Building your own website from sketches to published product can be a scary and daunting endeavor. It’s difficult to know where and how to start, who to speak to for advice and how much of a budget you’ll need. Read on to learn some principles of basic website design planning so that you can do things the right way from the beginning.
Use a fixed-position navigation format for easy navigation for your users. This means you need to lock the site’s panel for navigation in a place that scrolls while the visitor does. It benefits virtually everyone who will visit your site.
Continue to learn about website creation. You can find the answer to almost any website design question by simply searching with your favorite search engine.
Choose your color scheme wisely. Your text should remain the main focus of attention and should be easy to read. The better choice is using darker fonts against backgrounds that are lighter. Ask your friends to give you feedback on the colors you choose.
Always, always remove old or outdated information off your website. Failing to update your page with current information and upcoming events will cost you in terms of site visitors. Users are careful with their time and if they can tell that your site is not updated often, they will leave. Review, update and delete content as a matter of course.
Make sure that you prune content that is no longer relevant. When you are offering specials that are past their expiration, you will watch your visitor counts dwindle. Readers want current information and want to feel safe in dealing with a company that is on top of things. Review, update and delete content as a matter of course.
Let visitors cancel actions if they want to. For example, put a “clear” button on a form, an unsubscribe link on all newsletters and a “cancel” button on orders. If you don’t let visitors back out of an incomplete action, it can be perceived as forcing them to do something, which will probably make them go elsewhere.
Use a sensible background for your site. There are sites out there that use animated GIF images for their backgrounds. This might be OK for a personal site, but it can also be a serious distraction that makes it hard for readers to focus on the text. Select backgrounds that work in harmony with the site, not in competition with it, and visitors will find your material much more accessible and useful.
Pay close attention to the backgrounds of your site design. Some websites have backgrounds that make the website’s text hard to read, while other websites have backgrounds that contain elements that annoy visitors such as gif animations. Choose a background that accentuates what your site already has to offer, rather than works against it. This will help get your message across to your visitors.
Pop-ups should be given a wide swerve. Many consumers are bothered when they visit a site and are suddenly bombarded by pop-ups. Many visitors to a site will just click away from a site with pop-ups, even if the site is a popular one. In addition, many people now have pop-up blockers anyway. Make sure your customers are happy by eliminating these pesky ads from your site. Any host which requires you to have pop-up ads is a host you don’t want to use!
Make sure you site is optimized for previous versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, especially IE 7 and 8. Most people have a love-hate relationship with IE; however, many people are still using it, including older versions. Many elements are not in compliance with web standards, so finding a workaround will be required. An example would be the vexing “box model bug” which troubled IE for quite some time.
The content on your website should be of high quality and engaging to your target audience. The design of your website is important, and the content is too. A website that provides information that is both, useful and updated, will be the most effective. Readers will find information they find helpful, which will cause them to return in the future.
Make sure your navigation is easy. Where you place your navigation links is key to creating a user-friendly site that keeps visitors planted. Navigating your site must be easy, consistent, and neat for visitors to have a good experience.
To create a better-optimized site, avoid using frames. While they improve your site’s looks, any information contained in a frame is not indexed by search engines. If certain important information on your site cannot be seen by search engines, then you will not have a high ranking. If you don’t do what’s necessary to make sure that your site is not ranked very high, people will not find your site very easily.
You must remember in order to index your images, ALT tags must be employed. Tags such as these are key because for those who browse without graphics or who are vision problems, the tags provide descriptions of the images. In addition, if the image is a also a link, you can tell visitors where the link takes them and what it does. Lastly, search engine crawlers make use of ALT tags, so employing them can help improve your search rank.
Include text content on your link page. The purpose is to ensure that your customer or client is clicking on exactly what they are hoping to find. If you have links that have no text content, it may be possible to click them by accident and result in a key board shortcut.
Be sure that your users priorities are your priorities. A web designer must focus on the needs of the end user all the time. Usability, user experience and interaction are all important. If they can’t find what they need then they will leave. Look at the site through the eyes of a user as you design.
If you want to create a new website, consider using Adobe Dreamweaver. Even novices can easily use this product. It allows you to create your own templates, save your favorite layouts, add the features you want and preview your site before it is permanent.
Any links you place on your site should have text content. Links should include a description so visitors understand what they’re clicking. If you do not include this, users may find themselves clicking on things they do not want to visit.
You must practice what you learn in order to completely understand how to use the site design concepts. This is important so that you can make sure you are able to apply the knowledge you are gaining. You don’t want to only temporarily learn something and then find you have forgotten this information when you need it.
Keep your font selection professional and readable. Most corporate sites use just a few basic fonts. Don’t use silly fonts, especially Comic Sans, or rare fonts that most people won’t have installed. If one of your visitors does not have your chosen font on their own computer, another font is substituted. This will inevitably come off looking bad.
When starting out, limit your content. Adding too much stuff early on will create confusion for you and your visitors alike. Keep it simple to start.
Check your site for broken links. Check links on a regular basis as you are designing, and make sure to perform a check before uploading your site to the server. You need to check links frequently because visitors will click on your links. If many of your links are broken, visitors will give up on exploring your site. Therefore, you want to double-check that everything is working as it should so you can avoid this from happening.
Use a basic, simple layout for your website so it’s easy to change and expand. You want to start out basic and then get advanced later on when you become better and more familiar with the whole website development process.
There are many good books which can help you learn more about web design. First, read books for the beginner and advance from there.
Find out how effective your site’s design is with usability tests. The idea of the tasks, generally speaking, is to find information that is contained somewhere within the website. If the website is designed well, users should be able to easily find what they want. If the user has trouble, it can provide you with valuable insight into areas where you can improve.
You may come across many different tips and designs to suit your needs, so be selective and creative while in the design phase. Create original features that can’t be found elsewhere and are better than those your competition provides. If you do this, you will be maximizing all of your efforts in your website design.
Make sure your site’s design isn’t too similar to other sites in your niche. Take a look at your competitors’ websites. It will be nearly impossible to stand out from the pack if your site is too similar to everyone else’s. You don’t want to be generic!
Usability tests that are task based are a great way of figuring out your website’s effectiveness. Generally, the purpose of each task is to find information and/or functionality buried deep within your site. A well-designed site allows the user to easily complete the task. On the flip side, any issues that arise will help guide you to making any needed changes.
When creating multiple pages in a subcategory of your website, the copy/paste feature of your PC is your best friend! Instead of writing your HTML from scratch every time, use the shared section of code as a template and make the necessary changes, then use “save as” to save the file under a new name. You can use the master copy of that main section of code as many times as you need to.
When using FileZilla for a file server, use their quick menu settings, with a username, correct port, and domain. Doing so ensures that every time you log on, you have the option to quickly select your customized settings. This can be a real time-saver.
Use empty space to your benefit in highlighting the things that actually matter. Allowing a certain amount of white spaces makes your site more readable; it becomes easier to locate and absorb relevant information.
Make sure someone is testing your site for proper functioning as you are designing each step. Before going on to the next feature, ask an impartial observer to comment on the one you just finished. You might not think much of a video that loads slow, but another set of eyes can give a differing perspective. Ensure you get the opinions of many people to better your site.
Get feedback about your web design. A web designer is only one person, and what you might find attractive or useful, might be considered by others to be irrelevant and hard to navigate. You should do a test run with a certain control group of your targeted audience.
Learning to work with more than one platform is in your best interest if you plan on designing more than one site. You need to learn MySQL skills, PHP, Java, and more platforms so that you have more assistance in the future. You need to develop multiple talents if you’re going to be a successful web designer.
Get inspiration from pages that you think can influence you so that when you make a site it can work out well for you. Use other sites to get things you like and avoid the things you dislike so that your website is better than the others.
You should create a visual sitemap so that you are able to plan ahead more effectively. A visual site map will show you how the structure of your site is evolving. This will allow you to hone in on anything that needs some tinkering, or perhaps something that you have completely overlooked. There isn’t a substitute for a concise, clear visual map of your project.
Even once you have learned the basics, you should always keep learning new techniques. You may already be aware that most areas of technology are constantly changing and by not staying up-to-date, your site will suffer. Design blogs can be a good and quick way to stay updated and competitive.
Website content should be available to all people. It is extremely helpful to have a person from a foreign country check the site for you. Because some content may fail to display properly in foreign countries, it is best to check on this.
Now that you’ve read this, you should be prepared for moving ahead to tackle your own website design. Put together a budget, find mentors and start designing your website. Get started on creating the best website possible for your business without any costly expenses.
Put your logo near the very top of each webpage. This will help to link your pages together properly. This can also help you build brand recognition for visitors. Make sure that your logo truly represents what your business is about.