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Before You Publish That New Webpage - Use This Checklist!

Written by Duncan Marsh

How Attention to Detail can help you avoid Web Design Pitfalls

With more eye balls than ever before viewing your content there is now a greater emphasis on getting the detail right and presenting your story, business and product as well as you possibly can.

Gone are the days where you could justify an ‘OK’ presentation. ‘Just enough’ will no longer suffice. Demand for quality is rising fast and no industry or sector is excused.

Our lives are now saturated with brands delivering hundreds of messages and as a result we notice when a presentation isn’t quite up to ever increasing standards. Your brand shouldn’t be any different.

So what am I talking about? Well -specifically – your website.

Website Checklist

This post is designed to act as a mini checklist, highlighting some of the key areas that may fall under the radar when publishing pages. Be mindful, as there are various traps to watch out for.

  • Ask yourself, do you check the copy you add to a page, spell check it, read it thoroughly or even get a proof reader to review things?
  • Do you check that the page has a desired action of the visitor? Sounds simple enough but if you don’t have a very specific idea in mind your page can lose focus.
  • Do you check that the links all work and that the images are labelled correctly using an accurate description of the image for sharing purposes? This is vitally important for Google image indexing and the growing influence of Pinterest.
  • Have you ensured that you have applied CSS (predefined styles) in the CMS to create your presentation rather than formatting the text word by word? This is a common issue despite options to change text colours, sizes and fonts being readily available.
  • When creating a complex site do you test the build in various browsers to ensure it is looking good? All of you I hope have Google Analytics installed, allowing you to identify what browsers the majority of your visitors use. Cater for them.
  • The last area is possibly the most significant and one many CMS users may not have considered until now. If your CMS generates a responsive layout does the page work on all screen sizes? Despite an increase in responsive and ‘Mobile Friendly’ websites I am noticing a level of neglect when it comes to smaller screens. I personally prefer the term ‘smaller screen’ as it doesn’t alienate those tablet users amongst us.

Catering For All Screen Sizes

The best way to test your site is to have both a tablet and mobile device primed to view the page upon. Of course this is not always possible. A simple alternative however is to do so in a browser. Assuming you are working upon a desktop you may click the restore down button; ordinarily the middle of three that appear top right in Chrome, IE or Firefox, top left for Safari.

Once the browser is in this state (typically sitting in the middle of your screen) you should be able to grab the edge of the window and drag the frame inwards, reducing its size and thus replicating a smaller screen.

This is the cool bit as you can actually see the page resize and reorganise content as the screen shrinks down.

If there are any layout issues they should be immediately apparent when performing this test.

There also simulators you can use that show how the page will look on various screens. Two I have used are StudioPress and AMI.

This is a useful trick you can run through each time you edit your page. Nothing too time consuming but a great and invaluable habit to get into.

Why not download our Ulimate Guide to redesigning your website?

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Originally published on Tuesday 21 June, 2016 | Last updated Saturday 1 August, 2020

Tags: For Marketeers, Web Design