Technology is important in today’s day and age. Web design is one such career path, but designers are becoming a dime a dozen. Pay attention to these site design tips to help set your site apart.
A good website should be compatible with multiple browsers, so you should test your website in various browsers to ensure that any visitor can view it correctly. What works in Chrome might not appear the way you want it in Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. Therefore, check to see that all pages display correctly in all the large browsers prior to your site going live.
Watch your use of color combinations when building 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. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or colleague for their opinion of the color scheme.
Put ALT tags on your images. These tags are used to describe the images they accompany in case the image is not displayed, such as when a user disables graphics or is visually impaired and uses transcription software to translate images and read them aloud. In addition, ALT tags allow you to describe how a link behaves if you utilize your images as links. ALT tags are the only way your images are going to help you with your search engine rankings.
It is imperative to replace old content with new. You will come across as undependable or an amateur if you have information on events that have long passed. Allowing information that is outdated to remain on your website is a sign to users that you have not taken the time to update your site and it implies that you don’t care about their time. Establish a schedule to update your website, and get rid of the content that is no longer relevant.
White is perhaps the best option for background color. White backgrounds make copy much more easily readable and give your site a more mature look. Giving your site a background featuring vibrant colors or complex patterns, though, can give an unprofessional impression and reduce the clarity of your site. Backgrounds should be simple and subtle.
Make it easy for visitors to back out of a process if they change their minds. An action may refer to signing up for e-mail notifications, newsletter subscriptions or filling out web forms. When you do not allow visitors to cancel something they do not wish to complete, you are forcing them into something, which can prove detrimental to fostering return visits and/or purchases.
Do your best to optimize the loading times on every page of your website. If visitors must wait a long time for something to load, they will want to leave the site. Use less graphics, avoid Flash, and optimize your HTML.
Design your page so that previously entered information is saved and automatically used to fill in informational boxes. For instance, if a user registers at your site and another form requires the same information again, be certain your website preserves this data to prevent them the useless and annoying hassle of filling it in again. If you use this data to your advantage, users will be able to save time as they navigate your site.
As you design your site, incorporate independent CSS paging for browsers and make use of conditional loading. These two things make maintenance and testing simpler. Simplicity is key to success.
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 online users want instant gratification, so you should provide that.
Always use fonts which are legible and professional. A site that uses classic fonts will look more professional. Avoid silly, bubbly or hard to read fonts and especially avoid obscure fonts that may not be supported by all browsers. If a visitor doesn’t have a font on his computer, his browser may display a default font that doesn’t look right. This can interfere with the design of your website.
If you are designing a very large site, you should always include search capabilities. Make sure you add a search box allowing your viewers to search for terms in your site. Search functions for websites are available from FreeFind and Google.
User-friendly web design programs, known as development platforms, can make building websites easier, but they are just not as trustworthy as hand-written 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. But if you desire a true creator experience and want to reduce errors, stick with classic text editors.
You want to make your site content compelling and intriguing. Good content is really more important than flashy design. When your content is useful and provides valuable information that meets your visitor’s needs, those visitors will return again and again.
You must practice what you learn in order to completely understand how to use the site design concepts. This is necessary as we often fall into a rut by doing what has become standard to us. You don’t want to over-estimate your learning and do something improperly.
Enroll in a periodic web design newsletter to help you to occasionally re-focus on your web design vision. This will help both beginners and experts.
Your website should be optimized to include older versions of web browsers such as Internet Explorer. Although many people loathe Internet Explorer, many people surfing the Internet do it on older versions of this web browser. Workarounds are needed for many elements to be visible in IE. Read up on the so-called “box model bug” which has bothered IE users for a long time.
As you design a site, look to your target audience. Ask them what is important in the sites they like. You can use this to help with your site’s design and to put features on it. Giving the people what they want is vital to almost any type of success.
Your navigation methods should be clear and easy to maintain. Where all navigation links are placed will have an impact on how long any of your visitors stay on your site. The structure of navigation should be consistent, clean and user friendly to offer the best experience.
Add flair and value to your site by utilizing graphics. Placing text wrapped around images gives your site a professional look and doesn’t look barren with nothing there. You are more likely to gain and keep loyal visitors if your site seems professional.
When creating pages that have links, be sure the links contain text content. Visitors to your page are more likely to click on a link when they know where the link will take them. If you have hidden links, users may mistakenly navigate away from the page they were on.
Do remember that website design does not need to be costly. For all the tools you have, there are usually less expensive ones that will benefit you. For example, open source software can accomplish many of the same things you might use paid software for, and it is free. Taking the open source software plunge can definitely keep costs in check.
Test the functionality of your website. It is important to do this for each step. Each time a new feature is created, have someone check it out and let you know their thoughts. What may look fine to you, may be of major concern to someone else. Use the wisdom of others who are outside your immediate circle to get an opinion.
When you have more than one website idea, reserve the domain names at the same time. Allow your creativity to flow with naming and be quick so that your name is under your ownership and not someone else’s in the future. Even if your idea is very original, someone else could think up the same thing. We are all stimulated by the same media and social events.
Design informative error pages. Many times someone will click onto a broken link, or a link that has been moved, and receive a generic error page that confuses them. Your error page design should help your visitors understand how they got there and how to return to your site quickly.
Most people know about Photoshop, and they realize that it takes some effort and knowledge to use it effectively in website creation. Strangely, Photoshop’s companion program, Dreamweaver, is far less known, even though it is a purpose-built tool for web design. The many potential benefits Dreamweaver can offer you make it well worth investigating.
Take advantage of free stock images in your web design. You can find these images all across the Internet and they are usually quite high in quality, as high as images you must pay for. By using these images, you can use the money you save on other areas of your site design.
You can gain insight from sites you enjoy, but try to use your own ideas when creating your site. You can improve upon ideas you’ve seen used on other websites, but you should also develop your own website designs. By taking this particular step, you have helped maximize all your hard work in website design.
It is important that you use descriptive titles on your website. A web search will turn up many examples of “untitled document” or other similarly non-descriptive titles. You will see what a common mistake not providing a webpage or website with a title is. You have to name your site. Search engines use this as part of their search engine optimization algorithms.
Get a professional mentor. Even if you want to tackle most of the site building yourself, having professional advice can greatly ease the process. That way, you ensure you won’t make beginner mistakes, and you also have a greater chance of becoming a professional yourself since you continue to learn.
Each page you design should be validated. There a lot of WYSIWYG editors that will add meaningless code to your website design. There are some quality validation programs that will not add junk code to your website design. The World WIde Web Consortium (W3C) offers a free service to validate pages.
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. You don’t want to suddently have a survey appear before them or promotions that they have to click on in order to go further. When you narrow the viewer’s choices, they’re likely to back out to another website and badmouth yours.
If you plan to hire a company to design your company’s web page, be sure you ask for references. If that company lacks references, try not to use them since they may lack the experience needed for making a quality website.
Avoid the use of CAPTCHAs whenever you can. CAPTCHAs annoy visitors because they have to complete some useless task just to get the information they want or post a comment. All but a site’s biggest fans will leave if they have to fill out too many CAPTCHAs.
Consider resolution when designing your website. Computers have various resolutions, so make sure that computers with a whole range of resolution can see the content on your site’s page. You have many different options available on the web that will ensure your pages, graphics and videos can be viewed on most devices without issues.
It is not always true that you need to pay for advice on creating a great website. It’s true that it’s not always a poor investment. There are many accurate books and magazines out there full of helpful information. However, you can get the same information for free. Most free information offers the same information as what is found in books.
A good web design tip for the newcomer to this field is look at all the tools that are available in the market. There are many books and magazines that cover nearly everything in web design. You can tap into these resources to master the art and skills of a true web designer.
There are over a million sites for you to distinguish your site from. Going above the fray can help you make your mark online. Utilize these suggestions to stand out.
Your customer will likely be far more interested in your content than in your page’s layout. Keep your pages simple. Only include information and photos that will help your visitors understand what you are trying to communicate. Simple pages will load much quicker than complex pages.