While some people think flashy websites are attractive, this is only the case when those who visit your page have fast web connections. The majority of successful sites keep things as simple as possible since that allows the most people people to access the site and obtain the information they desire. Keep reading to learn helpful advice about creating a simple and effective website.
It is always good to add a favicon to your website. The favicon is a 16×16 image file in the .Ico format. This image is the one you see next to the URL bar, next to the title of the page on an opened tab and is also visible on your bookmarks tab if you choose to bookmark a page. The favicon will help users quickly recognize your page in their browser without reading any text or directly viewing the page.
Don’t neglect cascading style sheets. Using a style sheet makes it easy to give all pages of your site the same look and feel. It also reduces the file size of your pages, as the CSS file can be accessed once on the server and then from the user’s local cache thereafter.
When you are working on your web design, use the proper graphics needed for the task. BMP files are large and can slow down a website. For simple text buttons or graphics that aren’t photographs, use PNG for files that are 256 colors or larger. Use a GIF file for anything less than 256. For photos, you can use JPEG images.
Avoid using frames. Most sites have abandoned frames on their own as better alternatives have become available, but there are still sites out there that are trapped in 1996. Alternatives to navigational frames include fixed-position navigation panels, having navigation in multiple areas (e.g. left and bottom) or simplifying page structure so that navigational links are never far away.
Always mark files that must be opened in an external program with an icon. Many sites host PDF files, and less commonly, DOC files, that must be opened in Foxit Reader and Microsoft Word/OpenOffice, respectively. These files should be marked with an icon representing the file type, and a link to download the appropriate viewer if the user does not have it.
Your background is the keystone of your design. Some sites use moving GIFs in the background, but that can make text hard to read. Choose a background that is not too distracting for your readers, and that goes well with the rest of your design.
As you now know, there’s a lot to learn when it comes to web design. Find an even balance between flashy and simple. Take what you learned from the above article to create a beautiful website that doesn’t cause your visitors to get distracted.