Web Design & Web Site Design Guidelines

by YourOwnSite

Web Site Design Overview

Web site design is the first step. Before you can determine your web site’s requirements in step 2 or select a proper host in step 4 you must first decide what your web site is going to look like and what it is going to contain.

Note: Step 3 (domain name selection) can be done before or during the web design phase, if desired.
Web site design concerns encompass a wide range of factors to be considered and evaluated with regard to their effectiveness in supporting your web site’s objectives. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Content
    Text, writing style, page layout, continuity of web site, navigation logic.
  • Artistic Effect
    Proper use of graphic images, psychology of colors, photos, web site fonts and sound.
  • Performance
    Page loading time, browser compatibility.

Note: This is where you decide WHAT you want, not how you want it done. It is important not to concern yourself with the implementation details at this point including whether or not you will need to learn HTML. But, FYI, knowledge of HTML will not be necessary unless you decide in Step 2 to code the web site yourself, and then only if you decide to use a non-WYSIWYG editor. If you code it yourself with an ASCII or HTML (non-WYSIWYG) editor you must learn basic HTML and probably, depending upon your requirements, some CSS and JavaScript as well.

Web Site Design Expert Guidelines

Design Guidelines
Web design guidelines from HitBox.

The Foundations of Web Design
Web site design guidelines from Lycos.

Basics of Design Proper
Web design guidelines from Dmitry Kirsanov.

What Do You Have to Offer?
More web design tips from HitBox.

Good and Bad Web Design Features
Web site design pro’s and con’s.

Design Your Web Site

  • Decide Scope of Features

Produce a checklist of web site features that you want your web site to have. Visit web sites of similar purpose to generate ideas for your own. Determine the degree of web site sophistication needed and the scope of user interaction that will be provided, e.g., online credit card processing, shopping carts, bulletin boards, chat rooms, site search, etc.

  • Decide Page Layout & Navigation Scheme

Estimate the total number of web pages and name and define the purpose for each one. Plan the positioning and contents of the pages common areas – headers, footers and sidelinks. Also, decide upon a navigation scheme that will be consistent throughout the website. This may be as simple as a static set of side links on every page or as sophisticated as a pulldown cascading menu system which becomes more detailed as you go deeper into the site. Visit web sites of similar purpose or surf the internet freely to generate ideas of your own and be sure to consider the use of free web design templates.

  • Determine Keywords

Do your keyword analysis now to determine your most effective primary and secondary keyword phrases with respect to search engine positioning.

  • Draft the Content

Produce the text content that will appear on each page. Review the rules for incorporating keyword phrases into page content and the specific concerns relative to writing for the internet before beginning.
Decide Artistic Enhancement
Plan the artistic aspects; graphics, animations and text appearances. Check out the free web design templates for ideas.

  • Psychology of Colors
  • Font Selection
  • Performance Considerations

The Three (3) Levels of Web Site Design Sophistication

  • Basic
    All websites, whether Personal, Hobbyist, Organization or Small Business, have some or all of the basic ingredients.
  • Database Driven
    Websites can also have a backend database for storing and dynamically displaying various types of data.
  • Multimedia
    Websites can also have a multimedia enhanced appeal. This is entertaining but is not always effective, depending on your websites purpose. The user may not want to be bothered by a lot of intrusive and time consuming flashiness.

Determine the Most Effective Keyword Phrases for your Website

Google External Keyword Tool
This tool can be used to obtain the frequency with which specific keyword phrases were searched on in the last month. It allows you to see what keyword phrases users are actually entering into the search engines and it ranks them according to frequency. Throw a few keywords at it and see what it can tell you. Select the most popular, yet relevant, user keyword phrases as the main keyword phrases of your web page(s). Do this analysis for every page that you consider important and unique enough to warrant submission to the search engines.



Web Design & Web Site Design Guidelines

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