Web design companies out there are making millions by doing things that you could easily do yourself with the right information. Do not fall for this. Instead, learn the tricks yourself. Begin by looking over the following information to better understand web design.
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.
Make sure your webpages aren’t too long. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and if your most important content is “below the fold,” it may not even be read. If you have a lot of related content that needs to stay together, consider breaking it up into sections and adding links to each section.
Although it is common to see the www. at the front of a website URL, you should try to make sure that you can access your site whether you choose to include it or not. This will make it much easier for anyone to access regardless of how they type it.
Use a tracking service, rather than displaying your visitor counter for all to read. Many websites still display their counters, yet they do not serve any real purpose. There are many high quality tracking services available, and some are even free. Use these instead of showing off how many people visit you.
To help you design a more professional looking site, do not include an image in the page background. A background image screams low quality site, plus these site usually take forever to load. When you are going for a more professional look, the last thing you want is your visitors waiting forever because images are still loading on your pages.
Make sure your first page is simple. Those who are shopping the web will make snap decisions about a site based off its front page. Use descriptions about your company and it’s goals.
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.
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.
Test your site early and often. Testing early can help weed out problems before they get bigger or affect other aspects. Never stop testing and improving.
Controls for the user’s interface are important, but don’t design them so that they are visually appealing, yet misleading towards their actual function. Make certain that each clickable option is clearly understandable from the text or image it presents. If the option is not yet implemented properly, don’t allow it to be seen by average viewers.
When you learn a new site design tactic, you should double-check how accurate it is before you implement it on your site. A faulty tactic may mess up your code and your entire site, so it’s important that you ensure it’s a working tactic before you apply it to your website.
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.
As you become more comfortable with the principles of web design, then you can try out different design features to find those that really resonate with you. The process can be a lot of fun. Just read on to learn how to design your own site.