Rather than having to pay someone to do it for you, it’s better to learn how to design your own website. While it may seem somewhat difficult, it’s not nearly as hard as it looks. Use these tips to learn about how easy it is.
Fixed-position navigation is useful to visitors. By locking the menu to a fixed point on the screen, you can make sure it is constantly visible to the user regardless of where they scroll to on the screen. This helps anyone who just stumbles across your site view it more seamlessly. It can also make it easier for them to do something you want them to do (like get on your email list).
When designing webpages it is important that you use the correct graphics. Keep in mind that bitmaps don’t usually work well, while PNGs do. Use PNGs for images over 256 colors for text buttons and the like or use GIF files for images smaller than 256 colors. For photos, JPEG images work well.
Display a tagline in a prominent space on your website. This tagline includes a company motto or statement that tells the reader a little bit about the business. This allows them to quickly grasp whether or not your site has information relevant to their search.
Make sure that your website has a tagline incorporated into the design. Using a tagline simply means that you will need to come up with a quick statement that lets visitors know what your site is all about. The tagline serves to entice people to linger at your website rather than just pass through. Research shows that visitors spend roughly 8 seconds deciding if a website is worth exploring further. So make your tagline count.
By testing the way your website will work in different browsers, you can ensure that the maximum number of visitors see your site they way you want them to. What works in Chrome might not appear the way you want it in Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. Before uploading your site, give each page a look in each of the more popular web browsers.
Figure out what your subject is about. When posting to your website, make sure that you have done your research. The last thing you want to do is distribute incorrect information. You need to understand the subject to write a good blog.
Don’t overload a website with more graphics and photos than necessary. Graphics are important, but too many can yuck things up. Graphics should always be used to enhance the website, and not for decoration. Your site will be much more usable and user friendly when you minimize the use of graphics.
As you go about setting up your website, make sure that you add ALT tags to all images on the site. Those who are visually impaired will benefit greatly from ALT tags. No mater whether you use image links or not, the use of an ALT tag gives a better explanation. Search engine crawlers also heavily use ALT tags to boost the rankings for some websites.
You always want to have a maximum page load time of ten seconds. Visitors want and deserve a sleek website that slides into their browsers fast. Most visitors want instant gratification, so give it to them.
Prioritize your user’s needs. Your focus should remain on the end user at all times. For example, many users are concerned about accessibility, usability, user interaction and user experience. Always prioritize your visitors. Try to see things from your visitor’s perspective when you design.
Test your site early on and often. You need to ensure that visitors will not have a problem viewing and using the page. Be sure that you stay diligent about website testing and improvements as it keep growing.
A search function should always be included when you develop a site that is very large. People have become accustomed to search boxes being in the upper-right corner of the page, so put it there. These should let you at least search for one term, but it’s better if it allows multiple terms. You can get free search boxes from Google or FreeFind.
Always proofread for content error. People should be able to read through the content quickly and easily. Errors make your site look careless and unprofessional and this, in turn, will not encourage a positive reputation for your site.
Place personal photos on your site to make it look better. Having personal pictures on your site makes your site appear more user friendly. People will take more time browsing your site and looking at pictures.
Task based usability tests are a great way to determine how effective the design of your website is. In general, the purpose of the tasks is to locate some information or functionality that is buried in your website. If you have a well-designed site, users won’t have a problem doing this. However, if your site is poorly built, this exercise can shine a light on areas your site needs to improve upon.
You can create a site using free software. While many will say it is the expensive software that makes a difference in your site, however there are some free options that can offer nearly as much. Hit your favorite search engine and do research to find a piece of software that suits your needs.
As you design a site, look to your target audience. Ask them what is important in the sites they like. This helps with what design will work best and determine what features you should make available on the site. Advice and ideas from your targeted audience should have an impact on your website design.
You don’t want to be using frames when you are optimizing your website. Users generally like frames, but information within frames is not picked up by the search engines. This will preclude you from having a positive ranking. If this does happen, your visitation may sink.
Launching your website is just the beginning. Your design process is far from complete. Keeping on top of your website will help you to ensure it’s always current. It will not be necessary to update every day, but do realize that fresh content must be a priority. If you present current events or host videos, this is definitely a must. Unfortunately, updating a website is not as simple as updating a blog. You will have to put work into it.
Be sure you take care of the people that use your site’s needs. As a web designer, you should always focus on the viewer’s needs. It’s important to consider accessibility, usability, user interaction and user experience. You must know these very well and consider every possibility. You need to look through the eyes of the visitors when you make a website.
You will gain expertise in design much more quickly if you dedicate the time to learn something new at every step. When you have mastered one aspect of web design, start with another. While this may lengthen the process of building your first site or two, you will soon have the knowledge you need to crank out websites much faster.
The security of your site is important. Investing in an SSL certificate if the website handles sensitive information such as credit card and other payment information can be a smart idea. Your host may have additional security features.
Throughout the design process, it is essential to make sure your site’s designs looks and works the way you want it to on every web browser, so always check it across all common web browsers. Every browser is different; as a result, each can interpret your design in a slightly different way. While sometimes these differences do not make a difference, there are times when it can transform the look dramatically, or create an entirely different experience for your site visitors. You can do a little online research to discover which web browsers are most popular at the moment. Do not neglect mobile browsers, as they are increasingly used by people of all ages; test to see that your new site works across a full spectrum of browsers.
Use your artistic skills to design websites. By this, we mean that you should always be ready to let inspiration strike you. Keep a notepad or PDA with you so you can sketch out ideas no matter where you are. If you don’t have a way to write it down, you can always call your phone and leave a text or answering machine message with details.
You constantly want to test your page to ensure it is functioning well. It is essential to do usability tests early in the developing phase. Keep testing, improving and adding current content for a winning website.
A great way to determine your website appeal is to check your site’s statistics every time you update the site. You’ll see what pages your site’s visitors are going to the most. This will point to what you need to update in order to keep visitors returning.
Step up your creativity when you write your site’s “About Us” page. Many sites use very boring, trite ideas on these pages. This is an opportunity to make your website stand out. Provide some insight for your visitors; tell them how and why you built your site and what goals you want it to reach for your company.
Include a sitemap somewhere on your website. A web site does two things. First, it enables visitors to find their way around more easily. It is a one-stop shop for them to find all you have to share with them in one convenient place. Also, site maps are ideal for SEO purposes. The search engines are able to crawl more easily.
Use professional-looking, and readable fonts. You can tell if a site is professional just by viewing their fonts. Overly ornate or obscure fonts should be avoided, as they may not display properly on site visitors’ computers. If they don’t have that font on their computer, it might be subset to their default font. This could cause it to look bad.
Try making a favicon to use on your site. This tiny graphic can make your site more recognizable if visitors bookmark your site. When they are looking at the bookmarks they have created, your little favicon will make an impression. Pick a favicon that matches your theme.
If you get stuck in designing your website, remember that you can always search online for some excellent examples. There are thousands, if not millions, of websites waiting for you to browse and wait for inspiration to strike. Look for a website that is interesting to you and use some of their ideas. Remember that borrowing ideas isn’tt enough to make your website a success. It is important to transform the idea to make it better.
Try using some stock images that are free. Your wallet will thank you for this. They are all over the web, and many of them are very good images. This will allow you to focus your funds on other site elements.
Content proofreading is important if you want to avoid mistakes. Your goal is to make it easy for people to read your content. While you may not think errors are a big deal, many people will view it as unprofessional and will believe that you don’t care enough to get their orders or service correct either.
Start by making some sketches showing how you imagine your website. Show your drawings to family, friends or potential customers to get their opinions. Use their feedback to make changes to your sketches or eliminate some ideas.
Because there is some coding involved with website design, it is often thought of as difficult. As you can see now, there isn’t that much to it. Follow the information that you have just learned and you will be able to design a site in no time.
Keep current with new information in the industry of web design to keep your competitive edge. As you’re probably aware, the technology industry is constantly evolving, and not staying informed will result in a dated website. You can read blogs on design to learn what you can do to compete with people in this sort of thing.