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Web site design-  do it all yourself? (3)

Remember, equipment varies widely, and not everyone upgrades regularly.  This requires a lot of compromise between what you may want, and what will work reliably for a wide range of users.

You'll want to consider browser choice, screen resolution, connection speed, font and plug-in availability, color depth, and so on in designing your web site.

Before you get too far along in putting your site together, be sure to test your pages under a variety of conditions.


Review: 7 Easy Websites Builders The winners will let you get a website up in 5 minutes with no experience.

 


The single most important step...


Communicate your message...

From the largest commercial enterprise to the lowliest members' homepage, each site on the web successfully delivers a message. The delivery's always loud and clear. The only problem is, too often, the message delivered is not the one intended. Easily the most difficult part of a project, the most important step in site design is deciding what you want to say.
Forget about graphics, navigation menus, colors, and page layouts. Forget about effects and animations. Forget that you're even thinking about a website. Remember that your purpose is communication.

Radical simplicity

In communication there are two essential rules, so plain and simple that it seems absurd to write them down. Nonetheless, these basic and essential rules are overlooked often enough. They bear repeating:

  • Have something to say.

  • Say it.

  • Really, that's all there is to it. Say what you have to say. A message that flows will carve its own channel, and that will become your site.

    Imagine there's no website...

    Not so long ago there was no world wide web. If someone wanted to know about your business, your products and services, you had to tell them. You had to talk to them, write a letter, verbally communicate. You had to decide what you wanted to say. The internet doesn't change that.
    The single most important step in designing your website is the composition of the message that your site will deliver; not the final wording that will wind up on your pages (that comes later), but the overall background message, the core of what you want to say.
    This background, or metamessage, should reverberate through all levels of your site.  From the domain name to the graphics to the verbal content of your pages, everything should serve to present, emphasize, and reinforce what you want your visitors to understand about you and your operation.
    Make the time and take the effort to create a verbal presentation. Write a letter to an imaginary prospect. Dictate a radio show to a tape recorder. Define your message, then refine it. Polish it up, and get help if you need to. When you're satisfied that what you've said is what you mean to say, design a site to present it.
    It's a step you can skip, as many do. And that becomes part of your message.

     

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