Do you want to turn web design into a career? If so, then you’ll want to learn as much as possible about effective website design.
Your visitors should be able to see your content regardless of the browser they are using. Test your pages with different browsers to make sure it is displayed properly. A site that works on Internet Explorer might not display right in Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. Therefore, check to see that all pages display correctly in all the large browsers prior to your site going live.
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 shortcuts often. There are often shortcuts that can be used for just about anything when it comes to web design. There are even HTML codes that allow you to make fast changes to each of your pages without having to re-upload them.
If you believe your site may be accessed via mobile devices, you will want to keep your designs simple. The use of flash, excessive images, and complicated menus will not translate well to a mobile platform. Keep your page clean and simple, or create a specific mobile site for your users.
To help you design a site that is easy for people to read all the information, make sure the pages are not too wide. If the pages are not too wide then they will fit on most people’s computer screens. If the page is too wide, then part of your valuable information could be left off the page.
If you are designing a very large site, you should always include search capabilities. The best place to put your search box is on the top of your homepage. Shoot for the upper right corner. Users often expect to see a search box in this area and may want to search your site for the information they are looking for. You can get a search bar from Google or FreeFind.
Avoid using animated GIFs on your site. These were popular in the late 1990s, but newer technologies have replaced the uses for animated GIFs that were actually useful. Animated GIFs are low in quality and large in file size. Use static icons for page elements and actual video files for complex animations.
Be sure the websites you’re designing are cross-browser compatible. You must check your site in the most popular versions of every top browser. Some examples include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. Many users use these browsers for surfing online, so you need to be sure your designs are being seen correctly on whatever they use.
You probably are not as overwhelmed by web design now that you have read this piece. Now that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, apply these tips to get started.