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Web design goes way back as the first ever website was built in 1991. And even today, around a billion websites exist on the internet, and the culture is only growing. If you have ever thought about building yourself a website, you’ll find out how to just here.
Ever since 2020, hardly anyone cannot design a website as nowadays, designing it does not require technical skills. If you still don’t, is just because you have not come across appropriate resources to be able to build one, but once you do, you can design a website in just a couple of hours.
In the modern world, there are plenty of easy-to-understand resources that you can take help from to design a website for free. Whether it be a website for your brand, a personal blog, an online store, or a business, website builders available online can allow you to do all that.
If you are new to web designing, this article is for you. It is a complete guide on web design for dummies.
Why Do You Need to Build a Website?
There is much more significance in building a simple website design than you think there is. According to the statistics, there are about 400 billion websites on the internet today; however, only 400 million are active, which is unfortunate because an online website is the only way you can promote your brand, blog, or business idea.
Furthermore, a website online the internet connects billions of people from around the world on one platform. A website can also be used as a medium to have your voice heard by thousands of people.
For web design for dummies, one should know what decides the entire look of a website: good aesthetic and functional elements, which include the colors, fonts, and images/graphics in a website that attract people.
What Are The 4 Stages of Web Design?
1. Choosing your website builder
The first step in designing your website is to look for a good website builder that is also very simple. A good website builder lets you choose your preferred design from various templates with different themes and colors. A website looks even more attractive when you have images, so a good website builder makes a lot of free images available for you to choose from and put on your website.
2. Choosing your domain name
A domain name is an essential part of your website. It is your identity, what you are trying to represent as a brand or blog, and leaves a lasting impression on whoever visits your website. The design of your website, no matter how attractive, does not matter if you do not have a quality domain name. Your domain name is what brings people to your website or repulses them. In easier words, it helps with your website’s SEO rankings and increases your brand’s recognition.
Having a heading that is not original can affect your online presence. As a website designer, you also want to ensure your domain name is simple, minimal, and easy to pronounce or type. You may also want to ditch numbers in your domain name and use letters to make it easy for people to remember. Lastly, make sure trademarks are registered to prevent legal problems.
3. Deciding on your web hosting platform
For web design for dummies, before proceeding to have your website start functioning, one should consider looking for a relevant web hosting platform. A website hosting platform does the hosting for your website. It further provides customer support, updates, and responsive themes.
The following three innovations are what need to be kept in mind before you choose the right web hosting platform for your website:
Responsiveness is important when choosing the right website hosting platform. Brands want users who visit websites to have a smooth browsing experience, even if they are accessing a website through their laptops, phones, tablets, etc.
SSL, also known as the secured socks layer, keeps the internet connection secure and easily protects sensitive or confidential data. These can include all your passwords, credit card details, etc. SSL functioning for your website means it also keeps corrupt people off your website.
Automatic Cloudflare inclusion
A website with good sound performance means that the website has Cloudflare inclusion. For users to have a smooth browsing experience while using your website, it needs to have Cloudflare, which allows faster loading, response, and fewer interruptions for users if they are accessing your website from another corner of the world; why it is important to have Cloudflare because as soon as visitors experience a delay in response on your website, it automatically lowers your SEO rankings.
4. Customizing your website
The final step after you have selected your website builder, chosen your domain name, and installed a web-hosting platform is to customize your website. You need an appropriate template for your website to look unique, brand relevant, and reflect your business. Website designers have various templates to choose from. They can find a certain kind of website design and customize it according to their preferences.
What Are the 5 Basic Principles of Web Design?
For web design for dummies, it is important to have a visual balance when designing a website. Visual balance means having all elements in a single composition so that one or two elements do not dominate the other elements in the website.
Balance can be tested by creating an imaginary line in the center of the website’s page and organizing elements to see if the visual weight is kept even on both sides. There are two main ways to keep in mind to achieve a good balance between elements while designing a website;
- Symmetrical balance: when the visual weight on both sides of the template is even and organized in a mirror-like image
- Asymmetrical balance: visual weight on both sides is even; however, the composition of the elements is different
Maintaining contrast in elements means highlighting each element’s differences. When the contrast is balanced in the elements on a website, it can attract visitors as they browse through your website.
Designing your website while keeping in mind the principle of emphasis will show you that all websites are different in their way. Each website can have a unique point. It could be a logo, name, colors, images, size, or font that attracts visitors. The emphasis principle will help you develop a strategy to make your website more noticeable.
Managing the movement of the visitor’s eye via your website is important. That is because the movement helps visitors move from one element to another. You can manage the movement by adjusting the size, direction, and order of elements on the website.
The repetition of elements is known as Rhythm. With rhythm, you can build consistency and cohesiveness, two very important elements to clarify the message of what your website stands for. When you repeatedly use your logo and main colors for the brand on your website, you will be improving your brand’s identity and promoting your brand’s presence.
Visual Elements and Web Design Fundamentals
The visual elements of a website are just as essential as the initial stages of creation. Visual elements represent the entire look and idea of your business, brand, or blog. Details such as color schemes, font styles, size, and animation are all elements of visuals that are considered very important while designing a website.
Following listed are some of the website design ideas for beginners and basic visual elements:
1. Website header
The website header is the very top section of the webpage; therefore, it is the first element the visitors see when they view your website. This section shows the navigation menu, the business/brand/blog name, logo, and contact information. If all details are mentioned decently and easily read is what will drive visitors’ attention to your website.
2. Website footer
Similarly contains contact information or any information the visitors may have missed. Furthermore, it can also contain a map, email address, and social media buttons that can lead to a social media page such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. The website footer is located at the bottom of the page. In other words, leaves a lasting impression on the visitors.
3. Color scheme
The color scheme sets the mood of your website. The colors do not have to be just bright. The tones complementing each other will also attract visitors’ attention. When using your tones, you need to be able to highlight the basic color that represents your brand, the secondary colors, and a color used to highlight important parts of your website.
Whatever you choose for your font, the alignment of your text are all features of a ‘type’ which refers to typography. Typography is majorly used to complement the color scheme of your webpage. So, of course, your font and size have to be the one that attracts viewer attention and highlights your brand message. When choosing a font, you will have to make sure it is easy to read, easy to understand, complements the style of your website, and reflects the idea upon which this website is based.
5. Website background
The role the website background plays is also very important. It can either be of a solid color, minimal, textured, or animated. The background does not change as visitors scrolls down or across the website. This also needs to complement the entire style and color of the website. You can choose a picture or video for your background, or it can be a color or texture too. A white background will never be a bad idea either, as it goes with everything and does not look overdone, which could be distracting or too much for the eyes.
Adding images to your website can intensify the message you want to portray through your website. It can be a picture of the location, a business product you are trying to promote, or pictures of an event you held to promote your business or brand, etc.
Just like adding imagery to your website is a solid idea to boost brand awareness, adding animations is just as good to set your website apart from others. Adding animations to your website will invite more viewer attention, trigger different reactions and create a different experience for the visitors.
The Importance of Planning a Website Layout
A website layout will decide in which sequence your elements will be categorized on your webpage. This important step will not only portray how organized your website is in terms of its appearance but will also make it easier for the viewers to view what they want to and not get confused. A well-organized website allows you to achieve your business goals and convey your brand’s message to the right audience.
Following are the two layouts web design dummies can consider for their website:
- Layouts that will accommodate your content: before choosing a layout, you have to make sure the layout you are opting for suits the content on the website that you are trying to portray. So, for instance, if you want to promote your brand product on the website, you will have to create enough space so that the product receives more attention. On the other hand, if it is a personal blog, the content will need to be presented in a different format and much more organized way.
- Common layouts: Design layouts already tried and tested are a safe way out. That is because these layouts feel familiar to the users as they have viewed the layouts on other websites before considering using them on their own. These are especially useful for amateurs web designers who still need their website to look presentable.
How Can I Teach Myself Web Design?
Before getting into web designing, you need to be familiar with the following:
1. HTML and CSS
The first step to learning web designing is understanding HTML and CSS. HTML is the Hyper Text Markup Language, a computer-based language used to create a website. This language is the only way a website can be created and accessed. On the other hand, CSS, also known as Cascading Styling Sheets, is the language for sheet styling that you need to understand before you go into styling your website.
Both HTML and CSS go hand in hand. You need HTML to create a website and CSS to be able to design or style it a certain way.
UX or user experience depends greatly on the color schemes, typography, animations, content, etc. For users to have a good experience on your website, you need to consider all of the aspects mentioned earlier. All in all, UX is the most important function of your website.
Your website should contain all elements to keep the visitors engaged, trigger their reactions, keep them scrolling, and the content and imagery should connect with them.
4. Understand aesthetics
The aesthetics of your website should align with your business goals. Your choice of aesthetics should not affect the website’s functionality. Your brand’s image should be the focus while choosing aesthetic elements for your website. Your site’s aesthetics should also align with the perception of the brand you want to create in the readers’ minds.
You need to make sure content, color schemes, images or videos, font, and layouts go well and complement each other, but at the same time, do not overpower one another and look overdone.
Make sure the information you are adding to your website is relevant. A business website should have brief, to-the-point information, whereas a personal blog may add anything but still be relevant to what you are talking about.
5. Build something
Newbies might feel overwhelmed while trying to build their first website. However, if you have decided to get into web designing, you need to start from somewhere. You can always begin with a simpler project, maybe create a website without CSS and then try CSS.
You can assist someone who designs a website and knows how to go about it. Lots of dummies web design for small businesses. You will know your strengths and weaknesses. This step will reveal which skills need improvement.
Web design for dummies is not as easy as it seems. Before you start creating a professional website, you can get some experience designing a blog as it is easier to create and design. This will help you learn the basics of web designing.
6. Find a mentor
Web design for dummies needs assistance. You can learn about web designing on your own as much as you want, but it will always be preferable to find someone with experience to give you feedback or a piece of advice. As much as you will discover more learning by yourself, having a mentor means someone constantly guiding you on what you’re doing correctly and what still requires some improvement.
You don’t need to see your mentor in person to learn web designing. As a web designer, you can take help from various web design tutorials, as just one mobile web design tutorial from an expert can give you enough exposure.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Website
Designing your website is just the first step. The hardest and most important of it all is to be able to maintain your website. This is because the website design culture is constantly evolving, which means; new features, tools, etc. As exciting as this sounds, your website needs to be monitored and kept up-to-date with what’s changing in the industry. This is when you need a website maintenance plan.
Each time new features, technology tools, and possibilities are introduced, you will have to check if your website and its elements are still relevant and if the design of your website is not outdated, as the outdated features in your website will create a negative impact on whoever visits your website and drastically decrease your SEO rankings and brand performance. You will have to keep up with the latest technologies.
To maintain your website, you need to at least check on it once each month to ensure bug fixes, if it’s still in fashion and that everything is operating as it should be. And if you feel like you need to make more changes and give your website a redesign, make sure when thinking of a new design that it is relevant, is easier to use for the visitors, improves performance, and increases brand recognition. Changes are recurring possibilities in web design.
In this technology-driven world, it is hard for businesses to survive without a well-crafted and maintained an online presence. A website is the best way to take your brick-and-mortar business online.
However, since there are millions of websites available online, it’s your website’s design that sets you apart from the rest. The high demand for aesthetic and functional web design has made it one of the most profitable skills today.