The design of your website is the second primary area that you have to be concerned about. Once youâ€™ve started writing your content, when you have a couple of pages put together, itâ€™s time to start thinking about the design of the site.
When I talk about the design of the site, I actually fold the coding of the site up into this same topic. The two are dependent on one another, and I feel that you canâ€™t talk about one without addressing the other.
In this section, Iâ€™ll be talking about:
The website design process: This will cover a general overview of the steps involved in a website design.
Timing: Things to consider in the timing of designing a website
Who can design your website:
- Design it yourself
- Standard Templates: what theyâ€™re good and not good for
- Highly-Customizable Templates
- A graphic designer
- A web designer
- A web + graphic designer
- About hiring different people
Things to consider while you go through the design process:
- The website must match and extend your brand. Your logo and Visual Vocabulary for your website needs to match your printed pieces so that itâ€™s clear that they all come from the same company.
- You can use more colors online. Many small businesses limit their color palette in print to one or two colors, because of printing costs. But, online, colors are free â€“ so why not expand your palette?
- Vertical or horizontal navigation? While a horizontal navigation bar looks more sophisticated and takes up less room, it also gives you less room to grow, and makes secondary navigation more difficult.
- Do you need secondary navigation? If so, how should it look?
- Consistency in navigation
- Should your design fill the whole web browser or be constrained?
- Do you have to worry about â€œweb safe colorsâ€?
- The advantages to using straight lines and edges.
- Flash vs. HTML: The pros and cons of both.
- Easier ways to get animation on your site: Animated GIFs
- Preparing graphics for online use
Specifics of text design:
- HTML vs. text as an image: The debate over having cool fonts or Search Engine friendly text
- Style sheets and why they make sense for text design
- Underlining and how to use it on the web
- How to use signatures on your web page
- Callout boxes
- Side bars
- Custom fonts in-line with other text
- Re-planning the navigation: What pages do you no longer need, what pages do you need to add?
- Complete re-coding
- Much the same as designing