When it comes to a subject of web design a lot of people want to become a pro at it. However, of the many who hope to become great, few will take time to learn the skills that they must possess in order to become a master at website development. This article will focus on some of those skills and help to get you started on the right path toward website development success.
Do not go overboard with graphics. Graphics are essential to make sure your site is pleasing to the eye, but overusing them just clutters the page. Don’t use graphics just to decorate; use them to improve the site. Having the right amount of graphics that don’t clutter the design can improve the site’s usability, too.
Use graphics that are right for your website. Remember, bitmap images are huge and usually don’t work well, PNGs work fine. Try using PNGs for images that are not photos or text buttons or if an image has over 256 colors. Use GIFs for something with less than 256 colors. JPEG images are good for pictures.
Have you considered writing a newsletter? Giving your customers a reminder that you’re still online and have some great deals or new content that will bring them back to your site for more. Your website’s sidebar is an ideal location for the signup form, and you should make certain to stay on top of who has registered. Make sure the newsletter only goes to those who actually asked for it, or you’re going to get some serious blowback.
Make sure that your website has a tagline incorporated into the design. This tagline should give visitors an idea of what your site is about. Use clear taglines to help people that visit your page. You only have a few second to get their attention and get them them to look through the whole website.
Good meta tagging practices will help your website draw in larger numbers of visitors. Quality meta tags will help search engines point interested people in your site’s direction. Well-written meta tags will garner the most visitors to your site.
Test your site to ensure it passes a NoScript test. The NoScript extension can be downloaded for Mozilla Firefox; doing so will allow you to be sure your site can be read. It will be normal for some content not to work, like the ordering system, but a blank page is a red flag.
If you get stuck in designing your website, remember that you can always search online for some excellent examples. There are millions of websites available to gain inspiration from. Find websites you like, and figure out which aspects make the site appealing, then think about ways you can borrow or improve the idea on your own site. You can’t just borrow ideas if you want your site to be a success. You must make improvements to those ideas.
Always take outdated information and content off of your website. If the page a viewer clicks on is promoting something that happened a year ago, you just lost a reader. Users are going to want to spend time on websites that have been cared for, and when old information is kept up it shows that the site is not being paid attention to. Create a schedule that will help you manage information and specials, and remind you to take down useless items.
Hosting your site yourself is not really a great idea, no matter what amount of money you’ve decided to invest in it. Do as much of the design that you are comfortable with, but allow a professional to host your website, so your time is freed up; this allows you to dedicate your time for things other than the site’s security and safety.
Begin your attempts at web design with simple sites that can be evaluated for potential problems. Begin with a few basic pages, (just text for the most part) and see how it goes.
Forget about pop-up advertisements. Nobody appreciates new windows popping up automatically when they visit a webpage. Many people will close a site immediately if it uses pop-ups, even if it’s a site run by a well-known brand or company. So make sure you have happy customers, by not including these aggravating pop-ups ads. If your host forces pop-ups on you, it may be time to find a new one.
You should use a good layout for the site, one that you are able to work with and is basic so it’s easy for you to understand the foundation of the web design first. Begin with the basics and evolve your site as time goes on and you become more advanced in your capabilities and understanding of web design.
Do not have pop-up windows on your site. Most people will be turned off by a site that pop’s windows up in their face. Every pop-up window you throw in front of your website visitors increases the likelihood that they will abandon your website in frustration. Once they leave, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be coming back.
Usability tests that are task based are a good way to see how effective your website’s design is. Can your users find what they want? A well-designed website will have testers reporting no bugs or complaints. Then again, if not, it can provide insight in regards to which site aspects need improvement.
Make sure that your load times are up to par at all times. Visitors won’t wait around forever for pages to load. Reduce graphics, scripts and Flash consoles on your web page, optimize HTML and utilize SSI files.
Use headlines throughout your website. These should be in large, bold text and the first thing that the viewer will see when they follow any links. Taglines are an easy way for visitors to determine if a page is relevant to their needs.
Include a search form on your home webpage, as well as on all your other pages. This will maximize usability by making it easier for visitors to navigate. These searches are easy to add — and worth the time.
When coming up with content, remember that you users are bound to have different literacy levels. A variety of visitors will visit your site and you want everyone to have access to the information shared. If you wish to expand your audience, you must first produce content that they can comprehend.
Be sure that you don’t have a design for your website that is too similar to that of your competitors’ sites. Visit the competition and compare it to your site. A website that is too similar won’t stand out. Your site will be considered as a copycat of your competitors’ and not seem trustworthy.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to design your entire site yourself. Great web design incorporates many different skills, including graphic design, programming, SEO, and the creation of memorable content. You shouldn’t be embarrassed if you aren’t an expert in all of them. You always have the option of hiring a company or professional that specializes in a particular area that you are not familiar with.
The first place many visitors look is in the upper left hand corner. Because people read from the left to the right, placing key information on the top left of the screen makes it more likely that users see this first before going on to the rest of the information on the site.
If you want to have videos on your website, you should first confirm with your web host that they will allow this. Many hosts forbid hosting video using their servers. FLV files and other formats take a lot of space and will not load quickly. Hosting videos on YouTube is a better alternative. You need to be sure of the options available to you before moving forward.
A general rule of thumb for search boxes is that the character length is a minimum of 2 characters, and that it is placed at the forefront of every page. Use a button that says ‘search’, rather than ‘go’ or ‘submit’. These things will cause your search box to be easily seen and it will help the visitors on your site to find the things they are searching for.
It is important to know that white (unused) space, on your site is a great idea and should not be cluttered. When you have open space on your website, your visitors can see what you have on offer and read your text with ease. This can only benefit you and them.
Give your website some time every day. You have to work in chunks, as opposed to sporadically, so you don’t lose your train of thought. As you progress in your design efforts, you will be solidifying the knowledge you have gained.
If you really want an item on your website noticed – use the space that is at the top left corner. Because people read from the left to the right, placing key information on the top left of the screen makes it more likely that users see this first before going on to the rest of the information on the site.
If your site uses a consistent logo image on all or most of its pages, making that image into a link back to the home page is a good idea. It is common these days for sites to have a logo or image that visitors can click on to return to the home page. It can prove frustrating to your users if they click on a static logo, because then they have to search to find a ‘home’ link. Having the logo as clickable makes your website easier to navigate around.
A regular check of the statistics for your website is a good way to gauge your website appeal. You can then tell who the visitors are and the pages that they like visiting most. This information will help you understand what direction you should take when updating your site with new content in order to help keep customer’s attention.
Make sure everyone can access your site. It would helpful to get someone from another country to look at the site. Content display may vary per country, so be sure to have it checked.
It is a good idea to use neutral shades for your website background. Backgrounds with texture can distract visitors and also create an amateur look for the site. White backgrounds are bets, but other neutral colors can still be safe choices. Neutral colors have been shown to be the easiest to read text on.
If you are going to feature advertisers on your website, keep them small and not huge or distracting. You don’t want to turn people off with a website that is overcrowded with advertisements. Choose content that does not take up too much space and distract people from the important information on your site, which will enhance it and make it look professional.
Now with all of the information you’ve learned about website development, you should feel a lot more confident in the subject. Web designing is a wonderful way to make a profit, whether you are designing for other people, or using your skills to make your website better.
From the onset, it is best to avoid using free web hosting services if you own a commercial website. These services can cause you a lot of problems and lost business in the future. Although free always sounds good, especially to someone starting up a business, these hosts will crowd your site with all kinds of ads which you have no control over. This will cause you to make sacrifices in your business ethic and design, and customers will shy away from your sites.