Whether you are designing your own website or having it designed by someone else, there are a few basic things to keep in mind. Website design starts at concept and it is important to know what your end goal may be, before you begin the design and layout of your new website. Here are a few basic things to remember.
1) Use Appropriate Images.
Images can make the website. Proper selection of images that can represent your company is very important. Choosing the proper image sizes is equally important. Far too many websites have images that were once small in size, but have been stretched to fit into a slideshow or page. The images lose their quality and look very unprofessional when this is done. Improper image sizes is a dead giveaway that you designed your own website.
Always make sure that you are starting with the proper image size and that you will not be distorting it by putting the image where you need it to be. As a general rule, bigger is better. Large images that are made smaller will generally retain their quality. There are plenty of free options to help you resize your images. I recommend paint.net to my clients. It is much like your basic paint program on your home computer, with many more features. Many things that some will use Photoshop for, can be accomplished with this free software.
2) Keep It Simple.
When in doubt..Leave it out. A website should never be too busy or distracting. A visitors focus should be on the matters at hand, rather than the countless animated gifs (they used to be all the rage apparently) or overbearing backgrounds. Your message should be clear and there should be a call to action. Don’t make your customers search tirelessly for basic information and don’t distract or confuse them with too much of what they don’t need.
3) Use Fewer Pages
Ages ago, people wanted pages. They wanted lots of them. It seemed like the more pages you had, the more professional your website would be. Rumors were that Google liked lots of pages, so people started to create page after page, with useless content. They would have navigation menus with countless items and even more pages that were linked to from other random pages. There would be an about us page that linked to a “more about us” page. It was ridiculous. It was confusing. Luckily, technology has advanced, Google has advanced and overuse of pages serves no purpose. Many companies are actually moving toward one page website designs. You’d be amazed at what can be done with one page. Not only is a more useful and informative homepage appreciated by your visitors, it is better for your overall seo. Search engines want to see relevant and useful content. A one paragraph about us page doesn’t carry much weight with search engines, but an informative and useful homepage does.
4) Pick a Color Scheme
Using too many colors is distracting. Pick a color scheme (ie: blue,gray and white) and use it throughout. Consider your color scheme when choosing your images. The flow of choosing a color scheme and sticking to it, can help a website to appear much more professional and is much more visually appealing. You can use tools like Paint.Net (mentioned in item#1) to match your colors exactly.
I hope that these web design tips have helped you with the design and creation of your new website. Feel free to let us know in the comments section below and good luck with your new site!