If you need some inspiration before you start to build your web site, we have some useful hints and tips that should get you started ...

Surf the Web - The best way to learn is to see what others are doing. Surf your competitions web sites, take notes on what you like and don't like. Find sites that you enjoy, or find easy to use and write down what those features are. No reason to reinvent the wheel...

Know your Audience - Who are you trying to attract to your site? Is it an older or younger crowd? Are you trying to sell something or is your site information driven? Knowing up front who you are trying to reach will help you define the look and feel of your site.

Plan ahead - Before you start designing your web site on the computer, take notes on how you want to set up your site. Sketch out a flow chart for navigation. List all the pages you want to have in your site and the content for each page. If you have a blue print to follow, it will make life much easier in the end.

Navigation - Basic rule: Keep it simple. Confusing visitors to your site is the quickest way to get them to leave. Navigation bars typically run across the top of the page or down the left side, so that is where visitors will go first. Use short clear names that accurately describe the page they are going to. As a general rule, avoid ”clever” names; they will only confuse the visitor more.

Obvious Links - Again, don't make people think. Make sure text links look like links (normally underlined and a different color than the body text). And make sure graphic buttons look like buttons. If you want your visitors to click on it, there is no reason to hide it.

Remove the Fat - People on the web today don't read, they scan. Use accurate headlines, and clear concise paragraphs. Not only will it help visitors find what they are looking for, but it will keep your pages looking cleaner and less heavy.

Test your site - Most major web browsers are free to download. Make sure you test your site often on different browsers while creating your site. Once you are finished with your site, send a link to friends or co-workers to make sure things look the way you want them to before you start advertising your site.

Keep it Fresh - Keep content updated and new, especially if your site has time sensitive information. You will lose visitors very fast if you have Valentine specials on your site and it's March.