Being a great web designer takes years but, at its core, web design is pretty simple. It really boils down to a few principles and understanding what crucial mistakes need to be avoided. Practically anyone who can use a computer can build a website, and once you understand the basics of web design, you’ll at least be able to build sites that will get decent results and won’t be shunned by search engines. Let’s take a look at a few design tips all starting web designers should follow.
Keep Things Simple
One of the biggest mistakes people make when designing websites is trying to put too many elements on the screens. Beginners often don’t understand what makes for good web design. But, if you take the time to look at some of the biggest sites out there, many of them are surprisingly simple.
You should never underestimate the power of white space in web design. It allows you to direct your user’s attention towards what you want. Every element you add to your page will end up watering down others and you should never let some superfluous design element divert people from your call-to-action.
Get Your Navigation and Semantics Right
You also have to make sure that your navigation is easy and that your tags and descriptions are correct. Good navigation enhances the user experience, and will also affect how well your site is ranked by Google. Your meta tags and descriptions will allow Google to know what your site is about and will be the first thing people see in search results, so do not neglect that part.
Choose the Proper Image Formats
Another thing you have to pay very special attention to is the size and the format of the images you use on your site. There is no point in using heavy PNG images when you can get pretty much the same results with JPEG or WebP images. Heavy images will slow your website down which will be unpleasant for visitors and also score you negative points with Google.
You also have to think twice about using flash animations. You don’t need to use flash when you could get roughly the same results by using something like HTML5 instead. Your site will load faster and you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues.
Pick High-Quality Images
Images are what will make or break your site’s design. Even if you do everything right, you will never get a good-looking website if your pictures look amateurish. So, do yourself a favor and at least hire a professional photographer if you want to showcase images of your team, product, or installations.
You also have to be very careful of how you use stock photography. There are times where it could work, but it shouldn’t look obvious. The worst thing you can do is post pictures of random people as they will make your site look less trustworthy. Don’t choose pictures that look too generic and instead go for images that truly align with your brand, your products or services, and your message.
Older people tend to think of web design from a PC standpoint first, but things have greatly changed over the years. The majority of people now browse the web through mobile devices, and Google uses the mobile version of the website as the default in their rankings. This means that you need to have a website that performs well on mobile if you want to get ranked, even if your site looks perfect on a desktop.
These are all tips that you can apply to build better websites that boost conversions. Everything comes with practice, but these principles will allow you to start your journey to master website building on the right foot.