When you’re setting out to design a website, it’s often hard to know where to begin. This is especially true if you have no background or experience in coding a website from scratch. Even if you’re brand new to web design, there are a few things that every web designer should know. Knowing this information is key to the usability of your website!

Bigger isn’t always better. When designing a website, always keep in mind that the internet is host to a very diverse group of viewers. Some of your visitors are using a brand new state of the art computer, but others aren’t. By using small file sizes and optimizing for a lower end machine, you cut out the possibility of long loading times and user frustration.

When choosing a layout, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. The wheel is still around because it works! Choose a template or design that your customers and viewers are going to be used to looking at. This builds visitor comfort and familiarity. Think about it. Nobody wants to go to a really cool looking site that has no usability. If your customers and viewers can’t navigate or read things clearly, it doesn’t matter how cool your website looks!

If you’re building a blog or just making modifications to it, remember that content is key. It’s very easy to get caught up in the design and on page optimization aspect of the web and neglect the real “meat” of the site – content. On page optimization and a clever design is going to help ATTRACT visitors to the site but it won’t keep them there. A great website is going to need to nail both aspects of traffic generation. Design AND Content.

So you’ve got your site done and you’re ready to launch it? WAIT. Before launch, test everything about the site. Look over absolutely everything that went into the design. Make sure the URLs are optimized. Check the site in different browsers. If you have the opportunity, check the site from two machines with different operating systems. Two of the most popular web browsers and Firefox and Internet Explorer. If your website is broken in Internet Explorer, you’re going to alienate that portion of your viewers!