Ultimate Guide to website design

Website DesignThere are several reasons why people find themselves needing a website. Some are thinking of taking their business online so they can widen their reach while others are trying to promote their cause. Others are looking for avenues where they can express their ideas while there are some who are trying to establish their credibility and authority in their chosen niche. Whatever your reason, having a great website design is still a must. As your website’s design is the first thing that your target audience will see when they access your website, it’s crucial that it creates a good first impression to entice your visitors to stay longer and to check out your other pages. Creating a strong first expression is something that I appreciate as the owner of Ignition Media. Unless you captivate a user’s interest within the few seconds that they land on your website, they’ll leave in a heartbeat. If you’re a website owner, this spells out failure. With Ignition Media’s creative website designs, I can help you avoid this from happening.

Thinking about designing your website yourself? Then, here are the steps that you need to take:

Programs Needed

For the web design itself, I highly recommend Photoshop, which is dubbed as the world’s best program for image editing packed with useful tools that you can use for building graphics from the scratch. Vector, shape, fills, types, and effects lend themselves very well to the graphic layout constructions. Photoshop makes it possible for you to explore graphic design within your browser, create your visuals, and use them within a web page after saving them as images. With this tool, you can easily create patterns, gradients, shadows, and different angles.

To create and edit your website, you’ll need specific text editing software to write your code. This software is designed to make it easier for you to work with web pages and other elements through a graphical user interface which displays the desired results (WYSIWGY manner) while removing the need to work with the actual code (example: HTML and CSS) that produces those results. One of the best website design programs is Adobe Dreamweaver, which is a fully featured HTML web and programming editor used by several web designers throughout the world. It offers WYSIWGY interface and provide users with a more user-friendly environment. It supports multiple web and programming languages including CSS, HTML, ASP, and many more. You can also use simple text editor like UltraEdit once you’ve gained experience in the field of website design. For more information on HTML Editors, read my previous post ‘The Best HTML Editors for Website Design’.

Creativity and Inspiration

It takes more than just access to the needed programs when you’re trying to come up with an impressive web design. Alongside your technical knowledge, being creative is just as important. It is crucial that you know how to bring together a concept that will make a website not just visually appealing but captivating as well. You must have the skills needed to balance each element to make the website design stand out from the crowd. If you’re just starting out and if you’re looking for inspiration, I recommend you look at other websites on the internet for inspiration. One of my favourites is http://cssremix.com/. Also, you can join forums related to website design where designers, both new and experienced, typically brainstorm about their ideas. Spending just an hour per week in these forums can help you get acquainted with several techniques that can definitely help you along the way.

Website development

Now that you have the programs needed for website design, the next phase is the actual website development. These days, as more and more devices are being used to access the Internet, using standard HTML is no longer enough. To keep up with your target audience, it is crucial that you make your website responsive. For this, you can use the following frameworks:

Foundation – this is front-end framework, which consists of several different tools needed to create responsive, mobile first websites. Using modern technologies and practices, it is primarily built with CSS, HTML, and jQuery. Extremely popular to website designers, Foundation offers tightly regimented toolset that can be used independently of central leadership. This means that you can mix and match features depending on the needs of your current project or take a single feature and easily incorporate it into an older folder. Reasons why Foundation is highly recommended include its range of functions and features. It comes packaged with jQuery slider, built on a percentage-based fluid grid system, has pleasantly styled HMTL elements, and is built with mobile-first in mind.

Bootstrap – this is another program that you would want to be familiar with if you want to create a responsive website. Developed by the team at Twitter, it is an open-source Javascript framework featuring a combination of Javascript, HTML, and CSS codes designed in easily building a user interface component. It also supports CSS3 and HTML5. Designers love it because it’s intuitive, sleek, and powerful in creating mobile-first website. It also makes the process of building a responsive website easier and way faster.

Integration

Next step is to integrate the responsive HTML template with a CMS program that you can manage. CMS stands for ‘Content Management System’; software that allows you to easily manage the content of your website. Acting pretty much the same as a local public library, it keeps tracks of content and stores the data in a database. Content may include video, documents, simple texts, photos, and music. The biggest advantage of using CMS is that it doesn’t require in-depth technical knowledge for you to use or manage it. Programs that I highly recommend are WordPress and Joomla.

WordPress – Contrary to popular beliefs, WordPress, in many ways, is more than just blogging software. In fact, it can be used as content management system (CMS) to easily manage your entire website. It allows you not only to write and edit posts easily, but it also allows you to add static pages. This gives you the freedom to choose the design of your website and if needed, to add more web pages in order for you to easily create content-rich site.

Joomla –is an award-winning CMS that features powerful online applications. Joomla is an open source solution that is very popular due to its extensibility and ease-of-use. In fact, even if you’re not an advanced user, you can still easily install and set up this program. It offers thousands of extensions, which you’ll find useful if you’ll require specialised functionality.

Go Love

The final step is to upload everything to your hosting account via a FTP program such as FileZilla or SmartFTP. The process of website design and development ends by uploading your website files and database to your hosting so everyone can access it. You will need to purchase website hosting to make this happen. Once you got yourself a domain name and website host, the next step is to copy your website files from your own computer to the server using programs like the ones I mentioned earlier.

Complete website design and development service by Ignition Media

The whole process of website design is relatively easy BUT only if you understand the entire process. If this is something new to you, it’s very easy to commit costly mistakes along the way. Although in-depth technical knowledge is no longer needed to create a responsive website, experience and expertise can bring a huge difference when it comes to the overall appearance of your website.

Now, if you’re counting on your website to promote your business and if you cannot simply take the risk of being not taken seriously online, I highly recommended you get experts to do this for you. Don’t worry, a professional website doesn’t mean forking out thousands of dollars. There are several Gold Coast website design companies, such as Ignition Media, who can work on your budget to meet your business’ specific needs and demands.

How we do it

What sets Ignition Media apart from other Gold Coast website design and development companies is that we listen – we listen very carefully – to ensure that we are able to translate your ideas into effective, responsive design. The process starts with initial consultation where we listen to your goals and commitment. Then, we provide you with mock-up designs for your approval. Throughout the process, we provide you with updates to ensure that we are on the right track and to give you a guarantee of on-time delivery.

For the past 7 years, Ignition Media has served hundreds of business both in Australia and around the world. To see my previous designs, please take a look at my portfolio. My designs are not only interactive, responsive, and visually appealing, but they are also created with SEO in mind. This means that they’ll give you better chances of ranking on Google and other search engines simply by having me create your website.

If you have questions or want to discuss your website design needs, feel free to email me or give me a call on 07 5568 7515. I’d love to hear from you.

Related Topics

Related Post


Nicole Brooke

About Nicole Brooke

Nicole is owner and SEO of Ignition Media. She has been an SEO for 15 years and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to SEO, content marketing and Social Media exposure. Follow me on Google+

Ready to become a Ignition Media client?

Get in Touch

Did you find this post useful?

Then share it with your friends!