If you want to design a website as a hobby, for your business or even as your own career, a solid foundation of knowledge will help you get your foot in the door. From learning HTML to knowing search engine optimization techniques, there are many facets to web design.
Read on to find some advice which will cover all of the basics.
Make sure your text and background has the proper contrast. There’s evidence showing that white text on a black background is easiest for most people to read, but other colors are fine so long as they’re readable. Also keep in mind that people with visual impairments may not be able to read your site if the contrast is poor. Check to see if your site complies with various contrast standards using the tool at http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html .
Ensure your site can pass the NoScript test. See if the website is readable. Some things, like purchase orders, will not work unless your site contains the proper scripts.
Make sure all of your webpages actually have titles, and make sure they are descriptive. A surprising number of webpages out there are called “untitled document” or “new document”. This not only denies visitors a useful piece of information to remember your site, but also absolutely destroys your SEO, since search engines weight page titles heavily when ranking sites.
Web design is a subject that you always want to stay informed on. With this in mind, if you have any friends that are also into web design then you will want to keep in contact with them. You can exchange any new information you learn so that you’re both on top of your game when it comes to web design.
Design web pages to not take up too much space. Some Internet users have slow connections, and they will grow impatient with your site. If it takes too long many will just leave and visit a different website.
Keep your pages to a reasonable length. Add content through new pages on your site, instead of tacking it on to the end of a home page. For the most part, readers are hesitant to keep going on a page that seems to scroll on forever. If you must have a lot of content on one page, include hyperlinks at the top and in sections throughout the page. This allows users to navigate through the available content without excessive scrolling.
White space is an important part of web design, so don’t be afraid to use it. Cluttering up your web pages with too many images or too much text, or using a distracting background, will only irritate your visitors. White space can make the important elements of your page more visible.
Avoid creating user interface (UI) controls that mislead your visitors. These controls include elements, widgets and more that create an interactive experience, such as a link, drop-down list or button. You do not want to make visitors think that clicking on an underlined word or phrase for example, will lead to a new page if it is not actually linked to something else. When your visitors have expectations of something working a certain way and it does not, they are more likely to assume there is something wrong with your site and leave.
If you plan on having a commercial site, you should seriously consider buying your own web hosting. Most free host sites force you to display their advertisements, which is counter-intuitive if you are attempting to sell something as well. Purchase your own hosting to avoid this advertising hassle, so that you can choose your own ads.
If you desire feedback from your visitors, design your site to include a feedback form rather than a guestbook. A feedback form lets your site visitors contact you without having anything negative be shown to everyone else who sees your site. If you have a guestbook then everyone can read both good and bad comments, something you really do not want people to see, especially when the comments are negative.
Different types of files can be larger than others, and that can make a big difference to your website loading time. GIFs and JPGs are your best choice for graphics. While BMP and PNG files might be better for creating web graphics, these file types tend to use significantly more disk space. By converting your file types to more manageable sizes, you will provide your visitors with a better experience.
All links must have text content. Links with content are helpful for visitors. If you have links that have no text content, it may be possible to click them by accident and result in a key board shortcut.
Try to minimize your image usage. Generally, simpler designs are more effective for the user. So keep your site simple, but also neat. Avoid cluttering pages with large, bulky images that have long loading times. Try being creative with the layout and using your “eye.”For example, use eye-catching focal points to get a viewer to visit something specific.
Make use of your grammar and spell checker. Yes, some mistakes may get passed some of your audience, but it will not get past everyone. You could lose some of your audience because of this, particularly if you make mistakes frequently. Do your best to correct your grammar and spelling on your site.
You’ve read the advice here and are ready to put it into action, so get ready to design your site! Start by sketching out a design and making lists of the content you’ll need and you’ll have your website online in no time.
Don’t forget to keep reading and learning so you’re never left behind.