Home page

The home page (front page) should tell the visitor at a glance what the website offers. Use text that includes words and phases that people might enter in search engines to find websites like yours. Use names of products or services. Be concise. A picture tells more than a thousand words, but search engines need words.

Inside pages

1. If you are offering information:

Information should be well set-out so that any visitor can find answers to any questions on those subjects.

2. If you are offering products or services:

  1. What are they?
  2. What are they for?
  3. What do they look like?
  4. How much?
  5. How can they be ordered?
  6. How will they be delivered?

3. Shopping carts / ecommerce databases

An efficient ecommerce system will allow a visitor to:

  1. Easily find the product they seek.
  2. Order it on-line.
  3. Arrange payment and delivery.

4. Where are you?

Visitors will always want to know your location and how to contact you. We have a client who insists that nothing more than their email address and PO Box address should appear on their website. No phone or fax number! No ABN. They are not having a lot of success.

5. Other information

You may have a lot of information about your business or organisation which you would like to share with the world. Here is the Mission Statement of a large multinational corporation:

“… is a market leading supplier of…. We are a team committed to our customers’ ongoing satisfaction through the empowerment and development of our staff. To be the preferred supplier we will be easy to deal with and provide quality, value for money, products and services. To ensure success for all stakeholders we will deliver profitability, growth, job fulfilment and have a positive impact on the community.”

Its major quality is its conciseness. However, apart from company name and the four words stating its products (which we have left blank) it says nothing more than what we expect applies to all businesses. However, we have read ‘mission statements’ and ‘corporate information’ which are many times the size and still give no more information. So, make sure that what you say is useful.

Although you don’t need anything more than the home page and the products pages to sell your goods or services, any extra pages linking back to your home page will help your rankings by search engines, the same as links from other websites.


Plain English

1. Be concise
 – Visitors to a website like to ‘skip read’ and may have short attention spans.

Instead of

“If there are any points on which you require explanation or further particulars we shall be glad to furnish such additional details as may be required by telephone.”


“If you have any questions, please ring.”

2. Be clear
 – He knows – but does anyone else?

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns, there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” – U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. www.plainenglish.co.uk/

3. Be grammatical.

“By pressing the relative button of desired program (see table) it will lid up the relative pilot light to confirm that the operation did occurred on the DISPLAY (9) will appear a program duration forecasting.” – SMEG dishwasher manual. www.plainenglish.co.uk/

4. Be truthful.

Avoid the need for a disclaimer like this one from a multinational company at the foot of its press statement (disclaimer). Once you have read it you will wonder why you should believe anything they say.

5. Avoid clichés.

Your own words are always more sincere. — Some common clichés, dead metaphors and overworked expressions in business and government