Homepage Tips For Web Design

Your home is the most important page on your website. This statement can be true or false. But one thing that is true is that you home page is probably the most viewed webpage on your site. It can either grab your visitor’s attention or scare them away. Also note if your homepage is great and your other pages have problems, then you site will still fail. Your homepage should be your doorway to your content. It is good to put some extra time and attention to the front page, but remember that your other pages need their own attention.

Home isn’t the Most Important

Website designers put more time into the homepage than any other webpage on the site. And why shouldn’t they? This is the most unique page of a website and also your most popular. The homepage should summarize all your content and information and that lead your visitors to your other pages. It is as important for a visitor to know what your website is about as soon as they view it. You have about 3 seconds to capture your audience.

Content is just as Important

Giving visitors the impression of what your site is about is a good start. The second phase is giving them a reason to stay. What can your website offer them? Content, information services, products or entertainment. You only have a couple of seconds to answer these questions. Visitors will stay longer and come back regularly if you have something to offer. Quality content is the key. The better content you have the more traffic you will receive. Remember Google rewards quality content.

Homepage Tips – Simple, Easy and Clean Design

Having a simple and clean web design can slow them down. Have your navigation either at the top or at the left side. These are the most common places in web development and surfers have gotten use to having them there. Have common font through your whole site and a font size that is big enough to read. Watch the colors you have for your background and text color. These small easy fixes could slow down your web surfers to stay and see what you have to offer. If some of these simple tips are not addressed, you could be losing potential customers.

Try to Keep things Updated

Ok, you have traffic coming in and they are staying, Congratulations! Now some of your visitors are coming back to see what else you got. It is important to have up to date content. Try to add more and more content and information. Keeping your homepage your aggregation point, but give them something new. If you have an ecommerce website, give them banners, special deals or product pictures. If you have news, keep them posted on what is going on recently. People are only looking for things that are relative to today’s society.

These Homepage Tips are just a Start

Doing some of these techniques for your pages could change the way your visitors react. The goal of your website is to have people visit and use what resources you have. As a designer, try to keep your mind in the state of a first timer web surfer finding your site. It is hard to do, but finding this could change the whole look of your website. Try to think were the user looks first, second and so on. Just keep it simple, clean and unique.

Design on the Web Differs From Creative Advertising

Web design contains many of the principles of print related graphic design such as typography, general visual aesthetic, color theory, placement of elements in order to lead the eye to a place of interest, breaking up information so that is is easily digestible, and many other principles that go into creating effective design.

So what’s the difference on the web? Why can’t we apply the same principles to create effective website design? There are many reasons for this — and the first one that might come to most people’s minds is that website’s are built on “code” -and hence the designer must have at least a general understanding of how this code structure works, to be able to effectively design for the medium. This is true, and I recommend designers understand XHTML, CSS, some javascript, and some flash, as well as what the back-end languages like.php and.net can do — however knowing how to actually program is not a requirement. Even though it is not a requirement it is recommend that a web designer understands the languages intimately so that he can design much more effectively and efficiently. An understanding better than just basic, will also help a designer communicate with a web developer (or a web programmer) this is the essential synergy that is necessary to design, build and create great web experiences!

So, let’s say I understand the programming and I am an awesome designer — what else should I know in order to create great websites as a designer? The next thing is structure, or architecture. This is a the foundation and grid of your layout, and there are specific grids that are proven to be effective in the design of websites. It also refers to the placement of elements on the screen, and the placement and proximity of these elements will either drive people through your site to deeper areas of information or drive them right off your website and on to one of the other websites that might have similar content but are easier to navigate and find the information or service that they are looking for. This is the reason that the logical stricture and architectures of your web design be done right — simply because there are so many other websites out there and it is a lot easier for someone to click to another site than it is for someone to put down the print-related graphically designed communication they are reading or looking at. The amount of choices and quick ability to abandon a website make this factor of great importance. Architecture also refers to the navigation structure and how pieces of information are logically broken down into digestible pieces for the website visitor. It is a necessity for a web designer to be able to create visually pleasing designs as well as formulate a logical structure — this is easier said than done. Visual or creative people tend to be less concerned with structure and logic, which is why a web designer requires a special trait — they need to balance the two often opposing sides, or the right-brain and left-brain in order to create effective designs for the web.

So far we have awesome graphically and visually appealing design, an intimate understanding of the programming underneath the designs and we are able to balance our design into a logical, clear and concise structure so people can find what they are looking for, when they want it! What else do we need as an effective web designer? Let’s call this one “on-page strategy”. On-page strategy will enhance the user experience by combining the above three principles into something called strategy. Web design strategy depends greatly on a very good “discovery” period — this looks at the competitor landscape, it reviews the main objective of the website as well as the secondary and tertiary objectives of the business and the website. On page strategy also includes a good SEO (search engine optimization) plan. SEO entails a good coding structure so that your valuable web design copy can be deciphered not only by the humans that read your website, but also by the search engines, so that they can rank your information and index it on their search engines — and in turn making the vast amount of people able to find your website. It examines the information and makes decisions based on this information.

Then we have “off-page strategy” which refers to how other web sites will lead people into your website — sort of like road signs that take people straight on to the street that your site lives. Some off page strategy includes advertising and link building, good public relations, article writing, web sit submission to directories and of course social media.

So, in summary web design requires a whole new set of skills and an expansion of the palette of a print-related art director or graphic designer. Throw in some motion design experience, video experience, maybe a dash of 3D and the art of simplicity and you’re well on the road to designing great website experiences that are effective!

How To Find Freelance Work

How many people do you know that don’t have computers or use the Internet? If you are like most, the number is between one and zero. Everyone today is turning towards this resource for information and business in order to find new areas of success. If you are one that is familiar with the Internet, you may also know that getting involved in this virtual community can bring you success!

Where to Find Clients?

After you have gathered together your information, it’s time to find customers! Building your own website will be the best way to advertise your services. It will let others see what you have available and will give several the opportunity of finding you through the Internet. The more websites you build for companies and individuals, the more you will be able to advertise, leaving you with a full time business. Several online freelance job sites have new projects looking for freelancers posted daily.

One of the opportunities that arise with web development is the ability to work on your own time. Usually, one website will take a few days to build, giving you the ability to work at your own pace, and set your own hours. Even with this, you can expect to make an average of $250 – $500 for every individual website, and more for more complicated websites that will need to be made for corporations and companies.

Web development is a business that is needed by other businesses and individuals today. Most that have any type of information or a product that they want to give to the community are working on building a web site. Being computer savvy with the Internet will give you possibilities to help businesses and individuals to profit, as well as your own business.

When you begin to get into web development, you will need to invest in specific things. The first will be the knowledge that you will need in order to develop websites. You will need programs such as Dream Weaver in order to put together the information for a website. If you don’t know how to work with this software, it might be in your best interests to take a class on building websites, or to begin studying the books that will best help you. Depending on the program and class you take, this may cost from $200-$500.

If you enjoy the Internet, why stop with looking at how others are building it? You can be a part of putting together cyber space by creating your own space for building websites. This will help others to advertise their product, and can build profit for you by offering information and products that you find valuable to the web.