Should you invest in expensive templates and software to start designing your site? The answer to that question is dependent upon your willingness to learn. If your goal is to get credit for doing next to nothing, then you might as well continue to use programs and templates to do your work. On the other hand, hard work and perseverance will go a long way toward building an effective and appealing website.
The faster a web page loads, the more it will be appreciated. You should minimize the loading time of your site’s pages. If your visitors are waiting forever while something is loading on your site, there is a good chance they will quickly leave and never return.
Pay close attention to the background of your pages. Certain sites contain GIF backgrounds that move, and although it may look nice, it can be harder to read the page’s content. Choose a background that complements your site instead, and visitors will easily understand they message you want to convey.
A good website will never require that a visitor provide the same information more than once. Ensure that personal data for each of your website’s visitors is preserved. For instance, if a user registers at your site and another form requires the same information again, be certain your website preserves this data to prevent them the useless and annoying hassle of filling it in again. This “sticky” information can make the process easier and smoother for visitors and they’ll appreciate it.
Don’t have pop-ups. There is little worse than visiting a site and being attacked by pop-up ads or newsletter sign-up boxes. This often causes people to leave a site, meaning they never take the time to get to know your product. Keep your customers happy, by steering clear of these annoying ads. If your web hosting company requires the use of pop-ups, consider moving to a new host.
To get repeat visitors, use an e-mail newsletter. If you provide customers with an opportunity to keep abreast of upcoming promotions or events, they will be more likely to return. Put your sign up form on your site’s sidebar to keep track of how many people sign up. Make sure you only send out the letter to those that have explicitly requested to view it.
Free software exists that can help you set up your site. There is a pervasive myth that expensive programs do the job of web design better than the alternatives, but there is plenty of free software that does a great job. You just need to do a little Internet searching in order to find some free tools that will work best for you.
The more you learn about and practice web design, the easier the process becomes. So, try out your new skills and create a simple page using C+ and HTML. This will show you whether or not you have the basics down pat. It’s never too late to start practicing, so start today.
While learning to design your website is important, it’s not as complicated as learning the basics of open heart surgery. No formal training is required, and no one’s life is at stake. By adhering to the above guidelines, anyone can learn to create an effective, dynamic website.
Introduction to Responsive Web Design plus a walkthrough of media queries, fluid grids and flexible images.
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