It's crucial for new designers of websites to learn the fundamentals of their craft, so they can come up with attractive and effective websites. Fortunately, there are custom website design houston of valuable resources--this article included--that can contribute to your knowledge of basic design principles. What follows are some basic concepts necessary for good web design.
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.
If you want help with your web design, look at purchasing on of many site design programs available on the market. These programs are often easy to use and can quickly design an attractive website for you. An unattractive website will not attract visitors.
Keep your topics separated. Each topic should be put on separate pages. This not only eliminates customer confusion, but it also helps you out with search engine crawlers and your site rankings.
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.
Build your website using a content management system. Knowing how to build a website using just HTML and CSS is good foundation knowledge, but this can only produce a static website. Web design has evolved into providing dynamic content. If you couple your coding skills with the use of a content management system, you can practically build any type of website that you desire.
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.
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.
Your website should be optimized for the older versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, such as IE7 and also IE8. Many people still use old IE versions. They don't render pages that have to do with regular standards on the web so you have to figure out a work around. In particular, learn about the famous "box model bug", an old thorn in IE.
Creating a site map is a very important part of the web design process. A site map is an effective way to inform visitors of the various kinds of content that your website has to offer, and is a great tool for navigating your website. Search engine crawlers will also utilize your site map for similar reasons, and therefore, including a site map will help boost your search rankings. Make sure your website has a site map, and that it is through.
Test your site early and often. Running usability and user interaction tests early in the game can really save you frustration in the long run. Never stop testing and improving.
Try including real customer testimonials. Very few want to be the first to try a product or service, so let customers know that others have tried your wares and that they were pleased with them. Try asking some clients that have done projects with you to create a short paragraph about their experience with your company, to put on your site.
The introduction to this article stated that new web designers need to learn certain fundamentals in order to craft websites that look good and work well. With so many articles and a vast amount of information floating around out there, it can sometimes be grueling work to find the best starting point. This article is a good starting point, as it contains the basics of good web design.