The fortunes of any given website are determined largely by its unique design. Making sure to follow the rules of website design that have been established will make sure that people find your website to be appealing and easy to access. However, a poorly designed website is unlikely to hold visitors’ attention for more than a minute or two. Get a great-looking website by trying some of the following proven website design tips.
Use fixed-position navigation so your users can navigate your site with ease. This involves locking your site’s navigation panel as visitors scroll down. You can use this both to allow your visitor to navigate more easily, and to keep your call to action in view.
If you want your website to cater to the needs of visitors, it must be user-friendly and simple to navigate. Place your links so they can be found easily. Menus can also make it easier to navigate your site. Ensure that you have a link to your website’s home page on every page on your website so that visitors can easily return to you site’s main page.
If you’re creating a website, make sure you look at it in different browsers. What you’re seeing on your end may not be what others are seeing on theirs. Make sure to research the browsers available. Also check your site with different operating systems.
Maintain normal-sized pages. Not all Internet users have fast connection speeds, and the longer your site takes to load, the less interest they will have. Users will be quick to leave a website that has pages that take too long to load.
Be careful when introducing new colors into the design of your website. Choose a font and color that will help your words stand out from the background. Using dark colored text on a light colored background generally ensures that the text is easy for visitors to read. When in doubt about the effectiveness of your color choices, solicit the opinions of friends.
Visitors want to have access to a website quickly, which is why your pages should load easily. If someone has to wait while your site loads, there’s a chance they will get impatient and go to another site, and they might not visit your site again.
Check your webpages for broken links before publishing them. There is not much that is more frustrating for visitors than to click a link and get an error page. You can check your links manually, or there are programs that will scan your site for you and report any broken links.
Include some way to help visitors search for content. Many people are coming to your site for a reason, and they want a quick and easy way to obtain the information they need. If you do not have one, the viewer will find another site. Most people look for search forms in the top right so that’s where you should put it.
The types of files that you use for the graphics on your website will affect the size of the files, which will also affect how fast your website loads. You are better off keeping the graphics to the normal GIFs and JPEGs so it loads smoothly. Web graphics look better when they are made from PNG and BMP files, but they take up much more disk space. Make your files manageable to keep loading times down for visitors.
Choose fonts that are legible, and look professional. You can make a pretty good judgment of a website’s professionalism simply by looking at its font selections. Avoid silly, bubbly or hard to read fonts and especially avoid obscure fonts that may not be supported by all browsers. If a site visitor has not installed a certain font on his or her computer, it may display as a default font. Try to use common browser fonts so your users don’t see unexpected type layouts.
There is a plethora of programs available to assist you with design. They are easy to understand, and your website will be up and ready before you know it. If you don’t have a good site, you won’t have a large number of visitors.
Review your site for broken links regularly. Do this before uploading the links to your server. A visitor who comes across a broken link will question how dated all of the content on your site might be. Check to be sure everything is working in order to avoid this.
Despite the type of site you are going to have, you definitely want to keep the loading time under ten seconds. You want your site to load quickly on the browser of whoever is visiting your page. The majority of online users demand instant gratification, and it is in your best interest to provide it.
It’s all right to rely on a host for tools to set up your basic design, but to add more advanced touches, you’ll want to do some of your own work. Make sure to infuse your unique personality into your site, rather than just focusing on a drag-and-drop tool that your hosting company might offer.
Keep your topics separated. Have an individual page for each different point. This will help your customer quickly find the information he or she requires.
Give your website’s visitors the capability to search your website, at least on your main page and ideally on every sub-page. 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. You can include a search function easily, and it will greatly increase the utility of your site.
A search engine is an absolute must if your website is larger than a few pages. Put a search box in the uppermost right-hand corner of your homepage so that users can seek specific topics on your site. If you can’t code one yourself, Google and a few other websites offer free search functionality for websites with no programming required.
Remember literacy levels as you write your content. There are differing levels at which people read and you will not want to approach all visitors as if they have had a college education. When expanding your audience, you want to develop content they understand.
Get familiar with your subject. If you’re planning to use your website for blogging or something similar, make sure to thoroughly research the subject prior to posting. People will not come to your website if you don’t appear to know what you’re talking about. To create a blog that draws visitors and keeps them interested, knowing what you are talking about is key.
Sign up for web design newsletters. These newsletters can help you stay motivated, remind you of basic web design principles and give you a foundation to build on if you get stuck or forget what you’re trying to achieve. Both pros and novices can benefit from reading good newsletters.
Check with your host to make sure video hosting is allowed if you have the intent of hosting videos on your site. Many hosts do not allow for video hosting on the servers they provide. The FLV files used for modern video can either consume too much storage space or use too much bandwidth, so don’t waste your time and check beforehand.
You may notice interesting web design techniques being used by other web designers, but you want to innovate, not copy. Make sure that you improve any features you take from other websites, and focus on creating novel designs and features that are all your own. This is essential for you if you hope to be the best designer you can be.
It is wise to develop a sitemap you can reference for planning purposes. With a visual sitemap, you will see exactly how your structure is developing. This allows you to quickly identify areas of your website that have been overlooked, or could use improvements. When you have a clear visual, anything is possible.
It is important not to force people around your website. Pop-up advertising, surveys and other offers are annoying and should never be used. If you take away the ability to move freely around your website, your readers are going to quickly get frustrated and want to leave your site.
Staying current with web page design is no easy task. In many instances, a well designed website is all the storefront a modern company has or needs. Many business owners have found that having a website can help them earn more money than ever before.
When you are making a number of pages that require the same template, the simplest way to do this is to use copy/paste. Instead of rewriting HTML code for each new page, copy the necessary components, adjust the parts that require it and then save the results with a new filename each time you do this. Reusing the master copy of your web page’s HTML code will make the design simpler.
Try to be creative when you design your own website. Take a look at magazines, TV commercials and even children’s artwork. Be watchful! Keeping an open eye on the world will help you find the inspirations you need to always improve your site.
Think things over very carefully before adding Flash content to your website. Flash looks exciting and fun, but it will cause some peoples computers to lag, freeze, or reject the site altogether. 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.
Be certain that everywhere your logo appears on your site, the logo links back to the home page of your site. Over time, most people have started to expect to find a clickable logo that takes them to your main web page. It is frustrating for them if the logo is just static, because this means they have to find your home link. Making your logo clickable is just good design.
You can get inspiration for your website from just about anywhere. Pay attention to colors, shapes and general designs that you see in any magazine, book or even roadside advertisement signs. Look for unique ideas so your visitors will like your website.
For the typical website, keep your background colors neutral. Backgrounds can make the visitor feel overwhelmed and may look bad. Use a neutral color such as white. Neutral colors are easier to read.
Your logo should go at the very top of every page. It keeps your website branded across all pages. It helps to create brand recognition for those that visit your site. Choose a logo that really shows what your business is about.
If you are having a hard time finding the right domain name for your site, visit auction sites like Sedo to find one. There you’ll find many interesting domain names for sale.
Typical websites have neutral-colored backgrounds. Backgrounds with texture can distract visitors and also create an amateur look for the site. Stick with white or neutral colors for your background. Neutral colors have been shown to be the easiest backgrounds to read from.
The overall success of your website is ultimately determined by it’s appearance and functionality. Your traffic will be far higher if your website looks trustworthy and like an expert in the field. The opposite is true for poor website creation, it may discourage people from entering your traffic. Use this advice to make a good design for your site so that it will be successful.
Sketch out the layout of your site before you begin to build it. You can then ask people for their opinion on your concept sketches, and then use their feedback to make any necessary changes to your design.