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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Beginner Guide to Web Design

As a novice to web designing, you are quite likely to come across many difficulties while learning the process of developing websites. Learning to code or design a website is not really difficult but best designers are those who employ various strategies to enhance their designing skills. Designing a professional website needs not only designing skills but also knowledge of various coding languages. The act of balancing the two is something that can’t be learnt in a matter of days or few weeks. A number of proficient web designers study coding and graphic arts through tutorials, classes, books and above all through a lot of practice. Web designing involves a number of steps that a learner needs to master for creating top class work.

You should understand that designing of websites is a kind of art, requiring loads of time for coding in CSS, XHTML and a number of other scripts, like JavaScript. It is not enough to just read books. In a way, learning to build up websites is quite like math courses. Apart from learning the concepts, which of course is vital, you have to learn to solve problems to comprehend how to use concepts.

It is not all that difficult to get started with learning of developing top class websites. Just keep in mind that it requires a lot of practice.

Here are a few tips that you’ll find useful when you start learning this subject:

  • Study how to code well using CSS and XHTML
  • Develop maximum possible number of web pages. Practice makes you perfect.
  • Learn CGI, Flash, AJAX, JavaScript and PHP.
  • Learn the basics of visual design of web pages
  • Know the essentials of meta tags plus SEO strategies
  • Learn utility features to make sure that visitors’ stay is satisfactory on the website.
  • Use code validations of the kind found on W3C websites.
  • Ensure that each website developed by you is compatible with a number of web browsers
  • Become skilled at image design and management for best image placement
  • Gain knowledge of debugging XHTML code, in conjunction with any scripting code for correcting any problem.

You may find the above tips as just some small pieces of advice but you’ll find them helpful in avoiding problems like poor design or coding. Probably, the best recommendation would be to practice and practice more. Initially, a few websites that you develop are quite likely to lack professional looks and many are not bothered if they don’t look perfect. You should first focus on developing pages with good coding. The better is your coding, the better designer you’ll become.

Many of the top class tips for web designing are not discovered through book or in a classroom. You get these online. Think of learning about web development through one of the superior online classes teaching you CSS, Dreamweaver, Flash, PHP, SQL XM and lot more.

Ways to Enhance Web Design

1. Include a logo to make your site look more professional then link it back to your home page.

Your logo represents your brand so be sure that it is visible on your site. Make sure to use a high-resolution image and locate it in the upper left hand corner of all your pages. As a rule of thumb, link it back to your home page. This way, visitors will find it easy to navigate to it.

2. Use intuitive navigation.

Usually, primary navigation is set-up in a horizontal bar, on the top part of a site. Give visitors another option to navigate, in the sidebar or below the primary navigation bar.

Intuitive navigation is crucial since it allows visitors to remain in a page. When they are confused, they tend to leave instead of discovering more about your site. Rather than adding less important links that ignore your call to action or key info, at the top part of your home page or landing pages, place them at the bottom part, in the footer.

3. Remove clutter.

Nowadays, it is easy to overload web pages with images to a point that our brains find it hard to process information when faced with lots of choices.

So visitors will stay on your site, pages should not contain calls to action that compete, or visual clutter such as too many images, graphics or animated gifs. These would take away the attention of visitors from more important info. Reduce the clutter on landing pages by minimizing the links and choices in both the header and footer to further narrow down their focus.

4. Offer more breathing space for yours visitors.

Add sufficient space between your images and paragraphs to allow viewers to breathe and better absorb the features offered by your website and business.

Having control on the white space all through the layout will let users focus on your content and manage flow of users. There is a lot of visual competition on the internet. Always remember that less is more. Controlling white space will give an enhanced user experience and boost returns from your site.

5. Use color to your best advantage.

When most of the colors you use are neutral, your website looks neat, elegant and more current. Using small traces of color on your headlines and main graphics helps draw visitors to your most essential content.

Also, choose a color palette that best suits your logo and consistently matches your marketing stuff.

6. Use professional photography.

Visitors can easily discern whether photos are original or generic. When they are generic, this gives an impression that your company is so-so. To show them that your company is unique, invest in professional photography.

It is highly recommended to invest in professional photography or professional stock photos. Great photos strike the eye and offer an emotional attachment to a site’s content. On the other hand, poor quality and irrelevant photos are even worse than having no images at all.

Steps to Designing a Website

Here’s all that you need to know about designing a website summarized in three steps:

Choose the best platform: The three most popular website building platforms are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. More than half of the websites on the web are built on WordPress. The best thing about WordPress is that it is totally free of cost and you have a plethora of layouts to choose from. Another thing that makes it extremely popular is the ease of use. You can create anything right from ecommerce websites to blogs and there are several plugins to handle almost all the sites. Moreover, it is mobile compatible and has a large support community. Joomla and Drupal are great too, but require little bit of technical know-how and is therefore mostly used by expert web developers and coders.

Choose a domain name and web hosting: For a website to go online you have to choose a domain name and a web hosting for your site. This is professional, affordable and helps your site to load faster. When you are choosing a domain name make sure it matches with your company name. The name should represent your brand and should be short, catchy and easy to remember.

Set up your site: Now you need to install WordPress to your domain. Most of the hosting companies have one-click installation for WordPress. Once you have done this you need to choose a theme for your website to avoid looking like everyone else. This will be followed by creating new pages and adding content, changing titles and taglines, setting up a static homepage, editing sidebars, enabling/disabling comments for pages and posts etc.

Installing plugins: Plugins are extensions that enable you to add features to your site that do not come inbuilt with WordPress. You can choose from more than 25,000 free plugins for almost everything right from creating image galleries to adding form submissions. All you have to do is click on Plugins.

Deadly Mistakes in Web Design

  1. Disabling the back button. Evil site authors long ago figured out how to break a browser’s back button so that when a user pushes it, one of several undesired things happen: There’s an immediate redirect to an unwanted location, the browser stays put because the “back” button has been deactivated, or a new window pops up and overtakes the screen. Our advice: Never do it. All that’s accomplished is that viewers get annoyed and do not return to your site.
  2. Opening new windows. Once upon a time, using multiple new frames to display content as a user clicked through a site was cool–a new thing in web design. Now it only annoys viewers because it ties up system resources, slows computer response and generally complicates a visitor’s experience. Sure, it’s easy to use this tool. But don’t. With tabbed browsing common in browsers like Firefox, users who wish to open links in new tabs can do so if they wish.
  3. Failing to put a phone number and address in several easy-to-find locations. If you’re selling, you need to offer viewers multiple ways to contact you. The smartest route is to put up a “Contact Us” link that leads to complete info–mailing address, phone and email address. That link should be on each and every page of your website. Even if nobody ever calls, the very presence of this information adds real-world legitimacy and transparency to your site and comforts some viewers.
  4. Broken links. Bad links–hyperlinks that do nothing when clicked or lead to “404” error pages–are the bane of any web surfer. Test your site–and do it weekly–to ensure that all links work as promised. Include a “Contact the Webmaster” link in your site’s footer so users can quickly let you know if they find a broken link or other mistake on your site–and fix those errors immediately.
  5. Slow server times. Slow load times are inexcusable with professional sites — it’s an invitation to the visitor to click away. What’s slow? A recent study by Akamai Technologies, commissioned through Jupiter Research, showed that online shoppers, on average, will wait only four seconds for a site to load before clicking away. If your site is loading significantly slower than this, put it on a diet–images may be too large or special add-ons, like a Flash introduction, may be slowing things down.
  6. Outdated information. Again, there’s no excuse, but it’s amazing how many sites include old, dated content. Make sure to keep your site fresh and updated daily for best results. You can’t afford the loss of credibility that can come from having dated content. Also, make sure your content is accurate, and if you should find a single error, fix it immediately.
  7. Poor navigation. The internet promises speed. If surfers can’t figure out where to go next quickly and get there easily, they’ll simply surf on to the next website–your competitor’s! It’s very frustrating to be forced to go back two or three pages to get to other areas of a site. It’s also a waste of time. There should be a navigation bar on every page that guides visitors to other areas of the site. Position the bar along the top of the page or along the left side so it will always be visible regardless of screen resolution. Add an easy-to-find site map in your main navigation bar and/or footer to provide visitors with an at-a-glance view of every page on your site.
  8. Too many font styles and colors. Pages ought to present a unified, consistent look, but novice site builders–entranced by having hundreds of fonts at their fingertips, plus dozens of colors–frequently turn their pages into a garish mishmash. Use two or three fonts and colors per page, maximum. The idea is to reassure viewers of your solidity and stability, not to convince them you’re wildly artistic. Also remember to make sure your font and colors look good on all possible devices from desktops to tablets to iPhones, etc