Web Design - 15 Basic Tips



The key to a successful web design begins with a plan.  Below are 15 simple basic tips.

  1. Utilize a straight-forward simple design.
  2. Stick with a clean elegant aesthetical approach.
  3. Avoid blinking text and flashing text.  For a professional website this is merely an annoyance.  There are plenty of other methods to draw attention to important information.
  4. Use titles and headers that include your keyword phrases.
  5. Stick with one h1 header per page that includes one of your keyword phrases.
  6. Skip the background music.  No two people enjoy the same music so just forego the background music and avoid turning anyone off.  If you are absolutely insistent upon having a theme song or background music, at least embed a music player that allows the guest to turn the music down or off.
  7. Keep your theme consistent throughout your website (especially with the color scheme – stay neutral and if you have a logo, theme your website colors to compliment your logo.)
  8. Never use annoying pop-up windows.  This is the fastest way to lose a new guest.
  9. Stick to traditional navigation systems.  Use standard menu structures – either horizontally across the top or vertically along the left or right column. (Non-standard menu structures can confuse new guests and drive traffic away.)
  10. Create a site map.  Many people will use a sitemap to get a general feeling of a websites structure when they are viewing it for the first few times.  A sitemap also helps the search engines navigate your site for indexing.
  11. Do not center everything right down the middle of the website or align everything all to the right or all to the left.  Try to create a natural flow of text and images that flows from right to left and then back again.
  12. Never use all caps in your content body unless you are emphasizing something very important and only then when it is a few words at one time and in one context.
  13. Use italicized text sparingly as well.  This is a good way of displaying quotations and drawing attention to specific text, but do not go overboard or it will lose its effectiveness and just become distracting.
  14. Bold text is another fine way to draw attention to a sentence or keyword phrase but use it judiciously or it too loses its value.
  15. When using embedded images always included alternate text and apply the same rules as stated in rule 11 for the formatting.

Additional tips to keep in mind:

  1. Come up with original, creative, content that is relevant to your industry.  This cannot be emphasized enough.  Original high quality content is absolutely the most important aspect to a successful website.  If you have trouble writing content, please find a copywriter to write unique, quality content for your website even if you have to hire someone to do so.  Nothing else will improve your website’s success more than good quality, well written content.
  2. For a new website a great place to start for quality content could be a glossary of terms with definitions that are related to the site's industry, products, or services.
  3. Another great thing to include for any website is a set of FAQs (frequently asked questions) with answers.
  4. Do not be afraid to share as much information about your industry as you can on your website.  Remember, the information is already out there somewhere, would it not be better for you to be the source of the information, the authority?

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