Continued from – Website Design Secrets: The General Layout (pt. 1)
Sketch it out
Just like every new home is completely sketched out in the form of blueprint before it’s built, your website should be, too. Images, content, video, menus, and landing pages should all be roughly sketched out before the website is designed. If you start looking at a blank screen, you may find that the menu is too big to be placed where you want it; or that a video is going to cover up and run into text onto the page.
There are many issues that can crop up when designing a website and starting without a clear plan is a bit like trying to place a bathroom in a house before the foundation has been laid. A rough sketch can be just that – rough – but it can greatly help you (and your web designer, if you’re using one) understand what works and what doesn’t.
Get a grid
Every awesome website you’ve ever seen has started with a grid system. This can be done in Photoshop and if you don’t have the program, your website designer certainly will. The grid is your opportunity to place the items from your sketch exactly where you want them; and to make sure your site stays consistent throughout with sizing. A grid will support every section of the website and help you get a perfect layout for your website.
Templates are great when it comes to designing a website. Templates are webpages that have already been designed, making it easy for web designers and local business owners to simply plug in their own information including text and images. But, caution needs to be used when using templates. Because they are pre-designed, it’s easy for many businesses to end up using the same one. And when a web designer has seen success with one, they sometimes have the tendency to use it over and over again because they know it works.
The problem with this is that when the same template is used for many different businesses, it stops working at some point. Websites will start to blend together, with none really standing out in the crowd. As a business owner you definitely want your website to stand out, so any template must be customized in order to do so.
Customizing a template simply means changing the fonts, colors, borders, shapes, page sequence and other integral parts of the layout. You can still use the template, but when you customize, you’re not bound to every detail used by many other businesses.
Continue to Part 4 – Website Design Secrets: The General Layout (pt. 3)