Web Design 101 – Web Design Tips For Beginners

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Web Design Tips

Following on from our last post ‘Beginners guide on how to create a website’, I thought it would be good to take a look at some web design tips when starting your new site.  I’ve actually been thinking about this topic for a while now as I have been working on a site for a client of mine.

In this post we will be looking at some basic web design tips to help get you started and ultimately get your site up and running.

Save Yourself The Hassle And Use WordPress

WordPress is such a great tool to build (and run) websites that I would always recommend you use it for your own site.  It is really easy to use and offers a HUGE amount of flexibility to how you want your site to look/function.

What’s even better is that it is constantly being updated and improved for the millions of websites that currently use it.  This means that your site will always be kept up-to-date for the ever changing internet landscape.

WordPress doesn’t require you to have any previous knowledge of web design or HTML.  All you need is a good plan of how you want your site to look/function and you will be able to achieve that with a bit of practice.

Create An Uncluttered Website

When planning out the design of your website, it is always better to keep things simple and not clutter up your site with lots of different, needless stuff.

If you are creating your very first site, you may struggle with this step.  You don’t want to be like a kid in a candy store and start adding anything and everything to your site – believe me, this can be pretty easy to do.  You may want to add; search boxes, maps, Twitter streams, flashy graphics, videos, etc. all on your home page, but it is much better to keep things simple.

The more stuff you put on your pages, the more your readers attention can be distracted.  Say you were running a blog – you want people to read your posts, not get distracted half way down the page by a flashy graphic that doesn’t really do anything.

Think about the main aim you want for your site and look at designing your site to achieve that.  There are plenty of great WordPress themes that you can use to help you.  Make sure you check out the Genesis WordPress themes as they are some of the most popular themes available.

White Space Is Good!

Ever wondered why show homes tend to pain their rooms white.  It is to help show off the features of the house and not distract people with snazzy wallpaper.

The same principle can be applied to websites.  Instead of trying to fill every available space with something, don’t be afraid to just leave white space.

White space is good!  It helps direct viewer’s attention to the areas that you want them to look and also helps to make your site look cleaner and uncluttered.

Simple Navigation

Navigation is key to your site as it is how people will get around to all the different areas.  You don’t want to overwhelm people with lots and lots of different links, so try to limit your menus to a select few.  These menu links should be to your most important pages that you want them to find (e.g. contact page and about page).

Responsive Site

One thing that you MUST consider when designing your website is whether you want it to be responsive or not.  For those that don’t know, a ‘responsive website’ is one that works across multiple devices (laptop, mobile, tablet, etc.).

There isn’t really any reason why you wouldn’t want your site to work on multiple devices, but it is important to consider because there are some themes that aren’t responsive.

More and more people are accessing the internet via their smart phones, so it pays to have your site working perfectly for them.  If it doesn’t, you are instantly limiting your potential audience.  This was one of the main features that I focused on when redesigning my site a while ago.

These Web Design Tips WILL Help

These are just some simple web design tips to get you started, but they are pretty key ones.  I think the underlying theme is to keep your site as simple as possible and make sure that it is accessible on multiple devices.  Do that and you are on your way to creating a decent site.

What web design tips would you add to this list?  What tips did you find most helpful when designing your site? Please let us now in the comment section below.

About Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the founder and editor of OnlineIncomeTeacher. He is a Professional Blogger, SEO Consultant & Web Developer, running a number of sites from the UK. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  • Clair Trebes

    You make some interesting points here Matt, most notably the one about “white space” I’m actually a fan of white space, and i was told by a third party SEO “specialist” once that white space is a major contributing factor to a websites’ bounce rate – something I actually thought was quite strange to say, seeing as some of the most popular and creative sites make great use of it!

    I’ve played around with my site and how it functions so much, and as you know have had some downtime on mine whilst trying to redesign it – something that has taken me longer than planned with one thing and another – but I’m a HUGE fan of wordpress and honestly think that for CMS it’s simply got to be the obvious choice, I like how you can give your site a make over and it not have to take forever!

    Great post! :)

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Clair,

      No surprise me saying that I’m a big WordPress fan as well. It’s great that you can (more-or-less) do a complete redesign of a site, without it taking ages. Plus, the fact that there are plenty of pre-made themes to choose from, there is a lot of choice to how you can layout a site.

      I hadn’t heard about the ‘white space’/'bounce rate’ connection before, but it kind of makes sense really. The clearer your content is presented, the less likely it is that readers will get distracted and navigate elsewhere.

  • Russell William

    Web Designerdesign Company specializes
    in redesigning website and taking the current website to the next level. And
    complete focuses on your requirements and manages to give your existing website
    a new look and feel.

  • LJ

    I’m a WordPress user too and I have to say the number of design and functions available are excellent. You can tailor a site to suit your needs no matter what your niche market. The idea of leaving white space is new to me, so thanks for the tip, will try it and see what happens!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi LJ,

      I love WordPress for that exact reason – that you can tailor just about any site to suit your needs. Makes it a lot easier for anyone to set up a site.

      Definitely give ‘white space’ a go on your site. It can help make a site look a lot cleaner and uncluttered.