Website Design 101: What You Should Know

Given the current state of the economy, it is no wonder why folks desire to open a home business. But website creation is critical to the success of an online business. The following tips about web page design will help you run a successful business.

You will need to pass the NoScript test. Download this extension in Firefox and see how your site looks. Some content isn’t going to work without using scripts, but you don’t want to have a blank site with scripts turned on.

Good websites must function with all browsers, and therefore you need to test each page so you know they work correctly under all circumstances. What may work great in Firefox, may not work well in Internet Explorer or Chrome. Prior to formally launching your site, verify that it displays correctly in each of these popular browsers.

Allow your users the ability to cancel something if they are not happy with what they typed in. This might include completing forms, browsing your site, or registering for newsletters. If your visitors feel forced into completing something they no longer want, it may leave a bad taste. They will probably avoid visiting your site in the future.

It’s a good idea to set up your site so that it can retain a copy of user information that must be entered repeatedly. 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. This “sticky” information can make the process easier and smoother for visitors and they’ll appreciate it.

Learn web design shortcuts and make good use of them. There are a million shortcuts you can make use of. You can even find HTML codes that help you make quick changes.

Don’t overdo it with JavaScript. For some people visiting your site, Java will cause problems instead of providing improved functionality. Each web browser is different, and each has a new version on a regular basis. They might not have the latest edition of the browser. You should also be aware that some of your users will have JavaScript disabled through their browser. Both of these factors can determine whether a user is able to access your site.

Always research keywords before writing content. You need to focus on giving your audience good information, but keywords will help you gain a customer base. To make sure that people find your website more easily, you’ll need to learn what keywords are and how to use them effectively.

Do not use pop-up windows. Nobody appreciates new windows popping up automatically when they visit a webpage. Many people leave any website immediately if pop-ups occur, even if they’re interested in the website. Your customers will be much happier if you give these types of advertisement a wide swerve. Any host which requires you to have pop-up ads is a host you don’t want to use!

Remember to use ALT tags on any images you use in your website. The tags are important because they allow people who struggle with vision to better use your site by translating what the image is to voice, and this works in a similar fashion for those who have images disabled on their device. If your images are used as links, ALT tags also provide a way for you to describe the behavior of the link. And most importantly, search engine bots need to see the descriptions through ALT tags in order to help your search engine ranking.

Regardless of your target crowd or your site’s purpose, you always want to aim for a ten second loading time or better. Efficient sites should be visible in seconds so the viewer does not get side tracked. Most visitors want things to happen quickly and easily. If you don’t offer that to them, you will lose many opportunities.

Make sure that your user’s needs are a priority. You as a web designer have to think about the needs of the end user all the time. This can include user experience, accessibility, usability, and user interaction. You must know these very well and consider every possibility. Try to see things from your visitor’s perspective when you design.

Keep your homepage simple. Those who are shopping the web will make snap decisions about a site based off its front page. Spend time describing your business and what it offers, but keep the rest to a minimum so that people do not get distracted.

Test early and frequently. Perform usability tests in the early stages of designing your website. Continue to test and make improvements throughout the life of your website.

Understand what you want your site to do. If you want to have a blog or website, you need to research anything you plan on posting. When you do not seem genuine or knowledgeable, you will quickly lose readers. To have a good blog, knowing about the subject is crucial.

The more time you spend working on your site, the easier web design will become. Try some easy web pages with C+ and HTML to learn the basics. Practice is one of the most reliable ways to improve web design skills; start practicing early and often to get the maximum benefit.

Alt Tags

In order to evaluate your web design skills accurately, it’s a good idea to start off with small, simple websites where your successes and shortcomings will be easy to spot. Start with a few basic pages containing a small amount of information, and then make your assessment.

As you go about setting up your website, make sure that you add ALT tags to all images on the site. This allows everyone to gain access to the intended information. If the images are links, the tags let you describe the link as well. And most importantly, search engine bots need to see the descriptions through ALT tags in order to help your search engine ranking.

You need to your own office space if you are going to be a webmaster. Limit exposure to distractions, organize and make the space as efficient as possible. Your tools should be easy to access, and you should organize your work space to concentrate on your design.

When creating pages that have links, be sure the links contain text content. When a link uses text content, it is easy for the visitor to see and understand where they are going. If links on your site do not contain text, visitors may accidentally select them using keyboard shortcuts.

Include some form of “site searching” from your home page, and all sub-pages if possible. You make your site much easier to use and more accessible all in one shot with this search offering. It is not complicated to incorporate a site search, and it will pay off in a big way.

Be sure to always look at the links on your site, and make sure none are broken. This should be done frequently, before uploading to the server. A visitor who comes across a broken link will question how dated all of the content on your site might be. So you don’t run into problems, make sure you check to see if everything works.

Design your website as an artist would. Creative inspiration can strike at any time; you should try to be ready for it at all times. If you are out having dinner, for example, and you have a flash of inspiration, then write it down. If you get an idea at work, call and leave yourself a message for yourself on your phone, to remember later.

Don’t feel compelled to fill up every inch of screen with design elements. By overusing the space available on your webpage, you can cause your site to appear cluttered and confusing for your visitors. However, leaving just a bit of space between all the different aspects of the webpage will provide a much more comfortable experience. Is a few cases, empty space could be as important as content.

With all of the major advances on the web recently, it’s a must to keep up on web design. Websites are very important for any company looking to do business in the 21st century. Web design is a lucrative field for those who bother to learn it.

Sign up for forums, newsletters and podcasts that discuss website design to help you keep up with the trends. Web designers can derive great benefits from newsletters, whether they are self-taught amateurs or experienced pros.

Be certain to make the logo that is appearing on the site, link to the home page. Nowadays, most users expect logos to have a clickable link to the home page. Static logos frustrate users because it forces them to search for the link to the homepage. Having a logo that is clickable will make site navigation easier.

Figure out your site’s target audience and ask them what they’re interested in with a website. This assists you with your design process and in choosing features to include. Advice and ideas from your targeted audience should have an impact on your website design.

Make your own favicon. These little images show up next to the link to your website if your visitors choose to bookmark it. When a visitor browses his bookmarks, a distinctive favicon will stand out. Your favicon should mesh well with the rest of your site’s content.

Get help from a professional — a seasoned veteran of website design can help you get past a lot of rookie errors. This virtually guarantees that you will improve, so long as you put in the effort.

Design error pages that are informative. When a person clicks on a broken or moved link, they will be taken to an error page. Make sure your error pages inform readers of why they might be seeing the error page, and provide a home page link so they might stay on your page.

Make sure someone is testing your site for proper functioning as you are designing each step. Every time you make a change, a neutral viewer should give you their opinion. You may not be bothered if a video loads slowly, but others might think differently. Always get outside opinions.

Stay abreast of all new information about web design to keep a grasp of your competitive edge. As you can already see, new developments occur daily in the tech world and your website reflects how “with it” you are. You can read blogs on design to learn what you can do to compete with people in this sort of thing.

If you plan to include video content on your website, you should first verify that your web host allows it. Many hosts don’t allow video at all, while others will restrict the amount of bandwidth you can use before you pay a fee. This is because the FLV files can take up a lot of server space, so it is prudent that you ask first before you waste your time.

Use domain auctions to help you get the domain name you want for your website. For instance, SEDO allows you to purchase a name from a wide selection of existing domain names that are no longer in use. While this option might be costly, having a great domain name is really worth it.

Website creation isn’t really that hard. While some aspects are more difficult than others, these ideas can help simplify things. No matter your reasons for entering web page design, the tips above can help you build a great site.

Making sure your website’s links are functioning properly is crucial. User-friendliness is crucial to good web design, and broken links will probably frustrate visitors to your site. Check your site daily for any problems, and make important updates as often as necessary.

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