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.
Make sure your text and background has the proper contrast. There’s evidence showing that white text on a black background is easiest for most people to read, but other colors are fine so long as they’re readable. Also keep in mind that people with visual impairments may not be able to read your site if the contrast is poor. Check to see if your site complies with various contrast standards using the tool at http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html .
Don’t use splash pages for your site unless required by law, and especially don’t use a Flash intro. Most people just want to get to your content as quickly as possible, and don’t care to look at useless splash pages. If you have some amusing content that you absolutely want visitors to see, integrate it into the homepage instead.
Web design is a subject that you always want to stay informed on. With this in mind, if you have any friends that are also into web design then you will want to keep in contact with them. You can exchange any new information you learn so that you’re both on top of your game when it comes to web design.
Don’t force users to install strange BHOs. Many tech-savvy users won’t do it. Common offenders include unusual video players, image viewers, and platforms for interactive games. For most standard use cases, there is a trusted plugin, such as Windows Media Player or even Flash) that will do what you want without driving away users.
To help your website visitors easily navigate through your site, design it so that it becomes easy to find “stuff.” When you have a simple site that makes it easy to locate information, you keep your visitors there much longer. If you make it difficult for them, then they will get frustrated and leave.
Photoshop is a good program for creating great content for your new web site. It is also novice friendly. This software will ensure that you have all the effects and tools you need to create graphics which look like they were completed by a pro. If you do not have a top program like Photoshop, it can make it hard and really time consuming to acquire enough knowledge to build a really nice site, quickly.
To help you design a website that is free of clutter, do not include any scrolling text on your site. Websites that have things constantly moving back and forth on the screen is really distracting to the visitor. Not only is this distracting and annoying, it screams unprofessional and will cause your visitors to leave quickly.
Don’t load rich content automatically. Rich content mainly refers to music and videos, but anything other than text or graphics qualifies. Many people browse in work environments where sounds suddenly playing is a big problem. Also, many people find such rich content annoying in general. Rich content should require some interaction from the user before playing.
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.
Hosting your own site may not be a wise idea, regardless of how much money you have to invest. You should design it yourself (or at least as much as possible), but allowing someone else to host your site frees you up and allows you to focus on other things besides the site’s safety and security.
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.