10 Basic Rules For Web Design

September 8, 2022

Are you looking for basic rules for web design? Do you want to learn how to make websites look professional? Or maybe you want to get started with web design.

To make a website look great, you need to understand web design basics. But most designers don't. They copy designs from other websites and call them “web design.”

Most designers aren't web designers. Instead, they're graphic designers who happen to dabble in HTML/CSS. And while they may be able to create an excellent-looking site, they lack the skills to build a functional, search-engine-optimized site.

Read on if you want to learn how to become a trustworthy web designer. This article will teach 10 essential rules for creating beautiful, SEO-friendly sites. These rules will help you create beautiful websites without spending hours learning HTML and CSS.

Group of serious young business specialists pointing at laptop monitor and discussing web design in office

Make Sure Your Site Works Well On All Browsers

Web browsers are the gatekeepers of the internet. They decide whether websites work well on different devices and screen sizes. So it's essential to test your site across multiple browsers.

The most popular browser is Google Chrome. But there are many others, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge. Each browser works differently, and each has its quirks.

To ensure your site looks great on every device, use responsive web design (RWD). RWD means designing your site to adjust automatically to fit whatever device it's viewed on. This makes your site look fabulous no matter where it's considered.

If you're unfamiliar with RWD, take some time to learn about it. There are plenty of resources online to help you out. We recommend checking this article out for a more fundamental explanation of what you need to do. 

Use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

CSS is a language used to style websites. It allows you to control every aspect of your site's appearance, including fonts, colors, layout, and graphics.

A good rule when designing a website is to use CSS. Without CSS, you're limited to just plain HTML code. Simple HTML doesn't allow you to control font sizes, colors, spacing, margins, padding, borders, backgrounds, or anything else.

With CSS, however, you can create beautiful sites that are responsive across different devices and browsers. No matter what device or browser you use, your site looks great!

There are many ways to add CSS to your website. One method is to use a preprocessor, such as LESS or SASS. Another option is to use a separate CSS file. Yet another option is to use inline styles.

Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to include a link back to your leading site within each CSS file. This helps search engines find your pages and gives visitors a sense of continuity between your site and its content.

Don't Forget Page Titles And Descriptions

Page titles and descriptions are important because they're the first things visitors see when they arrive at your site. They help them decide whether to stay or leave. So don't forget them!

The title should be short and sweet. Don't use too many words. Keep it simple and direct. Avoid long sentences and paragraphs. Use bullet points instead.

Descriptions should be longer than the titles. They give visitors additional information about your content. Make sure they include keywords. Also, avoid using exclamation marks (!) or question marks (?) in your description. Those punctuation symbols are used to emphasize specific words. But they distract visitors who scan your page looking for those words. Instead, use boldface or italics to highlight keywords.

Finally, don't forget to add alt tags to your images. Alt tags tell search engines what each picture represents. Without alt tags, search engine spiders won't recognize your images. Therefore, they won't show up in search results.

Alt tags are significant for images that represent your company logo. Your logo is often the most recognizable element on your website. So make sure it appears prominently in your alt tag.

Give Users Control over How They View Your Pages

Web pages should be designed to give users control over how they view them. This allows users to hide content, change fonts, and turn off animations.

This is especially important when designing websites for children. Children often have difficulty reading large blocks of text and may not understand certain words or concepts. So, rather than forcing kids to read long paragraphs of text, designers should allow them to toggle between different views of the same webpage.

Another reason to give users control over viewing your pages is that some browsers block popups. Some parents may not want their child to accidentally visit a site where they're bombarded with ads.

When creating your website, you should consider whether you want to include a search box. Search boxes help visitors find information quickly. But, if you don't have a search box, you won't rank well in Google searches.

Also, remember to include contact information on every page of your website. Visitors who land on your homepage should be able to easily reach out to you via email, phone, or social media.

Modern office room of web designers with working places and people working

Include Keywords In Headlines And Text

Headings and tags are two critical elements of a webpage. They're used to organize content and help search engines find relevant information. But when you misuse headings and tags, you risk losing valuable traffic and revenue.

The first step to creating great headlines and tags is to include keywords. This helps search engine spiders find your site and rank it highly in search results.

Next, avoid using too many words in your headline and tag. Too many words dilute the meaning of your headline and tag, making it harder for search engines to understand your content.

Finally, be careful not to overuse keywords. Overusing keywords makes your site appear spammy and may cause Google to penalize your site.

Put Images In Their Correct Places

Images are the most eye-catching element of a website. They're the glue that holds everything together. So when designing a website, put images where they belong - in their correct places.

The top left corner of a webpage should be reserved for navigation elements, including buttons, menus, and search boxes. This area is typically called the header.

Next, place images in the center of the screen. This is the main content area. Use images to highlight important information, such as headlines, product descriptions, and call-to-action buttons.

Finally, use images at the bottom of the page to add visual interest and balance out the page. These areas include footers, sidebars, and contact forms.

If you've ever visited a website, you already know this stuff. But if you haven't, now's the time to learn these basic rules for web design. This article from Dig Designs can give you an overview of what you need! 

Avoid Flash

Flash is an excellent tool for creating cool animations and videos, but it's unnecessary for every website. Avoiding FFFlash means avoiding unnecessary bloatware and making websites faster.

If you're going to use Flash, keep these basic rules in mind:

  • Keep your site fast. Use HTML5 instead of Flash when possible.
  • Don't load too many files at once. Load only those needed for each section of your website.
  • Make your website responsive. Your website should work well on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Include a favicon (small icon) next to your website address in the browser's bookmarks bar. Favicons help users identify your website quickly.
  • Create a sitemap. This helps search engines find your content.
  • Add alt attributes to images. These describe the visual elements of an image. Alt tags tell search engines what an image contains.
  • Link to authoritative sources. Links back to your website show Google that your content is trustworthy.
  • Be careful with JavaScript. Some pages may slow down due to excessive JavaScript.
  • Avoid popups. Popup windows often annoy visitors and distract them from reading your content.
  • Keep your website clean. Remove clutter, including ads and banners.

Optimize Your Website For Search Engines

Something to keep in mind when designing a website is to optimize it for search engines. This means making sure that every element of your site is searchable.

Search engine optimization (SEO) includes optimizing your title, meta description, alt tags, and content. Also, include keywords throughout your pages and use descriptive titles and headings.

When writing your web copy, be careful not to overuse keywords. Overusing keywords makes your site appear spammy and may cause your site to be removed from search results.

Also, avoid using too many words per sentence. Keep sentences short and straightforward. Long paragraphs make it hard for search engines to index your site.

Remember to keep your website clean and free of clutter. Clutter distracts users and decreases conversion rates.

If you want to improve your SEO, consider hiring a professional web designer specializing in SEO. They can help you create a website that ranks well in search engines. Learn more about web designers here

Write Good Content That Will Attract Visitors

Writing content that appeals to your target audience is essential to attracting them to your site. This means writing content that matches their interests, needs, and desires.

The best aspect of appealing content is relevance. Relevance is when your content answers questions your audience may have. For example, if you're selling dog food, you wouldn't write about politics because your audience doesn't care about politics. However, if you were selling dog treats, you'd be able to write about politics because your target audience cares about politics.

Another aspect of appealing content is simplicity. Simplicity is when your content is clear, concise, and easy to understand. If your content is too complicated, visitors won't bother reading it.

The appeal is when your content is exciting and entertaining. People who find your content engaging and fun are likelier to share it with others. So keep your content simple, relevant, and appealing.

Test Your Websites

The basic rules for designing a website include ensuring your site loads quickly, looks great, and works well. These three things are critical because users won't wait long enough if your site doesn't load fast enough to see the content. If your site isn't attractive, they may not bother reading it. And if your site doesn't work properly, they'll leave immediately.

If you're having trouble getting your website to load quickly, there are several ways to optimize your site. One of the most important steps is to use compression software to reduce the amount of data transferred over the internet. Another step is to remove unnecessary graphics and images from your pages. Finally, avoid Flash animations and videos unless they're necessary.

Another critical aspect of website design is aesthetics. Make sure your site is clean and straightforward. Avoid flashy designs or overly complicated layouts. Keep everything organized and consistent. Don't clutter your pages with too many elements. Use white space to create visual interest. Also, keep your font sizes small. Small fonts are easier to read and are better suited for mobile devices.

Finally, make sure your website is responsive. Responsive sites automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes. They allow visitors to view your site on desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices.

Black lady working on a laptop in her office

When creating a website, remember that simplicity is often the best approach. Too many options can confuse visitors and slow down loading times. Instead, keep it straightforward. Focus on providing helpful information rather than trying to be clever. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Web design is a very complex topic. There are many different aspects to consider when designing a website, from usability to SEO (search engine optimization). But if you follow these basic rules, you should have a successful site.

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