Whether you are creating a website from scratch or redesigning your existing pages, you need to understand how websites function.
New entrepreneurs seeking to launch an online venture also need to know the basics of web design in order to optimize their operations. There are tons of templates, options, and configurations, so what should you go for?
Read on to learn the basics of web designs and how websites function.
Before you start, you have to take care of the technical aspects of website design. You will need a domain name for your website, and you will also need a server to host it.
Your website will need to be configured to load from a specific server, which you will either have to set up yourself or work with a dedicated hosting provider. Most new businesses trust hosting providers, as the technical challenges of self-hosting are overwhelming.
Not all hosting plans are equal. Shared hosting is less expensive but packs your website with other sites in a shared server. This can impact loading times and might lead to SEO issues. Dedicated hosting costs more but guarantees good uptime and the best loading times.
With your server host in place, you can get one or more domain names for websites to host. Experts agree that you should use a single domain name per website. This will help your website rank in search engine result pages.
Many people think that websites are made of fancy graphics and text. These are just the external appearance. Look deeper, and you will see that websites are made of code.
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is the markup language in which websites are made. HTML files describe the structure of a website so that it can be constructed by a computer. HTML creates the content of a website.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and it is a style sheet language that describes the presentation of a markup language. In our case, CSS describes HTML and positions each HTML element on a page.
A website is made to serve a specific function. This function can be anything from sharing information and hosting videos, to selling products and offering expert advice online.
Depending on the purpose of a website, you will need to create a different layout. Today, there are millions of website templates for every imaginable website function. You can just get one of these ready-made templates and tweak it for your business needs.
Alternatively, you can hire an expert to design your website from scratch. Whatever you choose, you will need to adhere to certain generally accepted design rules. These include standards for user-friendliness and accessibility.
Leaving enough space without content is a good practice. Known as “whitespace” this makes websites look simpler and easier to navigate.
Your site must be easy to navigate. It should not feature design elements that are purposefully confusing or misleading. Google penalises such sites. Instead, sketch a simple sitemap and start from there. You can always add more pages to your existing scheme as your website grows.
With your layout in place, it is time to pick a colour scheme. Regardless of your goal, your website should look clean, friendly, familiar, and accessible. This is true in every online business and amateur blog as well.
When picking colours, you must consider your brand and what your users expect. There are hundreds of colour scheme designers you can find online, and you can also hire an expert to pick the right combo for you.
When it comes to fonts, the same principles apply. You have to pick what works best for your website goals. Business websites should use serif fonts, while more casual websites should opt for sans serif typography.
When designing a website, user-friendliness should be your first priority. This is done for two reasons. First, users are more likely to stay to your website if it is accommodating. Second, search engines penalise websites that are not user-friendly.
With more than half of all users accessing the internet from a mobile device, modern web design should always be mobile-friendly. Google’s mobile-first index will not rank your website in search results if it is not optimises for mobile phones.
Thankfully, all modern templates come with responsive design, which allows them to display correctly on any device.
Finally, your website will be empty without content. Content is anything you can feature in your website that will interest your visitors. Content includes sales copy, blog articles, videos, podcasts, photos, flash games, and virtually anything else you can think of.
When it comes to SEO, content is king. If you wish your website to rank high and get traffic, you need to fill it with relevant and unique content.
Populating your website with engaging content is the final step of web design. From there, your website is functional and will attract visitors. It is then up to you to add the right type of content to grow and generate sales.
Depending on the nature of your website, you might feature user-generated content. This includes forum posts, reviews, social media discussions, and media uploads. User-generated content is perhaps the most cost-efficient way to grow your website.
Now that you know the basics of web design, you understand what it takes to launch an online venture. Here at Host.ie, we are Ireland’s top web hosting provider. We offer business class VPS solutions, data loss protection, and 24/7 support to businesses in Ireland and the rest of the EU.
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