2009
09.09

Web Design Tips

Useful tips for Effective and Creative Web Design

Here are some important rather essential tips for designing a professional and high quality website. Follow the tips and be creative!

Optimum Load time

This is the No.1 tip that every web designer should take into consideration.  No matter how much effort you take to design an extremely attractive web site, but very few people are going to be patient enough to see it if it takes a long time to load. It should not take more than 15 seconds to load. For this you must:

  • Minimize Graphics, Flash and Scripts – these increases your file size
  • Optimize your HTML and Script Code – Remove all unwanted tags and unused scripts
  • Use Server Side Include (SSI) files – These files once called from the server resides in its cache so on subsequent requests they load faster.

Design for all Screen resolutions

Today there are computers with all kinds of resolutions ranging from 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768 and even higher. A site that is easy to view always encourages visitors to  stay and read the contents. Therefore as a designer you should design stretch layouts that fit any screen resolution. Make sure your code and design is scalable.  This ensures that all  your visitors see a visually appealing and professional  site. For this to happen you should design your site in terms of percentage and not pixels.

Cross Browser Compatibility

Make sure to check that your site is compatible using Internet Explorer 5+, Mozilla Firefox 1+, Opera 7+, Safari 3+ and Netscape Navigator 6+ as they constitute 95% of the world’s browsers.

Easy Navigation

Once a visitor comes to your web site they should be able to access information from all parts of the site. You would never know what they are interested in. Therefore the navigation of links on your web site determines the stickiness of your site (how long your visitor stays and explore your site).  For this you must:

  • Make sure all your important links are at prominent places
  • Make sure of the Menus on the right and the left
  • Try to link to as many pages of your site
  • Use the footer for your  important links

Clean Layout

Try to keep the focus on your contents by using a clean layout that uses a lot of white space and enhances a site’s looks. Follow the “Keep it simple” principle

  • Use Less images, backgrounds, and colorful fonts
  • Minimize the use of Graphics
  • Use a lot of white space. This gives a sense of spaciousness and overall neatness to a site.
  • Use common and professional web fonts (e.g Arial and Verdana) which will be available on all computers to prevent your site looking messed up.

Check for Broken Links

Always make sure that there are no broken links before uploading it to your web server.

  • If your using Dreamweaver you can do this by clicking on any file in the ‘Site Files’ Window and then clicking on the ‘Check Links’ – ‘Entire Site’.
  • If you don’t have the above facility you need to upload your site and then check it using online tools such as Net Mechanic.

Program Using Pure CSS

With the ever-growing technology the world is moving away from table based websites to pure CSS websites. This is because compared to table based websites, CSS websites offers accessibility, re usability and considerably reduces file size and provides greater control over the look of your website. Use the following  simple CSS styles effects to enhance your website:

  • Cool Text Effects –Use CCS Styles such as Text Case Setting, Text Link Rollover, Line through Effect, Text Spacing
  • Bullets in HTML or Dreamweaver – Using CSS Styles with bullets (shapes, decimal, roman-numerals, images, etc)
  • Links without underline – Use CSS Styles to display links without the appearance of the underline.

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