If you’ve ever seen those commercials boasting about technical schools, then you already know that careers like web design are in high demand. What you might not have known, however, is that you do not need to attend a special school or take a course to learn web design. You can pick up the skills necessary from these tips below.
When you are creating graphics or photos for your website, be sure to keep the file size small. If your graphics are too large, your page will load slowly and your visitors will leave. You can find many free or inexpensive graphics programs online that will optimize your images before you load them to your website.
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.
Keep your site fresh and up-to-date, and promptly remove any outdated content. If there is content on your page highlighting an event that is already part of past history, your readers are going to abandon you quickly. Allowing information that is outdated to remain on your website is a sign to users that you have not taken the time to update your site and it implies that you don’t care about their time. Set up a regular schedule in order to update your content, and eliminate items which aren’t useful anymore.
Learn the basics of HTML and CSS. Although there are many templates that allow you to just fill in the blanks, in order to create a web page, these templates provide only limited design possibilities. Understanding how the mark-up language and stylesheet work together will enable you to customize your website to your heart’s content.
To help keep your site visitors happy, do not underline words. Underline words on the internet signifies that the word is a clickable link. If you have too many words on your pages that are underlined with being clickable links, then your visitors will be frustrated after continuously trying to click on them.
Make sure that you include efficient search capabilities when you’re designing a large website. Put in a search box in the right-hand corner up on top of the homepage, as this allows the site visitors to type in a single keyword that shows up anywhere on your site. Google and FreeFind both offer search functions for your website.
Do not use blinking, scrolling text or other animations. Also, steer clear of sounds or music that plays automatically. All of these things are distracting to users and provide nothing of value. In addition, connection speeds vary from one site visitor to the next, and everyone does not have the same speed. Those users with slower connections will resent the slow-loading elements of your site.
Provide a navigation menu on every page of your site. While this menu does not have to link every single page of your site, as this could be an exhaustive list if you have a very large site, it should provide links to the main pages. This ensures that your visitors do not have to return to the home page and start completely over when it is not necessary.
Of course, you won’t find every single tip under the sun in one article. No article is that long. You should be able to get the hang of web design through these tips, however.
Once you master these few techniques, you can then begin to expand your knowledge base and ultimately expand the scope of your designs.