Hiring a professional web designer to develop your website is a large investment. Will you be able to afford changes if you don’t like what they produce? Explaining clearly what you want can be hard. You are the only person who knows exactly what you want. When you finally start designing your site, use the tips in this article to create a website you can be truly proud of.
To make your website as easy to use as possible, consider using a fixed-position menu. This technique involves locking a site’s navigation panel in place as the visitor scrolls down the page. This is convenient for visitors and helps frequent visitors quickly find what they need.
It’s not the 90’s anymore, so stay away from using frames. Frames were terrific in the burgeoning web design days, but they had their problems too. Frame designs make the bookmarking difficult on your visitors, and it also makes scrolling a chore as well. It is simple to design your page so visitors can navigate through it.
If you’re creating a website, make sure you look at it in different browsers. What you see on your screen may be different from what others see. Research all the commonly used browsers and design accordingly. You will want to have a person using a different computer operating system check on your site as well.
Never underestimate the value of a site that is simple for visitors to navigate. You should have the links on your site prominently displayed and easy to navigate. Menus will make it a lot easier to navigate around your site. Ensure that there are links to all of your main pages, such as the home and contact pages, in a prominent location on every page.
Your site should be able to pass a NoScript test. You want to activate NoScript after downloading the extension on Firefox so that you can read your site. Some content, such as ordering systems for products, can’t work without scripts, but if your site is simply blank with scripts turned off, that’s bad news.
Don’t overload a website with more graphics and photos than necessary. They are good for making your site more professional, but too much looks messy. Graphics are not meant to be used as mere decorations; they’re meant to better your site content. Also, including the “right” number of images makes it easier to navigate the site.
Include some way to help visitors search for content. For people who look for specific things, they’ll look for a search box first. If you don’t have one, they may go to another site which does. Always place the box at the top right of the page, as this is the first place visitors tend to look for one.
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. For instance, if someone filled in their name and address when creating an account, pre-populate this information when the customer fills out an order form. Doing this will make everything much easier for the people that visit your page, and they will definitely appreciate the time saved.
Make sure that you regularly remove outdated and inaccurate content from your website. If you have something on your site that lists an event that happened months ago, chances are you have lost some readers. People want the most accurate information available, and by leaving outdated information online you’re showing you don’t really care what they want. Create a timeline for your updates, and clean up any old promotions or information that is not current.
Keep your topics separated. Break up pages by discussion. This helps alleviate any confusion that your customers may experience, as well as giving search engines a broader and more clear view of your site, potentially bumping you up higher in their rankings.
Use Photoshop to create professional looking graphics for use on your website. Photoshop really speeds up the development of even complex websites. Although a copy of Photoshop represents a significant investment, the time it will save you and the improvement it will make in your results can easily justify the program’s cost.
It’s hard to go wrong with a simple color like white for the background of your website. White pages are professional looking and don’t distract your visitors. You will come across as an amateur if your site design is cluttered and distracting. Simple is almost always the best option for background.
Keep all of the site files you use as small as possible, regardless of design. The size of the files making up your website is the direct cause of your site’s load times. You want the speediest load times possible. The other factor to bear in mind is not all visitors access through high-speed connections. Check out your website on all types of connections, including a dial up connection.
You constantly want to test your page to ensure it is functioning well. This will give your site great usability. As your website grows test it.
Optimize your site for older versions of Internet Explorer (IE7 and IE8). Most people do not like Internet Explorer, but others still use it. IE doesn’t render some modern design elements very well, so it may require a workaround. One tip of utter importance when dealing with the older Internet Explorer browsers is to educate yourself on the bug referred to as box model that haunted them for years.
Utilize conditional loading and CSS pages when you are building your site. You can do maintenance and testing much quicker and easier if these things are in place. You do not want to run into problems when making changes to your site.
Choose your fonts carefully. You should only choose fonts that look professional and are easy to read. Professional websites use professional fonts. Don’t use handwriting or comic fonts as most people won’t have them installed. If they don’t have that font on their computer, it might be subset to their default font. This may make your entire design look bad.
If you feel stuck, do some Google searches to find out how others worked through it. You can look at an infinite number of websites to obtain inspiration. Find one you like, write down what appeals to you and then figure out what you can mimic on your own. Just remember that borrowing others’ ideas isn’t enough to make your own page successful. Improve upon the ideas you find.
When people hit the creative wall as you will do at some point, look towards electronic information available all over the web to bust through. When you need inspiration, you can browse through the almost limitless websites online. Find one you like, figure out why it’s appealing, and decide what you can use and improve in your own. Remember that if you want your website to succeed, you will need to do more than just borrow an idea. Improve upon the ideas you find.
Build a microsite at first, as this will help you get an overall impression of your current strengths and weaknesses as a web designer. Launch with a few basic pages and then gauge what works, and how you could expand from there.
While development platforms aid you by creating code for you, they may not be as reliable as the original coding tool, the basic text editor. The goal of a platform is to design the features you want in a site, then you simply paste the code that was generated into your own site. Use a text editor to reduce mistakes, and additionally help to learn the process for yourself.
There should be a tagline for each page in your site, that is clear and easy to understand. Use large or bold font so that your visitors notice these taglines right away. The purpose of the tagline is so that they know what that page is about. This way the viewer can quickly decide whether to stay or move back to the previous page.
Ask friends and colleagues about HTML, Photoshop or Dreamweaver. Knowing as much as possible about every facet of website development is key to giving yourself the ability to design great websites.
Continue learning as you design a site. When you figure out some of the aspects related to site design, you need to try to tackle others that are new to you. This could lengthen the time it takes to build your initial site, but you’ll learn how to expertly crank them out by the time you’re done.
When you are a newcomer to the website development process, make things easier on yourself by sticking with a simple, basic site layout while you are still learning the ropes. Begin with the basics and evolve your site as time goes on and you become more advanced in your capabilities and understanding of web page design.
Sketch out how your site will be organized through a visual sitemap. This will help you plan things out much more effectively. When you make a visual sitemap you get an idea of how you’re coming along in your development process. This way you can see whether or not you’re on the right track. From there, you’ll be able to identify any areas that need improvement, or have been neglected. Experts agree that a good visual representation is essential for creating a quality site.
When looking to host videos on your site, you need to check with your particular web host to ensure that it’s allowed. There are some hosts that forbid hosting videos. FLV files usually take up more than their fair share of space, so check before adding videos to avoid wasting your time.
Ensure that the ads you put on your site are not extremely large. Large ads turn people off. Add content that doesn’t clutter up everything else on the site and your website will look more professional and encourage readers to come back again and again.
Time management is key to creating a website. There are all kinds of small tasks when building a site that can be tempting to put off. Before long, however, those smaller tasks have multiplied, and they may become overwhelming. Finish any tasks whenever they come up.
If you’re going to put a logo on the website, link it back to send users to the home page. It is common these days for sites to have a logo or image that visitors can click on to return to the home page. It can be frustrating to users if your logo is static, because they then must look around for a “home” link. Allowing them to click on the logo makes your website easier to navigate.
Use empty space to your benefit in highlighting the things that actually matter. Eliminating clutter will let your customers have an easier experience in navigating your website, and will let them relax and enjoy the experience.
When it comes to developing an error page, be informative. Viewers often click on broken links that haven’t been removed yet. Standard error pages will often just confuse readers or scare them away. Be sure an error page gives an explanation. Also, provide a link that will bring them back to the homepage.
There is no “right” way to do website design. Therefore, learn from as many designers as possible. This is key so you know all different types of website creation styles so you have many skills for every type of website.
Avoid headaches by steering clear of free website hosting for your business. Free SOUNDS good, but the annoying ads and other restrictions placed on you by the host can become overwhelming. This will cause you to make sacrifices in your business ethic and design, and customers will shy away from your sites.
A great place to get a domain name for the website you want to design is through domain auctions. Check out a domain site like SEDO to see if domain names they may have for sale would be suitable for your website. A worthwhile, quality domain name may be expensive, but can pay major dividends to your success.
You must put some effort into your website’ logo, because the logo carries out an important function. You need to ensure that it properly expresses your site and how you differ from any competitors. If you aren’t a good graphic designer, hire a professional to do it.
Keeping all of your site’s links updated and working is essential. The hallmark of a solid and well-designed site is user friendliness. Any broken links, or those that produce error messages, frustrate your site visitors. Check your site daily for any problems, and make important updates as often as necessary.
When designing your own site, make sure to include your blog’s direct link. Your blog content needs to show people what your expertise is. Never talk above your visitors head. Your visitors should be able to easily find what they want when they visit your site and understand, as well as enjoy what they are reading.
Web page design is a great way to make your ideas an interactive reality. These design methods you have just learned about should help you on your way to creating the best website. Make sure you use these tips and look for more useful resources.
One bit of advice in regards to website design is to take advantage of the multiple resources available. You will find an endless amount of resources for great web design in the form of books, articles and online blogs. You can tap into these resources to master the art and skills of a true web designer.