Designing your own website is key in promoting yourself or your business online. A beautiful, highly functional site will tell visitors that you are professional, trustworthy and an expert in your field.
Learning what it takes to design cleanly and efficiently is your first step, so continue reading for some tips which will teach you just that.
Web designers that are trying to decide whether or not it is prudent to obtain an SSL certificate should understand that it depends on whether their website will be storing private information such as credit cards and personal details. If it is, you should probably purchase one, for safety reasons.
Organize your links and avoid putting too many links in one area of your site. Doing this can confuse visitors and make them leave your site. If you do have many low- to mid-importance links, emulate the “blogrolls” seen in many blogs and tuck them away in a column on the right side of the page.
To keep your website looking professional check your content religiously for spelling and grammar errors. Some users may not notice the misspelled words but there are many users who will. If it looks like you didn’t take the time to proofread your content, your website will not inspire the confidence that is so important to your credibility.
Where you can, recycle certain pieces of your site like navigation bars and logos. Not only does this help with creating some sort of brand consistency to your website, it also helps speed up the page load times for your visitors. Web browsers will cache these pieces upon first load, making them quicker to reappear the next time they are found on a page.
Minimize the amount of clicking or scrolling visitors must do to access information. The more a user has to click or scroll around to find the information they seek, the more likely they are to give up looking for it. Aim for having at least 400 words on every page of your site by combining pages that have content that falls below this number of words.
If you are targeting a local population with your website, consider purchasing a country code top level domain. This will guarantee your domain name for that particular region of your country. A ccTLD is perfect for directing regional visitors to your site, when they may not have found it otherwise.
Design informative error pages. Many times someone will click onto a broken link, or a link that has been moved, and receive a generic error page that confuses them. Design your error pages so that you give a visitor a reason they may have gotten that error, along with a link to your home page so that they remain on your site.
Step one was to learn how to build a site, and step two is to get down to work and create your design.
Use the tips you’ve read here to assist you as you draft the layout, build the navigation and write content for your audience. Continue learning how to increase your traffic and you’ll meet your goals in no time!