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.
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.
Make sure all of your webpages actually have titles, and make sure they are descriptive. A surprising number of webpages out there are called “untitled document” or “new document”. This not only denies visitors a useful piece of information to remember your site, but also absolutely destroys your SEO, since search engines weight page titles heavily when ranking sites.
Avoid cramming page elements together. Each section of your page should be naturally separated from each other, as this makes the purpose of each section more clear. The easiest way to separate sections is by using DIVs, but there are other ways, including absolute positioning (not recommended), the CSS margin command, and floats.
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.
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.
Personalize your site. Your clients want to feel comfortable with you, so use testimonials from trusted customers, as well as photographs of people. Building trust with your customers is very important, so be sure to let them know you personally care about the product or service you are providing them.
Choose your web host carefully. Some hosts require you to link to them, while others may force you to install their pop-ups. You should also test their performance using one of the many tools available for free online, as you do not want to host with someone who is consistently slow or crashing.
When designing your website, you should utilize cascading style sheets, or CSS. These style sheets can be applied to every webpage on your website, and will ensure that the user experience is consistent throughout the website. They are also effective for making quick design changes to your website due to the fact that you only need to change the style sheet as opposed to making alterations on every webpage.
Your host will likely have design tools that you can use for your basic layout. Don’t rely on these tools entirely, however. In order to personalize your site, you will want to add features that differentiate your site from the millions of generic cookie cutter website online.
Hosting your own site may not be a wise idea, regardless of how much money you have to invest. You should do the design all by yourself (or as much of it as you possibly can), but allowing another person to be the keeper of your site will let you be free and will allow you to have your mind on different things and not just the site’s security and safety.
Everyone wants to generate as much traffic as they can to their site as possible. Once you have all of your content up on your site, then you want to try your best to invest into a good search engine optimization tool that can help your site go up in rank amongst its competitors on search engines.
In order to host your own website, you must have the infrastructure and the money it requires. It could actually prove much more costly to you. You also need to know what you are doing. It is not easy as pie, and you must have the knowledge to host your own website.
Provide an option for site visitors to search your entire website for a specific keyword or phrase. This is very important for making the web site easy to use and accessible. The time and effort required to set up a site search capability are practically negligible, especially when weighed against the very significant benefits.
Do tests on your site to make sure that it’s up and running properly on different operating systems and different type of browsers as well. When you do this you then cover all of your tracks and make sure that as many users as possible are able to browse through your site.
Allowing guest content on your site is a good idea, but never, ever let someone else get into your server to post it! You need to receive the content via email. A lot of amateur site designers actually allow people to access their host’s server. Even if this doesn’t lead to theft, it’s still a really bad idea.
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!