Is it possible to create a well-designed, effective website without templates or software programs? Maybe. Or, you could learn how to do a lot of this yourself. The lazier you are, the more expensive your website will be. However, if you have the time and energy to put in to the project, then keep reading and be willing to take the plunge.
Be sure to select the correct graphics when designing your website. Keep in mind that bitmap images are not usually the best type of images to use. Try PNGs instead. Use PNGs for images over 256 colors for text buttons and the like or use GIF files for images smaller than 256 colors. JPEG files are best for photographs.
Does your site pass the NoScript test? The NoScript extension that is available for Firefox can be used to see if the site can still be read. Some content, such as ordering systems for products, can’t work without scripts, but if your site is simply blank with scripts turned off, that’s bad news.
Users can navigate your site easier when you have fixed-position navigation. This technique locks the navigation panel on the site in place whenever the user scrolls on the page. This isn’t just great for a visitor, you can also help out Internet marketers because it allows visitors to have an easier time doing an action like buy products or sign up to get a newsletter.
Watch your color scheme on your site. The text on your web pages, in particular, needs to be clear and easy to read on the colors you choose for your backgrounds. Dark text on light backgrounds are typically easier on the eyes than the other way around. If you aren’t sure if your color scheme works well, show it off to a friend for some feedback.
Visitors will enjoy your website, if they can navigate it easily. Make all links prominent and easily located. Menus are another way to make site navigation easier on your site. Make sure that links to your main pages are on each page in your site so people can find their way no matter where they are.
Set up your website so that people can easily search it. This is especially important if you have a large website. Make sure you add a search box allowing your viewers to search for terms in your site. Google and FreeFind both offer search functions for your website.
Aim for page loading times of under 10 seconds. Efficient sites should be visible in seconds so the viewer does not get side tracked. Many users crave instant gratification, so you should give it to them.
Try using a newsletter for getting repeat visitors. Giving your customers the opportunity to receive promotions, updates, or other news in their inboxes can encourage them to return. Put the sign-up box near the top of your site so they can easily find it, and check how many sign up when you move it around your page. You should then only send your newsletter to people who have requested it, or individuals could sue you for unsolicited emails.
Refrain from including frames on your site. Although users like pages that include frames, the information inside does not show up in search engines. If your important content isn’t visible by search engines, you won’t achieve a high ranking. When this happens, you won;t get a lot of visitors.
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. Different browsers will read and display a site in different ways, which can have some unintended results for site visitors. Learn which browsers are used the most. It is very crucial that you test your website with all of the browsers, and that will include all of the main mobile web browsers.
Don’t forget about Internet Explorer 7 and 8. People seem to hate this browser, but many still use older versions. These do not render the web elements to the web standard, so there must be workarounds. An example would be the vexing “box model bug” which troubled IE for quite some time.
Test early and test often to maintain accuracy. Usability and interaction testing needs to start not long after you start the preliminary design phase of any website. Keep testing and improving as the design nears completion.
Different types of files can be larger than others, and that can make a big difference to your website loading time. Your best choice for graphic files are GIFs and JPEGs. PNG and BMP files are probably better for web graphics, but they also use much more disk space. Alter your graphics to smaller file size file types to keep load times minimal for your users.
Provide web browsers with independent CSS pages, and then use conditional loading. The point of this is to keep maintenance easy and adds to ease of use during test periods. Since every website will need maintenance at some point, this will help it be as effortless as possible.
Make an effort to create a high quality “About Us” webpage. Often, a website will contain a boring, half thought-out page to cover this. Make yours exciting and interesting! Give people an introduction to your own background, how you became interested in web page design, your inspirations, and what your business goals are.
Stick with common fonts that look professional. They are common for a reason. The quality of a professional website is measured by it’s fonts. Don’t use fancy fonts, such as Comic Sans since many computers don’t have them. If you use a font that not everyone has, a default font will appear on their computer. This could cause it to look bad.
If you plan to have multiple websites down the road, then consider reserving their domain names, now. Once you’ve thought of a domain name that you like, you should reserve it so that it’s still there when you’re ready to use it. There may be others thinking along the same line. It’s like everyone is connected or something similar.
Check links carefully before you include them on your site. Make sure the links all lead to valid web addresses. Check links on a regular basis as you are designing, and make sure to perform a check before uploading your site to the server. Checking links is important since visitors who click the link will become frustrated if they find unavailable content on a frequent basis. In order to prevent this from occurring, proactively test thoroughly for full functionality.
When you design a website, be aware of the value of leaving blank space in your layout. You will make your visitors feel overwhelmed if you use all the space available. Give your users a break by allowing space between different elements on each page. There are many situations in which empty space makes a major impact.
Using a host’s design tools to build your website is a good idea for the basic layout, but you don’t want to rely on the design tools completely. Make your site as personal as possible by tweaking or adding more features to the generic website you can create via the tools offered by your hosting service.
Avoid using pop-up ads whenever possible. Ads are crucial for making money, but pop-ups are needlessly annoying. People won’t want to visit your website again. Keep your ads simple; there’s no need for wild pop-ups.
It’s not always a good idea to host your website yourself, even when you have a great deal of money sunk in the venture. Even if you create the basic design yourself, do not fall into the trap of spending the inordinate amounts of time necessary to host it yourself.
Proofread all of the content on your site so that you don’t look like you rushed through it. Your goal is to make it easy for people to read your content. A site with errors is not very professional and it will make people want to stay away from your site.
Choose some reference books on design principles in general, and website design in particular. 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.
You should have some place exclusive within which to work. Rid the area of distractions and create an environment where your can focus. Put your office supplies where you can reach them easily, and set aside enough space to allow you to design your site.
Research is crucial when designing a website. The better you understand your business niche, the easier it is to woo a target audience. Figure out ways to reach this essential group. This will help you become efficient.
Offer a sitewide search option at the top of every page. This will boost the usability of your site and give the viewer the information he wants. The ease with which these can be used, and the benefit to your visitors, make any effort worthwhile, to put them in place.
Imitation might be the best form of flattery, but when it comes to website development it’s important to develop your own ideas. Come up with your very own features and style, possibly enhancing ideas you lift from other websites that impress you. This is essential for you if you hope to be the best designer you can be.
Your search bar should be somewhere around the top of your page layout and should have the capacity to hold 27 visible characters. The button you use to start the search should also say only “search” to thwart any confusion. By following this advice, your website’s visitors will be able to easily find and use the search box effectively.
To help test your site’s effectiveness, make use of task-based usability tests. The general use for these tasks is to be able to locate a function or some information within your site. A well-designed site will make it easy for the user to complete the task at hand. On the other hand, if it is not, the task can give you some insight as to which areas of your website could use improvement.
A site map is vital for your website. Site maps serve two primary purposes. It makes your website even easier to understand. Visitors can see what they want and what is offered through one easy map. They are also great for SEO purposes. Search engine crawlers can easily locate them, which helps them crawl your site.
It may be necessary to enlist the help of a professional site designer, or perhaps a close friend, who has some experience in the matter. If you seek out professional guidance and stay dedicated to educating yourself, you will almost certainly develop professional-quality web design skills.
Look to make any interface tools as user friendly as possible. Keep text that is underlined clickable. If your website is consistently user friendly across all pages, people will stay on your site longer and return again and again.
Take care to differentiate your website design from others in the same genre as you. You may find this out by look at the competitor’s sites. You will want to stand out in the midst of the crowd with a different style and design. Your website will just seem like a poor imitation of the original, so be sure you don’t accidentally create a plagiarized website!
When you begin to design a site, free stock images will help you save costs. You can find these images online and many are as high quality as the paid images. By using these images, you can use the money you save on other areas of your site design.
Make sure your site is secure. Any site that needs vital personal information such as credit cards and PayPal accounts, it is advisable you purchase an SSL certificate. Also, check with your particular website host about any type of security features they’re offering in your package.
Do not hire a web design company or consultant to produce your website without examining their portfolio first. If the design company has some other reputable references and has a record of superior work, go ahead and hire them. A viewing of their portfolio can provide some insight into their approach and depth of experience with web design.
Website design isn’t as complex as brain surgery. You don’t need school, and somebody else’s life isn’t dependent upon it. Just by utilizing the tips in the above article, you can design an excellent website right now.
When developing your website, pay attention to resolution. Different computers have different resolutions. Make sure that your website shows up normally in most, if not all, of these resolutions. If you’re not sure how to do this on your own, look for tools online that are able to help you.