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Principles of Good Website Design

[caption id="attachment_466" align="alignleft" width="228" caption="Great book on web design"]beautiful web design[/caption] There are various factors dealing with design colors, flash, javascript, dynamic content via php or asp, text selection, images and usability that all contribute the good website design. The first thing one should consider before putting a website live on the web is the target audience. This should determine the colors used and how much technical elements should be included. For instance a site for farmers would must likely incorporation colors of green and orange with little flash and with a plain elegant look for easy viewing. In contrast a website for a younger generation will have more flash and javascript files and attract a hip, young audience. Here are some things to look for in good website design The use of javascript and flash animation should only be used if necessary. They do not go well with an older web audience and could also slow down website access as heavy files requires longer load time. They should not to used for key functional elements of websites such as menus and forms. In fact flash and javascript are not very SEO friendly elements, meaning elements that search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing can read easily and index, searching for keywords in order to rank the web page according to topic. Further, flash animation and javascript do not show up properly in some browsers and some viewers turn off these options in their browser . The most important information of the website should be easily accessible and created with plain text which is very SEO friendly. In addition, your most important information should be at the top area of the page.

Right Colors and Text Size

Some colors are not too eye friendly and make navigation and userability difficult. Use white color fonts on dark background and dark color fonts on white background. However, it is recommended to have a light background with black text color. In addition, 2 to 3 colorsare acceptable. More colors than this and you run the risk of making your website too busy. Not only should there be a limited number of colors but websites themes should reflect color coordination. If you are not comfortable with color schemes visit for colors that match. The size of the text and the line height and padding or margin between paragraph are paramount. The text should be between 11px to 13px in size, making for easy reading. As Google has adviced, include a site map on your page that will help both search engines and views to navigate through the website easily. The site map creates a tree of pages that guide crawlers across the web.

Incorparate CSS in Website

CSS is a single file or group of files that controls the padding, margin and size of elements withing a page. Instead of having to fix the parameters of every single page, a css page can be used to change values across a website. It is also useful to creating a seamless website look across browsers such as chrome, firefox and explorer. The use of a single CSS file also help the website to load quicker. CSS makes it easier for a web designer to design a website and to make site wide changes by editing a single file. For instance CSS can allow you to change all information within an element to the left or right of pages across the website, saving countless of hours of editing time. It allows you to quickly change the layout of your site from a 2 column to a 3 column to a right side 160px column to a left side 300px column. If you are not family with CSS visit the Yahoo YUI 2 Grids CSS

Dynamic Pages with PHP

To me great modern website design must include some element of PHP or ASP, particularly if the site is to grow in the number of pages. PHP works with MYSQL, one of the largest open source database system on the web. With the use of PHP web developers can include information from virtually anywhere in a dynamic fashion - PHP codes can allow text and other website information to change dynamically. Website such as facebook, e-commerce website, wordpress blogs and forums all use PHP. If you are base in the Huntsville area and are thinking about building a website or update an existing one, just give us a call for a free consultation: 256-361-9080.