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Website Design Tips - Good Website Design

The design and layout of your site is the next most important part of building a website. Make a bad choice here and it won't matter how great your content is or how much advertising you do. If your site looks bad no one will visit and those that do won't stay long or buy anything.

Choose your colors carefully and keep in mind that your tastes may not be appealing to your target audience. Try a few different color schemes and ask some of your friends or family for their opinions about them. And remember this term, "white-space". In general, white-space is the cornerstone of good website design. Keep the background areas where your information or products will be displayed white or another light / pale color. Dark or oddly colored backgrounds distract your visitors from your information and also can make it difficult to read. Background images are also a big don't for the same reasons plus they make your pages load more slowly. Colored text should also be used sparingly. Contrast is key, otherwise it can be very difficult to read. Here's an example. Try to use colored text only to emphasize important information. If you choose to use a color other than black throughout your site make sure it is dark.

The layout is how things are arranged on your pages. There are many different ways to display your content and we'll cover that a bit farther down the page. What we're going to discuss here are the elements that frame your content such as your navigation menu buttons, any graphical accents, logos, etc.

The name of your website, domain name, or business name should be prominently featured somewhere at or near the top of your pages either within your logo or near it. And it should fit within the typical boundaries of the page. If you make it too big or it contains too many words then it will stretch your pages so wide that most visitors won't be able to see the whole page unless they scroll sideways. Very annoying, and definitely not good website design. More about this later.

The placement of the navigation buttons or links of a website are usually placed in one of 3 different areas of the page. Across the top of each page or down the left or right side. The Site Builder also allows you to automatically include a second set of navigational links at the bottom of all your pages. Regardless of where you choose to put them try to keep the text on the buttons or in the links as short as possible. Anything longer than one or two words will cause that part of your layout to be too wide and crowd your content area.

Where your navigation buttons or links appear on your pages should be decided by the number of main or primary pages you will have in your website. Primary pages are the pages organized just below your home page in the structure or diagram of your website.

In general, you can only fit up to 8 buttons (maybe less depending on how much text you use) across the top of your pages and if you choose that layout then how the subpage page links are displayed also may have a limitation. Some layouts with top page primary page buttons will also display subpage links in a second row across the top and others will display them down the left side of the page.

Navigation buttons down either side of your pages don't run into any limitations due to the endless amount of vertical space on every page. Remember though that the amount of text on the buttons will greatly affect the amount of space for content.

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