Avoiding Some Common Web Design Mistakes
Making your own website is a great idea from a financial standpoint. Free sites are now available from multiple different providers, or you can get a cheap domain name for your business. Software programs mean that no coding knowledge is necessary, and thus many companies are doing their own site. However, every designer needs to know how to avoid some common web design mistakes, in order to make a useful site.
Choose a plain background. A lot of interesting, cool backgrounds are awesome on their own, but they can overwhelm the site and make it hard to read or focus on when used as a background. Tailor your background color to suit your graphics and main text color, and try to use either a light, understated pattern, or a solid color.
Avoid very bright colors, in most cases. Bright, neon colors can be jarring, and difficult to read. They also don't look very professional. Judicious use of certain bright colors, such as red, can be good for getting the eye to go where you want it to, but if you aren't sure about the use of a brilliant hue, don't use it.
Use only one bright, busy type of graphic. Position it to draw the eye to something important, such as your website links, or your contact information. Busy, brightly colored graphics naturally draw people's attention, and are the first thing they see. Multiples only cause confusion, and make it hard for people to find what they want.
Make sure the links are obvious and easy to navigate. Making them a different color than the rest of the text on the page is a good idea. Try to line them up in neat rows or columns, and label them clearly. Double check to make sure they work every time you change them. Consider the color of a clicked link in the major browsers when choosing the background color or pattern, as well.
Place your contact information prominently. If anything on your site isn't working well, you will want to know about it so that you can fix it. And customers who don't want to place orders over the internet (if your company sells items online) will want to phone you. For brick and mortar businesses, your address and phone number are essentials if your website is ever going to gain you any customers. The most common location for this information, which is where people will look for it, is at the bottom of the home page, or under a 'contact us' link.
Update regularly, and list the date of your last update on the site. There is nothing so annoying to a person who is considering coming to your business as finding out that you haven't updated in years and no longer carry what they want, or have moved and didn't update your address. Having a recent update date on your website marks the information as reliable.
It isn't that hard to make a workable website. As long as your avoid some common web design mistakes, your page should be functional and effective without a lot of work. If you want to hire a designer later, you can always do so, but many businesses get by just fine doing their own.