Whether you’re interested in blogging about celebrity rumours or selling candles through an e-commerce store, there’s no limit to what you can achieve on the Internet. It’s a world of opportunity where bedroom based businesses can compete with some of the biggest cooperate giants in the world. Niche businesses, groups, forums and ideas all thrive online and most online businesses can be started at little or no cost. If you’ve got the time to learn, you can put produce, design, market and manage an entire company on a shoestring budget. One of the best ways of to start is with a blog where you can quickly learn the basic rules of web design, insight usability and social media. Try WordPress or Joomla content management systems as a great way to get started. Below are a few tips for you to keep in mind as you start to build your empire, it might not be easy, but it will be incredibly fun. Understanding the basic principles of web design is essential, if you want to make a great user friendly websites that leave a lasting impression.
Your website logo is the most important part of your homepage and should be located in the top left hand corner. It should say everything about your identity, so make sure you get it right. We read left to right, so your logo will be the first aspect of your site that visitors will see. Make it stand out and where appropriate try and include your mission statement or company slogan beneath it.
The Golden Ratio
Maths doesn’t have to be boring. The Golden Ratio principle is and has been used by engineers, architects and now web designers for creating easy to read, aesthetically pleasing designs. The Golden Ratio relates to the number 1.62 (well actually 1.618). The following example should make things a little clearer.
If for example we are creating a blog and want to find the Golden Ratio width for our main content area and our sidebar, we take the total width of the content area, let’s say 800px and then divide that by 1.62. 800 divided by 1.62 is 493.82. We can then round that up to 494, meaning that our main content area should be 494px wide and our sidebar should be the remainder, 306px wide. Easy!
First off, white space doesn’t have to be white. White space is the area on a website that does not contain any text or any graphics. It’s extremely important to have this ‘breathing space’ on a website to separate the various different elements that make up a web page. You’ll find that the majority of really professional looking websites make the best use of white space. Amazon, eBay and the BBC are great examples of websites which use white space to great effect. It’s also noted that white space helps draw the attention to the parts of the page you want to stand out by giving it an invisible border. A quick and easy way of increasing white space is simply to start using increased line spacing maybe from 1 to 1.5.
When thinking about your website design process one of the first things you will need to consider is the colour. One of the easiest ways to start is by thinking of your base colour. By this point you should already have a company logo, so try and incorporate the most dominant of your logo colours as the base colour for consistency. Colours are extremely important and different colours invoke completely different emotions, so make sure you give your colour schemes plenty of thought. Remember to use a colour wheel to selecting opposite colours for impact and colours close to each other for a more laid back effect. Try searching online for colour scheme generators as there is plenty of free software out there which can speed up this process for you.
As tempting as it might be to get creative with fonts, keeping things simple is incredibly more effective. Overuse of varying fonts screams of amateur web design and will put users off. Generally try not to use more than three fonts per page, two if you can manage it. Try and consistently use the same fonts for headings and normal text and maybe incorporate a third style for examples or special information you really want to draw attention to. Remember to only use serif and sans serif fonts (times new roman, arial and verdana) and try and avoid using decorative fonts.
Scott is a writer who only wishes that more site owners didn’t fill their white space with adverts.