If you want to design a website as a hobby, for your business or even as your own career, a solid foundation of knowledge will help you get your foot in the door. From learning HTML to knowing search engine optimization techniques, there are many facets to web design.
Read on to find some advice which will cover all of the basics.
Keep the size of your web pages small. A lot of modern web pages are full of unnecessary elements, including huge images, Flash advertising, and lots of AJAX. Many people, especially those in rural areas and other countries with less-developed internet infrastructure, don’t have high-speed Internet and will have to wait forever for a large page to load.
Make sure the combination of colors your site uses is attractive and makes the site easy to read. Be sure that your written content is clearly visible and easy to read against the background you choose. Using a dark text color on a lighter background is generally easier to read than the opposite. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or colleague for their opinion of the color scheme.
Use ALT tags whenever possible. These helpful tags describe an image to a viewer, assisting the visually impaired, as well as those who prefer to browse without images. As an added bonus, some search engines include these tags in their rankings, so you may get a boost by using them.
Make sure that you use the right anchor text. The anchor text of a link should clearly describe what the visitor should expect to see when he clicks on the link. For instance, if a link leads to your widget ordering page, the anchor text might read “Order widgets.” Specifically avoid using “click here” as anchor text.
Always keep your load times under 10 seconds. Sites that are well-made and efficient will open in a browser in moments. If the site takes too long to load, you run the risk of losing your audience.
Keep the sizes of your files and images small. Excessive loading times are a death knell for any site. The larger the files are that must load, the longer a user’s load time is going to be. Most users will click away if the page doesn’t start to load within the first few seconds of opening your page.
Keep your education ongoing. Websites are constantly changing, every day, and if you stop learning new things, you may find yourself falling behind the pack with your designs. Try to convince yourself to learn one new thing each day, be it programming a new background, or a simple HTML setup.
Know your subject. If you’re planning to use your website for blogging or something similar, make sure to thoroughly research the subject prior to posting. Giving your customers unclear or false information will only cause you to lose readers. Knowing your topic is the way to build a great blog.
You’ve read the advice here and are ready to put it into action, so get ready to design your site! Start by sketching out a design and making lists of the content you’ll need and you’ll have your website online in no time.
Don’t forget to keep reading and learning so you’re never left behind.