A lot of aspiring web designers think flashy sites are eye-catching, but visitors with slower internet connections don’t like them. Most websites that do very well have a simple design that looks great, which helps visitors quickly get the information they desire. Keep reading to check out solid advice on how you can design a clean, simple and effective website.
Frame designs were great in the 1990s, but they are no longer useful. While frames were helpful in the field of web design back then, they were also problematic. Frame-based designs cause readers to have trouble bookmarking your site, and scrolling can also prove burdensome. There are easier ways for you to give your users good flow throughout the website.
Graphics are important for any designer but beginners should focus only on the standard graphics on their first several builds. Keep in mind that bitmaps don’t usually work well, while PNGs do. For simple text buttons or graphics that aren’t photographs, use PNG for files that are 256 colors or larger. Use a GIF file for anything less than 256. For photos, you can use JPEG images.
Include some way to help visitors search for content. Many people are coming to your site for a reason, and they want a quick and easy way to obtain the information they need. If you don’t have a search box, they’ll just go to the next site. Always put the search box near the top-right corner of your pages.
Smaller pages are better. Some users have slower connections and will lose interest if a website takes too long to load. You will want your users to have a great overall experience.
Page size must be kept small. Users with slower Internet connections might decide that the wait isn’t worth it if your site loads slowly. You don’t want to leave your visitors waiting on each page, as they will likely just leave, never to return.
Pay attention to the background of your website. 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. Choose a background which complements your website, and your visitors will find it much easier to read your message.
Be conscious of your background. Many sites make use of background images in the animated GIF format. Sometimes this provides an excellent effect; at other times it can make the text of your page illegible. Your audience will have a more pleasurable browsing experience if your background is conducive to reading your text.
Keep load times to a minimum of your site. Visitors that get stuck waiting for slow pages to load will almost always leave the website. Minimize the amount of Flash, scripts and graphics on your site. Optimize the site with HTML, SSI files, caching options and minimize CSS and JS coding.
Keep your topics separated. Keep different topics on different pages. This not only eliminates customer confusion, but it also helps you out with search engine crawlers and your site rankings.
Pop-up ads should never be included on your website. Certainly it is important to include PPC ads on your site to earn some money, but pop-up ads that get in the way of what your visitors want to see is counterproductive. Instead of clicking your ads they will just leave your site. You don’t need pop-ups; just keep the ads simple.
Make compelling and fascinating web content. Though the look is highly important, content is the key to return visitors. When you have relevant content on your site that appeals to your viewers and takes into account what they are looking for, there is a good chance they will want to visit again in the near future.
You can use a What You See Is What You Get code editor (WYSIWYG), but using a text editor such as Notepad, gives you full flexibility when editing your code. The goal of a platform is to design the features you want in a site, then you simply paste the code that was generated into your own site. However, this can lead to errors, so you may prefer coding your site by hand with a text editor.
Make sure that your user’s needs are a priority. You as a web designer have to think about the needs of the end user all the time. This includes the ease of interaction, level of usability, accessibility, and experience of the user. You need to make sure you are meeting the users needs on all levels. Always look at things through the eyes or screen of the viewer.
Sign up for forums, newsletters and podcasts that discuss web design to help you keep up with the trends. Whether designers are well-versed in web design or just getting started, they are likely to find helpful information.
Like so many skills, website development can be improved through patient, consistent practice. So, start a few pages with C++ and HTML to check whether you understand the basics. It will take many hours of practice, so the sooner you get started, the better off you will be.
Proofread all of the content on your site so that you don’t look like you rushed through it. Your goal is for people to be able to read it easily and quickly. Errors make you look unprofessional and unreliable.
You are in the right direction if you are using a web host’s website building tools, but it is not ideal to rely solely on those tools. Eventually you want to incorporate your own ideas into the site, which means lots of tinkering and experimenting with different things without having to rely on the simple functions of the site-builder you get from the host provider.
Invest in some books on the topic of web design. 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.
Even though development platforms provide you with code, some are not nearly as trustworthy as classic text editors. The idea behind platform is that you are responsible for designing site features, then just paste in the generated code. Even if you do use one of these editors, make sure to check your code in a text editor afterward to clean up erroneous or extraneous code.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with HTML5. If you do not know html5 very well, you will have to get moving on learning it.
Go ahead and sign up for a newsletter that can inform you about web design periodically, so that if you ever lose sight of your website design goals you have a place to come back to and begin once again. For rookies and veterans, newsletters come in handy.
You need to think about who your target audience is, and gear your website toward this group. Ask others what they want to see on your site. This will help with designing your site and features too. Advice and ideas from your targeted audience should have an impact on your website design.
Good web design hinges on the quality of your research. Research your niche, so you can set your sights on your target audience. Your ability to reach any audience is going to depend on how well you design your website. If you can do that, your site will find success.
Try to include some “site searching” on your index page and sub-pages if you can. Site searching makes it easier for users to access information, and increases the overall usability of the site. This feature can be included with ease, and is a worthy addition to any site.
Use entertaining graphics on your website. Wrap text around your images to keep your website interesting. Content that looks creative and well-done will keep visitors interested and want to return.
If you keep learning as you are designing a website, that will be a benefit to you. After getting the hang of a design concept, find another one to learn. By doing this, you may create additional work, but the reward will be increased knowledge and skill that will make the next site design easier.
Keep the literacy level of your audience in mind when writing content. Using technical lingo may alienate some visitors. Create content that is easy to comprehend yet provides valuable information.
When you’re creating similar pages, use the copy and paste feature to speed up the process. Instead of rewriting HTML code for each new page, copy the necessary components, adjust the parts that require it and then save the results with a new filename each time you do this. By saving the master copy, you will have a tool that you can use ad infinitum.
You don’t have to design your site alone. Web design requires knowledge of many different areas including graphic design, user interface design, web programming, search engine optimization and content creation. You can benefit from accepting help if you feel like you’re not an expert in every one of these areas. Even if you want to do the majority of your site building, you can hire an expert to handle what you can’t.
Tap into your creative side during your website design. Be open-minded and, when you have an idea, record it so you won’t forget it. If you are out having dinner, for example, and you have a flash of inspiration, then write it down. 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.
Continue learning as you design a site. Learn one aspect of website design, and then move on to the next. While this will take time, it will be worth it in the end when you know enough to create site after site.
Utilize a website map when you design your site. Website maps usually perform two important purposes. It makes navigation easier for visitors. They not only can locate what they are searching for, they can also see anything else you provide in one easy to see place. Also, site maps are ideal for SEO purposes. It easier for the search engines to find and “crawl” your site.
Using white (unused) space effectively can actually improve your website, so don’t think your website needs to be jam-packed with content. White space in your website could improve its readability; your visitors tend to have an easier time absorbing and reading the information there if things are not cluttered.
Put your logo on the top of every one of your pages. It is a simple way to ensure your pages are all linked together into one unit. It also helps visitors remember your site more. The logo should visually tell a story about your company.
Using the information shared here, you can create a great site. A clean, crisp, easy to navigate site will be far more successful than an excessively flashy one. Use the tips you learned here to create a great website that won’t distract your viewers.
Background colors should be neutral. Textured backgrounds seem sophisticated, but they can really annoy readers and even make your site look less than professional. Use a neutral or even white background. It’s been shown that these neutral colors are the easiest backgrounds from which to read.