When it comes to designing your own website, the sky is the limit! You can make the site look as abstract as your mind can imagine it. However, there are a few things to avoid when putting your site together. I’ve compiled a list of 5 things to be aware of when creating a good-looking and functional site.
Neat little animated GIFs are neat. But that’s all. These type of graphics are fun for using as your image on MySpace or other community sites, but when it comes to your own website, their a no-no. Animated GIFs are outdated and make your site look otdted as well.
Flash animation is okay as long as it is kept to a minimum. I would recommend Flash animation only for the front page since many Flash features are large and tak awhile to load. You do not want your visitors to wait, everytime they click on a link in your site.
In any case, keep animations to a minimum. Of course, if you sell animated graphics or create Flash animation, then feel free to display your product!
If you’ve ever been to MySpace, you know that there are several way to dress up a site. On of those is having a different background than white. Also, if you’ve ever been to MySpace, you’ll notice that most backgrounds are very distracting and make text hard to read.
A good rule of thumb is if you are going to have a background image directly behind your text, make sure that:
- It is not the same (or close to the same) color as the text. Your background color and text should contrast. Some examles are haveing a black background with white text, or a white background with navy blue text.
- It does not distract from the message of your webpage. I page with intricate designs in the background may pull visitor’s eyes away from the content.
- It does not conflict with other images within your web page. Let’s face it an image on top of an image usually just does not work unless your background image was clearly designed to have other images on top of it.
Another thing to mention is that background patterns (or tiled background images) are outdated and make most web pages outdated. Most tiled background images I’ve seen these days are very subtle and give the illusion of a solid color. Look at the background image for OurChurch.Com. Very subtle and not distracting.
Images can be animportant part of a webpage. Many times they grab a visitors attention or evoke some sort of emotion. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using images on a site.
Images can be pretty big. I always recommend that a web master resize an image to the exact size it will be on the webpage. This does 2 things:
- It makes sure that an image size is no larger than it has to be. This directly effects how fast an image is loaded on a page.
- It does not cause the image to be distorted or “pixelated”. Resizing images using the width or height parameters within the “img” tag may cause your images to look strange.
Some images may not be seen. Believe it or not, some web surfers turn off their images in order to load pages faster. Web designers that put a lot of text within images basically waste their time with these people. If an image is going to have a lot of text in it, you may consider using actual text instead of using an image. For logos or headers, you can always use the “alt” paramater to explain what the image is all about. For example the OurChurch.Com logo might be coded as:
Another reason to not put too much text information within images is because search engines do not see images. “Alt” parameters help to a point, but actual text is the best solution.
5. Multi-Colored Sites
We’ve talked about images and background images/color a lot, but I wanted to mention one other thing that can really make your site look horrible. Many people believe that highlighting text or colored text makes content stand out and grab attention. This may be tru, but it may also give a negative impression on your website as a whole.
A good rule to go by is to try to use no more that 5 colors on your page. Also make sure that these 5 colors go together well. A great site to visit for color scheme ideas is http://kuler.adobe.com. Just stick to the same colors, and your site will look great!
Please post your thoughts or feelings about these points or share any experiences you have had. And, as always, if you found this article interesting or helpful, please vote for it on Blogs4God and GospelShout so others will see it.