Basics Of Website Design

Build your website -> Website Design

Promoting a poorly built site is much like trying to dig half a hole. You must succeed in creating a good, clean web page design and interesting and original content.

Keep it Simple - Make sure the design is simple, clear and pleasing to the eyes. Do not overcrowd it. Please do not have a crooked and complicated path to heaven.

Multiple Pages - If possible, divide the website into several pages and access them through separate items (links) on a menu or navigation bar. Please avoid doing everything on one page.

Be consistent - Have same menu or some extension of it on all pages so that viewers know where they are at all times. Home is a must on every page. Visitors should be able to easily look around your website. If visitors are frustrated and can't find what they are looking for, they are likely to leave quickly and never come back or recommend your website to others.The menu can be located at the top, left or right side of the page.

Use Descriptive File Names - Use descriptive keywords as names for the files (e.g., pictures, videos) on your site. This will help your site appear more with search engines - especially through Google Image Search.

Help Visitors Contact You - Make it simple for visitors to reach you if they want. Include a guestbook or blog where they can post questions. Add a contact us form where they can submit questions to you via email.

JavaScript - If you are using JavaScript code, it can certainly help you spice up your web site. However, there are many scripts that your visitors may find irritating. Try to avoid scripts such as mouse trailers, mouseover sounds, mouseover pop up windows and mouseover redirects.

Response or load time - Statistically, large graphics can account for as much as 70-90% of a page's total weight (file size measured in bytes or kilobytes). Large graphics slow the loading of your Web page and could have harmful effects. Did you know that many major search engines will "timeout" before indexing pages that load too slowly?

This means slow loading Web sites may not be included in the search results of some search engines. And if a search engine won't wait for a slow loading page, there's little chance potential visitors will either and it will also be difficult for them to learn new concepts. Ensure your Web site's graphics are optimized for speed!

Fluffy flash design - If this does not support real user needs, then try to avoid it. This kind of design weakens usability.

There are basically two types of links:

Internal links are those that point to a page on your site which should open in the same window. That is why a consistent menu is extremely important.

External links are those that point to a page on an external site that should open in a new window. When the viewer closes that window, your own page will automatically get displayed. That way the viewer will not loose your site.

Some websites suggest to not go to a new page for external links. Instead, they say, it's better to give your viewers the simple instruction of pressing Shift key while clicking on external link to open up in a new page, or the browser can be set up for that purpose. I have chosen the former where clicking on external link will open up a new window by default.

If any of the links is broken, fix it. You have no control over external links, so check them now and then to make sure each is alive. A nice method is to use an automatic link checker to check all links on your pages for possible broken links; there are several free programs to that effect.

Please stay away from design techniques such as used by Burlington UFO and Paranormal Research and Education Center.
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