Designing a website takes time, patience and a little bit of know-how. It can be easy if you already know what goes into great design, such as SEO and useful navigation. Read on to find some great tips and tricks which will help you build the website of your dreams.

Use JavaScript to include a custom font on your webpages. Libraries like Typekit and Google Web Fonts make it easy to include esoteric fonts on webpages, even if most visitors don't have those fonts on their computers. It works by embedding the font itself into JavaScript so that it can be decoded by the client on the fly.

Does your site pass the NoScript test? Try downloading the Firefox extension and activating to make sure your website is readable. There are some elements (e.g. ordering products) that will not work if there is no script. For this reason, if your website is blank and has no scripts, it will not work.

Minimize your web page's size. Not all people using the Internet have a fast connection, and loading times can make visitors lose interest. You don't want people to have to abandon your site because the pages won't load.

Always mark files that must be opened in an external program with an icon. Many sites host PDF files, and less commonly, DOC files, that must be opened in Foxit Reader and Microsoft Word/OpenOffice, respectively. These files should be marked with an icon representing the file type, and a link to download the appropriate viewer if the user does not have it.

Use a style sheet to stay consistent. There is almost nothing more disconcerting than being sent to a page that looks at nothing like the site you were just looking at, even if it is concerning the same subject. Style sheets help with saving your formatting, so each page looks similar to the rest.

Always ensure you are giving meaningful feedback, as this is what creates the communication between a website and its visitors. For example, if an action taken by a visitor results in an error, do not simply display "error occurred”. Instead, provide a message that explains what happened and how the visitor can correct the error by taking a different action. Without this feedback, visitors are more likely to grow frustrated and just give up by leaving your website.

To help you design a site that is easy for people to read all the information, make sure the pages are not too wide. If the pages are not too wide then they will fit on most people's computer screens. If the page is too wide, then part of your valuable information could be left off the page.

Build your website using a content management system. Knowing how to build a website using just HTML and CSS is good foundation knowledge, but this can only produce a static website. Web design has evolved into providing dynamic content. If you couple your coding skills with the use of a content management system, you can practically build any type of website that you desire.

Be sure your website works both with and without the "www" prefix. Some people will type this in before they head to your site as a force of habit, and some may not. You should make sure that customers will be directed to your site either way, or you may have some confused people on your hands.

Use breadcrumbs and make it so that clicking on the site logo returns you to the homepage. Breadcrumbs are markers that show where the visitor is in the site structure. For instance, the breadcrumbs might read "home > furniture > beds." When the user clicks a link in the breadcrumbs, he can return to a page further up in the site hierarchy. Clicking on a business logo should generally take the visitor back to the homepage as well.

Adobe Dreamweaver is great for those that wish to create their own sites. Even novices can understand this program quickly. It has lots of features, templates, and layouts to choose from. You can also test how the site will look before it goes live.

Designing a website does not mean you have to spend money. For each pricy, popular, useful website creation tool, there exists one of equal usefulness that costs less. You can get the same jobs done with open-source no-cost software, for instance, that you can do with corporate-funded for-profit programs. Utilizing open source software can help you save a significant amount of money.

Keep your font type simple on your website. Arial or Times New Roman is perfect for any website. You don't need to get carried away with bubble letters or illegible chicken wings. Exotic fonts might seem cool to you, but your visitors are going to have a tough time reading your site.

Master the art of locating navigation menus in the right spot if you want a great website. A good tip to implement here is to check around to see how other people are handling their navigation menus. This is the spot where your visitor will figure your site out. You can't have a hidden or confusing navigation menu.

You should set aside at least one day per week to update your website. If you're not updating it, you should at least check up on it to make sure that it's functioning properly. As a site designer, it's up to you, and you alone, to ensure that your site is in perfect working condition. If you fail to do so, you could lose a lot of traffic.

Don't use too many different fonts or text colors on your web pages. Word processing or web authoring software may present a dizzying array of specialty fonts or wacky colors, but if you use too many, the text on your website may become unreadable. A good practice is to use just one or two fonts per page and avoid excessive use of bold or italic text.

Now that you've read the ideas in this article, you should be able to go forth and design a website which will rival those of your competition. Keep learning to find new techniques to increase your traffic, add new content and boost your page to the top of your market.

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