No matter what sort of website you have, it is important to make sure that it follows the principles of good web design. A poorly designed website will drive away visitors and frustrate those few who persevere. The following article can help you design a high quality website and attract more traffic.
When you are designing a website, it is important to have proper spelling and grammar. In addition to running spell-check on your content, ask a friend or co-worker to proofread everything. Having good spelling and grammar on your website will help give it a professional feel and your visitor will be more likely to return.
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.
Avoid using frames. Most sites have abandoned frames on their own as better alternatives have become available, but there are still sites out there that are trapped in 1996. Alternatives to navigational frames include fixed-position navigation panels, having navigation in multiple areas (e.g. left and bottom) or simplifying page structure so that navigational links are never far away.
Don’t disable the visitor’s right-click functionality. Some sites do this in order to prevent people from copying and pasting text or saving images from the site. The thing is, it doesn’t work and disables other useful functions. OCR can be used to capture text from such sites, and grabbing images is as simple as taking a screenshot.
Use images wisely. Bitmap images do not tend to fare well for internet use, and some GIFs do not work well with lots of color. Image size is important as well, as larger images may make your viewers have to wait for them to download. Choose smaller images, and use them sparingly to make your site more manageable.
Personalize your site. Your clients want to feel comfortable with you, so use testimonials from trusted customers, as well as photographs of people. Building trust with your customers is very important, so be sure to let them know you personally care about the product or service you are providing them.
For the best layout, make sure that the colors you choose for the background and font are restful to the eyes. Choosing moving backgrounds or neon colors can make it hard for people to read, and they may navigate to another web site. However, include pictures to break up your content and make the site complete.
Use custom error pages to make your site more informative. For instance, if you want people to report dead links on your site, either put a server-side script on your 404 page or have a form or email address that visitors can use to report the error. You should have custom pages for 403, 404, and 500 errors, at the very least.
As you have seen, the principles of good web design are not terribly mysterious or difficult to implement. However, too many websites still ignore these basic techniques. Do not let your site fall into this category. Put these techniques into practice to design a website that you can be proud of.