A Guide To Website Design That Works

So you’ve decided it’s time that your business had a website – but what kind of website do you want? There are lots of things you will need to consider to ensure that you get the right website to promote your company’s products or services. Even if you’re getting a professional website designer to help you, it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you want before your initial meeting.

Here is a brief guide to some important aspects of good website design, to give you a head start on making sure you get a great website that delivers exactly what you want it to.

Website design – the right look

It’s important that your website design reflects your company’s personality – if you have a company logo, make sure you incorporate it into the basic website design template so that it appears on every page, preferably in the same place. You want recognition, consistency and strong branding. If you don’t have a logo or brand, it’s probably a good idea to think about getting one now that you’re about to take your business into the realm of the internet. Think about colors, navigation, simplicity and a clean finish.

The right type of website

What do you want to achieve with your new website? Do you want an online shop where people can buy your products or do you want to promote your services? If you want to allow people to make purchases through your new website design, then you will need an Ecommerce website – you can update products and prices using a Content Management System (CMS), and visitors will be able to make instant purchases. A CMS based website design will also be useful if you want to be able to post news articles and updates to your website regularly. If you just want a simple site that stands as it is, then a static website design will be enough for your requirements.

Make sure your website design is user-friendly

Don’t put your customers off with a complicated website design that’s hard to navigate. Make your page titles short and descriptive and use your home page as a reference point, from where visitors can easily navigate to other parts of your website that they might want to view.

Invite your visitors to take action

The best sales pitch in the world won’t sell anything unless you make it easy for your visitors to know what they need to do. An effective website design utilizes clear ‘call to actions’ – these live links will lead your visitors to your contact page, allow them to make quick and easy purchases and tell them how to take advantage of your services. Use phrases like ‘contact us now for a free quote’ and embed a link in this anchor text that takes users to an email form or phone number.

Tags and descriptions

Behind every prosperous website is a great SEO technique. Make sure you do your homework on the best phrases and keywords to use in your Meta descriptions and title tags. This will help the search engines to identify what you do and will result in the right traffic being driven to your site through user searches.

Website design for all

Don’t alienate users; ask your website designer to ensure that your site is accessible to everyone, including the visually impaired. Make sure that you optimize images too so that screen-readers will give users a description of the images that they can’t see (and it will also help with your SEO). Also bear in mind that different people use different web browsers, so you need to make sure that your website design works in all of them, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox.

Website content and SEO

Don’t rush your web copy – you need good detail and information without too much ‘fluffing’. Keep it simple and relevant, easy to read and use your keywords and phrases for SEO purposes. Remember that your website is a worldwide shop-front; be clear, concise and tell your visitors what they want to know. Have somebody look over your proposed content from a customer’s perspective, or employ the services of a professional copywriter.

Website news section

Keeping your website content fresh will help you with the search engines, so think about adding a news section to your website design. This will enable you to post interesting news stories and special offers, or anything that you think may be relevant and helpful to your visitors. You could also consider a blog for more informal company news or add a ‘subscribe’ call to action, where visitors can sign up to receive email updates and newsletters.

Marketing your new website

If you wish to keep your website ranking high in the search engines and attract regular new visitors, it’s well worth looking into internet marketing. You’ve invested precious time and money into your new website design, so make sure people get to see it! You can use social media, Google AdWords, email newsletters and many other effective internet marketing strategies to help make your website more visible and keep the traffic

How To Install WordPress Plugins

It is a well known fact that WordPress plugins are fantastic tools for the overall platform. However, we don’t all know how they are to be installed. Luckily, WordPress is incredibly user-friendly and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to install the plugins. There are two different types of plugins available in the platform; these are the mess-with and drop-in types. The language within plugins is quite elementary, but it can still be difficult to recognize the difference between the two. The drop-ins are the types that a user can upload in the platform’s panel itself. Mess-with types, on the other hand, need quite a bit of tweaking and customizing in order for them to work properly. Nevertheless, they are very similar in style to the drop-ins. One big difference is that you can use them to change the theme templates, meaning you have far more control over how your blog or site actually looks.

Installing and configuring your plugins is really easy because the WordPress layout is so simple to understand. However, you do still have to make sure that you do it right. You can use manual or automatic activation for your plugin, for instance, which totally depends on your own preferences. If you want to have full control, then manual systems are the best, particularly if you know exactly what you want to use. As there are so many different plugins, ranging in complexity to functionality, you can get a bit swamped by them. You need to start, therefore, by choosing the ones that are right for you. It is important to note that most plugins focus on improving your SEO. Additionally, you need to think about the price of the plugin, since not all of them are cheap.

Two other great benefits that really puts WordPress a cut above any other CMS platform is its performance and functionality. Generally speaking, plugins are completely stable and do not have any conflicts with other plugins. However, there are some exceptions and you need to look into this. Hence, before you install and configure your particular plugin, spend some time researching it. Additionally, take note that even if your plugin has a few issues, it is still likely to increase the traffic to your website, meaning you will become more profitable. Generating income is likely to be your most important tool. Hence, you may want to focus on plugins that enhance your overall blog and drive more traffic to your website. There are various tools and guides available that will show you which plugins are best for the goals that you have, so also research your different options. If you are not sure what a plugin does and how you should configure it, then you may want to avoid it.

Some Of The Basics Of CSS

CSS (cascading style sheets) is a hot topic right now. However, before you jump on the bandwagon yourself, you may want to learn a little bit more about this. The reality is that once you figure out how it works, you will find that you can seriously reduce the time you actually spend behind your computer when making a web design. But there are likely to be plenty of questions still running around in your mind about just what it is and some of its inner workings. Luckily, there are plenty of information available online in terms of gaining the knowledge you need with regards to CSS.

Basically, CSS offers a range of formatting instructions and these are responsible as to how your web page will look like. Not every browser supports CSS, however, although most of the major ones do. Unfortunately, many of these browser do not actually support all of the capabilities of CSS, which makes it a bit more complicated. Hence, you may also have to learn about XHTML. This is similar to regular HTML, but it has far stricter rules. This is 100% compliant with XML as well. Hence, if you do want to use CSS properly, you will also have to lean about HTML, XHTML, XML and the various style properties that CSS offers.

It should be pointed out that there are lots of things you can do with CSS. For instance, you can change the color and size of your headings, adjust your layout, work on your body text, place your pictures in the right places and more. Basically, it allows you to program a page, creating a template that can be used again and again. This is where the main time-saving element comes in, since it means you no longer have to input the same code for each of your individual pages.

However, some search engines have a few problems with understanding CSS, so you need to ensure you also know about SEO. Firstly, make sure your text are really clean so that the spiders are able to see what is and isn’t relevant. Luckily, CSS is designed to make sure pages are clean, so this shouldn’t be a big issue. You also have to understand the two elements in the CSS syntax, which are the selector and the declaration. The identified inside your web page’s body is the selector. The code that tells what style is used is the declaration. Basically, it offers the property and the rule. Hence, you can easily create the properties you want to see all over your page. These are just the basics of CSS and you should spend some time looking into what it can actually do and how you can use the system to your advantage.

 

Professional Website Design: Things You Need To Understand.

Web Design ImageIt may often seems hard to actually consider getting into website design. However you should not allow the world alone to discourage you from attempting to follow your dreams which you feel as if you can make money from. The guidelines here might help you realize a few of the important facets of website design.

It isn’t the 90’s anymore, so avoid using frames and tables. While those structures were helpful however they had many flaws. Avoid cramming page elements together. Each portion of your site must be separated from one another with a good amount of white space, helps the reader and makes the site more visually appealing. The simplest way to individual areas is to use DIVs and to style and space them out using CSS and floats.

Think about your site’s users carefully. There are specific sites that use animated GIFs for example. Although such skills and designs could be appealing in some instances, they could also ensure it is hard to see or find the important content in your website. Select a design that’s not too distracting for your visitor so they can easily find what you want them to find.

Make sure your website comes up with or without using the www prefix. Many people fail to check this out. You need to ensure that searchers may be led to your website in either case, or you might have some confused people in your hands.

Understanding some simple HTML can help you in adding interesting items to your website. For instance, you could have a banner that displays information. Ensure that you modify the colors and fonts periodically, which means you look more active with your site and its design.

If you should be agonizing over what color your design should be, you shouldn’t be reluctant to opt for basic white or grey scale colors. White helps the reader to focus on this content. Also a white background provided a clean and friendly look to your website. However background images can create a unique touch to your design but use them sparingly. Keep it clean and simple for your users benefit. Fancy design is only good for the designer.

Remember to optimize your images and code for the internet. Readers will leave a slow running website. Avoid using Flash and video on your site. When using video let user choose to view it. Do not have video or music set to auto run when a user comes to you webpages. Also try to keep your java scripts and database hits to a minimum. Each time your site has to communicate with the host and database slows down loading of your pages. When available try to use host and client caching.

Design and different medias are great for your website and help to keep the interest of the audiences, but do not fill every page from top-to-base. Pages which are extremely large load slow and eat bandwidth of you viewer’s mobile device. Incorporate design that is best to reduce bandwidth usage.

It is crucial that you check your online designs on multiple browsers. Some of these may display you content differently than what you wanted, especially Internet Explorer. You can also install Google Analytics on your site and view the different browsers that access your site. This will help you to determine which browsers you should be checking. Also keep in mind that mobile devices access you site as well so you’ll need to test for these as well.

Try to produce a top quality “About Us” website. Some sites “About Us” pages are extremely dull and boring. Turn it up a little! Allow people to discover who you are and what your site is all about. What kind of background you come from and anything else related to what your site is about.

Make sure you have a search box near to the top of every page. This step can make sure your search bar is actually visible and available for people to use when looking for specific content within your website.

So now that you have a much better concept of how to proceed as it pertains to website design, you can start to utilize this tips to better improve your site for your users. Website design is like other things, the more you learn about it the simpler and less frustrating it becomes. Now go out and build yourself an awesome website.