If you think all sites are similar, you should spend a few hours surfing on the Internet and comparing popular sites like Facebook to smaller websites. It is likely that you will get unique and interesting ideas that raise your standards for web design. If you are interested in educating yourself on web design, check out the information below.
Fixed-position navigation is useful to visitors. This technique locks the navigation panel on the site in place whenever the user scrolls on the page. This is not only convenient for the visitor, but can also be useful for internet marketers, as this makes it easier for visitors to take some desired action (e.g. buy a product, sign up for a newsletter).
Always be open to new ideas that may appear on forums that can provide you with additional information with regard to web design. You can also do a quick search online to find any information you seek on the web, and it is free.
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 a style sheet to stay consistent. There is almost nothing more disconcerting than being sent to a page that looks at nothing like the site you were just looking at, even if it is concerning the same subject. Style sheets help with saving your formatting, so each page looks similar to the rest.
While you might be inclined to add a lot of bells and whistles to your website, flashing graphics, loud music and neon colors will just distract from the purpose of your website. Visitors who are bombarded by too many sights and sounds might be inclined to leave your website before they even start browsing. Keep the colors simple and the content relevant and your website design will be a winner.
Pop-ups should not be used on your site. Viewers hate pop-ups; they are annoying and unprofessional. Many people will close a website that brings pop-ups as soon as they can, no matter what size the site is. Keep your customers happy, by steering clear of these annoying ads. Any host which requires you to have pop-up ads is a host you don’t want to use!
Use a tracking service, rather than displaying your visitor counter for all to read. Many websites still display their counters, yet they do not serve any real purpose. There are many high quality tracking services available, and some are even free. Use these instead of showing off how many people visit you.
If you believe your site may be accessed via mobile devices, you will want to keep your designs simple. The use of flash, excessive images, and complicated menus will not translate well to a mobile platform. Keep your page clean and simple, or create a specific mobile site for your users.
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.
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.
Make sure your business logo is well-designed and prominently on every page of your site. Your logo is a key component of your brand, and it should be one of the first things people see when they go to your website. If you can’t come up with a good idea for a logo, there are design firms that will make you one at relatively low cost.
Use breadcrumbs and make it so that clicking on the site logo returns you to the homepage. Breadcrumbs are markers that show where the visitor is in the site structure. For instance, the breadcrumbs might read “home > furniture > beds.” When the user clicks a link in the breadcrumbs, he can return to a page further up in the site hierarchy. Clicking on a business logo should generally take the visitor back to the homepage as well.
It’s unlikely that you’ll design a social networking powerhouse like Facebook or Twitter. Such a success would be very unlikely. But, the good news is that the right web design skills can help you create sites that are much more attractive and that function just as easily and seamlessly as the big boys do. Use what you learned from this article to become a great web designer.