Basic Web Building: A Guide For Designers

Visitors to websites will immediately notice how well it’s designed. Since first impressions are hard to overcome, making a good one is important if website visitors are to be kept from fleeing a poorly-designed site immediately. Use the following tips to help keep visitors coming back to your site.

One of the biggest mistakes a newbie designer makes is not verifying how a site looks in several different browsers. What you see on your side may not always be what the others see on theirs. So keep up with the latest browsers an test them out and check out your website on them. It’s also a good idea to test out your website on different operating systems.

The graphics you use are important. BMP files are large and can slow down a website. For non-photographic images, text buttons, and screen shots, use PNG or GIF. JPEG files are best for photographs.

Before publishing websites, check them for broken links. Nothing frustrates visitors more than clicking for a page they want and getting an error page instead. Either use a program to check for broken links or check each link manually.

You must always look at your finished websites in multiple browsers. Make sure it looks good on every browser. Research every popular browser that people use, and adjust your design accordingly. Also, have others check your site.

Be vigilant in policing your website for content that has become obsolete or outdated. You will come across as undependable or an amateur if you have information on events that have long passed. Users wants to browse sites that they know are updated frequented with relevant fresh content, but if the site has outdated information then they know it is not well-maintained. Set a review schedule to update content and remove items that are no longer useful.

Make sure you have a tagline that shows up well on your website. A good tagline is a central motto or exclamation that lets a reader know what your website is focused on. This is important since the average user knows if they want to stay and explore a site within eight minutes.

Let people cancel any action they have started. For example, put a “clear” button on a form, an unsubscribe link on all newsletters and a “cancel” button on orders. You will inevitably lose repeat customers if you force them to follow through on a purchase that they have decided against for now.

Take the time to scour boards and forums for new techniques that work for others. This is how we develop our skill set and stay one step ahead of our competition who wait for things to dwindle before taking action. There is no end to the excellent websites on the Internet that offer free advice for the taking.

Make sure you have the right background. Backgrounds with moving GIF views can be great, but can make text hard to read as well. In order to preserve your website’s focus, and make it easy for your visitors to comprehend, you should choose a background image that harmonizes well with your site instead of clashing with it.

When creating a website, it is important that you limit the amount of fonts you use. You need to also be mindful of how some fonts appear on monitors, since smaller serif fonts are difficult to read. Verdana is a font used by many sites. It is easy to read in most sizes and colors.

Avoid use of too many different fonts in any one web design. You need to consider how large the font is since some may be too small for concentrated website reading or smaller screens. Verdana is a font commonly used because it’s easy to read in an array of colors and sizes.

It’s very important that you do all that you can to get load times for your website down to a minimum. People are more likely to leave your site if the load time is too long. Reduce graphics, scripts and Flash consoles on your web page, optimize HTML and utilize SSI files.

Ensure that you’re including a method of receiving feedback from your site’s visitors. If you have forgotten something or have made an element of your site confusing to use, they will be able to tell you. Getting visitors to your site to feel they are involved is a smart way to be certain they are going to go to your site again.

Make sure you have enough details on your company page to allow your visitors to know more about who you are and what you can offer them. Too many websites do not spend enough time creating an original ‘About Us’ page. Try spicing things up! Let people know a bit about you and what inspired you to get into web page design and other things like that.

Be sure load times for your site are good. Visitors are not going to wait around for a slow site. Reduce graphics, scripts and Flash consoles on your web page, optimize HTML and utilize SSI files.

The more work you put into learning website creation, the easier it will get. The best way to learn is by starting up your own page and begin with simple scripts in HTML or PHP and upgrading as you become comfortable. Get to work now and practice your craft!

Even though development platforms provide you with code, some are not nearly as trustworthy as classic text editors. The concept behind development platforms is that once you choose your site’s features, you paste the code created by the platform into your website. However, in order to eradicate errors and create efficient websites, you should really learn how to code by hand using a generic text editor.

Signing up for an online newsletter about website creation is a great way to receive a periodic reminder to stay on top of new trends and revive your desire to learn as much as possible. Newsletters are available to offer advices for site designers of all skill levels.

Discuss things with your friends to gather if you missed anything while learning about Photoshop, HTML, or Dreamweaver. You need to be sure that the information you have is ingrained and you don’t need to find yourself making a site when you suddenly get confused or lost.

As you begin to develop your web design skills, you should start small. Build a series of simple sites, then use them to identify areas for improvement. Start out by making a few pages that just have basic information and some easy text, then asses how it works for you.

Get a professional mentor. Even if you want to tackle most of the site building yourself, having professional advice can greatly ease the process. Aligning yourself with an expert will greatly accelerate your own learning process.

Ask people from your target market what they want to see on your site. This will make the design process much easier. Advice and ideas from your targeted audience should have an impact on your website design.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. Content creation, web programming, user interface design, graphic design, and search engine optimization are just a few of the specialized sub-skills that can contribute to great web design. Do not hesitate to call in the experts when needed. You can hire a professional or a company to help you with tasks you need to learn more about.

Make sure your slogan is on every page of your website, including those that are housed in subdomains. These tags should immediately draw the visitors’ eyes when the page loads. Good taglines are high on the page and formatted in large, clear text. If you use the tagline appropriate, it will let the reader’s know what your page’s true goal is. It can even help to determine if they will remain on the page or use their “back” button.

Try using time management when you build websites to get work completed on time. It can be helpful since building a site requires many small tasks. If you push those tasks to the side, then they can quickly accumulate and interfere with your future success. You will have the most success by managing your time.

Give your website’s visitors the capability to search your website, at least on your main page and ideally on every sub-page. This is vital to maximizing the usability of your site, and helping your vistors find what they need. Coding this search functionality isn’t difficult, so the increase in usability is definitely worth the time spent.

A great strategy for planning your website accurately is to utilize a visual sitemap. With the visual sitemap, you are going to see exactly how your site structure is coming along. This allows you to quickly identify areas of your website that have been overlooked, or could use improvements. There isn’t anything like a crystal clear visual of your project.

Avoid using Captchas, except in the case of new user registration. The captcha triggers a response from the viewer that he or she now has to perform complex problem solving just to view a simple webpage. Unless they really greatly desire the content you provide, most visitors will just head for your competition instead.

Website content should be available to all people. Have people from other countries test drive your site. Sometimes, certain countries can block certain content.

Let someone test the functionality of your site along the way. Each time a new feature is created, have someone check it out and let you know their thoughts. It might not matter to you if a product demonstration takes 10 seconds to load, but your visitors might think differently. Ask someone who has no interest in flattering you to give you an honest opinion.

Tools for your visitors to use should be user friendly and consistent. Keep all underlined text clickable and allow for a change of color of links already clicked. If your website is easy to use and consistent, visitors will come back in the future.

Check with your web host before adding videos to your site, as some hosts will not allow it. Many hosts do not allow for video hosting on the servers they provide. The FLV files are big and take up a lot of space on servers, so check to make sure it is allowed before wasting your efforts.

Make any logos on your website link to the home page. Over time, the “clickable logo” has evolved into a standard that people assume is part of every website. It’s frustrating to click on a logo and have nothing happen, and this saves you from adding a ‘home’ link. If your logo is clickable, people will find your site more navigable.

Designing a website is just like creating a work of art. Always be prepared for inspiration to strike. If a great idea comes your way in your favorite restaurant, grab a napkin and write it down. Or if you are not in a position to jot things down, give your cellphone a call and leave yourself a message so you can pick it up at a later time.

Save some money by using free stock images on your site. These pictures are easy to find online and are usually high-quality. Since you are saving money on images, you can spend the savings on other parts of your website’s design.

People generally notice a site’s design almost right away, and that can be the deciding factor as to whether they stay or leave a website. You always want to make a good first impression. The previous tips have given you advice of what you should do to enure you design sites that people will stay on.

It is a good idea to use neutral shades for your website background. Visitors may become overwhelmed by textured backgrounds. If not used properly, your site will look like you do not know what you are doing. White backgrounds are bets, but other neutral colors can still be safe choices. Neutral colors have been shown to be the easiest background to read on.

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