Our series on How To Make a Website continues with tips for optimizing the most important part: the homepage.

Your site’s homepage is typically the first — and sometimes last — page of your site that visitors will see. So make it count!

Before we get into the details, let’s start with some broad advice. Before designing anything, make sure you understand your website’s target audience. Who are they? What are they looking for? You’ve likely already thought about these questions when branding your company in the first place, so make sure that your website reflects your brand and you should be in good shape.

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Since we began this week talking about user-friendly website navigation in our How To Make a Website series, it’s only fitting that today’s Webs user Example Site should set, well, a good example.

RentMatrix, an online rental payment solution, has a clean and easy to navigate website that provides plenty of information in an organized fashion. There are a number of things going right with their navigation:

First, there are just 6 options to click on, and only one level of navigation. As we said in Monday’s blog post, multiple navigation levels can be a great way to organize and prioritize information for visitors if you have a lot of it. However, if you can slim down your content to fit on just a primary level, it’s much easier for visitors to see what’s available at a glance.

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Our series on building a website continues! Last time we talked we broke down the pieces of a website, and today we are diving into one of the most important: your site’s navigation.

Good, intuitive navigation is arguably the most important element of a successful website. If visitors come to your website and they’re unable to find what they want, they’re going to leave, and all the splashy homepages and cool graphics in the world won’t bring them back

So today we’re going to talk about the basic Dos and Don’ts of user-friendly web navigation for your personal or small business website.

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We recently talked about how to make your small business website a success in 2013 in our 10 Steps To a Successful Business Website post.

What? You haven’t created a website for your small business yet? You’re not alone. By now, almost every small business owner is aware of the importance of having a website, but many haven’t taken the plunge yet because they feel overwhelmed by the process. One of the best ways to combat this is to break it down into small steps and collect everything you’ll need before you tackle your new site.

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With the New Year just around the corner, it’s time to get serious about a resolution to make your small business website a success. Not sure where to start? You’re in luck! We’ve made a list (and checked it twice) to help you get on track for your business’s best year yet.

1. Get a custom domain name. We don’t mean to harp, but this is a big one. Having your own domain shows customers that you take your business seriously, and they should too.

2. Create a custom email address. Another benefit of having your own domain name is the ability to have a custom email address, like email @ mybusiness.com. Do you want your customers hearing from your old Hotmail address? Probably not.

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We’re halfway through the week people, which means it’s time for another edition of Example Site Wednesday.

Today’s site is from a technology support company in Las Vegas, Nevada called Technician Platoon. What stands out most about this site is how well this Webs user has employed layout and organization to convey a good deal of information in an effective way.

We’ve talked before about how imagery can be very important on a website to create visual interest. The exception to that rule, however, is the company whose industry does not lend itself to good imagery. The options in that situation always seem to come down to a site packed with unattractive or irrelevant images, or a small business website that is essentially just a Word document hosted online.

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As we talked about last week, there are a lot of myths out there about building a website — from the price to the timeline to the level of skill you need.

The answers to people’s questions about website creation vary greatly though, depending on the route you take to build it. Many people still go with the old standard method of working with various professionals. Increasingly, however, individuals and small businesses are striking out on their own and using DIY website builders (like…say…Webs SiteBuilder).

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Anything you do for the first time can seem daunting. Especially when it’s outside your comfort zone. But, contrary to some popular myths out there, it doesn’t have to be that way when it comes to creating your website!

At Webs, we’ve been helping people get their personal, group, and small business websites off the ground for a long time now, and we’ve noticed some recurring themes when it comes to people’s objections and misconceptions about website building. In order to help get you over the hump and on the path to your new website, we’re addressing the top 10 below:

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Have you noticed anything new in SiteBuilder3 lately? We recently added some brand new themes to our fully customizable library!

The Webs design and development teams are always gathering user feedback from our support team to gauge what people are looking for in our website builder. They take that information and periodically create new themes to give users even more flexibility when they create a personal portfolio, group site, or small business website.

The goal with this group of themes was to give viewers modern experiences using the latest in HTML5 and CSS3 (whether they know what those are or not!) To see the new themes for yourself, log in to your Webs account and select a website to edit. In the top right corner, click “Theme” and scroll through the options.

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It’s the middle of the week already! Time to take a look at another great small business website created by a Webs user.

Designkandy is a small custom stationery and art business in California. The owner, Simone Klein, has created a very elegant website to showcase her talents, entice customers, and link them to her Etsy and Zazzle stores.

There are a lot of elements on Designkandy.com that work to present a professional image. Follow Simone’s lead by:

1. Customizing your theme. When you’re building your custom website, choosing a basic theme is just the first step. Once you’ve made your selection, there are many ways to customize it to project exactly the look and feel you want. Start from the ground up by choosing from hundreds of images, textures and colors for your site background. Next, browse dozens of web safe fonts for your header, footer, sidebar and copy. You can then customize the color of the font in each of these locations. This is a great way to achieve a look that really reflects what your website is about.

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STYLE SWITCHER

Layout Style

Header Style

Accent Color