June 16, 2015
Many people mistakenly assume that one website is just as good as another, but this simply is not true. Check out the website of a major corporation, then look at a site that is hosted on Google or Yahoo. The easily notable differences between these sites should tell you that web design is important. If web design is something that interests you, continue on for some helpful tips.
You must always look at your finished websites in multiple browsers. What you see on one browser is not necessarily what others see on other browsers. Research the most popular browsers and fix your site accordingly. You may also send people you know with other operating systems to see if their browser works like yours.
Avoid using so-called “mystery meat navigation”. This involves using unlabeled images or other elements for the site’s navigation. In many cases, the visitor has to mouse over the buttons to even see what they do. Navigation is best kept simple. Use text links across the top or along the left side of the page.
Put in an element to search so you can have visitors search what’s on your website. People who are seeking something in particular are bound to be interested in finding a search box upon reaching your site. If your site does not have one, expect them to find a site that does. People look for these search boxes in the top right corner of the page, so place the search box in that area.
Don’t disable the visitor’s right-click functionality. Some sites do this in order to prevent people from copying and pasting text or saving images from the site. The thing is, it doesn’t work and disables other useful functions. OCR can be used to capture text from such sites, and grabbing images is as simple as taking a screenshot.
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.
If you want your site visitors to spend as much time as possible on your site, make text easy to read. One of the most common design mistakes is using graphic backgrounds with patterns or dark colors; combine this with equally dark text and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless the text is clear and easy to read, your site will not be a success.
To help design an attractive looking website, use interesting photos that you have taken. Pictures help your site seem more approachable and user friendly. People will look at your website longer and more often if you include high quality, original images.
You probably won’t create the next Facebook or Twitter. The odds are not in your favor. That said, you can create a perfectly competent site that has many of the same features as major corporate sites if you study web design for a while. Use the tips here to get started!