If you are one of those non-believers who think all websites are created equally, then visit a site hosted by Google or Yahoo, or a site such as Facebook or Twitter to see the difference. You should notice that the design is very different and plays a role in how popular a site is. Here are some solid suggestions on how to make web design work for you.
Make sure all of your webpages actually have titles, and make sure they are descriptive. A surprising number of webpages out there are called “untitled document” or “new document”. This not only denies visitors a useful piece of information to remember your site, but also absolutely destroys your SEO, since search engines weight page titles heavily when ranking sites.
Test your website before it goes live. There’s nothing worse then launching your new website and having to take it down right away due to bugs or other issues. Get a group of people together who are using different web browsers and computer platforms, and ask them to use a beta version of your website, writing down any issues they come across.
Use images wisely. Bitmap images do not tend to fare well for internet use, and some GIFs do not work well with lots of color. Image size is important as well, as larger images may make your viewers have to wait for them to download. Choose smaller images, and use them sparingly to make your site more manageable.
Have you considered writing a newsletter? This can be an excellent way of building your client base. Offer the signup form as a link off to the side on your site. Make sure you have a way to keep track of who signed up. Make sure you only send out the letter to those that have explicitly requested to view it.
Build your website using a content management system. Knowing how to build a website using just HTML and CSS is good foundation knowledge, but this can only produce a static website. Web design has evolved into providing dynamic content. If you couple your coding skills with the use of a content management system, you can practically build any type of website that you desire.
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.
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.
Chances are you are not designing the next Twitter or Facebook site. It’s possible, of course, but unlikely. The best web design skills may help you make attractive and functional web designs like the pros. Apply the info from this article and get busy designing!