Web Design Tips

Making your webpage look good is one thing but getting it to be useable and functional is another.  Here are some key tips to help make your webpage function as well as it looks.

  • Don't over do it on the graphics.  
  • Having graphics is great to make your page look good but too many graphics can be overbearing.  If you do use graphics make sure you use a relative alt tag so it is searchable by search engines.  This is a key factor in search engine optimization.

  • Use CSS
  • CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and there are many benefits for using CSS including standardizing your pages and faster load times.  Start small and take it one step at a time.  Make sure you get one page down perfect and the rest of your pages will fall into place.

  • Use a complementary color scheme
  • Complementary colors are colors that are opposite the color wheel of each other that go well together. When people look at these colors they feel good, it is their natural physiological response to complementary colors. To pick a complementary color you first need to consider some factors like colors that need to be included like a logo. I would recommend using a interactive color wheel to help pick your colors.

  • Serif for headline and san serif for content.
  • Useability is very important for web design.  San-serif fonts are much easier to read on the computer monitor.  This is the opposite for actually printed material.  By making your content in a san-serif font then it makes it a lot easier to read for the user.  Also by making the headline serif you create a very appealing contrast for your site.

  • Use Standard Fonts
  • As a web designer you don't always know what is going to be on the other end (IE the user's web browser). This is something to consider when designing nice looking web pages. If you don't use a standardize font then you are leaving it up to the user's browser to decide how to display your text.  This method could be unpredictable. Check out Standardized Fonts For Web for a good list of safe fonts to use with your website.

  • Create easily scannable webpages.
  • To optimize your website for a search engine you need to know how your website is viewed by such search engines as google and yahoo.  I would recommend using a browser plugin tool to accomplish this.  For example Mozilla firefox offers 2 good plugins, Firebug and Web developer. Other web broswers do offer tools like this and there are also some online tools that you can use as well.

  • Use XML Sitemap
  • a sitemap is a list of pages of your web site that is accessible to crawlers or users. A lot of search engines look for this to index your site and it is also a key part of Web Site Engine Optimization. Not to fear, there is help out there. Check out the google xml sitemap tool that allows you to easily create a sitemap for your website.

  • Use Ads the same way you would use images  
  • If you have ads on your site then you will want to optimize your revenue. The best way to do that is pick your ads wisely. Most ad programs like google ad sense will allow you to chose your color scheme. Match that color scheme with your website and you will have a very visually appealing ad that your users are more likely to click on and thus putting money in your pocket.

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