Website Design and Layout

You’ve covered the goals for your website and the information that you want to provide while creating your website content.

Now it’s time to consider the layout and design tastes of your prospective customer. Are they teenagers looking for edgy apparel, or middle-aged professionals interested in financial planners? Your layout should appeal to your target market.

If you aren’t familiar with HTML, Custom Style Sheets or other scripting such as JavaScript and PHP, you may want to consider using a WYSIWYG website builder. WYSIWYG stands for, “what you see is what you get”. These builders will help get the look you want without having to learn a lot of code.

There are also many custom web developers available for hire, if you don’t want to tackle the design part of the project yourself.

Navigation and Page Layout

When laying out your pages, remember that most people are accustomed to finding navigation either near the top of the web page, or on the side. Other layouts can also do the job, but if you aren’t experienced in design, keeping it similar to typical layouts is probably safest. Keep your page layout clean and uncluttered, so the important information is not hard to locate.

If you choose to design your own website, devote some time to thinking about your goals, topics and prospects. The colors and layout you decide on will help your site appeal to your target audience. A simple, well-thought out website will help you meet your online business goals.

Color Schemes

You may already have color combinations that identify your company. For example, those used in your logo. If possible, you should incorporate those colors into your style and design.

Colors are often used to keep a feeling of symmetry between items of similar importance, such as links on a menu bar. Additionally, you can use color to highlight key information or specific actions that you’d like your visitor to take. For instance, if you want people to sign up for your newsletter, you could show that link with a red background, whereas all other items have blue backgrounds.

Using Images

Images can be a great way to get your point across. You will want to be careful to use images with a professional appearance and keep with the theme of your site. In the early days of the web, the use of animated images was very popular and trendy. But today, blinking lights and spinning photos are already outdated.

Choose standard image files in typical web formats (.jpg, .gif, .png). Also, pay attention to your image file sizes. For example, photos taken from a digital camera usually have a very large file size in the 100s of megabytes. Typically you want content pictures to be under 100k. This will help reduce the loading time of your site, which will also help in your search engine rankings.

Text and Readability

The text and background colors should have enough contrast so that the text is readable for all your readers. This may be less critical if your viewers are younger, but it’s still good to consider people who may have very poor eye-sight.

Positive SSL