If you dream of designing a great website, the thing that is probably preventing you from realizing that dream is the enormity of the project. The act of creating an identity or presence on the Internet can be somewhat intimidating, regardless of whether you want to do it for your own purposes or for other people’s motives. Read on to gain some valuable tips for creative web design, which can give you a leg up on creating a great website.
Include a link to the homepage on every page of your site. One of the best ways to do this is to make a graphic title for your page that can be included on all pages. Web users are used to clicking on a graphic to return home so there won’t be a learning curve to navigating your site.
People don’t like to wait when they browse the Internet, so your pages need to load fast even on slow connections. Your visitors are more likely to lose interest in your website and leave the page if they have to wait for a few minutes before having access to the content.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Organize your links and avoid putting too many links in one area of your site. Doing this can confuse visitors and make them leave your site. If you do have many low- to mid-importance links, emulate the “blogrolls” seen in many blogs and tuck them away in a column on the right side of the page.
Whatever file types you use for the graphics on your site go hand-in-hand with file size. This plays a major role in how fast your site loads. You should use GIFs or JPEGs for graphics. Although there are a number of advantages to using PNG and BMP files for web graphics, these types of files take up much more disk space. You can convert the larger graphics into a more manageable size to help your viewers have a better user experience.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you are probably itching to go out there and design a killer website. Armed with the knowledge that you’ve gotten from this article, you should be able to do just that. Use this information and your best instincts to design the site of your dreams.