The idea of building a website from the ground up is exciting, but it is also intimidating! You may be wary of the costs involved and who to turn to for needed guidance. Use the following advice as a foundation for all your future website creation efforts.
Don’t use frames. It isn’t the 90’s anymore. They used to be great in the early web design days, but they had many flaws. If you use frames, visitors may find it difficult to add your site to their favorites,and scrolling is problematic. You can make something that is easier for users to use.
Check for broken links before publishing your web page. Visitors will be annoyed if they click on broken links. Use a program or check links manually to be sure you have no broken links on your site.
Successful websites work well with any browser, so you’ll need to do some testing of your paging using various browsers. What may work great in Firefox, may not work well in Internet Explorer or Chrome. Prior to releasing your website to the public, you should verify that all of your webpages appear as intended on every popular web browser.
Try using a newsletter for getting repeat visitors. If your clientele are able to register at your website for information about product news or highlighted happenings in the near future, they’re more likely to keep visiting. Have a signup form in one of your sidebars, and document everyone that signs up. Only send the newsletter to those who request it, or you could find yourself in hot water.
Make sure that all the files on your website are small in size. You need these small file sizes regardless of the overall design of your site. The sizes of the files affect the loading time of your site. Maximizing the loading speed of your website is always better. You must keep in mind that not all visitors will have a fast Internet connection. Check out your website on all types of connections, including a dial up connection.
Keep your topics separate. If you’ve got a few discussions going, put each on its own page. This can keep viewers from becoming confused, and it can help search engines better understand your site so that they can boost your rankings.
Use ALT tags for your images when designing your site. Those who are visually impaired will benefit greatly from ALT tags. If your images are used as links, ALT tags also provide a way for you to describe the behavior of the link. ALT tags are the only way your images are going to help you with your search engine rankings.
Utilize the software out there that doesn’t cost you a thing when you are designing your own site. Many people falsely believe that they need to purchase expensive software in order to create a good website, however, there are currently numerous excellent free tools on the market that help you to develop a very professional looking website. A basic Internet search should produce a number of free design programs from which you can choose.
Make sure to ensure priority of your user’s needs. Web designers need to completely focus on the user’s needs. It’s important to consider accessibility, usability, user interaction and user experience. These are vital considerations you must take into account. Look at things the way your readers would see things when you go to design a page.
Do not place any popup adverts on your website. While these might seem valuable in some instances, most people think they are rather annoying. As a result, your users may just go away from your site, too angry to come back.
Selecting a professional looking font is an important web design consideration. People judge your sites professionalism by the fonts you use. Comic Sans and fancier fonts may not be available on a lot of your users’ computers, so don’t use them. If they don’t have that font on their computer, it might be subset to their default font. Sometimes this looks worse, but often times it helps the reader who otherwise may not have been able to read your website clearly.
White is generally a safe background color to use when designing a professional website. White backgrounds make your content easier to read, and give your website a more trustworthy feel if you want a professional look. Conversely, complex backgrounds distract from your content and make your site seem much less professional. Make your background as simple as possible.
Don’t put pop-ups on your website. This can be very annoying to your users. It will end up driving visitors away instead of getting them to read and click. Keep simple, non-intrusive adds on your website.
Sign up for newsletters that can help you learn about web design techniques periodically. Anyone can benefit from something like a newsletter, regardless of whether they are a pro or novice.
Make sure you optimize your website for older Internet Explorer versions like IE7 and IE8. Lots of people grumble about IE, but they still use it, and they often use outdated versions. They don’t render many elements in compliance with web standards, so workarounds are required. Familiarize yourself with the concept of the notorious “box model bug” which caused trouble for Internet Explorer for years.
Try your best to make your site entertaining by putting graphics on your site. You want to do things like wrap texts around images so that your site doesn’t look so bland. By creating a site filled with images and text, you can keep people’s interests piqued.
Test your site on multiple browsers, platforms (Windows 7, Windows XP, Linux, etc.) and devices (Mac, PC, tablets, cell phones, etc.) No two browsers will display your website exactly the same, and some of them could make it more difficult, or even impossible, to use easily. It is easy to discover the most popular browsers. View your website in each of these browsers to ensure that the page will be viewed correctly.
Make sure your slogan is on every page of your website, including those that are housed in subdomains. Use large, bold text to attract site visitors’ attention. The tagline itself is for informative purposes. It should quickly define the current page or its purpose, if you will. This can easily make or break a visit to the site.
Perform a thorough error check of your site, including checking for broken links. Before uploading any page, you should do a thorough test to identify any misdirected links. You want to make sure everything you put up is working as people become deterred when they see content on a site that is faulty, this can make them choose to never come back. To keep this from happening, check everything to make sure that it works.
If you can, you should include “site searching” on your home page, as well as any other pages. By doing this you will help to increase your site’s usability, and allows easy access to any information that a visitor might wish to see. Coding this search functionality isn’t difficult, so the increase in usability is definitely worth the time spent.
You don’t have to use every inch of space when you design a website. Utilizing all pixels available can cause your site to feel cluttered. When you space things out in an appropriate way and have a sense of organization, this will make users feel like they are in control. Sometimes, the value of blank space is equal to that of a website’s content.
Keep the levels of literacy in mind when you are writing your content. Realize that most people aren’t as educated and sophisticated enough to understand all that fancy writing, and that might turn them off and leave your site. In order to grow your audience, you should write content that spans the masses.
Invest in some books on the topic of website development. 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.
You will gain expertise in design much more quickly if you dedicate the time to learn something new at every step. Once you have gained an understanding of a specific part of the web design process, you should proceed to learn the next component. This could slow down your site-building process, but what you learn during this whole process is invaluable, and soon you will be able to create websites without blinking an eye.
When you are a newcomer to the web page design process, make things easier on yourself by sticking with a simple, basic site layout while you are still learning the ropes. Starting with simple designs allows you to acquire basic skills before you can improve and work on more advanced projects.
The security of your site is always of the utmost importance. Investing in an SSL certificate if the website handles sensitive information such as credit card and other payment information can be a smart idea. Your host may have additional security features.
Your computer’s copy/paste capabilities are some of your most powerful tools when you’re building a website with many very similar sub-pages. Rather than rewriting new code for each page, simply copy a main section of your code from the first page. You can then use this as the foundation for your next pages, making minor changes where needed. You can use the template file as much as you want.
Remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to design your website. For each tool that costs a great deal of money, there is a second tool that is beneficial and will not cost as much. For example, you can use free open-source software instead of paid software. Taking the open source software plunge can definitely keep costs in check.
When you post something on your website, remember “high and far-left.” 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.
Don’t add large ads to your site. Large ads turn people off. Therefore, add content that will not look like clutter on your website, and your visitors will be so impressed by how professional it looks that they will return.
Learn all about CSS, or cascading style sheet. HTML is one thing, but the real design (and consistency in design) happens in CSS. You want your website to have consistency and the style sheets can help. This also allows you to easily change stuff on your site. Only having to change a single line of code to recolor all your pages can be very convenient and end up saving a ton of time.
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. Over the years most people have come to associate a logo with a link, that when clicked, will take them to the homepage of a website. Static logos frustrate users because it forces them to search for the link to the homepage. You will find that a clickable logo will have a positive impact on your visitor’s stay on your site.
If you are looking for a good domain name, but find that most are already in use, visit an auction website and shop for old domain names. You will be able to buy abandoned or never used domain names that would not be for sale anywhere else.
Keep background colors neutral. Backgrounds can make the visitor feel overwhelmed and may look bad. Use a neutral color such as white. It has been shown that neutral or plain colors are the best backgrounds for highlighting text.
If you’re looking for a domain name that’s not available, you might find what you’re looking for at an online domain auction. Domain auctions, like SEDO, are fantastic places to buy domain names that have already been created and this could benefit your site greatly. Having an excellent domain name is worth the higher costs of buying one.
Now that you’ve read this, you should be prepared for moving ahead to tackle your own website design. Establish a budget, ask for help from professionals if you need to, and start drawing sketches. If you use these tips, you can design a great website without having to spend a lot.
Putting together your own site? Use grid or shared hosting, not dedicated hosting. It may not be possible for you to accurately predict traffic levels, but nonetheless you should not have to pay more money than is absolutely necessary.