To create a quality website, a web designer needs to be creative and have sound technical skills. By quality, I mean popular and functional. The internet is very powerful if used right. Actually, the web is so powerful that poor to marginally built sites do OK, however poor web design is becoming less and less fruitful. Here is an overview of the basic process and elements of building a quality, user friendly and effective website.
Domain Name is simple the url for your website, like this one: www.39webdesigns.com The domain name must be chosen to include some of the keywords you selected were important to your niche. Search Engines Give credit to keywords in the domain name, so choose wisely. There are plenty of places to get a domain name, Go Daddy is one, or you can use BlueHost and get your domain and hosting in one spot. Read more on how to select a domain name for web design.
This is the server where your data and files are stored. So you not only need your domain name(www…), you need to have it hosted. Hosting companies provide security and software like Cpanel to manage your site. I recommend BlueHost for their low cost, amazing customer support and reliability. They are also very user friendly.
Artistic Web Design
The front-end of the website is basically more artistic, where design elements are crucial to get correct. Color schemes, photo size, and layout all need an experienced or trained eye.
Here is an example of a poor artistic layout:
Here’s a good one:
The clean and simple look is very popular in modern web design. We’re all suffering from information overload, so simplicity is taking back the reigns. Further, pages are moving towards a boxier look, which screams clean and orderly.
Technical Web Design
The technical side involves the back-end of the website which is typically a mix of code and software. Working on any website will involve some code, so it’s good to know some basic html, and not be immune to coding. HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the language of the Internet, upon which all Web Design is based. More advanced websites are created with programs like XML, and Pearl.
Software to Assist in Web Design
WYSIWYG(What you see is what you get) editors have become widely available to assist with web design. Again, you’ll end up having to do some coding, however drag and dropping menus, photos and title makes easy design possible. You can get access to these through most hosting companies, Weebly and Go Daddy. They both have decent WYSIWYG builders and are drag and drop. Basic builders are free, but fees must be paid if you want to upgrade to a decent website builder.
“Form” Generated Web Builders
Filling out forms and having a script generate the code for your site is another option. WordPress and Magento are great for Web Design, and even include some WYSIWYG editors within. There are oodles of premade templates to choose from with this software. Better yet, Magento and WordPress are free. However, don’t expect to drag and drop with these.
Most hosting companies will include a one-click WordPress install. Many hosting companies will have allow access to Weebly, Magento or their own editor. So when you sign up for a domain with the host you can use their hosting services you can use their editor right from the hosting service.
Pure HMTL Editors like Adobe Dreamweaver are also available. They do offer windosw to preview the code, which is important.
Image manipulation software is another crucial piece and images are key element to get right. Photoshop is one of the most popular. Simple editors like the stock Windows and Mac work for basic resizing. Use .png where possible to save space Stock images can be found from many sources, I like www.Graphicstock.com. Do not use blurry or skewed images. It will kill a website. I came across the most amazing Magento site selling nutritional supplements. Everything was looking great, then I see the products and the images are blurry. There’s no way I would buy something with a blurry image like that. Use clear images. Certain products look best at 45 degree angles. It is important to SEO images as well. Names and alt. text fields can be keyword optimized, so be certain to fill them in.
The SEO of Web Design
Half the battle with SEO is making a search and people friendly site. In fact, your on page SEO better be right, or all of the off page will do no good. Start with your Keyword list and organize your site around those. Properly labeled headings, keyword to text ratios, load times and rich content are crucial. Checkout my article regarding On Page SEO for more.
Marketing Techniques for Web Design
Here’s a shortlist of ways to connect with your readers:
- You over I – Use the word you, not I. Make your content about the visitor, not about yourself.
- Tell stories – It shows a human behind the screen and helps relate
- Be organized, clear and consistent – Organize your information over and over
- Have consistent font, titles and structure. Present features and benefits
- Use media to convey a message – Individuals have different learning styles, so use images and video to appeal to the widest audience.
- Theme – Organize your site around a few central themes or looks. Target your niche.
Content is King
Filling in your site with great content is an essential offering of a robust web design. Now is your chance to educate and inform. Content must be built around keywords. Articles of 500-2000 words are your pillars, while blog posts of 250-750 words are the support beams. Read more about blogging here.
Once your site is setup and Search engine optimized, it’s time to add analytics, like with Google Analytics. It’s quite a process to setup all of the google adwords, analytics, webmaster tools and google+ account. Most importantly is the analytics tool. This give you an amazing amount of data about your visitors. Referring sites, length of stay, bounce rates and so much more can be gleaned from Google Analytics. It’s an essential tool. Bing/Microsoft also has its own set of webmaster tools. Get them and scope out all of your inbound links.
A great website incorporates social media, with links to and from each site. Social media is a great place to share your content and reach out to interested parties, expanding your circles. Alas, always do your best to build a quality website, that stays ahead of trends, helps people find what they are looking for and furthers your cause.
We at 39Web Designs have access to number different paid templates, which produce absolutely exquisite WordPress sites. We also have expert Magento designers are to handle high-volume big products selections. Simple or complicated, we can forge one of the best website around.
by Jason Jelonek