Category Archives: Web Design

Web Design Tips to Save Time

As any web designer knows, doing good web design can take a lot of time to do right. There are many ways to shorten this time, but how can you ensure that the quality of the design doesn’t suffer while cutting back on time? Here are 5 web design tips to save time while keeping quality up.

  1. Use website templates. This is one method to save time that is seen used often by web designers. There are templates of various types available online, some free, some that cost. This is a plug and play method of design, where you only have to fill the different elements in the template with the content, and can save substantial time. The downside to this is that while it saves a lot of time, a web site template is not as customized as other designs may be. To keep a more customized approach while still using templates, it’s recommended you have multiple templates to use and choose from so that the sites you create have different options on how they may appear.
  2. Include header/footer file for each page. This can be done in different ways – in PHP, you can create a unique header and footer file, then include these on every page. If you use Dreamweaver, you can use a nested template to include headers and footers into your main template. For raw HTML, you can use server side includes or use JavaScript to fake a client side include. By using these includes, you can save a lot of time by only needing to edit one file when you want to change the header on every page, as opposed to making an edit on every single page. And these types of includes don’t need to be limited to headers and footers, but can be used for any part of your site that appears on multiple pages.
  3. Make a code library. If you make multiple web sites, then you’ll often want to use some of the code in several different projects. By putting the different chunks of code you use into a library of sorts you can then access these elements from the library quickly. It can then often be just a cut-and-paste to get useful parts needed for your sites in place, and will save a lot of time. This is like using a template (and you could include your own templates in your library), but can also be used to store different types of code, like common JavaScript code that you use often, or a specific structure within the site code that you like to use occasionally.
  4. Use a web server. By installing a web server locally, you can test code that requires a server (like PHP and SQL code) without needing to put it on the web. Making code changes and being able to test immediately saves a huge amount of time that is normally spent on the process of saving, uploading, then testing for your new web design projects.
  5. Find helpful tools. Every web designer has different needs and uses different tools, but it’s worthwhile to explore the possibilities for tools that can help your productivity. These may be tools like a Firefox extension (like the web developer toolbar), a specific type of graphics editor, or even a web design expert you can regularly ask questions to on a forum (gurus can often be some of the best resources). If you can locate the types of tools and resources that would most help you with your design process, this can save untold amounts of time.

Web Design Tips

Web design plays a major part in the success of your business. A bad web design can damage your company’s reputation regardless of the quality of your products or services. In the previous article, we’ve discussed the first 3 web design tips. Let’s proceed to the next essential web design tips.

1. Speedy Loading
Overloading your website with graphics and flashy multimedia is the best way to bog your website down. Can you imagine yourself waiting for a 300k graphic to load when you know it should be only 30k instead? Nothing is more annoying than this. There are graphic softwares available which will help you compress your files so they take up less room and hence, less time to load into your user’s browser.

Flashy graphics and multimedia control do look good but when they obstruct effective functionality of the website, then it would be hard for your users to avail of the information that they need. Users don’t want to be bothered by these cumbersome Java scrollers just to view all the texts on the page, much more wait for all these graphics to load. Add auto-playing sound files to things that you should avoid when you’re planning your web design.

2. Website Readability
Line of text must not be more than 600 pixels wide to prevent it from looking messy. To make the line length manageable, you must place the text in a fixed-width table in the center of the webpage. Texts with no limits on length will produce a lot of problems. First, the content will be too wide or lengthy making it difficult for visitors to follow especially if they have large screens. Content is generally fluid and automatically expands when the window is big.

However, placing contents in a fixed width gives birth to another problem. Generally, WebPages are designed to work on computer screens as small as 800×600. This simply means that anything that’s more than 770 pixels wide to account for scroll bars and the likes must be avoided.

Avoid making your webpage too wide. Since majority of the users have 1024×768 monitors, WebPages must be absolutely visible at 1000 pixels wide sans horizontal scrolling. To check, if your webpage do not work at 100 pixels, it means that it’s too wide.

Utilize contrasting colors or simple backgrounds to emphasize your text and thus make it easy to read. It’s difficult to read light texts on an equally light background, much more a dark text on an equally dark background. Many web designers are guilty of this blunder. A dark red text on a dark blue background can give your users migraine. Do you know what I mean?

If you’re using background images, just make sure that they do not have a wide mixture of light and dark colors or better yet, make use of simple and mostly dark or white background. This way, readability is increased. Another effective method of increasing readability of text placed on a background image is through increasing text size and/or making it bold.

Another important thing that you MUST never forget is to make the text large enough to read. This is commonsensical but unfortunately, many still fail to follow this rule. If you want to punish your visitors, then I guess you can break this fundamental rule in web design over and over again. CSS rules in text use are 12 or 13px Arial and 11 or 12px Verdana.

Web Designing Tips

Are you tired of choosing which buttons you are going to use? Will it be the square ones or the round ones? It is like being stuck in your closet asking the question “Will my shoes match my belt and my bag?” If you are in this very situation, it would be best to take a look at web designing tips online. There are lots of free tips you can find on the web but before you go ahead and pick a color scheme, breathe a little and read a few articles because we are quite sure that it will save you more time.

One of the best web designing tips I have heard in years is choosing a color scheme and sticking to it. If you prefer a certain color scheme, try not to change colors every other time because it will make your website look rather disorganized. The website should have the same color scheme in all its pages.

According to certain web designing tips online, the most popular color schemes are blue and white, red, white and grey and yellow, grey and white. There are other color schemes of course but if you can’t design which color scheme to use, it is advised that you surf the web and look for a website you like.

Another thing you can do is use website templates especially if you no longer have the time to design your own website. There are many pre-set templates that can be accessed for free online so you will certainly not run out of choices.

Although there are lots of web templates you can use, it is still best to make y our own design because by doing this, you will be able to make sure that the navigation system of the site is user-friendly. User-friendliness is one of the web designing tips you should always keep in mind.

Simplicity is beauty but if you want to have a striking website it would be best to take a look at the best web templates you can find. Going overboard with the special effects may have bad results so be sure not to put too much graphics in your page. Apart from making the whole website look disorganized, the graphics might also distract the visitor from his very purpose of visiting your website.

Content is king they say but what if your background does not allow your visitors to actually read what you have written. There are lots of websites that have annoying backgrounds that won’t let you read the articles written in the site. This can be a bit frustrating for people who are interested in reading what your website says and once you have frustrated them enough, they will just move on to another website.

Linking with high quality websites is a good way to increase the traffic in your site but to make sure that your visitor does not navigate away from your own site you should set external links to open to another tab or window. Reading about web designing tips can be very helpful especially for beginners and they can be helpful for pros as well.

Web Designing Tips in Creating a Website

If you want to be successful in web designing, you should consider certain techniques so that you will be more effective in this kind of job. Here are the tips that you can implement to be successful in web designing.

Tip 1 – Choose a color scheme

You should choose a color that will meet the demands of the customer. In this way, they will be satisfied. An example of a good color is the main color of the client’s company. It is best to stick with the color. Meaning, in every page one color should be used so as not to confuse the client.

Tip 2 – Provide an easy navigation

Make sure that online visitors can be given easy access to the navigation system of the site. The most common place where you can place the navigation system is on top of the page. In this way, visitors can easily click the homepage button.

Tip 3 – Utilize templates

Templates are a great tool in web designing. The site will not look messed up if you use template that enhances the website’s appearance. If ever you do not have you own templates, you can search the internet that can provide you one.

Tip 4 – Optimize you site’s load time

This means that you should minimize the site’s graphics because it gets a huge amount of space and it will slow the load time of your site, HTML scripts should also be optimized so that any unwanted scripts or tags are deleted.

Tip 5 – Avoid too many effects

Although putting a special effect or animated graphics on your site is a great idea, it is best to make it simple and yet captivating. Make sure that the graphics that you insert is “friendly” enough for the visitor. Meaning, there are no violent features included.

Tip 6 – Adjust screen resolution

It is also a good idea not to make your screen page too wide. Make sure that the site is visually appealing and the resolution is just right for the visitors to see.

Tip 7 – Use simple backgrounds

Remember not to use too much contracting colors on your background. Sometimes the texts aren’t readable because of the intense color background of the page. It is not pleasing to the eye so make it lighter and more readable.

Tip 8 – Lessen clicks

Online visitors can get easily annoyed when there are too much clicks that needed just to get the information. The best way is to minimize the clicks and directly link it to the information needed by the customer.

Tip 9 – Avoid too many pop ups

Online customers can be easily annoyed and irritated when they see too many pop ups. It is best to minimize or don’t use pop ups so as not to make the customer click away on the site.

Tip 10 – Be accessible

The page you are web designing should be accessible. In this way, online customers will be enticed to stay longer on the site and read more information.

Non Profit Web Design

Most non profit organizations have budgets that are quite limited. This limitation often results in websites that lack in quality design that don’t provide the results that the organization really needs. Of course, if you take the time to effectively design your website as a non profit, you can really enjoy some great results. Here are a few non profit web design tips that can help you to design an effective site.

Tip #1 – Clearly Show Your Purpose or Mission

The first tip you can use for effective non profit web design is to design the site in a way so that you can clearly show your purpose or mission on the site. Many people that visit your site many not know very much about your organization. A good purpose statement or mission statement can give them a good basic picture or what your organization really does. Usually just a brief statement located in a very prominent area of the site can help to show off the message or mission that you have on the site.

Tip #2 – Provide Good Information on the Organization

It’s also important to provide good information on the organization with the non profit web design. Many visitors will want to know more about what you are doing. Offer and area where they can learn about your history and other pertinent information about your organization. Offer details about the founding of the organization, important dates, growth of the non profit, achievements, milestones, and more. People will enjoy reading this information, so consider placing it in an “About Us” section of the website.

Tip #3 – Offer Information for Donors

More than likely, your organization relies on donations to stay functioning. Today many donations are made online so your non profit web design should include information for donors. Whether you plan to take donations over the internet or not, you still need to offer relevant information to those who want to donate. This information can include programs or purposes that donors can give to, details on how money is used, tax deduction information, and information on how donors can actually give money to your non-profit. Make sure that you offer this information in a prominent place on the site.

Tip #4 – Also Provide Volunteer Information

You also want the site to provide volunteer information to those who may be interested in volunteering their services. Volunteers are no doubt critical to the operation of your organization so you need to have an area where volunteers can find out how to get involved in your non profit.

Tip #5 – Make Use of Powerful Photos

Last, your non profit web design needs to make use of powerful photos. People visiting your site will enjoy seeing photos of the work that your non profit does. This can include photos of people volunteering, photos of those benefiting from donations and the work done by your non profit, and more. Sometimes you may even want to provide some testimonials along with those photos to offer even more powerful information that will grab the attention of your visitors.

Web Design Tip 2

Simplicity? Or image saturated design? This has been an argument of the web design community for some time now and one can argue his way through either point. However, I’m for the simple design because I simply believe that simplicity is essential, more so when it comes to web design.

Lets go through the essentials or rather the purpose of a website. A website exists to give to users of the internet, relevant content or products that they may require. As such, nothing else is as important than what is on a certain website. That put, heavy loaded graphics and images are not necessary in a web design.

I am not saying that its totally wrong to do so, but its almost as bad as committing a sin. 🙂 True that web designers who are at the same time, good at digital art would want to present to the public, skills they might have in that department. Not a wrong thing to do and its understandable to want an ego boost by that. However, taking from web design tip 1 I have posted, its important to think of the end user first. Therefore, if the end user seeks to look up information regarding ‘web design tips’ for example, it would be really inconsiderate to make him wait for the graphics to load just to end up reading a small required section. At which point, he only cares aut the content and gives no appreciation for the beautiful images set up. A good thing?

Not quite as it reduces user satisfaction. Which is a very essential thing to ensure they keep coming back to your site for more.

However, why do I mention that its possible for one to argue the benefits of an image filled site despite being in favour of the latter? Well, I have been a victim of the former back then. And I appreciated those stunning visuals very much. I still do, but after spending more time on the web, I realized the need for time and sites which load quickly are kept in my good books. These sites tend to have simplicity as their objective in their web design. On the other hand, the advances in technology (namely the connectivity department) around the world has resulted in booming internet speeds for web users and these result in more people being able to appreciate those visually stunning sites. Thus, like I mentioned, the debate can go both ways, with me, and a lot other webmasters preferring to stick to the importance of simplicity.

Never can I, or other webmasters fully stress the utmost importance of simplicity in web design. Why you may ask? Well there are a lot of benefits in doing so and I will try to name a few.

* Negligible loading times -> Visitor satisfaction

* Aesthetically appealing and structured layout -> Visitor satisfaction

* Ease of search engine optimization -> Self and search engine spiders’ satisfaction

* Ease of validation for WC3 -> Recognized site

There are countless gains and they even include filling up your wallet! You have to try it to experience that benefit for yourself. As you can see, just by keeping your site design simple and to the point, you can benefit a lot. So the next time you feel like portraying your design skills, think for a moment about the benefits and visitors you could be losing by doing so, and put aside those skills for your masterpieces and post them up at deviant art or the likes. 🙂

That said, I am no one to instruct you on what to do with your site’s design, but my advice, as are many other webmasters : Simplicity is essential and that, is one of the very hardcore advice you could ever follow. It might even change your life. Try it.

Web Design Tip 1

Well, the title probably says it all but nevertheless I am going to emphasize on this very essential web design tip.

A website would not gain constant stream of visitors or even repeated ones if users find the design inaccessible. A dumb and probably even useless fact some of you might say but people still forget it. You have to agree that the visitor is the most important person when drafting out a design. If you can successfully draft out a design thats appealing yet easily accessible to the visitor, then I assure you that your client would feel the same. (with the exception of 0.0001% :p)

Easier said then done, how do you think of the end user in mind while drafting out that layout/design? There are several ways you can go about in doing so.

* Imagine you’re the end user every single second of your design phase

* Have friends test out your layout after you’re done with drafting

* Don’t think whether you or the client would like the aesthetics of the design but more on whether the end user would know where to go to get what he wants.

*Place aesthetic criteria aside and make sure you have a sitemap so that everything is easily accessible.

* What’s the purpose of the site?

* Target Audience?

* Get outside opinions, critiques, especially those NOT adept at web design.

* Last but not least, would you re-visit the site (with your design) considering you’re an outsider?

I just cannot emphasize the importance of the first tip, namely, to imagine yourself in the shoes of the end user of the site you’re designing. Without doing so, its rare that one is able to churn up a design for a site that will keep visitors coming back for reasons that include aesthetic appeal as well as accessibility.

As a web user yourself, I’m very certain none of you wants to go searching through the whole site just to find that link that says “Contact Us” or even wait minutes for images to load on a site. Therefore, thinking of the end user in mind while drafting out your design would ensure that you go to great lengths to ensure a pleasant visit for your visitors and it would show indefinitely.

Some people prefer simplicity, some just awe at graphical excellence, but the fact remains that if the end user does not enjoy his time while on your site, you’re most definitely not going to get him to visit your site again lest he’s forced to. So it doesn’t matter what kind of design/layout you go for, just remember,

Web Design Tips for Beginners

The best tips that I can give you are the following 25 that are basic web design tips which the majority of web designers would also agree with.

Tip 1: Ideally use a light background with a dark font, preferably white background with black text. This is so much easier on the human eye & the last thing you want is getting a visitor to your site & for them to just click off because the content was hard to read.

Tip 2: Content is very important, on every page you should have at least 100 words of copy which will include your most important keywords. Google loves content & the more up to date & relevant the content is the better.

Tip 3: Have your logo positioned top left of your website as this is the first thing the human eye will see. Along with your business or website name, e-mail address & your phone number just to the right of this.

Tip 4: If your website is quite large with many pages & products then make sure you have a Site Search option for your website. Ideally this will be placed near the top of the page.

Tip 5: Make sure your Title Tags are unique for each page & that they contain your main keywords for that particular page. DO NOT just have ‘Home’ as your Title Tag, make sure it says exactly what your site is about, for example, ‘Web Design Tips for the beginner, advice on website design’. You are allowed around 65 characters, including the spaces.

Tip 6: Make your Meta Description as interesting & as descriptive as can be, you need to capture their attention. Use your keywords but make it readable & make it more of a sales pitch too. You have around 25-30 words to play with.

Tip 7: Keep images as small as possible, yes they look great but too large an image will take longer to load & the visitor to your site will just get fed up with waiting & click on to the next site, which will probably be your competitors!

Remember slow pages are very annoying! Ideally keep your images to around 10-12KB per image.

Tip 8: Always use graphics that are relevant to the content. You would be amazed at how many sites I have seen that are, for example, about Fishing & there are pictures of the site owners Ferrari on there!!

Tip 9: Try to avoid using Flash images, as flashing or moving graphics are distracting & annoying. You want the visitor to read your content or buy your product & not look at some Flash image just because you thought it looked cool! When it comes to web design…lose your ego!

Tip 10: Whitespace on your layout is a must. Although I have said that you need content, it must be readable. Use sub headlines to separate paragraphs as people skim read.

You need to make it as easy on the eye as you can, do not cram as much content as you can in just for the sake of it…make it readable!

Tip 11: Make sure that you have Alt Tags on all of your images. They help the visually impaired & blind, as they have software that will read the Alt tags & describe the image to them.

Google also view Alt Tags as important so make sure you have keywords in the Tag but DO NOT use a keyword more than twice as Google will think you are trying to trick them by spamming. Just keep it sensible & keep it real.

Tip 12: The fonts you use for your text are important. Serif is easy to read on computers, so stick to Serif for headlines & Sans-Serif for your text.

Do not use fancy fonts just because they look good, as some will not be displayed on certain browsrers & this will make your website look awful. You want your site to look good but more importantly you want it to work.

Stick with Arial, Verdana or Helvetica fonts, may look boring but they work!

Tip 13: Limit the number of different fonts that you use to 2 at the maximum. I try to use the same font throughout my websites as many different fonts just looks amateurish.

Tip 14: Do not use loads of bright colours as this also looks amateurish. Find a colour wheel & choose 2 or 3 colours that match or are closely linked on the wheel.

Do not use ‘shouting’ colours such as bright reds, yellows or greens. Be subtle.

Tip 15: Avoid large fonts as people recognise this as ‘shouting’. Use bold text only for headlines, sub-headlines & links.

Tip 16: When using hyper-links do not just put ‘Click Here’ make sure you use your keywords as the link text. Google will love this, so for example, if I was to put a link in for this article, instead of using ‘Click Here’ I would use ’20 Tips for Website Design’.

Tip 17: Make navigation of your site simple, self-explanatory & user friendly. Remember you have just 3 clicks to keep the visitor interested, they need to get where they want to go in 3 clicks or less!

It is hard enough to get visitors to your site so you do not want to annoy them & lose them for good.

Tip 18: Stick to around 7-9 main menu categories, this may be difficult so try to use sub-menus if you have to. Apparently women can remember up to 9 things at once but men only 7!

Tip 19: Do not use images for links, always use text. Google cannot read images but will obviously read text, so make sure your keywords are in the text.

Tip 20: The colour scheme you choose, be consistent with it & use it all the way through your site.

Tip 21: Use bullet points when listing important points, as said earlier people skim read & bullet points stand out.

Tip 22: If you plan on using advertising or affiliates to earn some revenue from your site, then use them sparingly as people just tend to switch off with lots of flashing adverts but may just be attracted to the single advert amongst that text.

Tip 23: Flash intros look great but are really annoying, how many actually watch all of the intro anyway? I just tend to click to the next site rather than wait for the intro to load. In my opinion, do not use it.

Tip 24: Pop-up windows for me are a big NO-NO! I find these really annoying & most people I know do too. Try to avoid using these. Remember what I said…”lose your ego!”. It may look good to you but they are very annoying to the user of a website.

Tip 25: Make sure that all of your important content & keywords are above the ‘fold’. The ‘fold’ is the point on your website where you have to start scrolling down.

Also make sure that your site fits on most screen sizes, one most annoying thing that turns visitors off is if they have to scroll from left to right to view your site.

Use Beginner Web Design

Beginner web design tips seem to be available at every corner of the Internet. All you have to do is search in Google for a term like beginner web design, software or tutorials, and the search box will render millions of results. Why? Web development is the key to getting a new website online, whether its purpose is to sell a product, service or idea…or to set up a personal presence without trying to sell anything.

If you are a beginner and want to start a small business online or, you just want to put up a personal website, then you might consider learning a little about website designing techniques so you will know how your site works. A little knowledge can go a long way with a website, especially when your income depends on it!

What to Learn

Try to focus only on those web design techniques you plan to use often, and leave the rest to the experts. There is a ton of information available os you will need to narrow your search to find beginner web design tips needed to help you reach your individual goals.

Web Design Language

First, you’ll need to know which development language is being used to design your site. Is it PHP, basic HTML, CSS (cascading style sheets), or some other programming language? Once you know the type, then you’ll know how to narrow your search for specific tips and tutorials. Also, it’s good to learn about basic HTML codes before trying to learn other languages since HTML is the foundational code for most web layouts.

How to Find Web Languages

*Example: If your site is designed in CSS, do a search in Google using the keywords “beginner web design software for CSS” or “CSS design tips for beginners.” Use the term “beginner” to indicate that you’re just starting out, so you won’t have to sift through multitudes of advanced web training sites.

Next, read through design tutorial outlines to find one that teaches what you need to know. If you’re hiring out your web design project, but need to know how to update the site yourself on occasion, then look for beginner tips that cover this specific area.

Also, ask your designer for tips on making small edits to your site’s product pages, descriptions and pricing pages. Knowing how to do this may save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you plan to make daily or weekly updates to your business site.

Marketing Advantage

Another aspect of personal or business design to learn is how to add good written content to your site. Articles that target your customers can be written and added to create new search engine friendly pages for your site.

With the right target keywords, these pages will potentially attract thousands of new targeted readers to your site. And, as you already know, traffic can lead into sales! If you plan to add a lot of content, try to learn how to add these pages yourself so you can promote any time you wish without having to wait on a webmaster to add the updates for you.

What about Software?

Look for the best beginner web design software available for the type of programming language your site uses. You don’t need advanced programs to help you make minor changes. Choose affordable software that is easy for you to learn and use as a beginner. Many are called WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). If this type supports the program language, you’re in business!

With some site template setups, you can even log in to your site’s administration area online and edit your website pages. This will vary depending on how your site is set up with your designer and/or web host.

More Web Design Tips

Understanding some of the common web design tips can make the difference between a successful website, and one that is repulsive. Setting goals for the website is one of the vital tips in web design. This means that the website owner has a clear understanding of why he has a website and communicates the same knowledge to the web designer. Once this is understood, the web designer has the basic knowledge of what to put on the website. He also avoids putting materials in the website that do not help in achieving the set goal.

Also among the web creation tips that the designer find useful is making thumbnail sketches. This includes trying out different designs on different pages. The designer can then choose the best design from the various sketches. While doing this, the designer should strive to stick to the web design tips that enable him to try different designs. This also forces the designer to think of the main design of the website before getting to the details of the page. In addition, this approach helps the designer pick the strongest design that has more chances of supporting the goals of the site.

Connecting the chosen thumbnail and connecting the pieces to make a whole is among other web design tips that are necessary for successful creations of websites. This involves filling the pages with content, organizing details and capturing the thumbnail sketch. This helps the designer avoid clutter, hence making the page more powerful, more attractive and easier to understand. Among the web design tips is the pointer that a web designer should strive to use a maximum of four fonts only. To attain maximum impact and coherence, web design tips that indicate that the designer should restrict his design to four fonts. This makes more visual sense and harmony. Preferably, the designer should use a different font on the heading and the text and only introduce a different font on logos or other images.

Keeping the file sizes small is also among the web design tips that each web designer should consider during the designing stage. Here, the designer should limit the dimensions of the graphics involved, while maintaining clarity and focus. He can do this by designing compression schemes using GIF, JPEG and PNG images. Working in RGB mode is also among the web design tips that enable the designer to add color from the RGB spectrum, in order to create smooth edges on the text and color blends through out the website.