It can be scary and exciting to create your own website. You might not be sure how to plan your site or who to ask to help you. You may not even know how much it costs to design and operate a website. The article below is a collection of tips that will cover some of the design basics so that you can start today.
Graphics are important for any designer but beginners should focus only on the standard graphics on their first several builds. Bitmap images require a lot of disk space and are unwieldy. For text buttons, screenshots, and other images that are not photographs, use PNG for images with over 256 colors and GIF for images with less. JPEGs are ideal for photographs.
Make sure you put your website through the NoScript test. Firefox has a simple extension called NoScript that will perform the test. Some ordering systems or other types of content cannot run script-free, but if the site is blank without the script on, that’s not good.
Choose the right graphic formats for your site. Remember, bitmap images are huge and usually don’t work well, PNGs work fine. For text buttons, screenshots, and other images that are not photographs, use PNG for images with over 256 colors and GIF for images with less. For pictures, use JPEG images.
Easy navigation is critical to keeping visitors on your site. Make all links prominent and easily located. Menus also make navigation more user-friendly. Ensure that there are links to all of your main pages, such as the home and contact pages, in a prominent location on every page.
Include a search element that allows visitors to search within your website content. If visitors to your site need something specific, they look for a search box first. 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.
Your site should be able to pass a NoScript test. Download the extension to ensure your website is readable. Some content is unable to work without the proper scripts.
It is important that your website is easy to read. There are a plethora of tests online that help gauge the usability of a particular website. Divide your content into sections that readers can readily scan and your visitors will come back for more. Keep the most pertinent information near the top of the page. Your visitors will enjoy their time on the website more.
File types can affect the time it take for a website to load. In terms of graphics, your best choices are GIF and JPEG. PNG and BMP may work better for graphic creation, nut they usually have larger files sizes. Keep your graphics at a reasonable size to save space.
Try writing a good “About Us” page. A lot of websites contain ugly, uninformative, generic “About Us” pages. Try spicing things up! Provide some insight about your own story. How did you get inspiration? What are your goals? What led you to website creation?
Don’t overdo it with graphics. Some images are necessary. However, too many are overwhelming. Don’t use graphics just to decorate; use them to improve the site. Your site will be easier to navigate too if you keep the graphic clutter to a minimum.
If you end up with designer’s block, look around the internet. You can get inspiration for any one of the millions of sites already out there. Look for websites that appeal to your sense of design and figure out how you can improve on those things you like. Remember though, you still want an original design, not a potluck of other site ideas. Making improvements on borrowed ideas makes them yours.
Remember that you do not have to fill up all of the available space on your website. If you attempt to fill every pixel on the site, you are asking for an overwhelming mess. Dividing up your site’s elements with blank space, can make it easier for visitors to distinguish what elements perform what function. Even empty space in some areas serves just as good a purpose as content.
Website counters are unattractive. It adds nothing to your website and is an outdated feature. Ditch the counter and use tracking software instead.
Minimize your web page’s size. Some people do not have speedy Internet connections, and if they have to wait a long time for your site to load, they probably won’t be interested in viewing it. You will want your users to have a great overall experience.
Choose some reference books on design principles in general, and website creation in particular. Choose books adapted to your current level of skills and very comprehensive. Read reviews before buying anything.
You may notice interesting web design techniques being used by other web designers, but you want to innovate, not copy. Come up with features of your own, and enhance ones that you have found elsewhere. By doing this, you are taking advantage of a wide range of website development options.
Open Source Software
When a user enters personal information into a form on your website, give the user the option to have the server retain that information should it be needed again. For example, if a person has to enter their information to register for an account, and then is filling out a form on your website that requires the same information, you want to have their data saved, so that they do not have to take the time to fill everything out again. This kind of “sticky” information saves your users time and effort, and they will likely appreciate the streamlining this kind of good design provides.
Keep in mind that designing your website does not have to be expensive. Every expensive tool has an affordable counterpart that works just as well. For example, open source software can accomplish many of the same things you might use paid software for, and it is free. Utilizing open source software can help you save a significant amount of money.
Now that you’ve read the advice contained herein, you should be ready to tackle the first steps of creating your site. Figure out how much money you can spend, talk to others and start getting ideas about the look of your site. Get started on creating the best website possible for your business without any costly expenses.