June 10, 2015
As a web designer myself, I can say that learning as much as I could from experts was how I got started. I looked at their sites, checked out their code, and even borrowed from their designs. Today there is a great deal of information available to help you get into the game, and this article is a great place to start learning.
Don’t use OnExit popups on your website. This tactic is mainly used by internet marketers who are trying a last-ditch attempt to get a sale. Word about these kinds of popups get around, and they will kill your reputation as a marketer. Mozilla has even taken steps to suppress the text on these popups, citing security risks.
It is very important that you double-check your website for broken links before you publish the pages. People will become frustrated if they a link leads them to a broken page. Check out your links manually on your own, or use a program for the scan.
Use a style sheet to stay consistent. There is almost nothing more disconcerting than being sent to a page that looks at nothing like the site you were just looking at, even if it is concerning the same subject. Style sheets help with saving your formatting, so each page looks similar to the rest.
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.
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.
Wherever your logo appears on your site, you should accompany it with a complementary slogan or tagline. Ideally, this tagline should be catchy and informative, and should offer some basic summary of the purpose of your site or product offering. The combination of your logo and tagline should appear on every page to create a sense of cohesion.
Make sure your website uses a consistent font throughout. Some websites change fonts willy-nilly without any design reason to do so. This makes the content difficult to process for visitors. Most websites, especially business websites, will do just fine sticking to basic fonts like Arial, Veranda, or even Times New Roman.
Now that I’ve been designing websites for over a decade, I feel that I can give some advice back. Use the tips in this article, continue learning as much as you can, and stay on top of trends to ensure your websites stand out in the crowd. If I can do it, anyone can!