As a web designer myself, I can say that learning as much as I could from experts was how I got started. I looked at their sites, checked out their code, and even borrowed from their designs. Today there is a great deal of information available to help you get into the game, and this article is a great place to start learning.
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.
It is important to make use of forums and other information avenues to keep up with new ideas in web design. With a quick search on Google, you can uncover plenty of information that won’t cost you a dime to learn.
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.
Although it is common to see the www. at the front of a website URL, you should try to make sure that you can access your site whether you choose to include it or not. This will make it much easier for anyone to access regardless of how they type it.
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.
Be certain that your website can be scanned easily. Usability tests indicate that the majority of online users fail to read content in its entirety, scanning instead for bits of information that are of interest to them. Having text in certain areas to create a more bold appearance will catch the attention of readers who quickly scan each page. Important content that you do not want visitors to miss should always be placed at the top of each page. This will satisfy your visitors and have them coming back for more.
To help your website visitors easily navigate through your site, design it so that it becomes easy to find “stuff.” When you have a simple site that makes it easy to locate information, you keep your visitors there much longer. If you make it difficult for them, then they will get frustrated and leave.
Now that I’ve been designing websites for over a decade, I feel that I can give some advice back. Use the tips in this article, continue learning as much as you can, and stay on top of trends to ensure your websites stand out in the crowd. If I can do it, anyone can!