Do you have to rely on pre-made templates and software like FrontPage to design websites? If you’re willing to put in the time it takes to learn a few simple steps, you don’t need to pay for much of anything! If you don’t want to learn a lot of techniques, code, and so forth, third-party programs or hired web creation companies may be the answer for you. However, if you are willing to spend some time and effort, you can build an awesome site on your own.
Don’t neglect to cascade style sheets. Using a style sheet makes it easy to give all pages of your site the same look and feel. It also reduces the file size of your pages, as the CSS file can be accessed once on the server and then from the user’s local cache thereafter.
A successful website needs to work for visitors using any browser, so it is important to test your web pages to make sure they display properly in different browsers. What works in Chrome might not appear the way you want it in Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. Check how each page displays in the major browsers before your site goes live.
There are a lot of web design programs available for sale, and they can help you create a great website. Programs are available to assist you in creating your websites that look professional. Let’s face it, a boring, drab site simply drives traffic away and that is not what we want to do.
The best web sites communicate a lot of information in a small amount of words. If you are long-winded, people will easily get bored and find another site that is more concise. Make sure any content is relevant and easy to understand – newspapers use an eighth grade reading level, which is the most common literacy level.
Provide a navigation menu on every page of your site. While this menu does not have to link every single page of your site, as this could be an exhaustive list if you have a very large site, it should provide links to the main pages. This ensures that your visitors do not have to return to the home page and start completely over when it is not necessary.
Use breadcrumbs and make it so that clicking on the site logo returns you to the homepage. Breadcrumbs are markers that show where the visitor is in the site structure. For instance, the breadcrumbs might read “home > furniture > beds.” When the user clicks a link in the breadcrumbs, he can return to a page further up in the site hierarchy. Clicking on a business logo should generally take the visitor back to the homepage as well.
Optimize your website for older IE versions. 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. These do not render the web elements to the web standard, so there must be workarounds. Specifically, you should get up to date about an issue that plagued IE called “box model bug”.
Take the time to actually use your site as you are building it. It’s imperative that you employ usability tests frequently to ensure a pleasant user experience. Be sure things keep getting worked on as you let your website get larger.
You may want to purchase a few books that can aid in teaching the ins and outs of becoming a top-notch web designer. Begin with books that teach to your skill level, and progress from there. It is important to learn quickly, but you should ensure that you are not skipping any vital information!
Never enter into a website development course unless you already understand the basics. The vast majority of people in these courses are already far ahead of you, thus the material being taught is strictly technical. There is no buffer period. You’ll go from 0 to 60 instantly and will be left behind if you enter as a complete novice.
Make sure your site includes a search box. This is really important, because people are accustomed to having that function, and when they want to find something on your site, they need to be able to find it. If they can’t find what they need, they may leave your site altogether.
Avoid using Flash on your website. Flash can look, well, flashy, but Flash can also be very slow, especially on older computers. Remember that some cellphones and tablet PCs cannot use Flash, which might ruin a visitor’s experience of your site, and they will stop coming to your site.
Designing your own site isn’t as difficult as performing brain surgery. The formal schooling requirements are minimal for web design, and you won’t be facing any life and death decisions. If you put the advice you’ve read to use, you can be on the road to designing an amazing website in no time.