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Keep it simple..

I am not a graphics designer, so I cannot give you much advice on how to design your web site graphics for that ultimate look. Just make sure you don't waste too much time on developing your look, unless of course you enjoy graphics design. By all means, get some nice web graphics, but my experience is that it does not matter that much how the graphical design of your web site looks. It generally has minimal impact on the success of your web site. The only exceptions to this rule is if you are a top graphics designer or if your site looks extremely sloppy.

Keeping your graphics design simple has a number of advantages. Generally it looks better and more professional if you keep it simple. More importantly, however, simple designs tend to reduce the time you spend on maintenance of your web site, are likely to give the average web master better results in search engine ranking, and load fast enough to prevent your first time visitors from clicking away before they see what you have to offer.

Low maintenance

When your web site and your design skills improve, you are likely to want to change your design now and then. Simple designs are easy to change.

Search engine ranking

A more important aspect of your graphics design is the impact your code has on search engine ranking. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, simple designs will normally give you better results when you try to optimize your web page for search engines. They will have less html and javascript coding that could inhibit the search engine's spider from finding your main text, which you would like it to use for ranking purposes. Pre-loading of graphics is an excellent example of javascript code that pushes your main text lower on your web page, possibly reducing your ranking. If possible, put your javascript at the bottom of your web page.

Graphics compression

Bloated graphics are known to drive away first time visitors. Make sure you compress your graphics and test how fast your web page is loading. If necessary, change the design so most of your web page is already visible to your visitors before your heavy graphics start loading.