5. Design Tips

It's easy to get carried away with your new website and things can turn in to a complicated mess leaving your visitors perplexed. There are some simple design rules you can bear in mind that will ensure your visitors aren't repulsed by garish colours and noises.

Colours

Bear the colour wheel in mind when choosing background and text colours. You mustn't use adjacent colours, so green text on a blue background or pink text on a blue background. Many people find bright colours overwhelming, that is why the majority of websites have white, black or grey backgrounds with white or black text.

Sound

While playing music in the background may seem like a way to entertain your visitors, it only serves to annoy; they may be listening to their own music or might not share your tastes. That isn't to say that you can't include your band's music, for example, but you should give users the option to listen to your music rather than have it play automatically.

Adverts

You're paying good money for our services so the temptation is there to place adverts on your website, but be realistic about your chances of generating a tangible amount of money. If you've got a few pages about your family chances are you'll only get a handful of visits a month from your friends / family and what is the chance of them buying something?

If you're using your website to promote your business, adverts cheapen it and give visitors the impression that you aren't successful, it may even refer customers to your competition! Would you have chosen Valcato if we had adverts on our website?

Navigation

Basic design principles dictate that you should set aside a space on each page for links to the other sections on your website, for continuity this section should be in the same place on each page. Take our website for example; you can get to each of the major sections using the Home, News, Hosting Plans links underneath the logo on every page, this saves visitors from having to search the entire page for links.

You may also consider using a breadcrumb, this shows the location of the page your visitor is currently on and enables them to easily backtrack to a previous page.

Animations and Mouse Trails

Think for a moment, do the BBC or Yahoo websites have a golden spinning email us sign? Exactly! They distract your visitors from your lovingly crafted content, the same goes for mouse trails, snow effects, and anything else the user hasn't specifically asked to see. Just stay well away.

Armed with these words of advice you should be pretty well equipped to avoid the common pitfalls of website design. The next section covers some tips for increasing your popularity.

Next: Getting Noticed

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