Designing a webpage can be as simple as opening Notepad and writing some HTML, or as complex as loading a content management system such as Joomla or WordPress. Just remember, back-end never wows visitors. Front-end does.
The front end of your website needs a clean layout, a readable color scheme, and be simple and easy to navigate and understand. In short, you want your website to be intuitive to your visitors.
You want a color scheme that is easy on the eyes. Typically this means having a light colored background with dark text. Headers and menu bars are the exception. A darker color scheme can be used for emphasis, but remember you don’t want to turn a visitor off with the colours on your webpage. You may love a bright red background and pink text, but unless its Valentine’s Day, skip it.
The layout of your webpage is just as important as the color scheme. Web users today have been trained to look for menu bars along the left side and top of the webpage. Putting a menu on the right side, means that your visitors may not see the other links and sections of your website. They may also confuse right side links with text advertisements.
The layout should also be clean and free of clutter. The casual browser should easily find where everything of importance resides on your webpage. There should also be two or three pixels of white space between sections, to prevent text or image overlap.
Keep it simple
Keeping it simple starts with knowing the purpose of your website. If your website specializes in gardening, then everything on the site should relate to gardening. If you have another hobby such as woodworking, it should have its own website.
Think of your website as a mission statement or a brand, and stick to it. You’re viewers will return over and over again for your specific and useful expertise.
Audio or video upon loading
Do not include instant audio or video on your webpage. You may love the music or video, but chances are your audience may not. If you want your visitors to listen to mood setting music or watch a video, give them the option of clicking it on. Do not assault their eyes and ears upon loading. Give your visitors time to browse your website without distraction.
Test your site first
There is nothing more frustrating that clicking on a link and receiving a ‘404 not found’ error. The days of being able to run a website with broken links are over. This means that once your website is finished, test it. Click on every link. Read every page. Make sure the site functions and looks the way you want it to. Make sure all specialized code works. If you have videos and audio on your website, make sure the video plays, and the audio is clear and crisp.
Designing webpages can be as simple or complex as you make it. You can show a lot of information or just a little, but make sure your visitors can click to it. Your website needs a clean layout, professional color scheme, easily understood menus and headers, and working links. Once it does, your website is well on its way to building a loyal audience.