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As more and more of our lives take place online, any business that wants to succeed needs to make sure it has an effective Internet presence. However, if your website does not work properly, your business will suffer. Learn how to design a great website with the following tips and techniques.
When you’re thinking about how to design a website, you need to be sure to think about the navigation. You want your navigation to be easily accessible and easy to use. Put the navigation bar on every page in a noticeable place. Also, make sure that it flows well with the rest of your page and doesn’t distract visitors.
If your website requires a professional feel, you should utilize standard fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman. While fancier fonts may look appealing to you at first glance, more often than not, they will make your visitors feel that your website is less than professional. This is true for font colors as well. Stick to black text as much as possible. Do not color the text in random colors such as green or orange.
Keep user interface tools consistent and user friendly. Keep all underlined text clickable and allow for a change of color of links already clicked. If your site is user friendly and consistent throughout all the pages, people will be more likely to remain on your site for longer periods, as well as visit your site more than once.
For the typical website, keep your background colors neutral. Textured backgrounds can easily overwhelm the visitor, and, when used improperly, can really make your design look amateurish. Stick to a white background or another neutral color. It’s been shown that these neutral colors are the easiest backgrounds from which to read.
Having a website counter at the bottom of your page is really an unattractive feature. While you might think that it’s adding something to your site, it’s really something that your visitors don’t want to see. Do away with that visitor counter and rely on other means to tell you how many people are stopping by.
Remember this when posting something important on your site: High and far-left. This is how people read, from left to right, so having the most important parts of your site located at the top of your site and on the left will ensure that your visitors see and read this before anything else on your website.
Where you can, recycle certain pieces of your site like navigation bars and logos. Not only does this help with creating some sort of brand consistency to your website, it also helps speed up the page load times for your visitors. Web browsers will cache these pieces upon first load, making them quicker to reappear the next time they are found on a page.
Make sure your text and background has the proper contrast. There’s evidence showing that white text on a black background is easiest for most people to read, but other colors are fine so long as they’re readable. Also keep in mind that people with visual impairments may not be able to read your site if the contrast is poor. Check to see if your site complies with various contrast standards using the tool at http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html .
Make sure that your fonts on your pages are well structured and aren’t changed up too much as people scroll through your website. You don’t want people to become confused and agitated with inconsistency, people like things to flow one way because it shows that you know how to handle things on a professional level.
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.
Many web designers would be wise to use wireframes as a way to plan out their website. This can range from anything as planned out simple shapes to actually map out the design and structure of your entire site. This will give you a good idea as to what you want from your final product.
To help you design a website that is optimized for search engines, do not include frames. Although users like pages that include frames, the information inside does not show up in search engines. If certain important information on your site cannot be seen by search engines, then you will not have a high ranking. When that occurs you do not get many visitors.
Best practices in web page design are constantly evolving. What was standard a year ago could be deprecated today, or even be completely unusable. This is why it is so important to stay up to date, and also crucial that you verify everything you learn. Make certain that the information you acquire is current and not outdated.
Make sure your webpages aren’t too long. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and if your most important content is “below the fold,” it may not even be read. If you have a lot of related content that needs to stay together, consider breaking it up into sections and adding links to each section.
As you have seen, web design does not have to be a difficult task. Once you know more about the basic principles involved, you should be able to construct a website that will appeal to your visitors and help them find what they need.
Use the tips you have read in this article for the best results.