If you are a business owner, one of the most expensive tasks you have ahead of you is the building of a website. You can save yourself a nice chunk of change if you can design your own site. You don’t want to cut corners, though. The following advice will help you build a site like the professionals do.
On the Internet today, speed is where it’s at. So you must make sure everything on your site loads fast. If a visitor needs to wait while the page loads, they may click off your site and not return.
Try using fixed-position navigation to let your users navigate with ease. By locking the menu to a fixed point on the screen, you can make sure it is constantly visible to the user regardless of where they scroll to on the screen. This helps anyone who just stumbles across your site view it more seamlessly. It can also make it easier for them to do something you want them to do (like get on your email list).
Include some way to help visitors search for content. People who are seeking something in particular are bound to be interested in finding a search box upon reaching your site. If this option is unavailable, they may leave the site for one that allows a search. Place the search box in the top right corner of the page since this is where most people look for one.
Make it easy for visitors to back out of a process if they change their minds. Types of such actions would include registering an email, filling out forms, or browsing your site for archives or topics. If your visitors can’t easily change their mind and back out of registering for a site feature, they may feel forced to complete a transaction. This isn’t good for your web traffic or your reputation.
Be very careful to remove outdated content from your site. For example, if your webpage is filled with advertising for something that happened months ago, viewers will turn away. Allowing information that is outdated to remain on your website is a sign to users that you have not taken the time to update your site and it implies that you don’t care about their time. Review your website often, to remove anything which isn’t updated with the latest content.
Your website should be able to be scanned without problems. Most visitors won’t actually read everything you write and will skim for what they want. Break your page into various sections using specialized or emphasized text, such as bold or italics. You should put the important stuff on top. These techniques assure that the visitor to your page will find what they want fast and this results in higher satisfaction for your readers.
Allow your users the ability to cancel something if they are not happy with what they typed in. This includes anything from filling out a simple set of questions, up to registering for a product or service. If you do not give site users the opportunity to cancel an action, they are not likely to return to your site. Over time, this could negatively impact your sales and site traffic.
Learn more about keywords through research. Though your primary focus is on supplying proper content and information to your customers, you need to build a customer base. Knowing the right keywords will help you bring people that have an interest in the things you have on your site.
Offer to store personal information for returning users. An example of this is if someone fills out a form to register, and then has to fill out other forms for other things. If the person’s info transfers from one form to the next, it will be much more convenient and less time consuming for the user. It’s annoying for visitors to have to re-register for different site functions, so work to make the site experience positive for your users.
Understand your subject. If you want to have a blog or website, you need to research anything you plan on posting. Being unclear with customers or giving false information will drive readers away. Knowing your subject is important when making a good blog.
Try pulling images into your post to maximize engagement. Having personal pictures on your site makes your site appear more user friendly. When the visitors seed that you spent more time putting together your site, they’ll look forward to clicking on your next picture.
Keep your font selection professional and readable. You can tell if a site is professional just by viewing their fonts. Do not employ exotic fonts that will be absent from many visitors’ computers or over-used fonts such as Comic Sans. In case your user’s browser cannot display the font your website uses, a secondary font can be set. This can look worse.
Avoid using too may font types. Consider how the ones you choose appear on standard screens since serifs like Times New Roman can be tough to read. The majority of sites utilize Verdana, which is easy to read in any size or color.
Check link integrity on a regular basis. Check on this multiple times before uploading to the server. You need to check links frequently because visitors will click on your links. If many of your links are broken, visitors will give up on exploring your site. You can prevent this by frequently checking that all links still work.
Placing ALT tags when using images on the site is important. 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. Using ALT tags also help to explain what clicking on the link will do. They can also be read by search engine spiders to boost your site’s ranking.
Captchas are wonderful when used for registration, though they should not be used for anything else. The captcha makes visitors do too much work. Most visitors will simply leave the website and use another resource instead.
Try and write a decent “About Us” page. Too many websites do not spend enough time creating an original ‘About Us’ page. Try to write this content in an entertaining way. Provide some insight for your visitors; tell them how and why you built your site and what goals you want it to reach for your company.
If you are going to be using FileZilla for a file server, be sure to program your quick menu settings for your correct port, username and domain. This will allow you to quickly choose your settings from the menu when you log into your server. You will be surprised at how much time this can save you.
Are you stuck? Look online for inspiration. If you need inspiration, browse some of the other websites out there. When you find things you like, think about how you can use those ideas or even improve upon them. Keep in mind that in order for your website to be truly successful, it is not enough to simply borrow ideas. You must make improvements to those ideas.
Check with your web host before adding videos to your site, as some hosts will not allow it. There are some hosts that forbid hosting videos. The FLV files are big and take up a lot of space on servers, so check to make sure it is allowed before wasting your efforts.
Never place pop-up ads on your website. Integrating pay per click advertising to earn money is an important part of designing a website, however pop up ads only obstruct readers’ view and serve to annoy them into leaving. This usually results in visitors not returning to your site. Keep simple, non-intrusive adds on your website.
Website content should be available to all people. It helps if you can find someone out of the country to check your site for you. Some things may not look right in another country, so this is what you should really be checking on.
Hosting your own site may not be a wise idea, regardless of how much money you have to invest. You should design it yourself (or at least as much as possible), but allowing someone else to host your site frees you up and allows you to focus on other things besides the site’s safety and security.
Be sure you don’t have ads on your page that are way too big because that distracts people. This can make your visitors feel very uncomfortable. Incorporate content that does not clutter the site. This allows visitors to view a webpage that is professional in design and drives them to return.
For creating your own website, consider using Adobe Dreamweaver. This program is easy for even the least skilled amateur. With this program, many features can be added, several layouts and templates can be made, and sites can be tested before being loaded on permanent servers.
To make a unique website, think outside of the box about where to get your inspiration for the site’s design. You can also get ideas from other sources such as magazines and TV. Continually look for inspiration as you go about your day to day life.
Ask someone to try out your website throughout the designing process. Whenever you include a new feature or make a change, give an impartial third party the chance to assess it. You might not think much of a video that loads slow, but another set of eyes can give a differing perspective. Always be sure you’re seeking outside opinions.
Your search box should appear close to the top of each webpage and should contain a minimum of 27 characters. Label the button next to the search box “search.” Don’t use other labels, such as “go,” as these will cause visitors to miss seeing the box when they are looking for it. Taking these steps ensures that visitors can find and use the search box easily so that they can find whatever they are seeking.
Make error pages informative for visitors. When a person clicks on a broken or moved link, they will be taken to an error page. Take the time to design informative error pages that let the readers know what went wrong and how they can return to your homepage.
Creating a favicon is basic, good web design practice. This small graphic will give your site more recognition in case a visitor decides to bookmark your website. When they look through their bookmark list, a memorable favicon can stand out from the rest. You should design the favicon so that it is logical for your theme and logo.
Error check, or validate, your web pages to avoid problems. There are a lot of WYSIWYG editors that can add many junk codes to your site’s design. Go through your code and use a validation service to make sure your code is clear enough. W3C provides a free service, which you can use to validate your webpages.
Make sure that your error pages are actually informative. A confusing error may pop up when a visitor clicks on a broken link. Make your pages informative along with navigation back to your front page.
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. Even if it just your seal from the BBB, everything helps to assure the authenticity and legitimacy of your business.
Neutral background colors are best for most websites. Backgrounds that are textured can overwhelm visitor’s vision and, when not used correctly, can even make your site look amateurish. Make your background white or similarly neutral. Research has shown that neutral colors such as these are the least taxing to read from.
Make your life as a web designer simpler by finding a “cheat sheet” of common problems that you could run into, and their solutions. Not to mention you might find some advice that you didn’t know before.
Including white space in your layout is a good web design practice. You want your visitors to be able to navigate your page easily, and their eyes to be drawn to certain areas. Don’t make the mistake of trying to fill every space with useless junk.
Learning anything is never an easy journey, and that holds true for web design. You’ll probably make some mistakes along the way. However the truth is that it’s not difficult and once you use the information given here, the ability to put it all together will be much simpler.
It is crucial for people who design web pages to set attainable goals with each task they take on. Working toward an unrealistic deadline will cause poor work, and that will create larger issues down the line. Instead, allow yourself enough to do the job properly.