Last time we talked about website layout tips, we covered the importance of keeping important information “above the fold,” minimizing the distractions on the web page, and learning how to make sure your web page works in multiple browsers. But designing an effective website doesn’t end there. Here are a few more website layout tips to help you maximize the browsing experience your are trying to offer.
1 – Use contrast to make your message pop. In the course of web browsing, it is not uncommon to find websites that use low contrast colors. When this happens, your message is lost. It becomes difficult to read if the background color and the font color are too similar. Typically, it is best to use a dark font on a light background (like this site!). Sometimes, you can get away with switching this, but it should be an intentional choice.
2 – Stick with standard website design protocols. Everyone knows that an underlined word means that word is linked to another web page. So, when you are setting your CSS code, don’t change these simple things. Likewise, there are some standard informational pages that web browsers have come to expect. Make sure you have them and are using a similar naming convention that way no one has to hunt them down. In the worst case scenarios, they will get frustrated and take their eye balls to another web site. At a minimum, be sure to include the following links, and add them to every page where reasonable – Home, About, and Contact.
3 – Don’t be afraid of white space. It is okay to leave some of the space on your page blank. White space can be found in between elements, like a margin. It is there to make what you do publish easier to see and give the eyes a rest as they bounce around and take in all that you are sharing.
4 – Keep your page loading time down. Anecdotal evidence suggests that when pages take longer than 8-10 seconds to load, readers leave. You can follow this website layout tip by not loading your page up with too many images or java script. If you do use a lot of images, make sure they are optimized for web browsing. And if you do use java script (you do use it, don’t you?) then keep it in an external .js file. (This is an advanced website layout tip, if it doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry.) If you aren’t sure how long it takes your web page to load on other people’s computers, you can check it out at WebsiteOptimization.com. Not only will this tool tell you how long it takes your site to load at various speeds, it will also suggest areas you can change to improve your site loading time.
Now that I’ve shared seven different website layout tips, what questions do you have? Would you like a website layout analysis? Leave a comment and we may feature your website in an upcoming post.
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