June 16, 2015
Website design can feel like an intimidating task! How will you design your site so it pleases the eye? Do you know anything about coding? The following article addresses all of these issues and will help you create a website that is both elegant and functional.
If you’re designing a website, make sure the code you write has a valid HTML+CSS. Although most browsers can make sense of code that isn’t valid, it could be rendered correctly or incorrectly. Valid code will render the same way most of the time in modern browsers. You can check the validity of your HTML code with an HTML validator.
Avoid using frames. Most sites have abandoned frames on their own as better alternatives have become available, but there are still sites out there that are trapped in 1996. Alternatives to navigational frames include fixed-position navigation panels, having navigation in multiple areas (e.g. left and bottom) or simplifying page structure so that navigational links are never far away.
Always ensure you are giving meaningful feedback, as this is what creates the communication between a website and its visitors. For example, if an action taken by a visitor results in an error, do not simply display “error occurred.”ï¿½ Instead, provide a message that explains what happened and how the visitor can correct the error by taking a different action. Without this feedback, visitors are more likely to grow frustrated and just give up by leaving your website.
Use a descriptive title. Many site owners forget to name their pages, or name them something generic, such as “Welcome Page.” Search engines do use title descriptions in their rankings, so make sure you are as descriptive as possible, without going overboard. Make sure it is usable for your viewers and the search engines.
You should always put in the effort to make a customized error page for your site; this page should include a basic sitemap that links users to the major sections of your website. This ensures that if visitors follow a bad link or spell your URL wrong, they will be able to find what they are looking for.
If you have links on your page, those links should have text associated with them. Links with content should be visible enough to show the viewer what they’re clicking. When there is no text content on the link, a keyboard shortcut could be stumbled on.
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.
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.
Remember what you just read when you start sketching your design. Exercise all your options, and stay informed about all the current trends in web design.