More and more of our lives take place online these days, so web pages that do not work well are not going to receive much positive attention. This article is going to teach you how to build an effective website that keeps those customers coming.
Be sure to use proper graphics when designing your website. Keep in mind that bitmap files are quite large and typically do not work well, but PNGs work okay. For simple images, GIF is fine, though. You can use Jpegs for photos.
Your website needs to function properly for visitors who use any kind of browser, so be sure to test out your site for browser compatibility. While a certain element may look wonderful in Firefox, it may appear incorrectly on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari. Prior to releasing your website to the public, you should verify that all of your webpages appear as intended on every popular web browser.
Choose your color scheme wisely. You should be striving to achieve easily readable and visible text set against your chosen background shade. In general, a light background with darker text is much clearer than the reverse situation. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or colleague for their opinion of the color scheme.
Make sure that every page on your website loads as quickly as possible. Not all people using the Internet have a fast connection, and loading times can make visitors lose interest. A visitor who has to wait a long time to see your information will move on.
Always double check pages for broken links before publishing a page. Visitors become frustrated easily when they click a link and find that it leads to the wrong place. You can either check links manually, or use a program that will scan the website for you to report links that are broken.
Educate yourself about shortcuts, then make a habit of employing them. Most website creation techniques have shortcuts you can use. There are some codes in HTML that allow for faster changes to each page than re-uploading each one.
Use free alternatives to pay web design software whenever possible. Don’t be fooled into believing that pricey software is what you have to use; there are many free tools that can get your site up and running. Finding good free software does require a bit more legwork, however.
Regardless of your client or website purpose, you need to strive for loading times of less than ten seconds. This will make people want to stay on your site. Most Internet users are looking for instant returns, and it would behoove you to make that happen.
Make sure you optimize your website for older Internet Explorer versions like IE7 and IE8. While it is often viewed as a sub par browser, a large number of users are still using old versions of this browser. They don’t render pages that have to do with regular standards on the web so you have to figure out a work around. Specifically, you should learn about a “box model bug” which troubled Internet Explorer for years.
Design your front page to be a minimal as possible. This will cause people to want to jump ship early. Provide simple content on what you do and how to contact you.
Good meta tags are a quick way to ensure your website makes it to a good rank on search engines. You need to spend some time on creating high quality meta tags so that search engines can classify your site properly. If you use irrelevant meta tags, instead of tags that describe your website’s content appropriately, search engines will classify your site incorrectly and you won’t get a lot of traffic.
Be sure that your website has small files, no matter how aesthetically designed your site is. File sizes are directly responsible for how quickly a website loads. You want your site to load as quickly as it can. You should also keep in mind that not every visitor will be using a high speed Internet connection. Test to be sure that even computers with slow dial-up modems can connect quickly to your website.
The next time you design a website, consider using conditional loading in conjunction with independent CSS pages. These two things make maintenance and testing simpler. Every website occasionally needs maintenance, so you want to minimize the time you spend here.
Consider visitors when constructing your site. The site designer should always be working on the needs of the user. These needs include user interaction, accessibility, and user experience. If they can’t find what they need then they will leave. Try to make sure you look at your site from the perspective of your visitors as you design it.
Stick with common fonts that look professional. They are common for a reason. People judge your sites professionalism by the fonts you use. Do not use Comic Sans, overly ornate fonts, or fonts that many computers might not have. Unusual fonts can be classified as subsets on a viewer’s screen. This often looks terrible.
Use basic fonts which every user will be able to see. Fonts say a lot about the professionalism of a site and the business it represents. Skip the fancy fonts such as Comic Sans, since people may not be able to read them on many computers. If your reader doesn’t have the font you require, their browser will substitute a default font instead, possibly throwing the layout of your entire page off. The results are uncontrollable and often unattractive.
It is no longer on trend to use a visitor counter on your website. Although it may be something that you find valuable, your visitors are not interested in seeing it. Do away with that visitor counter and rely on other means to tell you how many people are stopping by.
Keep in mind that the Internet contains a plethora of website design examples. You can get inspiration for any one of the millions of sites already out there. Look for a website that is appealing and decide on the factors that make it appealing. You can’t just borrow ideas if you want your site to be a success. You also need to take things up a notch.
When you have more than one website idea, reserve the domain names at the same time. Be creative and pick out something that you want, but make sure you reserve it now so that you can still have it later on down the road. Even if your idea is very original, someone else could think up the same thing. You would think we all read each others minds.
Try signing up for an email newsletter that covers web page design, so that you can reorient yourself should you ever become confused. Newsletters are great to have for both novices and pros alike.
Practice each step of web design until you have it down pat. This is important so that you will understand well how each step fits into the bigger picture and becomes easier for you to handle. Your goal is to take what you know and develop something completely different than your competition and practice is the only way to do so.
When choosing a web host, know exactly what comes with the plan you’re thinking of selecting. Take note of things like bandwidth, disk space and CPU usage. Find out exactly what you’re going to receive before you make a decision.
Proofread everything so it looks nice. People should be able to fly through your content. If you have a lot of errors, your site will be viewed as unprofessional and may actually be ridiculed.
PhotoShop is a popular application and web designers must learn it. However, many are not as familiar with Dreamweaver software and its features. It might be worth looking into this application to find out how it can benefit you.
Buy books that describe popular web design techniques. Just keep in mind that since you are new to the web design world, you want to start out with the basics and build from there. Avoid skipping any steps and learn at your own pace, so you can eventually become a great web designer.
Usability tests that are task based are a good way to figure out what design works best for your website. After all, you want it to work for everyone, not just for those who tested it. If your site is well-designed, the user will be able to accomplish the tasks. If it isn’t, the task helps you understand how to improve your website.
Read some web design knowledge online. When you learn all you can about webdesign from experts, you will be able to quickly build a site of your own. Without the proper education from a skilled expert, you will end up creating poorly designed web pages that nobody will want to see.
Do not feel as though you must design every portion of your site yourself. Here are some of the things a good web designer must understand: Content creation, search engine optimization, web programming, user interface design, and graphic design. There is no shame in getting help when you need it. If there are areas that are unfamiliar to you, consider hiring a professional service to help you.
Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to design a website. For each useful, popular, and expensive web design product, there is another equally useful and popular product that is much cheaper. You can get the same jobs done with open-source no-cost software, for instance, that you can do with corporate-funded for-profit programs. Especially when you are first starting and need to have inexpensive resources, the software that is accessible through open sources can be a lifesaver.
You should definitely look into your site’s security. If your website is handling sensitive financial information, then getting a specific SSL certificate is a must. Additionally, consult with your website host about the security features that are included with your package.
Keep in mind that your entire website doesn’t have to be all designed by you solo. There are many different components to the web design process, including artwork, user experience, server-side programming, content writing, and optimizing for search engines. If you want to improve, you must be willing to get help. If you are not comfortable working on a certain aspect of your site, consider hiring a professional to offer assistance.
Eliminate Flash from your site and look for an alternative. While Flash can make your website look futuristic and stylish, Flash will lag on slower computers, so not all of your website’s visitors will get the user experience that you want them to have. Also, keep in mind that there are mobile phones and tablet PC’s which are not flash enabled, and if your visitor goes to your site it will not be a fun experience.
Having white space (unused space) on your website is actually a great design feature, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that your site must be packed to the brim. White space improves readability for your visitors, and they will be able to better read and absorb the information you are providing if your site is not cluttered.
Try making a favicon to use on your site. This small graphic will give your site more recognition in case a visitor decides to bookmark your website. A favicon that is easy to remember will cause your page to jump out from a page full of bookmarks. When designing a favicon, ensure it’s consistent with the logo and theme of your site.
When creating your website, make sure that important content is placed to the far left and as high as possible. 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.
As stated above, designing a great website is not as hard as it seems. After you learn how to develop a website, you can begin building sites for others. Keep these tips in mind as you carry on.
When you design your website, make sure the site and all of its content is visible to everyone. You may even want to have someone from another country check out the site for you. Some content may not be displayed the same in other countries, so this is something you may want to check on.