There are some things you should keep in mind when creating a website to promote your business. You can make sure that your website is a proud product, even if you don’t plan on spending a lot of money.

These are five tips to help you design your website for your business, even if you don’t have a lot of money.

Tip 1: Your Web site should load in five seconds or less. Have you ever tried to visit a site and it took 10 to 20 seconds for it to appear on your screen? You will probably give up on the site unless it was recommended to you by a friend, or if you have a burning desire to visit it. Your visitor’s attention span is greatly affected by the first five seconds. Your site must load within this time frame. The visitor should be able “get” your site. Your visitors will quickly tire of your site if it takes too long and leave. Tip: If you wish to showcase a lengthy flash presentation, consider placing it on a different page than your home page.

Tip #2: Keep the menu bar limited to five options. Your site should be focused and have a singular purpose. Your site will not be useful if it tries to be everything to everyone. Your navigation reflects the simplicity and focus of your site design. You can also see your menu options on your homepage. If your site has more than five menu options you can make sub-menus. These are only available after the user has selected one of the main options.

Tip #3: Make it clear that you are calling for action. Have you ever shopped in an IKEA store? The layout of IKEA stores is unique. It allows you to browse freely, but also leads you through the various cash registers and food items waiting for you at each end. This is a good example of how to set up a Web site. On every page, make sure to clearly state to your visitors what you want them do. Are you asking them to get in touch with you? You want them to order your product? Comment on your site. No matter what it may be, make it easy to see from any part of the site.

Tip #4: Give visitors free access to other help options. You don’t want to lose sales, visits or whatever goal you have for your visitors. As with your call-to-action, let visitors know that they can find help no matter where they may be on your website. You can arrange the options according to user needs.

Tip #5 – Be consistent with other design elements. The overall look and feel of your website is a collection of individual parts. Attention to each component of your site. Make sure you use the right colors and graphics. Pay attention to font sizes. You might be the one deciding whether someone stays on your site or goes to a competitor’s site.

These items will ensure that your site is a success, regardless of whether you hire a professional designer or design your own.