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.

How Much Text Should You Place on a Web Page?

A frequent question that arises amongst web designers is how much text should be placed on a web page. However many web designers use decisions based on subjective feelings rather than basing their decisions on quantitative research.

Page density refers to the proportion of a web page that is occupied by text and graphics whilst white space is the portion of the page where nothing is displayed. The percentage of page white space and the percentage of the page density will amount to 100%.

Long before viewing hypertext pages on the web researchers conducted studies to investigate the relationship between the amount of information contained on a page and the amount of time that it took for a user to find an item as part of a predefined task.  Not surprisingly and in accordance with what many would intuitively think they found that the more information that was placed on a screen then the longer it took to complete the task.

In light of this research many authors have suggested guidelines on the amount of information that should be presented to users at any one time.  Some authors have issued guidelines stating that screen densities of 25% shouldn’t be exceeded at one end of the scale and 60% at the other.  However one aspect these items didn’t cover which the web designer or web developer should be aware (but frequently aren’t) is that other components of a web page have a significant effect on a web users interaction with a website and consequently the effectiveness of the site other than just the page density.

Furthermore, the main question for a web designer who has a fixed amount of information to present on a webpage is what page density to use as that will directly affect the number of pages required by the site.

One study tried to address this question by presenting a fixed amount of information with different numbers of pages. There were a large number of low density pages, a medium number of average density pages and a low number of high density pages. Other factors such as the need to scroll the screens of information were removed from the study.

What the result of this investigation found and should be remembered by web designers at all times is that performance was significantly faster on the low number of high density pages, with the performance being worst on the high number of low density pages. Another interesting attribute of this investigation was that there was little difference between novice and experienced users, high density pages always won.

These results suggest, to a certain extent, that the best approach for web design is that lots of information should be placed on a webpage as densely as possible without risking the loss of user accuracy or satisfaction. This will also result in a lower number of web pages which a user will have to navigate through. Some people may take this to the apparent logical conclusion that everything should be placed on one page. However, to keep the web designer on his toes, other factors come into play, such as the need to scroll and how the information is presented on page, let alone the time to load individual pages.

A further study which supports high page densities which involved users searching for information on commercial websites found that the more white space, the less successfully people found information. The authors however speculated that although this aided readers who were looking for specific information, it may not be helpful to people skimming pages, who will be most successful when they can skim the most material the most quickly.

However before the web designer or web developer set out to create the ultimate web design there are other design tricks that can increase the effectiveness of a web site.  There are four items that should be remembered:

  • Abbreviations. By using abbreviations which the users will be familiar with rather than the full text the density of information that be conveyed in a limited number of words is dramatically increased.
  • Reduce unnecessary detail. Don’t get carried away with superfluous detail. Winston Churchill once apologised for writing a long letter to someone as he didn’t have time to write a concise letter. Spend time by rigorously reducing the amount of unnecessary text.
  • Familiar format and presentation. By presenting information to users in a familiar way so that they don’t have to think increases the speed and accuracy. Examples of this would be presenting dates in d/m/y format for Europe and m/d/y for the US. Other items would include postcodes (zip codes), thousands separators and telephone numbers (don’t use full international numbers if the users will be from the same locality).
  • Tabulate. If information can be presented in table form then the web design should reflect that. Tables have the advantage of allowing the use of descriptive column and row headings that exquisitely eliminate the need to keep repeating the same label to data elements. The result being the same amount of information with reduced text.

By being aware of these web design guidelines it is possible to create a web site that will allow users to effectively interact and leave a lasting good impression of your hard work.

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.