When it comes to designing a basic website, it’s not always necessary to hire a web designer to build one from the ground up. There are a number of online services that can help you input information into a basic template and help you get up and running in no time flat. For those that want to get a bit more creative, however, here are a few tips for what NOT to do when designing your first website.
Use Flash or Motion Graphics
Flash animations and motion graphics are great for slick, professional commercial websites, but they can also take a prohibitively long time to load with slower internet. People may be willing to wait for content from large companies and corporations, but for small businesses they are generally a bad idea.
There is a tendency among newer or novice designers to want to use all the tools at their disposal to make as showy and flashy a website as possible. This is often a bad idea. The problem with sound on websites is you cannot quickly turn it down or mute it. You should always design your website with the idea of someone accessing it from a public location in mind.
Make it Complicated
Having a somewhat plain or boring website may not necessarily draw a lot of traffic to your website, but neither will your business at first. Your website can grow along with your business. Start with something basic and simple and do an upgrade every few months changing the theme and focus as your business does. Just don’t make it hard to access pages, find information, or unnecessarily complicating the way people navigate the site. According to the Timmermann Group, the key to website success is balancing form with function. You should strike a good aesthetic without sacrificing user-experience.
Make it Text Heavy
Nowhere is the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” more appropriate then when it comes to web design. Great attention-grabbing images will beat out walls of text every time. By using the right images, visitors should be able to land on your page and know exactly what your business or company does or is about without having to read a single word.
DIY If You Don’t Know What You’re Doing
Some people just have knack for great layout and design, while others do not. It’s important to acknowledge your own strengths and weaknesses and when it doubt, hire it out. There are a number of ways to get a good, basic website that doesn’t cost you an arm or a leg. These days there are generally any number of smaller, local firms that can help local or even local or smaller businesses get their websites up and running quickly and easily.
Building and designing your own website can be a simple, quick, and easy process. The best rule of thumb is to not try and make it to flashy or complicated. Your website should communicate who you are and what you do in as straightforward a manner as possible, without making information to difficult to find.