You hear about web design all the time. It sounds so simple with all the templates and do-it-yourself solutions swirling around. But as you learn, once you roll up your sleeves, there's a lot to it.
Today, we'll show you how to get up and running in as little as five minutes.
Let's say you have a new service, product, or idea you want to share with everyone on your own website. You rush to GoDaddy and snap up your domain. But before you publish it on the internet, you want to make sure it's attractive, professional, or at least decent to look at.
What' the first thing you need to work on?
Information is the bread and butter of your website. The purpose of design is to enhance the presentation of the content it's applied to. It might sound obvious, but your words are the primary element of your website. They shouldn't be piled on as an afterthought. Written content, like the paragraph you're currently reading, makes up more than 90% of the internet.
Once you've finalized which words you want to publish, what's your next priority?
Formatting those words goes a long way. Lengthy lines of text can be hard to process, and thus hard to read. Set a limit of characters per line to enhance the readability and visual appeal for chunks of text.
After you format your text blocks, what about styling the words themselves?
Most text editors default to Times New Roman, which can look really unappealing, mostly because it's the universal unstyled font. Think back to college, when your professors demanded every paper in MLA format: Times New Roman in 12-point font size, double spaced, with 1-inch margins. This was to eliminate the risk of any badly printed, hard to read, and poorly spaced text. Switching to something with a little more pizzazz, like Arial or Helvetica, can dramatically improve the look of your page. This will make the text more appealing.
Let's also make it more readable.
When a website looks broken or cluttered to a user, it's usually a spacing issue. Providing space both around and within your content can make the entire page more attractive.
So far so good? Let's apply some more subtle changes.
Color and Contrast
Although very standard, black text on a white background can be harsh on the eyes. Opt for a softer shade of black, essentially dark gray, so your words are more comfortable for users to read. Selecting a darker shade for important words helps keep a decent level of contrast.
Now most of the page is visually improved. But some elements probably still seem out of place.
Most brands use a primary color as a visual backdrop, whether solid or layered over an image for a subtle transparent effect. On a website, background colors can draw emphasis to interactive elements like buttons and links.
But to keep the balance, we'll need to add some additional colors.
Your accent colors are determined by your brand. It can be a subtle compliment to shades you already use, outlining borders, or highlighting calls to action. These secondary hues make for great buttons and banners.
Having changed the shades and enhanced your appeal through text, let's add a thousand words.
There's nothing more descriptive than a photograph. Graphics and icons can serve as ornaments to support your written content, or take on a more active role in illustrating the message you want to convey. While images are optional in some situations, there are a couple you'll always need: a logo and a background. Your logo is the first impression you make on potential clients, so make sure it's a good one. Thanks to faster broadband speeds and the rise of mobile web browsing, beautiful high-resolution images dominate the background. Attractive full width images make your pages look bigger and better.
You've got yourself a decent website in just a few minutes, following the basic rules of web design. Will you be ready to redesign your entire domain after your five minute tutorial? No, but you'll have a better idea of how everything works. There's no way you'd be able to wrap your head around coding a website in five minutes. Or even five lifetimes! As with anything else, it's constantly changing.
Sites Illustrated makes you a dazzling website, updates it every month, works with services you already use & tracks your results. It's like your own in-house web designer. Click here to get started.
SourcesGoDaddy Domain Name Search
Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts in Responsive Design
How to Color Your Website Effectively
Why You Need a Great Logo
Explaining the Hero Image Trend in Web Design