A subject like web design scares a lot of people from time to time. This is because they’re unfamiliar with the subject, but just like anything else the more you learn about web design the more confident you become.
So use this article and the advice within it so that you can feel confident about web design.
Avoid using so-called “mystery meat navigation”. This involves using unlabeled images or other elements for the site’s navigation. In many cases, the visitor has to mouse over the buttons to even see what they do. Navigation is best kept simple. Use text links across the top or along the left side of the page.
Don’t use splash pages for your site unless required by law, and especially don’t use a Flash intro. Most people just want to get to your content as quickly as possible, and don’t care to look at useless splash pages. If you have some amusing content that you absolutely want visitors to see, integrate it into the homepage instead.
Visitors want to have access to a website quickly, which is why your pages should load easily. Your visitors are more likely to lose interest in your website and leave the page if they have to wait for a few minutes before having access to the content.
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.
Make your links obvious. Customers do not like spending time wading through your site searching for something they are interested in. Having a site map, as well as providing big, prominent links will help your viewer find what they are looking for without wasting time in a hunt. Lead them to your information.
Keyword research is important. Of course, you want to put up good, solid information. However, you also must draw visitors in to your site. Knowing the keywords that will bring visitors is crucial.
Be sure your website works both with and without the “www” prefix. Some people will type this in before they head to your site as a force of habit, and some may not. You should make sure that customers will be directed to your site either way, or you may have some confused people on your hands.
If you have never designed a web page, try using pre-made layouts. These can easily be found online for several blogging web sites like Blogspot or Tumblr. Having an interesting layout will draw attention to content and give the site a professional look. Just make sure your layout is appealing to your target audience!
Organize your links and avoid putting too many links in one area of your site. Doing this can confuse visitors and make them leave your site. If you do have many low- to mid-importance links, emulate the “blogrolls” seen in many blogs and tuck them away in a column on the right side of the page.
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.
Make sure your business logo is well-designed and prominently on every page of your site. Your logo is a key component of your brand, and it should be one of the first things people see when they go to your website. If you can’t come up with a good idea for a logo, there are design firms that will make you one at relatively low cost.
Tackling something like web design really isn’t that hard, at least when you know what you’re doing. Hopefully with what you learned from this article you’re feeling a little more confident in the subject and you’re able to apply all the knowledge you gained to reach any of your endeavors.