Whether you are a novice building your first website or an experienced designer with dozens of sites under your belt, there are always new things for you to learn in the world of web design. The proper way to plan out a website in the first stages of the design process might be one of the things you need to learn. Check out the suggestions below in order to save time and be more productive when you start putting together your next website.
There is a simple difference between design and art, and it’s about how much attention the producer pays to his audience’s desires. Web design is “design” because it’s all about making your visitors happy. In order to do this, you should nail down exactly who you’re trying to reach right at the beginning of the design process. Ask yourself who you want to read your site, and why.
After you have a good idea about your ideal audience, you need to learn more about them. This is where online research can really help you out. You can take a look at sites similar to yours and try to gauge what their visitors enjoy and what they don’t like. Hopefully, you’ll also be able to pick up on the online habits of your target audience. Do they use social media? Do they follow Twitter? What is the best way to connect with them and draw them to your site again and again?
Once you have good information about your audience, it’s time to give a little thought to your site’s content. You can use what you’ve learned about your expected visitors to start defining the areas you want to concentrate on. If you’re going to run a site that features frequent updates, (e.g. a blog) doing some planning in advance can help you set an overall direction and theme for your content. This can be a great thing, because it will encourage repeat visitors.
There’s an entire field of work (search engine optimization, or SEO) that website owners get into in order to improve their sites’ visibility on the search engines. Whether or not you intend to devote a lot of time to this, it’s a good idea to pick out key words that succinctly describe the content you’re going to use on your site. These can be placed within the content itself and in the HTML tags of your pages. Concentrating on using a few key words repeatedly will help visitors locate your site and keep it highly focused.
Before you sit down to start the actual work of designing your site and putting together your content, spend a little time choosing your tools carefully. Remember that if your website does well, you’ll be riding herd on it for a long time as it grows bigger and bigger. You want to use software that is not only good for creating sites but also for maintaining them. The less time you have to devote to keeping your site running smoothly, the more time you’ll have for your visitors.
Web design is a field that really allows you to express yourself creatively. It’s still a good idea to devote a little attention to organization, though, especially at the beginning of a brand new website. Keep the advice you’ve just reviewed in mind the next time you build a new site. You’ll more than likely find that these organizational principles make the process go a lot more smoothly for you.