If you want to design a website as a hobby, for your business or even as your own career, a solid foundation of knowledge will help you get your foot in the door. From learning HTML to knowing search engine optimization techniques, there are many facets to web design.
Read on to find some advice which will cover all of the basics.
When you are designing a website, it is important to have proper spelling and grammar. In addition to running spell-check on your content, ask a friend or co-worker to proofread everything. Having good spelling and grammar on your website will help give it a professional feel and your visitor will be more likely to return.
For multimedia presentations, take advantage of the new HTML5 standard. Although HTML5 isn’t quite as robust for animation and games as Flash, it has the advantage of working stably on mobile phone browsers, including those contained in Apple hardware. HTML5 is also quite a bit leaner than Flash, so load times will improve, as well.
It may look pretty, but stay away from having too many animations on your site. Having your sales splash page rotate, spin and blink may look cool to you, but it will likely drive potential viewers away. When you add too many flashy splashes like that, it makes your site look amateurish which is not the message you want to convey.
Speed is vital online, so be sure your pages load quickly. Your visitors are more likely to lose interest in your website and leave the page if they have to wait for a few minutes before having access to the content.
Don’t disable the visitor’s right-click functionality. Some sites do this in order to prevent people from copying and pasting text or saving images from the site. The thing is, it doesn’t work and disables other useful functions. OCR can be used to capture text from such sites, and grabbing images is as simple as taking a screenshot.
White space is an important part of web design, so don’t be afraid to use it. Cluttering up your web pages with too many images or too much text, or using a distracting background, will only irritate your visitors. White space can make the important elements of your page more visible.
Offer to store personal information for returning users. For example, if a person has to enter their information to register for an account, and then is filling out a form on your website that requires the same information, you want to have their data saved, so that they do not have to take the time to fill everything out again. “Sticky” data will ensure that the user fills out all the forms they need to instead of leaving when it becomes too difficult.
While you might be inclined to add a lot of bells and whistles to your website, flashing graphics, loud music and neon colors will just distract from the purpose of your website. Visitors who are bombarded by too many sights and sounds might be inclined to leave your website before they even start browsing. Keep the colors simple and the content relevant and your website design will be a winner.
Build your website using a content management system. Knowing how to build a website using just HTML and CSS is good foundation knowledge, but this can only produce a static website. Web design has evolved into providing dynamic content. If you couple your coding skills with the use of a content management system, you can practically build any type of website that you desire.
If you plan on having a commercial site, you should seriously consider buying your own web hosting. Most free host sites force you to display their advertisements, which is counter-intuitive if you are attempting to sell something as well. Purchase your own hosting to avoid this advertising hassle, so that you can choose your own ads.
When you are creating a page that contains links, ensure your links use text content. Links with content are helpful for visitors. If there are links on your page without text content, they could accidentally click the link through a keyboard shortcut.
Test your site early and test it frequently. It’s imperative that you employ usability tests frequently to ensure a pleasant user experience. Continue to test and make improvements throughout the life of your website.
If you already have a particular web hosting solution that you know you are going to use, keep its limitations in mind as you design your website. For example, do not create a website that relies on specific programming languages if your web host does not support these languages. It is fairly simple to find out which technologies are supported by your web host. Make certain that your design is something that is within the limitations of your host.
Part of designing a good website is finding the best website hosting package. You want a package that offers ample disk space, bandwidth, email accounts, and such. If you cannot find a good website host for your project, then you shouldn’t start your project. Hold out until you can locate a premium host.
If user or customer agreements are found on our website, speak plainly in them, avoiding legal jargon as much as possible. You want your customers to feel like they know what is going on and being said. Legal jargon will confuse your customers, and it will make them uneasy about your site.
Make sure you have a good idea about what types of pages you want to add to your website. Site design is only easy if you plan ahead thoroughly. If you need a contact page, a sales page, various landing pages, etc, make sure you add them all early on. You can always edit as needed as the site starts to take shape.
You’ve read the advice here and are ready to put it into action, so get ready to design your site! Start by sketching out a design and making lists of the content you’ll need and you’ll have your website online in no time.
Don’t forget to keep reading and learning so you’re never left behind.