30 Best Web Design Standards Needed for Internet Site

A list of standard web design features needed in a great web site as presented by Andy Lee Graham founder of HoboTraveler.com 12 years in business.

A web designer needs to be 100 proud of everything on the site, there can be nothing allowed that is half done. There can be nothing stupid on the site, because all readers are looking for the one excuse to click away There is no such thing as a fair chance, they assume there is nothing relevant to them and will click away when they are the least confuse bit confused.

The WOW of a page is great, but there must be obvious benefits to returning, do not think a "Field of Dreams" attract them to a site, true value or fun keeps them coming back --- and you captured their e-mail...


The Hobo Way

Goals of a web page: To capture the e-mail of a new visitor to the site, that will then allow us to serve this person regular e-mails the that temps them to revisit the site. To become a super site the content needs to be created by reader, no one person can write enough content to be world class.

  1. Nothing stupid allowed: How does a webmaster do this? It is easy, you have a 5 page site, nothing to maintain, and easy to fix. When someone complains, you repair, and make good.

    However, we do make large sites, try new things, and if we can, if we can focus, we fix permanently anything that ever reveals itself as stupid. READERS LEAVE ON STUPID AND NEVER RETURN.
  2. I have a need for speed: The sites must be in the the top 20-30 percent on planet, and 80 percent are slower. A web designer can use Alexa.com as a measure of speed, that compares your site to others.
    (This one is extremely important)

  3. 5 average page views according to Alexa.com, this means the readers first impression was good enough, it is a measure of sticky. However, too sticky means they never click on advertisement, and this may be the demise of Facebook, nobody leaves by clicking on ads to pay for the site.
    (This one is extremely important)

  4. 3 minutes average time on site according to Alexa.com

  5. CSS and HTML validated pages for the site, any page on the site needs to have a no error validated structure.

  6. There is an introduction on 100 percent of pages, this is the first 25 words to found by Google, or search engines. This line becomes the introduction when being tempted to click on a link after a sear. The introduction is editable on the page, in a WYSIWYG interface.

  7. No Slamming: Slamming is when a link Go to a page, or a reader click and lands on something with no idea why they are there, no explanation, they are required to think and think on what to do next.

  8. Not possible to make a duplicate title. For dynamic, database driven pages, there is a comparison made when writing a title, that refuses to allow a duplicate title to exist on the site.

  9. All links in header stay on site, none to lead off site, links going off site are at bottom of page, or possibly in footer. Exception, for sites owned by the same owner, they can go off with an explanation, be extreme clear here, there can be no slamming. All explanation on why the reader is leaving must be insanely simple to understand, in the few possible words.

  10. Navigation links in header are always mirrored in footer. Then the footer has additional business types links. Therefore, when you update the header, you in turn need to update the footer.

  11. SEVEN advertisement places reserved in CSS for page: three needs to be three above the fold, and four below. Unless the site is a non-profit, vanity,  or government site, then the reason for being is to make money, Without advertising integrated into a site, the site is lacking in good business acumen.

  12. Heat Map Designed Page: Google Adsense, Affiliate advertising optimized for best location according to heat maps.

  13. Business links on Page: At bottom of all pages are links to Home, About, Contact, and Privacy. These are "standard names" for links, do not be clever here, the bot and the search engines are expecting to find them, and will give a page less rank and authority when they are missing.

  14. Edit Page Link: If you want anyone to edit the page, there is an edit button that is small and hard to see or find, it does not show easy. Always in same location on all pages for reader subconsciously will remember.

  15. Button Colored to make readers click: A bright easy to see colored button means the reader needs to find quickly. A soft color is for business to the site links, such as edit. If you are promoting something like subscribe to newsletter, make it bright. A site uses graphic links to entice readers to click on a link, more or less graphic links are advertisement on the site, leading to features that collect readers e-mails, or make them members.

  16. Close eyes and Open: The theme of the page must instantly be injected into the brain of the reader when they open their eyes.

  17. A person can drill down to all pages on site within 4 clicks that does not require search.

  18. All external links open or are sent to a page with a site header, above, that has advertisement in it, this allow the reader to look at the external page, then return to the site, the reader has an obvious path to return.

  19. There is always a next or previous that does not wiggle, there is always a way that leads a person to look at photos to get large numbers of page views.

  20. All support problems replied to, and CC to owner by e-mail within 24 hours.

  21. The Blog is a Digest of all Site Article and Updates: A reader can follow by e-mail, RSS feed, and update, Video, Photos, Blogs, Topics, New Members, Photos by new member, every page is has a photo, then a snippet.

  22. Sitemap and Mirrored by Navigation: A site map that allows simple drill down within four clicks, and there is a site map submitted to Google, bing, etc. There must always be a clickable path to any page within 4 clicks. Search is done for ease, but the click path is done for the Google Bot.

  23. Headers in Javascript, footers are static links, and all footers and headers can be updated in one location and all pages on site change. There can be no way for a footer or header on the site to become out of date, or not current when an update is done. The javascript keeps the bot from reading and allow it to find the introduction as the first 25 words on site.

  24. Mash or Interweave Pages: The ability to connect, or link to from any page on the site, to mash from any page to any page in simple manner. This is to allow readers to find relevant links, or similiar topics. And for SEO it create a Christmas tree effect, that the bottom support the star page.

  25. No broken links. If by accident, a broken link or photo is auto created, the tech is to create a system whereby human error is not possible.

  26. Call to action links next to features, it the goal is to have someone add photos, then put the add photos link within 50 pixels of the photos.

  27. My or your 80 year old Mother is able to use any feature on the site, without them writing support questions.

  28. No way to write support easily: But when one does arrive, it is considered the 1 in 50 person that was annoyed, the other 49 left the site without notice.

  29. Viral Engine Connected to all Features: All features are designed to go viral there must be a way to e-mail share, twitter, or Facebook share. This creates a loop whereby a reader could click and return to the main page, do not sent anything to Facebook, without a link back.

  30. No Feature is Done Until used in Mass by Readers: It there is a feature, like upload photos, until it is widely used, and connected to a viral engine, it is not finished, it is not completed, it a broken feature.

  31. Instant Fixing of Seen Problems: The site needs to be 100 percent free of errors, if you notice a problem in wording, spelling error. The admin should instantly correct, there is no todo list here, it must be done immediately so the number of errors on site decrease, as new features come on board.

  32. No Crashing Borders: Here is an example below.
    Crashing Borders

  33. All Negative Flamers or Trolls Banned Immediately: Do not warn of this, allow humans to expose their bad character, a good member is always with good humor or help. Members who try to be clever, or provoke, or prove one article false must be banned immediately. If a comment is not helpful, but the intention is to draw attention to the person writing by being clever, obnoxious or intends to provoke, he or she is to be banned with no recourse. There should be a one warning system for people who are on the edge, but no warning for flagrant flaming.

  34. Self Service WYSIWYG writing area, all writing updates need to easy, no HTML knowledge necessary. A person can click on an edit button and go to a What You See Is What You Get page to write.

  35. No Cognitive Dissonance created by navigation, or changes in page. If something changes, it needs to be for harmonious reasons.

Each new feature added to a site needs to pass all the ideas above to be completed and adequate.

A web site has the super intelligent designing a platform for the average person to use. The techs often lack any empathy, with lessor intelligence, and create a site only they can understand and use. The test of a good site is always done by allowing your 80 year old grandmother, mother, friend to use it. Sit her down, and ask her to use the site, if she is the least bit confused, you lose.

Thank you,
Andy Lee Graham
CEO / Founder of the HoboTraveler.com Network
12 Years under the HoboTravler.com Brand.


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This post was very kind of you Andy, and I am referring to your #32 on your list, because you actually just gave everyone a blanket warning and the consequences for certain actions.

I will surely take it to heart.

I don't know what it is (actually I do...) about what the internet does to some people and how a normally very nice and considerate person can turn into a Troll with a big club in his hand and flames shooting out their mouths. (I think it is because there are really no severe consequences like getting your ass kicked by some huge guy or a martial arts expert for calling them a as---le or a p--sy. So they can be a really tough guy with words and the worst that could happen to them is to be banned but then they just find another site they can go to and swing their club around)

But also Andy you nailed two birds with one post here. You gave us all a considerate warning shot across our bows and you also probably cut your potential offenders who would think twice before shooting of their mouths and getting banned for their actions. Now this is all depending on if they read this post before they took to their keyboard.

I knew running a site was a job but you actually have 32 jobs in one! And let's not forget your videotography also! :)

Great to see this list! It helps others when designing their own web sites and of course, demonstrates your expert knowledge of the internet.

Andy, I miss the photo that you used to have on the opening page that was quite memorable. This photo instantly attracted me to your web site. It was of you sitting on an elephant. It instantly gave me the feeling of you being a person living an exotic traveler's dream. This photo instantly captured my interest.

Wow. Andy you put a book on one page as usual. I enjoyed reading it. Your website has it all. It is one of the few that I like to visit and always come back to. I loved the picture you used. Of course I am a little pre disposed to like it because of my career in naval aviation but I dearly love the motif. Walking across the apron to an aircraft for a flight still gives me tingles just thinking about it. And I love the movie, Top Gun. I was able to work with one of the Top Gun commanding officers and was impressed. It was a unique experience.
One of the things that I truly love about your website is that is really interesting. It is so much fun to read over the morning cup of coffee. I love travel and your website is the travelers dream. So keep doing what you do and I will keep coming back to Hobo Traveler for my daily travel information fix.

Great article Andy!

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