When your website isn’t working properly, your business will suffer. As you continue learning about web design, your websites will begin to garner more and more traffic.
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.
Easy navigation is critical to keeping visitors on your site. It should always be easy to get from one page of the site to another. Menus also lend to easy navigation. Have your main page links located on every page so visitors can easily go through your site.
Although it is common to see the www. at the front of a website URL, you should try to make sure that you can access your site whether you choose to include it or not. This will make it much easier for anyone to access regardless of how they type it.
Always mark files that must be opened in an external program with an icon. Many sites host PDF files, and less commonly, DOC files, that must be opened in Foxit Reader and Microsoft Word/OpenOffice, respectively. These files should be marked with an icon representing the file type, and a link to download the appropriate viewer if the user does not have it.
White space is an important part of web design, so don’t be afraid to use it. Cluttering up your web pages with too many images or too much text, or using a distracting background, will only irritate your visitors. White space can make the important elements of your page more visible.
Make sure to preserve personal information that may need to be entered again by the same user of your website. For example, if a person has to enter their information to register for an account, and then is filling out a form on your website that requires the same information, you want to have their data saved, so that they do not have to take the time to fill everything out again. Doing this will make everything much easier for the people that visit your page, and they will definitely appreciate the time saved.
If you are not feeling confident in any area at all when you’re designing a website then go ahead and ask for help from someone. You can either find help from a friend or from strangers on places like forums on the web. Just be sure you don’t tackle anything without knowing what you’re doing first.
Watch the amount of flashy multimedia that is on your site. Don’t overdo it with a bunch of “extras”. Flash graphics and multimedia may appear enticing, but these may make it difficult for visitors to find the desired information from the site, particularly if they’re viewing your site from a non-Flash compatible device.
You should understand by now that you can create a phenomenal site without a web design degree. After you learn how to develop a website, you can begin building sites for others. Keep this article handy to refer back to from time to time.