Whether you’re building a website for your brand or just doing it for pleasure, web design can be an absorbing and rewarding pastime. There’s something about constructing a beautifully-designed website that feels like solving a puzzle or building a particularly excellent piece of furniture. It’s hard to describe the joys of web design to people who haven’t experienced them. If you’re just starting out, you’ve got quite the journey ahead of you, but you need to make sure you put best practices into…well, practice. Here are 10 tips for building your first website.

10 Tips For Building Your First Website

1. Keep SEO in mind

SEO is one of the most vital principles of modern web design. Without SEO, nobody will be able to find the website you’ve made. SEO involves hitting Google keywords that people want to search for, as well as optimizing the page and ensuring your images are all on point. If this isn’t your strong suit, there are services out there, such as iNETVENTURES.com, that can help you with this element of your website. It’s not worth getting this wrong!

2. Purpose is vital: Tips building first website

At all times during the web design process, keep this question in mind: what is the purpose of the website? What are you trying to get people to do? Whether it’s reading the content within, buying a product, or signing up for a service, it’s important to keep this goal at the forefront of the design process. All of the elements of the site should be pointing users towards completing that goal. If it’s content, always direct them to more. If it’s buying something, keep that product in view at all times.

3. Use other sites as inspiration

There’s a good reason some sites rank higher on Google than others. You can learn a lot from how popular websites are optimized, so look to them for inspiration. You don’t have to rip them off; in fact, it’s better to bring your own design philosophy to bear on your site. However, learning techniques that work and are proven to be effective can be a great boon for you as a web designer. There’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from other pages.

4. Hire a graphic designer if you need one

Amateurish graphic design is obvious to even an untrained eye. It’s not worth losing out on potential customers just because your graphic design is lackluster, so make sure that if you need to hire someone to work on the visual aspect of your site, you prioritize that. As a web designer, it is worth brushing up on this element of your craft, though; if brands want to hire you, then you’ll need to show you can provide the goods in all aspects of the job.

5. Menus are everything: Tips building first website

When customers are done reading the front page of your site, the first thing they will look for is an intuitive menu to help them navigate. That’s why it’s critical to get the menu design right. Menus should be easy to use, obvious, and user-friendly. Don’t include arcane options that don’t make sense, and always keep user experience in mind. Think about what you would want to find on this website if you were a user. Again, look to other sites’ menus for inspiration!

6. Get a good domain name

A great, memorable domain name is one of the many keys to getting people to remember your site. It should encapsulate what your site is all about and what you provide in a nutshell. Of course, it should also contain a creative flair; if you have a cooking website, “cookingrecipes.com” wouldn’t suffice. Think about what your unique angle is. If your site is all about dessert recipes, for example, why not something like “shortbreadandsweets.com”? Keep in mind your domain name should be snappy, memorable, and fun.

7. Make your content stand out: Tips building first website

Whatever the mission of your website is, the content is the way you’re going to realize that mission. Everything on your site should be informative, well-researched, and compelling for the reader. If your site has a blog, write posts about commonly asked questions pertaining to your field. Content isn’t just text, though; images should be sharp, creative, and innovative, while video content should be well-edited, well-lit, and just the right length to hold interest.

8. Responsive design is critical

If you aren’t familiar with the principles of responsive design, it’s important to get educated on this vital aspect of web design. In essence, responsive design alludes to the way in which various devices are able to display your content. If, for example, you don’t design a website to be mobile-friendly, then the mobile version of your site is just going to be the same as the desktop version, and you’ll lose a huge amount of mobile traffic.

9. Your backend is also important

There are lots of content management systems out there that will help you to manage content. This will be especially important as you create more and more content, so using systems like WordPress or Drupal is vital. WordPress is far and away the most popular system of its kind, but it may not offer all the functionality you need, so be sure to shop around before you make a decision. Migrating content from one CMS to another can be a pain, so make a decision you’re happy with!

10. Always analyse

Analytics is an important way to see whether your site is performing as you’d want it to. The most popular analytics tool is Google Analytics, which can give you a whole host of useful information about your website. If you don’t like the look or feel of Google’s software, though, there are lots of other apps you can use that fulfill the same purpose. Just make sure you don’t neglect this aspect of your web design because knowing what you’re doing right (and wrong) can help inform your strategy going forward.        

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