As a web designer myself, I can say that learning as much as I could from experts was how I got started. I looked at their sites, checked out their code, and even borrowed from their designs. Today there is a great deal of information available to help you get into the game, and this article is a great place to start learning.
Don’t use OnExit popups on your website. This tactic is mainly used by internet marketers who are trying a last-ditch attempt to get a sale. Word about these kinds of popups get around, and they will kill your reputation as a marketer. Mozilla has even taken steps to suppress the text on these popups, citing security risks.
Avoid using frames. Most sites have abandoned frames on their own as better alternatives have become available, but there are still sites out there that are trapped in 1996. Alternatives to navigational frames include fixed-position navigation panels, having navigation in multiple areas (e.g. left and bottom) or simplifying page structure so that navigational links are never far away.
Use ALT tags whenever possible. These helpful tags describe an image to a viewer, assisting the visually impaired, as well as those who prefer to browse without images. As an added bonus, some search engines include these tags in their rankings, so you may get a boost by using them.
To help your website visitors easily navigate through your site, design it so that it becomes easy to find “stuff.” When you have a simple site that makes it easy to locate information, you keep your visitors there much longer. If you make it difficult for them, then they will get frustrated and leave.
You should always put in the effort to make a customized error page for your site; this page should include a basic sitemap that links users to the major sections of your website. This ensures that if visitors follow a bad link or spell your URL wrong, they will be able to find what they are looking for.
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. In terms of graphics, your best choices are GIF and JPEG. Although PNG and MBP files might be the better options for web graphics, they take up way too much disk space. Alter your graphics to smaller file size file types to keep load times minimal for your users.
For your image tags, always try to include a brief description in the ALT attribute. Not only is this good for search engine optimization, but it is also beneficial to the sight-impaired users who rely on screen readers to describe image tag contents. Make your description short and as descriptive as possible.
Try designing for all screen resolutions. A simple website can always encourage visitors to remain and read the content. If your site doesn’t look good for a specific resolution, the visitor may leave since they cannot view it. Designing a stretchier layout that fits any screen resolution lets you know that all visitors can enjoy the content.
If you already have a particular web hosting solution that you know you are going to use, keep its limitations in mind as you design your website. For example, do not create a website that relies on specific programming languages if your web host does not support these languages. It is fairly simple to find out which technologies are supported by your web host. Make certain that your design is something that is within the limitations of your host.
Now that I’ve been designing websites for over a decade, I feel that I can give some advice back. Use the tips in this article, continue learning as much as you can, and stay on top of trends to ensure your websites stand out in the crowd. If I can do it, anyone can!