Building a brand-new website can be fun or it can be a hassle, or even a mixture of the two. It is tough to know just how to begin and where to get the best advice — and what you’ll be spending. These tips should help you create a basic plan to begin your website.
Include a link to the homepage on every page of your site. One of the best ways to do this is to make a graphic title for your page that can be included on all pages. Web users are used to clicking on a graphic to return home so there won’t be a learning curve to navigating your site.
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 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.
Regardless of your target audience or what type of site you have, try to keep your loading time under ten seconds. Efficient sites should be visible in seconds so the viewer does not get side tracked. Many online users want instant gratification, so you should provide that.
To help keep your site visitors happy, do not underline words. Underline words on the internet signifies that the word is a clickable link. If you have too many words on your pages that are underlined with being clickable links, then your visitors will be frustrated after continuously trying to click on them.
If you want more visitors to your site, you need to design it in a way that makes it easy to update content. If your site can be easily updated it helps you to be able to quickly add new and relevant information. A site that is constantly updated will keep your visitors coming back for more.
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.
To help you create good web pages and fix mistakes on your own, learn computer languages. Educating yourself on how a website actually works will help you quickly fix any mistakes. Knowing how to deal with problems on your site will save you time and money, as you will not have to rely on outside help to remedy the situation.
Don’t feel compelled to fill up every inch of screen with design elements. Using every pixel available to you can make the website feel overwhelming or cluttered. Dividing up your site’s elements with blank space, can make it easier for visitors to distinguish what elements perform what function. Space can lend just as much value as information.
A lot of times when you load up a page to your file server, you cannot find it when you type in the address via your browser. You always need to double-check and ensure that you named the file correctly. Some people literally waste days trying to pinpoint the problem they believe is major, when in reality it’s only a simple typo.
If you are designing a commercial website, you do not want to use free web hosting. This brings annoying ads onto your site, and it detracts from a professional look to your commerce site. Instead, pay for some basic or professional web hosting, in which you do not have to put up with this.
Now that you have boned up on some basic concepts, you’re ready to get started on your own website design projects! Draft up a budget, seek out advisers and begin sketching out your site. Once you get started, you can make a website without spending an arm and a leg.