There are many reasons for websites. You might want a social site, an entertainment gateway or even an information hub. A well trained webmaster is the key to making any website successful. The following design tips will assist you in setting up a website.
Pay attention to the way the different colors you use on your website interact. You should be striving to achieve easily readable and visible text set against your chosen background shade. Dark text colors on lighter backgrounds tend to be easier on the eyes than light colors on dark backgrounds. If you need help determining weak points of your website, show your current version to a friend for feedback.
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 keep the size of your pages to a minimum. For customers with slower Internet speeds, a slow loading site can cause loss of interest. You do not want your page viewers to be stuck waiting for every page to download, or they may end up abandoning your site.
Always mark files that must be opened in an external program with an icon. Many sites host PDF files, and less commonly, DOC files, that must be opened in Foxit Reader and Microsoft Word/OpenOffice, respectively. These files should be marked with an icon representing the file type, and a link to download the appropriate viewer if the user does not have it.
Test your site to see if the major translation services work properly when translating your site. Some sites receive many international visitors, and these visitors sometimes use services like BabelFish and Google Translate to translate the text to their language. Certain web design problems, especially poor server side code, can break these services.
Every page of your website should have a way to return to the main page, or “home.” This ensures that when users navigate deeper into your site, they always have a way to start over if they lose place of what got them to the page they are on currently.
Use breadcrumbs and make it so that clicking on the site logo returns you to the homepage. Breadcrumbs are markers that show where the visitor is in the site structure. For instance, the breadcrumbs might read “home > furniture > beds.” When the user clicks a link in the breadcrumbs, he can return to a page further up in the site hierarchy. Clicking on a business logo should generally take the visitor back to the homepage as well.
As you can now see, websites have many purposes. Creating a website for any purpose requires design knowledge. If you implement the preceding tips, it is possible for you to develop a website that will help you attain your goals.