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Professional Website Design, It’s Easy When You Know How!

You know what you want, you can see it in your mind’s eye. Now it’s time to actually put your website design down on paper. But you’re wondering where to start. How do you go about professional website design. To be honest it’s not black magic and here are some easy steps to follow.

Planning your website design

First off you should decide on the purpose of your website. That may sound simple but what you want your website to do will affect the design. For instance an informational website will look and behave totally differently from a product or shopping website. So write out the purpose and objectives for your website before you do anything else.

An informational website will be heavy on text, articles and advice so it will be important to keep the navigation easy for your visitors. A branding or corporate website will be heavy on graphics and should include the logos and branding style of the company. A product website should concentrate on simple navigation so that the visitor can easily find the product that they are looking for. This is the basis of professional website design

Choose simple website design

Now that you know what your website is going to do, putting together your website design just got a lot easier. It’s important that your website design is kept simple and uncluttered. You may think it looks cool to have a lot of flash video, graphics, pop-ups, rotating banners etc but these can take time to load (by which tine your visitor has already left) and make it difficult to work out what to do! If they can’t navigate around and take the actions that you want them to then your website design has failed. You’d be amazed at the number of product websites that have a shopping cart, but no way to check out!

It’s best to start out really simply and many professional websites are clean, easy to navigate and seem to draw you into the actions they want you to take (such as contacting you for further information). Navigational links are best set up as text so that your visitors know where they are going. If you do use images, make sure they have text associated with them, you don’t want your visitors guessing where they need to go next. You can always add images, animations and video later. That’s the joy of designing and building your own website, it’s always a ‘work in progress’!

Making it easy to get around

I can’t emphasis this enough. There’s nothing more frustrating that having to work out how to navigate a website. Most people read from left to right so ideally you’ll place your navigation on the left or right hand sides of your website. Most professionally designed websites do this and for a good reason! If you plan to target languages that read other than left to right, adding links at the top of the website will help with navigation. Some websites put their navigation links at the bottom of the site. Yuck! This forces your visitors to scan the whole page and scroll down to the bottom to find where to go next.

Good professional website design should allow your visitors to reach any page on your website in 3 clicks or less. Don’t force them to click and click and click just to get to what they want. Think your website is too large or complex? Even some of the largest sites in the world achieve this. If you’re not convinced, take a look at Amazon or Ebay. A large part of their success is in making it easy for you to find what you want, and take the action they want you to.

Give your visitor what they want

When visitors are on your website, don’t be afraid to tell them what to do, or what to do next. Act like a shop assistant and help them make the decision you want them to make. And when they’ve made it, make it really easy to take the action you want them to. Good professional websites such as Amazon and Ebay both have a one click action button to make the action they want you to take as easy as possible.

Don’t trust to luck, test your website

When you have your professional website design all put together you’ll need to build it and publish it to the internet. Then you should have a few friends, colleges or employees go through your website to make sure it loads quickly, is easy to follow and there are no broken links. Do not skip this step! Just imagine how frustrated you’d be if the link to your shopping cart was broken and you’d made no sales! Now you can build your professional website!

Steve Dolan is an IT professional of 30 years who designs and builds website for a living. Click on Design a Website to find out more info and Website Design Secrets for a free report. Try out Hosting and Domains

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Read the original article here: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/website-design-cost/

Like the #EspressoMonday episode last week, this episode goes in-depth with one question. It is still about clients. This time, however,we will be talking about long-term and short-term clients as well as the difference between a professional and professionally-looking website. Sounds interesting? Grab your cup of coffee and learn precious nuggets in just a few minutes.

Free website builders are one of the woes a professional web designer or developer faces. These “free” web services have beautiful pre-designed templates which allow you to create a beautifully-looking website in a matter of minutes. It can even make a non-web designer look like a professional with hundreds of templates to choose from and easy installation process. Or does it really? So….
What do you do with “free” web services, like WIX or Weebly, which claims that anyone can build a professional website for no cost?

Why pay a thousand dollars for a website design when you can have one for free? Why should I pay that much? Isn’t it easy to design a website?

These are oftentimes the questions web designers/developers face from clients and critics alike. Questions that seem to mock or belittle the effort and value you put into your website design. The question is reminiscent of the parable of the 0 nail which you will soon read here at one of our future articles.

Like the carpenter in the parable, you don’t need to turn tail and run. Instead, you should be able to clearly communicate to your clients the value of what you’re doing because once they understand it, how much they invest won’t be a problem anymore. Never mind the critics. And before we completely digress from the topic, here are some tips and pointers to address our question for this week.
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We throw in some business lessons, interviews and many bonuses to amplify your learning and help you get some clients as well!

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