So you’ve decided to build a website. You either have something to say with a blog, or you have a product or service to sell. Your website design is essentially your digital first impression. How do you want others to see you when they land on your homepage?
What is website design?
Website design is the creation of a website. It includes the layout of the site, content production, and graphic design. The look and feel of your website can determine whether people come back or not. Think about it: if you’re an attorney, and the screen on your homepage is Fuschia, chances are you’re not going to retain many people on your website, let alone get many clients out of it.
How easy or complicated is it to navigate? Are you a creative that has 1,000 ideas and feels the need to put all of them on your one website? Do you have different links to each of your ideas? That can be overwhelming and hard to navigate for many potential viewers and scare them off. Not to mention, too many irrelevant things can slow everything down altogether. Do you have content? Is it relevant to what your website is about? Are you regularly posting? Do you write incredible content but only post when you get around to it, or do you have a schedule? All of these things are factors in the design of your website.
Believe it or not, many people determine whether they find a particular website trustworthy or not fairly quickly; the look of the site can either build or kill trust. That said, the layout of a site can keep someone on a website or have them go back to their search engine of choice to find another. How is the website organized? Is the navigation key-labeled in layman’s terms? Keep in mind that when people are navigating, if people don’t understand what the navigation labels are, they will just leave. They don’t want to spend the time translating labels.
How does it look?
Visual appeal is a key factor in retaining someone on a website. Do the photos on the site look like they were taken with a flip phone? Is there a lot of busy design on the page, or is it clean and visually simple? Does the design take away or add to what the site is about? Do the visuals add to the overall message that the website is trying to tell?
What is website development?
Website development includes the non-design aspects of building a website. Website development is behind the scenes, whereas web design is in front of the camera.
Things to know and understand if you want to learn how to develop a website:
Understanding HTML (Hypertext Marker Link): HTML is used to describe every piece of content on a website. No matter what type of content it is; whether it is writing, links, audio & video, and pictures, HTML ensures that all of your content is displayed correctly on your website.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): CSS is the technical language for describing colors, layouts, and fonts on a webpage. It also plays a part in a website adapting to different devices. It can go from a large screen to small screen to even other devices such as printers.
Although being a web developer and a web designer go hand in hand, they each have their skill set that is specific to that particular job description. One is more creative, the other is a bit more technical. Whether you choose to build your own website (bless your heart) or hire someone to do it for you, understanding both aspects of creating a website will only make it stronger, which is better for you in the end.