The Internet is one of the most popular creations in history. Regardless of what you are interested in, a website exists for it. And should you wish to build a site of your own, you have tons of options once you learn a bit about designing a site. The following advice will be helpful.
Don’t neglect cascading style sheets. Using a style sheet makes it easy to give all pages of your site the same look and feel. It also reduces the file size of your pages, as the CSS file can be accessed once on the server and then from the user’s local cache thereafter.
Don’t use splash pages for your site unless required by law, and especially don’t use a Flash intro. Most people just want to get to your content as quickly as possible, and don’t care to look at useless splash pages. If you have some amusing content that you absolutely want visitors to see, integrate it into the homepage instead.
Don’t pile on the graphics. They are good for making your site more professional, but too much looks messy. Use graphics for improvement, not decoration. Your site will be easier to navigate too if you keep the graphic clutter to a minimum.
Always keep the size of your pages to a minimum. Not every person using Internet has a high-speed connection, so if a site takes longer to load, they won’t be as interested in it. If the wait is too long, your visitors may give up and leave.
Keep your pages to a reasonable length. Add content through new pages on your site, instead of tacking it on to the end of a home page. For the most part, readers are hesitant to keep going on a page that seems to scroll on forever. If you must have a lot of content on one page, include hyperlinks at the top and in sections throughout the page. This allows users to navigate through the available content without excessive scrolling.
Give your visitors the ability to search your site so that they can more easily find what they are looking for. If someone cannot find what they are looking for right away, their next thought will be to look for a search field. Put this somewhere obvious and include a search button.
Make sure that you use the right anchor text. The anchor text of a link should clearly describe what the visitor should expect to see when he clicks on the link. For instance, if a link leads to your widget ordering page, the anchor text might read “Order widgets.” Specifically avoid using “click here” as anchor text.
Test your website before it goes live. There’s nothing worse then launching your new website and having to take it down right away due to bugs or other issues. Get a group of people together who are using different web browsers and computer platforms, and ask them to use a beta version of your website, writing down any issues they come across.
Building a website that shows the world who you are will be simpler once you learn more about web design. Your site will be even better when your skill improves. Just make sure that you are using the tips from this article and others to help your site design stand out.