If you’re one of the skeptics out there who believes that all websites are the same, just visit a site like Facebook and then check out a hosted site on Yahoo or Google. It should be immediately obvious that good website design is of paramount importance. The advice shared here will be instrumental in helping you understand website development.
If you’re creating a website, make sure you look at it in different browsers. Make sure it looks good on every browser. This means that you need to understand which browsers are most widely in use today, and check the site in each one. In addition, let someone who uses an operating system that differs from yours check the site for compatibility.
Fixed navigation panels are a good way to allow your visitors to easily navigate your site. This will make sure the navigation panel is locked in place as your readers move throughout the site. 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).
If you want your site to become more visible to online users, you must learn to use proper meta tags for each page. Good meta tags will help search engines categorize your site properly. Non descriptive or inaccurate meta tags will result in low visibility for your website.
File types can affect the time it take for a website to load. GIFs and JPGs are your best choice for graphics. While PNG and BMP files create crisper graphics, these types of files can take up significant disk space. By converting your file types to more manageable sizes, you will provide your visitors with a better experience.
Make sure your load times are low. Visitors that get stuck waiting for slow pages to load will almost always leave the website. Do your best to reduce graphics, scripts, and Flash.
If you want to maximize the potential of your website design, ensure that your pages appear correctly on all web browsers, so any visitor can view them. A site that works on Internet Explorer might not display right in Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. Go through every page with each browser and correct mistakes for a user-friendly website.
Try making separate CSS pages for different browsers with conditional loading when designing websites. Testing and regular maintenance is much easier this way. You want to have an easy time making changes and doing the inevitable maintenance you’ll need on your site in the future.
While creating your website, you should not feel forced to have your website occupy the entire available space. Just because you have all of that space does not mean that you have to use it. If you allow enough space between different elements on each page, the overall effect will be more relaxed and professional-looking. You would be surprised how empty space can often be as valued as content.
Don’t install pop-up adverts on your website. Certainly it is important to include PPC ads on your site to earn some money, but pop-up ads that get in the way of what your visitors want to see is counterproductive. People tend to avoid pages altogether that have pop-up ads. Banner and text ads are a tasteful way to monetize your site.
Include an easy way for visitors to search your site content. If visitors want something specific, they will immediately scan for a search function. If you don’t have a search box, they’ll just go to the next site. The ideal placement is the upper right hand corner of your page.
Do not expect to create a website as successful as Facebook. Set realistic goals for yourself. That said, you can create a perfectly competent site that has many of the same features as major corporate sites if you study website design for a while. Use everything you have just learned and start designing your site today!