It is necessary to use expensive software and specialized templates to create an excellent website? This solely depends on if you are willing to take the time to learn and gain actual knowledge, rather than relying on programs to do your job for you. You could go about things the lazy way and hire a third party to do the design. If you’re willing to put in a little work, however, you can read these tips and learn how to design an awesome website on your own!

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. Something that functions fine in Firefox, might not even appear on the screen of a computer using Internet Explorer or Chrome. Visually test your website in every browser you can prior to launch.

Be sure to use proper graphics when designing your website. Keep in mind that PNGs are much better than large and poorly working bitmap images. For screenshots, text buttons, and other non-photographic images, use PNG if the image has more than 256 colors, and GIF if not. JPEG files are best for photographs.

Ensure that the site can be scanned with ease. Studies have shown that people usually quickly scan a website rather than thoroughly read it over, as they try to find the stuff that might be interesting to them. Using bolding, color changes and breaks between sections of text makes your content easier to scan and makes it more likely that visitors will return. Be sure important information is given top billing. Your visitors will enjoy their time on the website more.

Consider having your website use fixed-position navigation. This allows you to lock the panel for navigation in place while users scroll. This isn’t only very convenient for your visitors, but is also great for marketers.

Always provide site visitors with an option to offer feedback. That will allow you to fix any problems that you may not otherwise notice. Making your visitors feel involved is a great way to ensure that they will visit your site again.

Visitors want to have access to a website quickly, which is why your pages should load easily. You cannot expect much patience from your visitors. If they are stuck looking at an incomplete page for minutes on end while your content loads, they are quite likely to close your site and find what they’re looking for elsewhere.

White is generally a safe background color to use when designing a professional website. Using white helps visitors be able to read your website, and gives your site a more professional look. Complex backgrounds distract your readers and visitors, and might slant your page towards an unprofessional image. It’s usually better to keep your background simple.

Try not too overuse graphics. You want the site to look professional and well-designed instead of cluttered. Graphics are not to be used for decorative purposes only. They need to add true content to the site. Having the appropriate number of graphics that do not create clutter improves the usability of your website, too.

Use easy to maintain navigation throughout your site. Where your links are will determine if visitors can get around your site. The navigational structure must be neat, consistent, and easy to access for your users to have a better experience.

Learn website development shortcuts and make good use of them. In the world of web design, shortcuts are common place. Look into them and you will discover that they can help with most things. There are even HTML codes that allow you to make fast changes to each of your pages without having to re-upload them.

All links must have text content. Links with content are helpful for visitors. If your links don’t have text, they may not be helpful.

Despite the type of site you are going to have, you definitely want to keep the loading time under ten seconds. A website that is designed well should load up very fast no matter what browser the visitor uses. If it takes too long, a visitor is simply going to become frustrated and go elsewhere.

Make sure to check whether your site works on all Internet browsers. Every device, browser and platform will change how your website displays, which could create a bad user experience. There are now many websites that you can visit to find out which web browsers are most commonly used by internet users. Make sure to beta-test your site on all popular browsers, including those used on mobile devices.

Publish a newsletter, to increase your likelihood of having repeat visitors. Allowing your customers to sign up for updates or important events can have them coming back for more. Put the form for signing up in a prominent location, such as a sidebar, and use it to compile a list of visitors who opt in to your newsletter. Your newsletter should only go out to those who specifically request to receive it, or you run the risk of turning off your customers.

Test your site often to prevent issues. Perform usability tests in the early stages of designing your website. You never want to stop testing the website and trying to make it better.

Keep a simple front page. People surfing the web will quickly decide if they are going to delve into a website based on the front page. Spend time describing your business and what it offers, but keep the rest to a minimum so that people do not get distracted.

Many platforms will put together code that you need, but you will find that some are unreliable editors. Site features are designed within the platform, and then the generated code is pasted in. To reduce errors, and for actual experience, try using a type of classic text editor.

Do some keyword research. Of course, you must provide valuable and relevant content; however, you can optimize it with judicious use of excellent keywords. Knowing what keywords people use to find your site via search engines is a must for your website to succeed.

Always spend a few minutes proofreading content before posting it to your website. Users should be able to go through it with no problems. Errors in written content not only cause a site to look unprofessional, but it also slows down readers and causes them to lose interest.

Internet Explorer

While there will be plenty of attractive designs and strategies, you need to use your own imagination when designing your site. Come up with your own features and add your own unique touch. Using this technique will give you the ability to make amazing websites.

Make sure you design your website with older Internet Explorer versions in mind. There are many people on the Internet who still utilize Internet Explorer. Workarounds are often necessary when standard elements can’t be rendered. Specifically, you should learn about a “box model bug” which troubled Internet Explorer for years.

Task based tests can help determine the quality of your design layout. The idea of the tasks, generally speaking, is to find information that is contained somewhere within the website. If your site is well-designed, the user will be able to accomplish the tasks. They can give you valuable feedback if they encounter an issues.

It is important to always make users needs a priority. The site designer should always be working on the needs of the user. These needs include usability, accessibility, user interaction and overall user experience. These are the most important considerations to be made. Always view the design from the vistor’s perspective.

Keep the curiosity of your visitor in mind. Don’t disrupt the natural flow of his or her exploration of your site. For instance, do not force them to respond to surveys or offers before they can proceed to the content in which they are interested. When you narrow the viewer’s choices, they’re likely to back out to another website and badmouth yours.

Don’t ever place pop-ups on websites. These are annoying to your users and they are less likely to trust your site. Pop ups are annoying and can keep people from returning. Your ads should be simple, direct and engaging, without pop-ups.

If you want to host videos, read the rules of your host to make sure you can. Many hosts do not permit video hosting to be used on their servers. Do not waste time by building videos to be be hosted on a site that does not allow the space you need for FLV or similar files.

You don’t want to utilize a counter on your site. You might think they are a valuable addition to your site, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is something that is not necessary.

Open space on a website is restful and allows the visitor to focus. It is a mistake to pack as many bells and whistles as possible into your website. A cluttered website is tough for visitors to make sense of; when you include plenty of white space, they will find your site clearer and easier to use.

Choose some reference books on design principles in general, and web design in particular. Look for books that are aimed at your level of expertise, so that you do not miss out on any important information.

Design your website using neutral background colors. Textured backgrounds can be overwhelming and sometimes look cheap. Use a plain background of a neutral color such as white. Studies have proved that using neutral colors can make your site a lot easier to read.

Always include a clearly visible tagline on each webpage in the domain and sub-domains. Use large text in bold that will grab attention, as this is the first thing seen by visitors when following links. The purpose of the tagline is so that they know what that page is about. This way the viewer can quickly decide whether to stay or move back to the previous page.

Get some feedback on the web design that you create. What one web designer and you assume is a great web design, many others may find cluttered, confusing or a pain to navigate very easily. If you can, get people to test the site and offer their feedback.

Learning from the experts can be done in person, online through chat or email, through their personal or professional blog or even through books they’ve written. By doing this, you are helping to guarantee that one day you too will be a professional, because you are willing to take the time and gain the knowledge to do things the correct way.

Resist the temptation to make use of free web hosts for commercial sites. You will prevent headaches and loss of business. It may be tempting because of the price, but you may be allowing the host to put advertisements on your site that you cannot control and are potentially offensive to your customers. These advertisements can give your business a bad reputation and can also cause potential customers to leave your site and vow never to return.

Your homepage and sub-pages should have a “site-searching” function of some kind. By doing this you will help to increase your site’s usability, and allows easy access to any information that a visitor might wish to see. Site searches are easy to implement; the result will be worth the effort.

Your website should also feature links which allow your visitors to share what they find with their friends on social networking sites. This will assist them in spreading the word concerning your site, which will increase your site’s traffic as a result.

Website design, despite many myths, is not impossible or overly complex. You won’t have to go to school, and you definitely aren’t holding anyone’s life in your hands. If you are able to take these tips to heart, it will be possible for you to create a terrific website in short order.

Don’t forget to link your site to your blog. The content on your blog should demonstrate the expertise and knowledge that you have in your area. Make sure it is easily visible and easily readable so any visitor to your site will come away with knowledge about your bog and website.

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