While the things not to do in web design seem pretty obvious, it’s often difficult to discover the things that you actually should be doing. Here’s a few web design tips about things you should do when building a website:
1. Make Your Website Lightning Fast
For those that don’t keep up with technology, making a website load extremely fast is becoming more and more critical. Google recently added Page Speed as a factor in its algorithms for calculating website rank and statistics show that websites that load quickly have significantly higher visitor retention.
A few simple ways to begin streamlining your website for speed would be to:
- Compress Images
- Minify Code
- Serve Scaled Images (don’t take a 900x900px image and serve it to users as a 200x200px image)
- Utilize Browser Caching
Use Divs Instead of Tables
While we would assume that this is obvious to just about everyone, there are still a number of websites floating around that use tables instead of div tags to format the website. Much of this is due to the fact that Dreamweaver and Firefox allow users to build websites using tables without ever needing to touch any code.
Using CSS and divs is the preferred way of building a website and will not only make it more functional but will also make a website load much faster.
3. Get Good Pictures
Finding good pictures is critical for building a website and enhances user engagement. Spending plenty of time shopping for stock photos before starting on a website is always a good time investment.
4. Break From Tradition
While it can be tempting to stick to the traditional format of creating a header, styling a menu, and adding a place for content, be creative! Try experimenting with different layouts and features to create a more dynamic and engaging website that separates itself from the rest of the web. The more creative and innovative your website begins to look; the more people will double-take when they see your site.
5. Use Engaging Backgrounds to Differentiate Your Wesbsite
One of the most underestimated design elements in all of web design is a website’s background. Website backgrounds create the opportunity to launch a website into the upper echelons of creativity and design and can open up new doors in terms of what is possible.
Use engaging backgrounds to differentiate your website from the rest of the field. While it may seem like such a little task, using an effective background can help bring your website to life.
6. Use a CMS (content management system)
Content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are great innovations in the web design world that have made designing websites and maintaining them much easier and more efficient. Rather than having to make complex manual updates, content management systems make updating a website a breeze.
7. Serve Web Pages From a Consistent URL
It’s important to determine early on whether you would like to commit to using the www or non www version of your website. Believe it or not, search engines can actually count these as separate domains, which can split your website’s rank between the two. It’s important to determine which version of your website you would like to commit to using.
8. Use Jquery to Enhance Your Website
The JQuery library adds a whole new level of functionality to a website in terms of animations and background functions. JQuery has been extremely popular for quite some time now and still remains one of the best options for adding life to a website.
9. Take Advantage of Plugins and Pre-written Code
Why beat your head up against a wall when someone else already took care of it for you? Plugins and pre-written code are some of the most useful resources on the web. Many complex features such as image sliders, galleries, and light boxes already have pre-written code and are available for free on the web.
10. Watch and Read Tutorials
Watching and reading tutorials is one of the best ways to figure out how to add more complex features to a website. Some of the most helpful resources for web designers and webmasters are available on YouTube or on tutorial sites across the web