It is easy for first time webmasters to become intimidated with the plethora of choices available to complete a website. Creating the perfect look and feel for a site can and often evolves as the project nears its completion. When building a website for the first time there are few pointers to keep in mind:
Start with the end in mind
This may seem counter intuitive as most projects, just like a stories, are best started from the beginning. However, it is best to start with the end goal because with all the options presented during the building process it can be easy to get off track. Knowing what you want your visitors to do once they get to your site is the best question to ask yourself when planning your first website.
Know Your Audience
Just as you start with the end in mind, you must also know your audience. This will allow you to tailor your options to the overall tastes of your target demographic. Will your audience appreciate multiple forms of content consumption such as the written word or will videos be more useful? If you are entertaining a more senior demographic are your fonts easily adjustable? When you think of the needs of your audience your site will naturally evolve to please them and you will gain loyalty from your visitors.
Avoid Standalone Options
As a first time web builder avoid sophisticated standalone systems, software and FTP uploading. These systems require a large learning curve and you will spend more time learning than creating. Start with a web hosted option which will allow you to design in the cloud. Templates are a new designer’s best option because someone else has already completed the hard work of coding and you can focus on the aesthetics of your site.
The use of Flash technology on a website is a source of pride for the webmaster. However, this is a trap that must be avoided. Flash looks good to the designer but in today’s fast-paced world there is no time for it. Flash slows down the loading of your site and depending on the end user can hinder their ability to see your site. This often leaves potential visitors frustrated and some will leave your site never to return.
Create a List
Regardless of the type of site you have, you need some way to contact those visitors that wish to stay in contact with you. There are countless plug-ins and contact forms that allows visitors to leave their email address. Remember less is more when capturing information from your visitors. Usually you only need their first name and email address. If a form is too long most visitors will opt to not leave their information.
Creating your first website is a fun challenge. Websites are dynamic documents. Unlike published hard copy works, a website can change as often as needed in order to stay current. Keep your visitors in mind while designing from start to finish and you will find yourself with a site you can be proud of.
This guest post comes from freelance writer Victoria on behalf of Site2You.