Web design is not just for professionals anymore, although there are a variety of services out there which will build you a superb website at a cost. Many entrepreneurs, small businesses and even hobbyists are building their own websites using a variety of specialized tools and apps to help them. Whether you operate a business and want to get your brand some recognition, or you just want a place to digitize and share your family tree, you can give yourself a voice online with a website, and the better your layout and functionality, the more traffic you will see.
Let’s take a look at a few of the top categories you should focus on when it comes to designing your website. You might be surprised at how easy it is once you get started.
Find A Creation Tool That You Understand
If you don’t speak fluently in techno talk then you need a translator. Fortunately, there are a few creation tools offering websites that are not only open source, but also jargon free. This gives you the ability to make your site look modern without needing a degree in coding. This works for home pages and blogs, with the option of using premade templates or creating your own with easy to understand tools and applications.
When you seek out a CMS, or Content Management System, you want to be sure that they offer the most up to date plugins available, and are still working at improving their platform. This means that you will get ongoing support, and are guaranteed to always have access to the most modern functions.
Some CMS providers are free, but most require you to pay a fee to use their service to its full potential. With a little bit of research, you can find one that offers all of the features you need most. Consider whether or not you want comments to post automatically when users offer reviews or feedback, if you are able to monitor all of the incoming links to your site that bring in new traffic, and how much customization you are entitled to in order to determine the true value of each.
Educate Yourself In CSS
Getting your basics in place isn’t enough for a truly amazing website, you need to get into the nitty gritty stuff and learn some of the language of web design. CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are the backbone of many websites. If you know how to type this information yourself, you can control just about anything and everything involved in web design, from the layout, to the color, to the font.
CSS looks incredibly complicated, and is just one more foreign language associated with web design. Unlike other coding processes, however, CSS can be taught and learned without nearly as much trouble as many would think, especially if you can get the basics down. This is where a CSS tutorial website will come in handy.
You can find these sites through any search engine, and they will often supply you with examples, test areas, and cheat sheets that you can refer to during the design process. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by this information, but rather, use it along with the other tools you will have at your disposal and learn as you go. If you have a problem, you can be sure that there is a tool in your CMS provider that will help you reset your site to your default setup.
Deciding On A Color
Okay, so now you have done the hard part and organized your layout, setup your behind the scenes area, and created a space where your information and images can reign free. Now what? Now you need to make things pretty. That’s right, colors are a huge part of what makes websites attractive to their visitors, and if you want mass traffic you need to have some aesthetic appeal.
Whether you want your site to be laid out in monochromatic colors, complementary colors, or a customized mixture, you can find an online palette that helps you to avoid clashing tones and obnoxious hues. These tools work by providing you with a color wheel or digital palette complete with corresponding codes so that you aren’t left guessing what to type where when the time comes to add a little color to your layout.
Finding Free Fonts
When you use document programs, you will find all of the standard fonts like Times New Roman and Arial to use at your disposal, but locating special and custom fonts is important if you want to set yourself apart in your niche. A great resource for web design are free font sites, which provide you with access to a number of downloadable typefaces.
Be careful when you choose a source for these, as not all font providers are reputable. You need to be sure that if you are using a certain font for commercial work, that it is licensed to be used as such. Usually this means paying a small fee for its use, but not all font providers are created equal. But if you do some research, you will see that some freeware are able to be used on any type of web page.
So you have a website, it has color and some incredibly modern font to start uploading content, but you’re not photographer and you want to have images on your site. This is where you will have to spend a little money. Getting access to high quality photos which are legal to use in commercial publications means spending money on site credits, individual shots, or a monthly or annual membership somewhere. The good news is, it is well worth the cost, especially if you plan on utilizing a lot of photos over time.
These images can be used as backgrounds, blog posts, or scattered throughout your page for some added aesthetics. Most of these sites like DepositPhotos are organized by theme and can supply you with everything from premade colorful graphics and cartoon images to celebrity photographs and prints of famous outdoor sceneries.
An added tip in this category is to check out which sites offer freebies with membership. You might be able to gain access to five free photos without paying, or gain extra credits with a paid membership when you select the right site. It is certainly worth investigating, but the most important factor in this choice should always be the quality and assortment of images.
Get Inspired And Inspire Others
No doubt you have seen the various websites dedicated to crafting, makeup artistry, baking, and even DIY projects. Well, there are similar websites out there for web design, and they include a number of inspirational photos, demonstrations, and even tutorials on how to recreate certain looks and styles. Some inspirational sites don’t show you how to do things, but may offer you some insight on colors that look nice together, layouts that are appealing to you, or different ways to organize links and other information on your website. Just like you would glance through a home outfitting magazine before remodeling your house for ideas on paint and renovations, these inspirational sites can give you an ample supply of new ways to design and redesign your website.
Some of these sites allow users to post their own inspirations and style tips as well, making it simple for you to share your designs once you become confident in your work. You might find that a few sites are more amateurish, while others provide you with examples from professional graphic designers and web designers that have been trained and working for years. You may even be able to communicate with some for advice, or comment and leave feedback on designs and inspiration that you would like to see.
Web Design might seem like a completely daunting task that only a professionally trained team could undertake, but if you take the above information into account, and do your research, you will see that anybody can design a website. It takes the right tools, the right information, and some serious motivation to create something that will draw people in and allow them to see your vision for what it is.
Remember to pay close attention to the guidelines for images and fonts when using them for commercial use, and take the time to investigate whether or not paying for certain things might be better than just accessing them for free. Spending a little bit on web design is normal, especially if you are running a business and want to bring in a certain amount of traffic.
Think of your website as an investment; something that you will reap the benefits from once consumers begin to recognize the potential of your brand. Depending on your reasons for creating a website you may be able to get away with using completely free services and tools, but it will take some serious digital legwork to find high quality help at low or no cost.