Web Design Business

Designing Your First Website

Building a website is pretty exciting, more so if you are a newbie and you happen to be building your very first website. You might be tempted to be all out and give your web site all the trimmings to make it nice looking. Here’s a word of caution: too many frills on your website could cause you to lose the most important reason for the creation of the website-visitors.

Flashy pages, colorful graphics, elaborate and heavy scripts as well as bouncing animation could cause visitors to be distracted instead of being interested with the contents of your website. Creating attractively designed websites is of course important to create good impression but most webmasters overlook the most vital part of a website and that is content. Most internet surfers or browsers come to the site exclusively to get information. And these visitors will not stay for more than a few seconds because the website is slow loading due to heavy images or because of complicated animations. Visitors would surely click on the next site. For sure you wouldn’t want that to happen.

For the benefit of your readers, you have to create pages that are clear and readable. You can do this by providing ample white space between contents. Using darker text over light background is eye catching as well as providing ease to the reader. Choosing the fonts is equally important. You can choose from the many available fonts in the computer. For a good measure, choose a font size that is readable to all types of readers. Smaller sized fonts could be the in thing for the young generation but older readers will appreciate bigger sized fonts. You will be thanked by the readers if they don’t have to install new fonts just to read your content. You may want to add graphics to your website. It is important however to be certain that the graphics would enhance the site rather than distract visitors.

For your image formats, you can use the Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) for drawings. This format is most suitable for black and white images. For more complex and intricate graphics and photographs, Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) is most suitable because it maintains 16 million colors most appropriate for pictures and complicated graphics.

Another important factor to consider in building your first website: browsers are generally “lazy” people. They just scan the page. They don’t really sit and read the content unless their attention is grabbed and they are hooked by the keywords. Be sure to provide cues and keywords that will help the readers in their search for information. Write simple conversational sentences and avoid using jargons. Try to keep your paragraphs short so as to keep the readers interested.

Navigation is crucial to any website. Studies showed that left side navigation is favored by most people. Having your navigation bar on the left side of the page will provide ease to the visitor. Placing pertinent links to other sites is equally important as a lot of visitors would look for links whenever they are searching for information.

A Few Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Your Web Site

Be aware of these common pitfalls when designing your site:

• The home page does not quickly tell you what the Web site is all about. You should be able to visit the home page of any Web site and figure out what the site is about, what type of products it sells, or what it is advertising within five seconds.

• The poor use of popup windows, splashy advertising, splash pages (pages with neat animations and sound but which you have to watch for five to ten seconds before you are taken to the real Web site), and other Web design features that draw interest away from your Web site, products, and/ or services.

• Poor Web site navigation. This includes broken hyperlinks, hidden navigation, poor wording of navigational links, links that take you to pages with no links, links that take you to the same Web page, and pages with no links back to the home page (always include a link back to the home page so that regardless of where site visitors are, they can find their way back home!).

• Believing that because you have a Web site, you have a marketing campaign or overall marketing and advertising strategy. You need to understand that your Web site is not your marketing strategy. Your Web site is just a part of your overall marketing strategy, depending on your business goals; for example, if you have a successful restaurant but want to advertise and promote your business on the Web. Creating a Web site is great, but if it is not promoted and advertised, no one will ever find it. By passing out business cards with your Web site URL embossed on them, you are using a traditional marketing campaign to promote your Web site. If you offer a downloadable/ printable coupon from your Web site, you are successfully using your Web site as part of your marketing strategy to meet your goal of increased restaurant sales.

• Failure to attain Web site relevance and content updating. There is nothing more dissatisfying to a Web customer than visiting a Web site that is grossly out of date. Incorrect pricing, products no longer available, dated content, and ancient advertising all signify to the Web site visitor that your devotion to your Web site is suffering greatly. Cramming your pages with non-relevant material will detract the visitor from getting the point of your Web site (the five-second rule mentioned earlier).

• Avoid too many text effects. Forget flashing text, reversing text, gymnastics text, or other eye-popping and dizzying effects, which do nothing more than annoy your site visitor. Don’t create a “loud” Web site that contain so many blinking, flashing, twirling, and spinning icons, text, or graphics that visitors are overwhelmed by the effects and under-whelmed by the site content.

• Limit the number of graphics on your Web site so that you don’t overwhelm your site visitors with “graphics overload.” Don’t use animated GIF images on your Web site. These were cool ten years ago, but in today’s professional environment, they are just another “loud,” annoying distraction that site visitors don’t want to see.

• Don’t use Microsoft’s themes (built-in design templates) when creating a Web site with Microsoft FrontPage. While FrontPage is bashed on a regular basis, we stand by the fact that it can be used to design great Web sites.

• Don’t incorporate frames into Web site design. The use of frames within a Web site will drive customers away faster than anything!

• DO incorporate the proper Web site design elements to ensure that your Web site is ready to be found by search engines.

Custom Web Design and Online Promotion Go Hand-in-Hand

Many new online business owners have misconceptions about custom web design. It’s not only about getting your website up and running. It’s about designing every aspect of your website – every “nook and cranny” – to lead your visitors to the ultimate end, a sale. Whether you plan to build a service-oriented website or offer many products, your site’s design must have all the ingredients for success from the very start. Be sure the web designer you choose has an understanding of promotion as well as custom web design. Here are some features your site must have to survive among the Internet masses.

An Easily Recognized USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

When a visitor arrives at any of your web pages (not only the homepage), he/she should understand what your site is all about immediately. You only have a split second to grab their attention. Make sure each web page has a powerful keyword-rich headline that will keep the visitor reading.

Graphics that Complement without Dominating the Web Pages

Every website needs a few graphics here and there to make the web design pleasing to the eye, but be sure your graphic design and logo design do not dominate your pages. You want visitors to read your page, not look at your graphics. So, keep graphics to a minimum, and use them only when they help to create an even reading flow on the page. Many sites use a pleasant “newsletter” style when there is much to read on a page, sprinkling graphics or photos throughout the text in a wrap-around sense. For logo design, keep it small and simple. There’s nothing more annoying than waiting on a page to load because its logo is too big!

Keyword Rich Content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Be sure your designer understands about SEO and keywords. Every page of your site should be designed with search engine promotion in mind. This means gearing your meta tags, link text for pages or in menus, headlines, image “alt text” contents, etc. to attract search engine traffic for the long haul.

Web Design

Web Design Elements You Should Avoid

As a web designer, you should design your websites to give your visitors the greatest ease of use, the best impression and most important of all a welcoming experience.

It doesn’t matter if you had the greatest product in the whole world — if your website is poorly done you won’t be able to sell even one copy of it because visitors will be driven off your website by the lousy design.

When I’m talking about a “good design”, I’m not only talking about a good graphical design.

A professional web design will be able to point out that there are many components which contribute to a good website design — accessibility design, interface or layout design, user experience design and of course the most straightforward, which is graphic design.

Hence, I have highlighted some features of the worst web designs I’ve come across. Hopefully, you will be able to compare that against your own site as a checklist and if anything on your site fits the criteria, you should know it’s high time to take serious action!

1) Background music

Unless you are running a site which promotes a band, a CD or anything related to music, I would really advise you to stay away from putting looping background music onto your site.

It might sound pleasant to you at first, but imagine if you ran a big site with hundreds of pages and every time a visitor browses to another page on your site, the background music starts playing again.

If I were your visitor, I’d just turn off my speakers or leave your site. Moreover, they just add to the visitors burden when viewing your site — users on dial up connections will have to wait longer just to view your site as it is meant to be viewed.

Web Design Business

Starting A Web Design Business

Web Design as a Business

The world wide web just keeps growing. Business realize the benefits of being on the web, but don’t always know how to design a good site. If you have some creativity and know basics about web design, you might be interested in starting a web design business.

Starting a web design business is not much different from starting other businesses. Just knowing how to design a website is not enough. You need to do some research to be certain you have all the tools you need. A computer and printer are essential. You’ll need graphics software and HTML editing software. Remember that you are working for businesses, so you some knowledge of what makes a business site effective.

It helps to target a niche market. Find a field you’ve always had a passion for and develop ideas for that particular market. In this way you will stand out as one of the best in that particular field.

If you are just starting your web design business, you can learn some of the ropes by volunteering to help somebody put up a site or improve their site. Look at sites from local businesses and call them to offer your services. Often the smaller businesses have put up their own site with no professional help. They may welcome your skills, and will later serve as a valuable reference.

When starting your web design business, don’t forget that it is a business. Learn how to set your rates and keep good records for tax purposes.

As you consider starting your web design business, make sure you know what you need to know before offering your services. If you have creativity and an interest in building websites, this could be a business for you.

WordPress Web Design

Some Handy Web Design Basics

There is more to web design than many people take into consideration. An effective web designer wears many hats and should be responsible for various aspects of the design process. These responsibilities include graphics, interface, SEO, and standardized code and relevant content. Some designers do not feel that SEO is a justifiable part of their job description. However, horns and whistles may cause traffic to pause briefly, but it is the content that must win them over and increase rankings with search engines. There is such a thing as affordable SEO and every designer should follow certain basics that will cause their client’s website to become a beacon in the limitless dark hole known as the internet.

Targeting the niche audience – Websites are not designed to simply look pretty. The ultimate goal is to increase brand awareness. The best looking WordPress web design in the world will cease to drive traffic generation unless they can be found by the target audience. The ability to engage the potential customer and persuade them to visit the website is vital. However, it is even more important that the web design is able to translate into desired conversions. The webmaster will know the latest trends that correlate with the client’s niche. They must know from the start if the site is targeting business-to-business or being targeted towards particular consumers. The goal is to ensure that the website is properly indexed for high search engine rankings.

WebDesignThe basics of effective SEO web design – The website designer should focus heavily on image, video and local search engines. They must place a huge emphasis on keyword density within the content. Some of the things that should be done to make the site relevant include cross linking, Meta descriptions, and the use of relevant content. Studies have shown that small graphics are better for performance and the graphics used should correlate with the content. The general layout should be standardized and the ads should be reduced to the bare minimum. All of these issues are important to successful web design, at least from an SEO perspective. The client needs to know that affordable SEO practices exist and that they are being included on their website.

An experienced designer should be able to build impressive standard and WordPress web design projects. Through the use of analytic’s the client will be able to track results and conversion rates. These are just some of the handy web design basics that can make the difference between a successful or unsuccessful website.