Website templates are very affordable and they save you a lot of effort and time when you want to create a new layout for your website. However, a lot of people make mistakes in the process of choosing and using a web template and end up with something that was unlike the image they had in mind. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid those mistakes.
The first obvious mistake you should be aware of is using a template that is very popular. If many people use the same template, your website will not appear unique at all and your credibility as a solid, different website will be tarnished. In other words, you will appear generic just like your next-door neighbors.
To whole point of using a web template is to save time and effort. You just change the title and appropriate details and you’re done. The biggest mistake one makes is to customize the template beyond recognition. While that may be good in the sense that you’re creating a unique graphic, you’re defying the very purpose of using a web template — saving time and effort.
However, on the opposite side, if a template you purchase is suitable but some changes must be made to suit your site’s theme, then you will have to take some time to make the changes. For example, you can find a very nice template that suits your hobby site except the original designer has put an image of stamps in the header. You can find images of garden plants and spades to replace the stamps for your gardening hobby site. However, do only make the necessary changes and don’t redesign the whole template.
In some circumstances, some people simply make the wrong choice of templates. This is a very subjective issue but you have to be careful in selecting templates to suit your audience. Do not choose templates just because they are pretty, choose them because they serve your purpose.
A sitemap is often considered redundant in the process of building a website, and that is indeed the fact if you made a sitemap for the sake of having one. By highlighting the importance of having a well-constructed sitemap, you will be able to tailor your own sitemap to suit your own needs.
1) Navigation purposes
A sitemap literally acts as a map of your site. If your visitors browses your site and gets lost between the thousands of pages on your site, they can always refer to your sitemap to see where they are and navigate through your pages with the utmost ease.
2) Conveying your site’s theme
When your visitors load up your sitemap, they will get the gist of your site within a very short amount of time. There is no need to get the “big picture” of your site by reading through each page, and by doing that you will be saving your visitors’ time.
Recently a colleague/friend was generous enough to donate his superb custom desktop PC gaming machine to me after many discussion on how my quirky MacBook Pro couldn’t handle intensive graphical games such as Assassin’s Creed. What do you expect for a 4-year-old MacBook? Is what I would say.
When I finally setup the super machine, I felt like a kid in a candy store on Steam and GOG. I felt like buying everything and anything not concerning myself with reviews/metacritic scores.
After further discussions with colleague/friend, he explained to me that your time is short when comes to play video games. Ain’t that the truth when you’ve got to concern yourself things like work. So he compiled a list of video games that I should play before I die (not necessarily in order).
The two lists are divided mostly by graphical fidelity. older 8/16 bit graphic games are relegated by default to the second list. It’s not a question of whether they are good games, but just that to “get into” them is a bit harder since the graphics are no longer immerse by today’s standards.
There is no point in building a website unless there are visitors coming in. A major source of traffic for most sites on the Internet is search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing and so on. Hence, by designing a search engine friendly site, you will be able to rank easily in search engines and obtain more visitors.
Major search engines use programs called crawlers or robots to index websites to list on their search result pages. They follow links to a page, reads the content of the page and record it in their own database, pulling up the listing as people search for it.
Your website is the hub of your online business; it is the virtual representation of your company whether your company exists physically or not. When you are doing business online, people cannot see you physically like how they could if they were dealing with an offline company. Hence, people do judge you by your covers. This is where a good design comes in.
Imagine if you are running an offline company. Would you allow your salesperson to be dressed in shabby or casual clothes when they are dealing with your customers? By making your staff wear professionally, you are telling your customers that you do care about quality. This works simply because first impressions matter.
Similarly, the same case is with your website. If your website is put together shabbily and looks like a 5 minute “quick fix”, you are literally shouting to your visitors that you are not professional and you do not care for quality.
Below is a list of my favorite documentaries that I think all video game lovers should watch. How did I come up with this list? Easy by watching Netflix streaming, and it all started with “Indie Game: The Movie” and the awesome recommendations via Netflix started piling up.
Even though more and more Internet users switch to broadband every year, a large portion of the web’s population is still running on good old dialup connections. It is therefore unwise to count them out of the equation when you’re designing your website, and a very major consideration we have to make for dialup users is the loading time of your website.
Generally, all the text on your website will be loaded in a very short time even on a dialup connection. The culprit of slow-loading sites is mainly large images on your website, and it is very important to strike a delicate balance between using just enough images to attract your users and not to bog down the overall loading time of your site.
Here are some simple but good web design principles. Your website is where your business resides — it’s like the headquarter of an offline company. Hence, it is important to practice good web design principles to make sure your site reaches out to the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible.
1. Make sure you have clear directions on the navigation of your website. The navigation menu should be uncluttered and concise so that visitors know how to navigate around your website without confusion.
No matter how brilliant your website design is, if it is hard to reach the content of your site then your site is as useful as an empty shell. Here are some tips to improve the usability of your website to ensure it serves its functions optimally.
The first method is to make sure the typography of your content is suitable. If you have large blocks of text, make sure to use CSS to space out the lines accordingly. The longer a single line of text is, the greater the line-height of each line should be. Also, make sure the font size of your text is big enough to read easily. Some sites have 10-pixel-tall text in Verdana font; while that may look neat and tidy, you have to really strain your eyes to read the actual text.
Make it easy for visitors to find content that they want on your site. If you have thousands of articles on your site and a certain visitor wants to find one single article from that pile, you have to provide a feasible means to enable visitors to do that without hassle. Be it an SQL-driven database search engine or just a glossary or index of articles that you have, providing such a feature will make sure your visitors can use your site with ease.
Ensure that your site loads fast if you do not want to lose visitors. Most internet users will leave a website if it doesn’t load completely within 15 seconds, so make sure the crËme de la crËme of your website is delivered to the visitors as soon as possible to retain their attention.
Last of all, test each and every link on your site before it goes online. There is nothing more effective in tarnishing your professional image than broken links, so be very careful about that.
The following five people, I have selected because they have influenced and motivated me in my career as a designer/developer. Some the people you may recognize their name right away, others you may not, The list is is no particular order, by least favorite or most liked, I find each person interesting in their own way.
Banksy: is an England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director and painter. His art can be funny, political, social and distinctive. I particular enjoy his stencil like technique with his wall street art. The one thing that bothers me about Banksy is no one really know who he is, his identity is always hidden. I can understand this because of the some of art can be considered “vandalism” but it would be nice to put a face behind the name. But I guess the unknown makes him his character. Some my own personal design is inspired by Banksy. Unfortunately this style of design is to casual for the corporate world.