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Web Design: Planning a Website

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/28/2007 | Web Design
With the advent of the internet, websites have become one of the most popular means for individuals and organizations to help them reach their customers.

Websites are typically made using a coded language known as HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and it is this language that allows for the basic structure of a website. This includes its headings and even the type of font that is used in a paragraph. Since the time that HTML was used for website building, more ways have been developed to make website development faster and easier. What separates one website from another is design.

When designing a website, one must consider the following key elements: the purpose of the site, the possible audience, content structure, and the design compatibility.

Firstly, it is really important to know why a website is needed. There should be a statement that says what the site is used for and what visitors can get from it. This will help the designer to plan a proper outline of how the website can be broken down and modified over time should the need arise. Thus, keeping a long term objective is the best plan.

In terms of audience, one should keep in mind the people who will be visiting the website. Basically, what should be considered is the target market. People will be viewing the site for different reasons and a designer should know what those reasons are and if they are attractive enough to have them return to the site often.

Content is probably the most time-consuming section of the website. A lot of planning is required because this will be the most dynamic part of the site. This means that the information will keep changing every now and then. This is especially true if the website deals with articles changing every day like newspaper websites. Content may also mean the way a product is advertised or presented to the user. The more attractive the graphics are and the catchier the copy is, the more it will help get more customers to a website. Copy is the text content that is included on the website.

Another tricky part about web design is making it compatible for all kinds of web browsers. A web browser is what a person will use to access the website. Some websites are not displayed exactly the same way across different browsers. So a designer must keep in mind that the programming is still essential in realizing the design. It is tricky but not very difficult since not only a lot of tweaking of measurements will be made to adjust the website dimensions.

Websites have changed the way businesses are run. People actually purchase items online now and this is why having a good-looking website is essential. A professional-looking website will ensure more transactions and therefore lead to more sales and higher profitability.