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.
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.
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.
To help your website visitors find their way home on your site, always include a link to your homepage on each page of your site. Having a home page link that is visible allows your reader to easily make their way back to starting point. If you do not have a home page link then your visitors might get frustrated and leave your site altogether.
Personalize your site. Your clients want to feel comfortable with you, so use testimonials from trusted customers, as well as photographs of people. Building trust with your customers is very important, so be sure to let them know you personally care about the product or service you are providing them.
To help your visitors be able to easily read your site, you should design it using contrasting colors. If you use colors that contrast, it makes the text stand out. If you have black text with a black background you will not be able to see the information, but if you have black text with a white background it becomes simple to read.
Be certain you have a method for visitors to leave comments or questions. That will allow you to fix any problems that you may not otherwise notice. You can encourage your visitors to come back to your site over and over by giving them the opportunity to contribute to the quality of it.
Apart from the aesthetics of your website, remember that all files included must be small. Your file sizes have a lot to do with the speed of your site loading. It is always a good idea for your website to load as quickly as possible. Remember that some of your visitors are going to be using slower Internet connections than others. You should try loading your site on different kinds of connections to see how quickly it loads.
Do not use frames on your website. Frames are not optimized for most search engines. This information will not be visible on the search engines. If search engines cannot read your information, you will have a poor web ranking. When that happens, not many people will see 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.
The design tools which come with your web hosting account are a great way to practice your skills, but they are no replacement for real design know-how. It is ideal that you add an element of uniqueness and personality to your website. This will mean that you need come up with new design elements that are not obtainable by using the provided options of the host’s WYSIWYG editor.
Every website designer needs a good platform to test their work out on, and XAMPP is probably the best out there. XAMPP will allow you to run your test sites with PHP and mySQL, so you will always be able to spot anything that needs to be changed. XAMPP is a relatively light download and it’s also easy to figure out.
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!