In order to run a successful website, you need to have a good understanding of the best website design practices. A good design makes your website easier to use and makes you look like a real professional. Proper design will first attract visitors to your site, and then ensure that they return often. If you want to design a great website, then this article can help to lead the way.
Before going live, test your website against NoScript. See if the website is readable. Some content, such as ordering systems for products, can’t work without scripts, but if your site is simply blank with scripts turned off, that’s bad news.
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.
Make sure all of your webpages actually have titles, and make sure they are descriptive. A surprising number of webpages out there are called “untitled document” or “new document”. This not only denies visitors a useful piece of information to remember your site, but also absolutely destroys your SEO, since search engines weight page titles heavily when ranking sites.
Always mark files that must be opened in an external program with an icon. Many sites host PDF files, and less commonly, DOC files, that must be opened in Foxit Reader and Microsoft Word/OpenOffice, respectively. These files should be marked with an icon representing the file type, and a link to download the appropriate viewer if the user does not have it.
Use ALT tags whenever possible. These helpful tags describe an image to a viewer, assisting the visually impaired, as well as those who prefer to browse without images. As an added bonus, some search engines include these tags in their rankings, so you may get a boost by using them.
Use a style sheet to stay consistent. There is almost nothing more disconcerting than being sent to a page that looks at nothing like the site you were just looking at, even if it is concerning the same subject. Style sheets help with saving your formatting, so each page looks similar to the rest.
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.
Always ensure you are giving meaningful feedback, as this is what creates the communication between a website and its visitors. For example, if an action taken by a visitor results in an error, do not simply display “error occurred.”� Instead, provide a message that explains what happened and how the visitor can correct the error by taking a different action. Without this feedback, visitors are more likely to grow frustrated and just give up by leaving your website.
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.
Make your website content grabbing to readers. While the look of the design is important, the content is what keeps visitors returning to your site. When the content on your site is useful to your visitors, they are much more likely to return to your site.
The best web sites communicate a lot of information in a small amount of words. If you are long-winded, people will easily get bored and find another site that is more concise. Make sure any content is relevant and easy to understand – newspapers use an eighth grade reading level, which is the most common literacy level.
When designing a website with a lot of text, choose your fonts wisely. While serif text will work well for a title or headline, the body of the text should be in a serif font, which is easier to read on a computer screen. Try to use common computer fonts such as Times New Roman and Ariel.
Try including real customer testimonials. Very few want to be the first to try a product or service, so let customers know that others have tried your wares and that they were pleased with them. Try asking some clients that have done projects with you to create a short paragraph about their experience with your company, to put on your site.
Don’t install pop-up adverts on your website. These are annoying to your users and they are less likely to trust your site. This usually results in visitors not returning to your site. Keeping your site free of excessive ads will only create a better experience for the visitor.
Add flair and value to your site by utilizing graphics. Avoid a boring website by adding special features, such as wrap texts. If your website is nice, you will get more return visitors.
While bright and bold may be your style, you have to remember that designing a site is just as much for your visitors as it is for you, so take it easy on those bright, bold color options. Having a bright site might just scare people away. The last thing you want is a blinding shade of neon green making it hard to see your content.
Using good web design technique is very beneficial. This will help make your site more visually appealing, make it simpler to utilize, and help to convince your visitors that your site contains trustworthy content. Good web design is the cornerstone of a successful website. This article has given you a broad range of design tips for your website. Put them to use to create the best site you can!