Many people may have an interest in web design, but are put off by the apparent difficulty of the process. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed while trying to learn about web design, read on to learn some basics.
Go easy on the graphics in your web design. Graphics are critical, but they can also clutter up a page. Don’t just use graphics to decorate the website; they should be used to make it better. Having the right graphics improves your site all around.
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.
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.
If you believe your site may be accessed via mobile devices, you will want to keep your designs simple. The use of flash, excessive images, and complicated menus will not translate well to a mobile platform. Keep your page clean and simple, or create a specific mobile site for your users.
Keep your content interesting and entertaining. People ultimately visit your site more for the content than for the glitzy design. When a website contains helpful information that fits the needs of viewers, they’ll be more inclined to return later on.
Use custom error pages to make your site more informative. For instance, if you want people to report dead links on your site, either put a server-side script on your 404 page or have a form or email address that visitors can use to report the error. You should have custom pages for 403, 404, and 500 errors, at the very least.
Try having a clear and consistent layout in the design of your sites. Clean layouts that make use of a lot of white space tend to enhance the site’s readability and overall look. The layout must be focused on the content. Try using fonts that are on every computer in order to avoid having your site appear incorrectly.
To be updated on the new web design tricks, you should join an online forum. When joining these message boards you meet people who usually have an understanding of all the new web design technology. Without this new web design technology you could end up with a site that is completely outdated.
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.
To help make sure your website works as you are designing it, test it one of the browsers like Internet Explorer. When you test the website as you go along building it, you can quickly correct any problems that might show up once you live. When your website goes live you want your visitors to be able to see everything working correctly.
It does not matter how much money you have invested into the website, being a site host is not a great idea. Your design should reflect your idea of your business but paying for a hosting service is the best way to keep your site safe and secure while avoiding you the stress of maintaining a server.
It takes a great deal of practice to learn how to apply great web design techniques. When you practice, it helps you learn more about web design. You don’t want to learn something and realize that it wasn’t properly digested.
Graphics and various media are great for your site and help keep the attention of the viewers, but don’t load every page from top-to-bottom. Pages that are extremely heavy with media will consume bandwidth on yours and the viewer’s network, which often leaves both parties suffering. Include graphics when they are relevant and do your best to minimize bandwidth consumption.
A clean PC is a happy PC when you’re building a site. Some software programs will use up a lot of disk space, so having junk files on your PC will bog you down. Besides, it’s hard to remain neat and organized if you have files strewn all over the place. Keep your PC free of junk files and clutter.
Ask someone to try out your website throughout the designing process. When you finish a new site feature, have an impartial observer test it and give feedback. You may not be bothered if a video loads slowly, but others might think differently. Make sure you get impartial opinions regularly.
When you design a website, get artistic with it. Always be prepared for inspiration to strike. Draw sketches for possible design ideas when you think of something interesting. If something occurs while you’re working, leave yourself a text message on your cellphone so you will remember it later on.
Focus on how you plan to handle interaction as you’re designing a site. Do you have a shout box on the site? Maybe you have a forum or some type of chat room. At the very least, however, you need to have some method by which a visitor can contact you. You cannot remain shut-off from communication.
What you’ve read here should have given you an idea of what you need to know to build a proper website, so feel confident that you’re ready to go! Keep researching web design, because new knowledge comes out all the time. Applying the information you have learned with the tips presented here will set you on a path as an accomplished web designer.