You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this is as true of websites as it is of people. A bad first impression can mean visitors just hit “back” right away, so you have to design your site correctly the first time. Use the following tips to help keep visitors coming back to your site.
In the 1990s, many designers used frames when creating their websites. Don’t do that. Frames had they heyday, but there were not without issue. Frame designs make it harder for readers to bookmark your site and scrolling becomes a chore. You can employ easier techniques for better site usability.
Be vigilant in policing your website for content that has become obsolete or outdated. If your page is promoting a special event that happened 6 months ago, you have already lost readers. People want the most accurate information available, and by leaving outdated information online you’re showing you don’t really care what they want. Create a timeline for your updates, and clean up any old promotions or information that is not current.
Watch your color scheme on your site. Choose a font and color that will help your words stand out from the background. Dark text colors on lighter backgrounds tend to be easier on the eyes than light colors on dark backgrounds. Ask someone to look at your color schemes to make sure you are choosing something harmonious.
Ensure people can easily scan your information. Usability tests have determined that the majority of online visitors aren’t going to read all content but instead scan for something interesting. Having text in certain areas to create a more bold appearance will catch the attention of readers who quickly scan each page. Be sure important information is given top billing. In this way, your visitors will have a good experience and get the information they need.
Set up your site so that visitors can cancel actions they initiate if they change their minds. This includes completing forms, enrolling in email newsletters and searching the site to find certain information. If your visitors can’t easily change their mind and back out of registering for a site feature, they may feel forced to complete a transaction. This isn’t good for your web traffic or your reputation.
Know what you’re talking about. If you want to have a blog or website, you need to research anything you plan on posting. The last thing you want to do is distribute incorrect information. Knowing your subject inside and out is essential for a good blog or website.
Always keep your load times under 10 seconds. Properly designed sites ought to pop up in browsers almost immediately. If it takes too long, a visitor is simply going to become frustrated and go elsewhere.
Be sure your site can handle Internet Explorer, both new and old versions. Many consumers still depend on IE. Since many elements are not up-to-date you will have to work around it. It is important that you are familiar with “box model bug” which has harmed IE for awhile now.
Simplify your home page. People surfing the web will quickly decide if they are going to delve into a website based on the front page. Be descriptive when you talk about your business and what you offer that is unique, but keep other information minimal to avoid your visitors getting distracted.
You want the navigation to be simple and easy. Navigation links are very important for any site and controls how much time a visitor spends on your site. You must build a site that is neat and clean and easy to navigate so that your visitors will enjoy it.
Familiarizing yourself with Photoshop and using it from the very beginning of your web designing efforts can improve the results you achieve right from day one. Using a program like Photoshop can help amateur web designers create professional looking sites really fast. When you are working without something similar to Photoshop, it will create a steeper learning curve for design, and increase the time it takes to reach your goals.
Do not put pop-up windows on your site. The average user finds pop-up windows to be an annoying distraction, rather than something useful. A user who is constantly closing pop-up ads is more likely to look for information on a different site without endless nuisances.
Make sure your load times are low. Visitors that get stuck waiting for slow pages to load will almost always leave the website. Some techniques you can use to insure fast loading pages are reducing Flash, minimization of CSS coding, and reducing Flash and graphics on your page.
Be sure you’re using ALT tags for the images while you design a website. These tags are important because they describe the images people see when they don’t have their graphics turned on or they’re for people that can’t see and need help with getting a website read to them. If part of a link, you can include information about the link intention. ALT tags are also used by crawlers for search engines, so they can even boost your search ranking.
You need to check your website’s performance across a wide array of different web browsers. Your site may look quite different on different browsers, so don’t be caught unawares! There are now many websites that you can visit to find out which web browsers are most commonly used by internet users. Check your website on every one one of these browsers, and do not forget mobile web browsers that have become popular.
Optimize load times on your website. Those who visit your site have little in the way of patience so ensure your site is designed to load quickly. Reduce file sizes, graphics and fancy coding to bring your pages down to acceptable load times.
Make sure to test early and to test quite often. It’s very important that you carry out your site’s user interaction and usability tests as early as you can in the design phase of your website. You never want to stop testing the website and trying to make it better.
If you feel stuck, do some Google searches to find out how others worked through it. You can get inspiration for any one of the millions of sites already out there. When you find things you like, think about how you can use those ideas or even improve upon them. Expand on those appealing aspects to help you build your own website. Improve upon the ideas you find.
Use conditional loading and independent CSS pages when creating your site. The application of these two techniques make website testing and maintenance both less time-consuming in the future. Do not forget that you simply cannot go live as the site does require regular maintenance and what you just learned makes you job much easier.
Always avoid placing pop-up advertisements on your site. Generally people who use the Internet find pop-up ads annoying, so it is best to stick to more traditional ads on your website. Instead of clicking your ads they will just leave your site. Just keep your ads contained, relevant and you will do fine.
When you are facing a block in your design process, you have the Internet at your fingertips for help. When you need inspiration, you can browse through the almost limitless websites online. When you have found a selection of websites you like, set out to determine how they were designed. You will have to do more than borrow ideas to be successful, though. You can always improve ideas.
Skip the website counter that tells visitors what number they are. You might like the number going up, but your visitors don’t like it. Get rid of that unsightly counter and instead use alternative tools to help you gauge traffic.
Go ahead and invest into some books, that can assist you with learning how to become a successful web designer. Be sure you begin with information that is targeted to your current design level; you want to improve your skills, but you want to make sure you don’t miss any information as you go.
Spend some time and money on books that will assist you in learning website creation. Begin with books that teach to your skill level, and progress from there. It is important to learn quickly, but you should ensure that you are not skipping any vital information!
Talk with your friends to discover if you’ve missed anything when you learned certain things, such as Photoshop, HTML, or Dreamweaver. You want to make sure that all of the information that you learned was truly retained; the last thing you need is to be in the middle of making a site and become lost or confused.
You may notice interesting website development techniques being used by other web designers, but you want to innovate, not copy. Make up your own designs or make other designs you have seen into your own. Following through with this step will make your overall design more effective.
Limit the amount of content you start out with on a given page to small amounts when you first start out. Over time, the amount of content will accumulate alongside your network traffic, which makes things less confusing for everyone.
Implement a search tool on your site pages that allows people to search the entire site. This ensures that all parts of your carefully designed site are always accessible to the people that need them. Site searches are easy to implement; the result will be worth the effort.
Do your best to not come across as a low rent spammer strictly focusing on playing the numbers game by forcing your visitor into something they don’t want. What you are trying to avoid is having some offers take control of their desktop until they enter data. Guide them to what you want but don’t kidnap them and force them to do what you wish. While you may make a little bit of money off of these annoying interruptions in the short run, you are more likely to lose a viewer permanently.
Remember that it does not need to be costly to design a website. For all the tools you have, there are usually less expensive ones that will benefit you. For example, free open-source software can usually help you to accomplish the exact same tasks that paid software does. Therefore, using open-source software can save you a large amount of money.
Make sure someone is testing your site for proper functioning as you are designing each step. Each addition or change you make, needs to be double and tripled checked by multiple people. A video that loads slowly may mean nothing to you, but someone else may disagree. Even more importantly, a video may load quickly for you, but not load at all for someone else. It is important to always get the advice of others.
Consider the security of your site. When handling data for your site, such as credit cards or PayPal payments, you should purchase an SSL certificate. Also, investigate any security features that your web host offers.
When you are wanting to host particular videos on your website, you are going to have to check with that particular web host so you are able to know if it’s allowed or not. Many hosts don’t allow video at all, while others will restrict the amount of bandwidth you can use before you pay a fee. Do not waste time by building videos to be be hosted on a site that does not allow the space you need for FLV or similar files.
Your whole website needs to be consistent, focusing on being user-friendly. This means that links should be checked often to make sure they go to the right place. Make sure to use code that changes the color of all links that are clicked on so that that visitors know they’ve already used the link. If your website is easy to use and consistent, visitors will come back in the future.
Don’t purchase literature on web page design. It might actually be a great investment. Many magazines have books have numerous tips and tricks. However, you can find the same information online free of charge. Free books have just as good information as those that cost you money.
If the domain name you have chosen for your site is not available, you might be able to acquire it on a domain name auction site. One such site is Sedo. There you’ll find many interesting domain names for sale.
Individuals usually notice the design of a site immediately, and this could determine whether or not they stay. You should always put your best foot forward for the first impression. The tips contained in the above article should help you design web sites that will maintain interest and keep people there.
Always keep learning to stay competitive. You probably already know all too well how tech matters can change overnight, and failing to keep up means getting left behind. Design blogs can give you a great idea of what is new and popular in the world of website design.