Regardless of whether you are running an online business, or simply a blog, it is important to know how to design a great website. Web design is one of the key factors that determine how appealing your website is to visitors, and how likely they are to trust your content.
I had a chat recently with the lead designer from Move Interactive Media, an up-and-coming graphics and web design company in Toronto, and he helped me compile in this entry the best professional advice that can help you design a successful website:
- 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 you design a nice looking website, purchase one of the many website development programs that are on the market today. Professional web design programs are simple to use and will have you creating beautiful looking websites really fast. If your website does not look good, then you will not have many visitors on your site.
- When checking the references that have been provided by a website development company it is important to discuss deadlines. You will want to hire a company that is able to meet their deadlines so that you can get your webpage set up and running in a timely manner. You do not want to work with a company that cannot meet their deadlines.
- Keep your page sizes to a minimum. Not all internet users have fast connection speeds, and the longer your site takes to load, the less interest they will have. You do not want your page viewers to be stuck waiting for every page to download, or they may end up abandoning your site.
- You should set aside at least one day per week to update your website. If you’re not updating it, you should at least check up on it to make sure that it’s functioning properly. As a site designer, it’s up to you, and you alone, to ensure that your site is in perfect working condition. If you fail to do so, you could lose a lot of traffic.
- A great web design tip is to ensure that your site is able to be found with or without the subdomain. You should be able to find your site by typing www.mysitehere.com and also http://mysitehere.com. Sites that work like this are also able to be found without a prefix at all. You can type mysitehere and find it.
- Choose your web host carefully. Some hosts require you to link to them, while others may force you to install their pop-ups. You should also test their performance using one of the many tools available for free online, as you do not want to host with someone who is consistently slow or crashing.
- You need to make sure the website design company you are hiring is as reliable as they claim to be. There are some people who will claim that they know a lot about web design when in actuality they know little to nothing about it. It is important to contact their references to find out if they are truly reliable and know what they are doing.
- Know your subject. If you plan on using your site for a blog or similar endeavor, you should be sure to do thorough research on the subject before you post. Giving your customers unclear or false information will only cause you to lose readers. Understanding your subject is the key to a good blog.
- As you are designing your website, you must be sure to include a direct link to your blog. The content on your blog should demonstrate the expertise and knowledge that you have in your area. Make it easy to find and easy to read to be sure that your visitors get the most out of the time spent reading your site and your blog.
- To help make your site more interactive incorporate games into your site. Having games on your site makes it a lot of fun for the visitor. If your visitors are not having a good time on your site, then they will leave and go look for something else to do.
- To help you design a good site, you need to make it so it is simple to navigate. Navigation encompasses everything and is the backbone of your site. So construct a site that flows easily from one area to another, otherwise your site will be very confusing and people will not visit it.
- If you’re going to choose a software program to aid in the design of your website, you can save some serious cash by choosing a free, open source program. Open source programs are great not only because they’re free for public use, but also because they’re constantly updated and improved by users with a lot of web know-how.
- Separate your topics. If you have several topics of discussion on your site, put them on different pages. This helps alleviate any confusion that your customers may experience, as well as giving search engines a broader and more clear view of your site, potentially bumping you up higher in their rankings.
- You should ask previous clients about their experience with the company you are hiring to do the web design for your website. You need to be sure that the company offered good customer service. If anything arises that requires changes you will want to be doing business with a company that has great customer service and not one that has poor customer service.
- When hiring a company to do your website creation it is important to be sure that you speak openly and honestly with them. Let them know what your expectations are and how much you have set aside in your budget for the project. This will allow them to tell you what to expect from them.
A Clean User Interface (UI Design) Impacts Conversion
Keep user interface tools consistent and user friendly. Here are my top recommendations for best, cleanest web design that converts well.
- Keep all underlined text clickable and allow for a change of color of links already clicked. If your site is user friendly and consistent throughout all the pages, people will be more likely to remain on your site for longer periods, as well as visit your site more than once.
- 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.
You don’t have to tackle the entire project all by yourself. Website development requires a thorough understanding of a lot of different things, such as web programming, content creation, search engine optimization, user interface design and graphic design. You shouldn’t be ashamed to find help when it’s needed. So, consider hiring a specialist to help you make your website great.
The Importance of Graphic Design
Keep in mind that the site you create does not have to be built entirely by you. You’ll need to have an understanding of graphic and UI design, coding, SEO and creation of effective content to create a great website. Getting help shouldn’t be embarrassing, everyone needs it – even the experts! If there are areas that are unfamiliar to you, consider hiring a professional service to help you.
No matter what kind of website you are operating, it is crucial that you understand effective web page design practices. Whether visitors find your website attractive, and even whether they trust your website depends in part on the design of the website. Follow the tips in this article to design a successful website.
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