If you have minimal experience in taking care of a website, doing so might seem rather scary and fun all at the same time. The tips in this article will help you find the best way to go about designing your website.
Join online forums to learn even more about web design. You can just do a quick google search and find the information that you want to learn right on the web for free.
Use the proper graphic tools for web page design. Bitmap images usually are big and don’t work as well as PNGs. For non-photographic graphics choose a PNG if the graphic has less than 256 colors. Otherwise, choose a GIF. For photographs, opt for JPEGs.
Keep your page sizes to a minimum. Some Internet users have slow connections, and they will grow impatient with your site. If the wait is too long, your visitors may give up and leave.
You want to ensure that your site has passed the NoScript test. Download the NoScript extension in Firefox and test it on your site to see if it is still readable. Some stuff won’t work unless there are scripts.
Set up your site so that visitors can cancel actions they initiate if they change their minds. For example, put a “clear” button on a form, an unsubscribe link on all newsletters and a “cancel” button on orders. You will inevitably lose repeat customers if you force them to follow through on a purchase that they have decided against for now.
Minimize your page sizes. Some people do not have speedy Internet connections, and if they have to wait a long time for your site to load, they probably won’t be interested in viewing it. You don’t want people to have to abandon your site because the pages won’t load.
Use shortcuts when designing your website. Just about everything in web design has some sort of shortcut and learning what it is can save you a lot of time. You can even use HTML codes that let you make quick changes to pages without the need to upload them again.
Always take outdated information and content off of your website. If someone visits your site for up-to-date information and find that it’s discussing the latest event – which happened a year ago – they’re leaving. Users want to spend their time on sites that are cared for, and leaving up old information shows a lack of attention to the site. Create a timeline for your updates, and clean up any old promotions or information that is not current.
Get familiar with your subject. For instance, if your site is meant for blogging, know about the topic before writing about it. The last thing you want to do is distribute incorrect information. Having a thorough understanding of your subject matter is vital to having a successful website.
When a user enters personal information into a form on your website, give the user the option to have the server retain that information should it be needed again. For instance, if a visitor registers for your newsletter and they are going to use the same information to make a purchase, be sure the data they’ve already entered is kept, so they do not have to re-enter the same information. Saving the user’s information in this way simplifies work for them, and is much appreciated by your website visitors.
Build a feedback-gathering mechanism into a website to gather visitors’ opinions. Thus, if there is a gap in your site’s offerings or visitors are confused about using your site, it will be easy for you to remedy the situation. If a visitor feel involved, he or she will want to see your website again.
The more you keep at it, web design gets easier and easier. So, learn the basics, then create some simple webpages using HTML to reinforce your understanding. Practice has to start sometime, so get to it sooner than later.
Images need ALT tags so do this while you are setting up your website. These tags are important because they describe the images people see when they don’t have their graphics turned on or they’re for people that can’t see and need help with getting a website read to them. If you use images as links, the ALT tags will give you a way to describe the links’ behaviors. And most importantly, search engine bots need to see the descriptions through ALT tags in order to help your search engine ranking.
You don’t have to fill all available space when designing a site. Using every pixel available to you can make the website feel overwhelming or cluttered. However, leaving just a bit of space between all the different aspects of the webpage will provide a much more comfortable experience. In many ways, empty space provides value to a website.
Meta tags that are pertinent, are one of the best ways to ensure your site attracts the right visitors. High-quality meta tags will help search engines determine the topic of your website. Not putting enough effort into their content can severely hurt your page rank and reduce your traffic.
It’s all right to rely on a host for tools to set up your basic design, but to add more advanced touches, you’ll want to do some of your own work. You need to incorporate your personality into the website, and that can be done by adjusting some stuff and adding others that the host design tools don’t offer.
Make sure your site loads quickly. Visitors are not going to wait around for a slow site. Try reducing your number of graphics, Flash, and script on your pages, optimizing your HTML, using SSI files, using client and server caching, creating expire headings, and minimizing your JS and CSS coding.
You need to your own office space if you are going to be a webmaster. Avoid distractions, to make everything effectively work in your space. Have your office tools and everything else located where you have easy access, and make sure you have an optimized space for your website design needs.
Hosting your site yourself isn’t recommended, even if you might have invested lots of money into 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.
Always limit your content early on in your web page design. You don’t want so much stuff that you become flustered, as this can also confuse visitors to your site.
Use keywords in the tagline for you domain and sub-domain names. You should use a large, easy to read text so that the viewer immediately sees them when they’re following links. A good tagline should inform your visitors about the goals of your website and encourage them to read the content.
Try to include some “site searching” on your index page and sub-pages if you can. Customers will appreciate the ability to effortlessly navigate your site. This feature is easy to include on your site, and the effort and time spent implementing it will provide ample rewards.
If you are using captchas on your site, limit the use to user registration. The captcha makes visitors do too much work. The only way they will stay on this page is if they’re already a member that’s devoted to the site.
It helps in the site design process if you continue to learn as you go. When you are confident in your abilities to use one technique, you should then move on to mastering the next skill. While this may lengthen the process of building your first site or two, you will soon have the knowledge you need to crank out websites much faster.
If you are creating multiple pages for your website, you should take advantage of your operating system’s copy/paste functions. Rather than creating brand new code for each individual page, merely copy and paste the main code section, change it as necessary, and save the tweaked code as a brand new file every time. You can re-use a single “master” set of code to churn out a virtually unlimited number of pages.
If you want to host videos, read the rules of your host to make sure you can. Some servers do not have the ability to host videos. FLV files use too much room on the public servers. Therefore, you should check this out beforehand or you could potentially waste all your efforts.
In order to become a renowned web designer, you first need to become a great artist. Look for inspiration and adapt your ideas to your business goals. If you have an epiphany while you’re out and about, write it down on any scrap of paper you can find. Even if you have to call yourself and give a reminder about an idea, do so.
If you plan to design more than a single site, learn to work with several different platforms. PHP, MySQL, and Java will all come in handy in the future if you get into website design. Whether it’s working on your own site or helping someone you know get a site off the ground, keep developing yourself into a multifaceted web designer.
Create a favicon that reflects your website’s personality. This is a very small graphic, but it will make it easier for your guests to bookmark your website. When searching through a visitor’s bookmarks, having a favicon that is memorable will cause you to stand out from the pack. Just be sure that you favicon is aligned with the theme of your site.
Your error pages should be informative. Generic errors provide no information to the user. Make your pages informative along with navigation back to your front page.
You should create a visual sitemap so that you are able to plan ahead more effectively. A visual sitemap gives you an open view of the progress being made with your structure. This will allow you to hone in on anything that needs some tinkering, or perhaps something that you have completely overlooked. Nothing can fully replace a clear, easily interpreted visual.
White space is important. This is blank space on the website. Visibility is key when it comes to the internet, so be sure to avoid cluttering the screen with words and graphics. White space allows visitors to easily scan your pages and feel comfortable on your site.
When designing your website, ensure that critical content is high on the page, beginning with the upper left corner. Since people read this way, it’s best to do this so visitors can see your site.
Validate your code before uploading each web page to the server. There are many WYSIWYG editors out there that add a lot of junk code to your site design. If those programs are used, be sure that you take the extra effort of utilizing a validation service to validate your code. W3C provides a free service, which you can use to validate your webpages.
Ensure that any advertising you add to your site isn’t too large or intrusive. You want to provide people with good browsing experience. Add content that is valuable and functional for the user.
Contrasting colors and simplicity are key. Avoid using dark texts with darker backgrounds. This just leaves readers’ eyes tired. Don’t use distracting patterns as backgrounds, either. The problem here is that the text may get lost in the background, leaving the visitor running from your site. Just keep it simple by using white for the background and black for the text.
If you have a search text box on your website, allow at least 30 characters to be visible. Use a button that says ‘search’, rather than ‘go’ or ‘submit’. By following this advice, your website’s visitors will be able to easily find and use the search box effectively.
While reviewing your newly designed site, make sure that you have used techniques that lead to success including any necessary images or information the customer has requested or you need to promote your goods and services. Local and national support systems let visitors know you are trustworthy.
Website design makes for a great way to promote and reach your niche market. It is something that when done right will be an excellent addition to your promotional arsenal. Don’t wait – these tips will point you toward success.
When you design a website, don’t forget to put in a link that points directly to your blog. The information posted should be of high quality and shows the visitor that this content is a topic that you are well informed of. It can also be a more informal and interactive place for visitors to leave comments.