Web design is a skill that can make you money. When you know how to make sites, you can make them for yourself or others. The nice thing about web design is that you can do it at any time of the day, from wherever you want. Therefore, there is more freedom in your schedule.
Web design is a subject that you always want to stay informed on. With this in mind, if you have any friends that are also into web design then you will want to keep in contact with them. You can exchange any new information you learn so that you’re both on top of your game when it comes to web design.
Keep your pages to a reasonable length. Add content through new pages on your site, instead of tacking it on to the end of a home page. For the most part, readers are hesitant to keep going on a page that seems to scroll on forever. If you must have a lot of content on one page, include hyperlinks at the top and in sections throughout the page. This allows users to navigate through the available content without excessive scrolling.
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.
Your site should be able to be scanned easily. Studies have shown that people usually quickly scan a website rather than thoroughly read it over, as they try to find the stuff that might be interesting to them. Make sure your text is placed in sections, so readers can look over it quickly. Keep the most pertinent information near the top of the page. This gives your visitors a better experience.
Avoid creating user interface (UI) controls that mislead your visitors. These controls include elements, widgets and more that create an interactive experience, such as a link, drop-down list or button. You do not want to make visitors think that clicking on an underlined word or phrase for example, will lead to a new page if it is not actually linked to something else. When your visitors have expectations of something working a certain way and it does not, they are more likely to assume there is something wrong with your site and leave.
To help you design a site that is easy for people to read all the information, make sure the pages are not too wide. If the pages are not too wide then they will fit on most people’s computer screens. If the page is too wide, then part of your valuable information could be left off the page.
If you plan on having a commercial site, you should seriously consider buying your own web hosting. Most free host sites force you to display their advertisements, which is counter-intuitive if you are attempting to sell something as well. Purchase your own hosting to avoid this advertising hassle, so that you can choose your own ads.
If you have never designed a web page, try using pre-made layouts. These can easily be found online for several blogging web sites like Blogspot or Tumblr. Having an interesting layout will draw attention to content and give the site a professional look. Just make sure your layout is appealing to your target audience!
When designing your website, you should utilize cascading style sheets, or CSS. These style sheets can be applied to every webpage on your website, and will ensure that the user experience is consistent throughout the website. They are also effective for making quick design changes to your website due to the fact that you only need to change the style sheet as opposed to making alterations on every webpage.
Use custom error pages to make your site more informative. For instance, if you want people to report dead links on your site, either put a server-side script on your 404 page or have a form or email address that visitors can use to report the error. You should have custom pages for 403, 404, and 500 errors, at the very least.
Add a search feature to a website. When visitors come to your website, they want to easily be able to find what they are looking for. A keyword search feature will make it easy for people to find the right page on your site, especially if the website you are designing is very complex.
Avoid frames at all costs. Just don’t use them. While they can make it simple for your menu or header to appear all throughout your site, the address bar won’t change on each page. This can make it impossible for your visitors to link to any specific page on your site.
If you become lost at all during your web design process then you might want to look up videos online. You can find a lot of videos on places like youtube which give you step by step tutorials on what you should be doing during your web designing processes.
It is important to do your research. Research your chosen niche so you can better reach your targeted audience. Think how you can design the site to appeal to the audience you are seeking. Keep your website design efficient.
Creating a visual site map for your website is important. Knowing what you’ll have on each page allows you to prepare ahead of time and to know what direction your site will take.
As an alternative to Photoshop, you could choose to use the GIMP photo editor. GIMP has practically every single feature that Adobe Photoshop does; and instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a program and using up a few hundred MBs of program space, GIMP is 100% free and runs about 35mb.
Now that you have read through these tips you have some new ideas on how to best design your site. Just be sure to make the most of what you have learned, and you will be a pro in no time.