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.
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.
Test your website in the most popular browsers and platforms to make sure that it displays correctly. Sometimes scripts that work in one browser may not produce the same results in another browser. So you may need take extra measures, like adding a function for browser detection, in order to ensure that your website will display properly under most conditions.
Keep the sizes of your files and images small. Excessive loading times are a death knell for any site. The larger the files are that must load, the longer a user’s load time is going to be. Most users will click away if the page doesn’t start to load within the first few seconds of opening your page.
Build your website using a content management system. Knowing how to build a website using just HTML and CSS is good foundation knowledge, but this can only produce a static website. Web design has evolved into providing dynamic content. If you couple your coding skills with the use of a content management system, you can practically build any type of website that you desire.
When designing your site, try to come up with three or four keywords that you expect users to input into search engines as they try to find your page. These keywords should then be repeated frequently throughout the title, page body and description meta tag. This will make it easier for users to locate your site on the web.
Learning some basic HTML will help you add some interesting extras to your site. For example, you can have words that follow your cursor, or a banner that flashes important information. Make sure to change the colors and fonts occasionally, so you seem more involved with the web site and its design.
Avoid using animated GIFs on your site. These were popular in the late 1990s, but newer technologies have replaced the uses for animated GIFs that were actually useful. Animated GIFs are low in quality and large in file size. Use static icons for page elements and actual video files for complex animations.
To be updated on the new web design tricks, you should join an online forum. When joining these message boards you meet people who usually have an understanding of all the new web design technology. Without this new web design technology you could end up with a site that is completely outdated.
Test your site early and often. You need to use your website as a reader would in usability tests early in the design process. Be sure that you stay diligent about website testing and improvements as it keep growing.
To help your website function the way it is intended to, make sure all your links are working. If you have broken links then your visitors may get frustrated when they try to click on something that interests them. Frustrated visitors is not something you want because they end up leaving your site mad.
Begin small when you start off building your websites. This way you can ascertain what works well and what does not, and you will be able to improve your skills based on that. Create the basic pages of a website, such as Contact Us and About Us, and add items as you go along.
Selecting a good domain name is a very important aspect of website design. When you type an address in the web browser, do you use the famous www sub domain? Most people like to just type the address without using this, meaning you must design your site to be able to accept both.
You will have to know HTML5 fairly well if you are to succeed in web design. If you aren’t well-versed with HTML 5, you’ll have a lot to work on later, so be prepared and start learning.
CAPTCHAs are only useful when people are registering for your website, otherwise skip them. You don’t want site visitors working hard just to see your webpage. Only the most devoted members will stay on a page with captchas, while others will leave to go to other sites.
Focusing on your target audience is important even for website design. For instance, if you’re designing a site in order to sell winter coats, you’re not exactly going to have a beach themed background with Joe Strummer tunes playing upon entry. Keep your site closely related to its targeted audience.
Make sure your site has a tagline. When a visitor clicks onto your site, you only have a little bit of time to hook them with your mission, purpose, and theme. A tagline should be short, clear, and explain what your site is about so that a visitor will be intrigued and remain on your site.
Be sure to have your site’s logo link to your homepage from anywhere on the site. These days, people expect to be able to click on a logo to go to a site’s main page. It can cause frustration for the visitors to your site if the logo is static. They will then have to waste their time searching for a link to your home page. A logo that is clickable makes your site simpler to navigate.
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.