Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A site's "look and feel"

I literally review hundreds of sites each week. It's time consuming, but necessary. Every time a site applies for a partnership with Blair.com at either Performics or CJ, I visit the site and take a look. That being the case, I don't spend a lot of time at each site... maybe 2 or 3 minutes. So, the first impression means a great deal, much like when the average consumer comes across your site.

Believe me. I've seen them all! Everything from lavish sites with flash intros (I don't like them) to sites with nothing more than banner after banner after banner.

One of the great things about the World Wide Web is that it can level the playing field. A professional-looking site owned and operated by a stay-at-home mom can be just as appealing to consumers as a site owned by a large company. The key is a professional-looking site!

Thankfully, you don't need to be an HTML wizard to have a professional-looking site. Take me for example. I'm a salesman. I know how to market a website, but my knowledge regarding HTML coding comes to a grinding halt soon after being able to boldface text.

TemplateMonster.com to the rescue!

TemplateMonster.com has thousands of predesigned website templates that you can purchase and download, and many are quite inexpensive. I'm in the process of creating a site dedicated to motorcycles, and TemplateMonster.com has 10 motorcycle-specific templates from $17 to $62. Have lots of cash laying around? You can purchase a template at the TemplateMonster.com "unique price" (typically $1000 or more), and TemplateMonster.com will remove the template from their site following your purchase.

Using a professional template allows me to focus my time on marketing my site, instead of spending days/weeks/months designing it. And, believe me... converting visitors to buyers is much easier with a professional site. If you're thinking about creating a new site, or giving an old site a facelift, consider using TemplateMonster.com to give yourself a head start.

BTW -- no promises, but maybe I'll post my "motorcycle site" when it's done to get your thoughts.

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