From blogs to storefronts, great web design is always key in presenting your content to the world. Who will trust what you have to say if your site looks unprofessional? The information contained in this article will help you to build a website which looks great, functions cleanly and brings you the traffic you deserve!
Don’t force users to install strange BHOs. Many tech-savvy users won’t do it. Common offenders include unusual video players, image viewers, and platforms for interactive games. For most standard use cases, there is a trusted plugin, such as Windows Media Player or even Flash) that will do what you want without driving away users.
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.
Learn the basics of HTML and CSS. Although there are many templates that allow you to just fill in the blanks, in order to create a web page, these templates provide only limited design possibilities. Understanding how the mark-up language and stylesheet work together will enable you to customize your website to your heart’s content.
Optimize your website of old versions of the IE browser. Everyone loves to hate Internet Explorer, but the sad fact is that a large minority of internet users still use these old versions of IE. The older versions do not render all site elements to comply with web standards, which means using workarounds. Specifically, read about the “box model bug” that plagued IE for years.
If you already have a particular web hosting solution that you know you are going to use, keep its limitations in mind as you design your website. For example, do not create a website that relies on specific programming languages if your web host does not support these languages. It is fairly simple to find out which technologies are supported by your web host. Make certain that your design is something that is within the limitations of your host.
Always check for links that are broken. Do this from time to time, before uploading it to the server. This is important, as visitors who click on your links expecting useful information, only to find a 404 page, will leave your site in disgust. To keep this from happening, check everything to make sure that it works.
Avoid frames at all costs. Just don’t use them. While they can make it simple for your menu or header to appear all throughout your site, the address bar won’t change on each page. This can make it impossible for your visitors to link to any specific page on your site.
You don’t have to fill all available space when designing a site. By overusing the space available on your webpage, you can cause your site to appear cluttered and confusing for your visitors. The layout of your site will appear clearer and easier to deal with, if the elements that make it up are separated by plenty of space. Sometimes, empty space is just as vital as actual content.
Every website designer needs a good platform to test their work out on, and XAMPP is probably the best out there. XAMPP will allow you to run your test sites with PHP and mySQL, so you will always be able to spot anything that needs to be changed. XAMPP is a relatively light download and it’s also easy to figure out.
When you’re just starting out with designing a website, it’s important to practice. Use the practice to apply the knowledge that you read here for easy learning. You never want to read something great but not actually “get it” because you didn’t try it out on your own.
I hope you’ve learned from this article and feel confident that you’re ready to get started in the world of web design. Whether you are just starting to create your own site or you plan to build websites as a career, your first step is learning how it’s done. Now you can move on to the fun stuff, enjoy!