have a banner about webhosting – they don’t go together. It’s not part of your sites theme.
Again the old saying “Less is more”
In other words don’t do this:
7) Easy Navigation
When people come to your site you don’t want them struggling to get around your site to locate things. So it’s very important that the navigation of your site is simple.
That’s why I prefer a navigation menu at the top of my site. As soon as you hit my site you can see where everything is and get to it in a flash.
If you don’t want to use a top main menu and prefer to have your navigation in your sidebar. I recommend it be at the top of your sidebar, make it the priority.
You want to make things as easy and as stress free as possible for your visitors. If people find it hard to get around your site, in most cases they will simply leave.
Ok That’s It
So those are what I feel are some of the necessary design/layout features of a great website. Of course these are just my suggestions I know every site is different.
The bottom line is don’t have you site looking like a shitshow. So don’t make your site look like a circus, with bells ,whistles and banners and flashing stuff. You’ll just piss people off and no one will stay on your site.
One Last Thing
I want to mention something that I see a lot of websites don’t have and need to have.
And this would an affiliate earning disclaimer on every page of your site.
Yes you have an affiliate earning disclaimer under your policies, but the FTC requires that you have a affiliate earning disclaimer that is visable on every page of your website.
Now this pertains to people that live in the US. Now I live in Canada but the servers I use are in the US – so just to make sure I cover my ass you’ll notice I have it on my site.
Just scroll down an you’ll see it. It does not have to be fancy, all you’re doing is telling people that you may earn a commission from the products and services you talk about on your site.
Ok, that’s it.
I hope you found this post helpful. If so, feel free to share it with your audience, and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
I believe in you!!