How to Select the Best Web Design Schools for You

If you are creative, tech-savvy, and enjoy working in a fast-paced, busy environment, a web page design degree program could be the next step towards fulfilling your career goals.  Whether you choose to study web design online or at a conventional school, there are some things you should be aware of before you invest a large amount of money on your education.  These guidelines can help you understand how to select the best web design schools for you.

web design – words in vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, isolated on white

What are your expectations for web page design schools?

Before you start researching web design degree programs, it is a good idea to list your expectations; include the criteria that are most important to you, as well as items that are negotiable.  For instance, you will need to know whether a particular program provides the certification you need to increase your chances of getting hired; in addition, you will want to find out if the courses offered are in line with your interests, as well as your professional needs.  Do you prefer to work at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home, or are you more motivated when working in a classroom setting with other students?

Does the school you are investigating offer web design certificate programs?

While not all employers require certification in web design, this field is quite competitive, and obtaining certification can provide you with an advantage when it comes to getting hired.  Make sure you find out what type of degree is available, and whether a school will prepare you for a certification exam.

How important is it to have a web design degree?

While many individuals who work as web designers have no formal education at all and have learned their skills simply from experimenting on their own, most employers prefer to hire professional designers who have earned a bachelor’s degree or better in web development or design.  Education can increase your chances of getting a job and boost your earning potential.

Can you afford the top web design schools?

Whether you eventually decide to take an online web design course or enroll in a traditional, brick-and-mortar school, the cost of the program is a major consideration.  It is important to learn before you enroll what the total cost of attendance will be, including tuition and fees, travel, materials, and other related expenses.  Find out whether financial aid is available, and whether you will need to apply for personal loans to cover your educational expenses.  And keep in mind that the money you are spending now is an investment in your future.

Studying web design can put you on your way to an exciting career in this rapidly growing industry.  The more education and experience you have at the beginning, the better your prospects will be for achieving your goals.  Earning your web design degree is a big step toward improving your career prospects, as well as your earning potential.

Job of a web designer

Put simply, the job of a web designer is to design websites. This does not mean programming in the sense of writing software, however, there can be some programming knowledge necessary. A web designer is an individual that lies out and designs the look and functionality of a website in conjunction with the developers and clients.

High angle view of an artist drawing something on graphic tablet at the office

A good web designer knows all aspects of web development. This does not mean they need to be an expert programmer, this means that basic understanding will assist them in doing their part of building a website. A good tune-up mechanic knows how an engine works but this does not mean he is going to take it apart and change a piston.

A web designer is well versed in the use of HTML programming and how this relates to website design. The ability to write code allows the designer to make the website more functional and user friendly. The use of CSS is also a very desirable skill to have when designing websites.

The need for a background in graphic design will also arise with this career choice. The ability to not only make the website functional but good looking on top of that is something that all potential clients will be interested in. No one wants to visit a bare bones website; they want visuals and lots of them.

All good web designers should have training in computer graphics packages such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Paint Shop Pro. The designer should also be comfortable working with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems as the web pages will need to be viewed by both. With all the advances in technology, one will need constant retraining on the newest and greatest software available, to stay ahead of the rest of the market.

Another portion of the web designer’s duties includes insuring that the pages that are created are compatible across many different browsers and server types. This may require knowledge of JavaScript, which allows pages to be created that work across a wide range of software and hardware alike. Many websites incorporate the ability to download files; the designer should possess a complete knowledge of FTP (file transfer protocol) and how to add it into a website as well.

Beyond all of the actual programming and technical work, there are the clients and what they want. One of the main duties of a web designer is to bring the clients vision of their companies website to life. This must be done in a way that is acceptable to the client and not just the vision of the designer as the client is the one paying for it after all.

By working closely with the client, the need for interpersonal skills along with diplomacy comes into play. While what the client wants may not be possible, they are not going to want to hear that. It is the job of the designer to make the clients dream come true while not stretching the reality of what may be accomplished online.

Five Essential Traits of Web Designers

If you have an artistic nature, you can express it in a number of professions. For example, you can become an interior designer, art teacher, graphic designer or, fashion designer. If you enjoy computers and working online, your options expand to web developer, webmaster, or a specialist in e-commerce, just to name a few. If you want a career that uses both your interest in the Internet and your design skills, a career in web design may be the right choice for you. The following are five traits you need to have in order to succeed in this dynamic and creative field.

Passion for the Internet. For web designers the Internet is a source of endless fascination. They spend hours surfing the Web, looking at and comparing web sites. They know the latest technologies and keep up with changes in standards and media. Aesthetic sense. Website designers know what looks good and what does not. Their natural aesthetic sense is a quality that can be enhanced and fine tuned, but cannot be learned from books. They take pleasure in beauty and balance, and know how to make things “work” visually. Creative and artistic. Web designers not only appreciate great design, they know how to create it.

They can use computer programs to create eye-catching graphics, exciting animation, captivating videos, and other media tools to entice and engage users. Work well with other people. Website designers translate other people’s ideas and objectives into graphic and functional designs. They know how to listen and respond. They do not impose their own ideas, but know how to communicate their ideas for achieving their clients’ goals. Problem solver. Web design is like a puzzle: designers have to figure out how to express concepts and information attractively and functionally. Web designers use their artistic abilities and computer skills to solve communication problems in order to attain the desired results.

Many skills can be learned, but traits are a part of who we are. If you are considering becoming a web designer but you lack any of the above, you ought to consider professions that use your innate qualities. You just might find a better match between who you are and what you do.

Website Designing Tips For Beginners

Getting another site planned or the old one upgraded is a humongous errand and regardless of the amount you put your psyche to it, you generally need to make a few bargains in your outline decision sooner or later amid the entire procedure. Whether it is about, having your most loved shading mix for your landing page or needing to pick which pages to put on the route menu and which to abandon, you need to choose a couple from the accessible decisions and seldom would you be able to decide to have it all.

There is no aide in this world that can fulfill everybody’s tastes and needs. (At that point there is dependably the contention between the two, and to fulfill both we will require a supernatural occurrence.)

Regardless of the above, I will attempt to show a vital’s percentage focuses to remember while getting a site composed as I consider the accompanying focuses vital from a client experience and eventually changes perspective.

These are as per the following:

Landing page: This is the most imperative page in your site second just to your point of arrival where the real business happens. Attempt to give a look of the most sellable and understood item or administrations here. Having an invitation to take action catch above fold is favored yet kindly verify that the landing page is constructed to be more than simply one more deals page. It ought to give out some thought regarding the business or the motivation behind the site yet provoke the guest towards objective change.

Above fold Section: This is the segment of a site page that is unmistakable to the guests without needing to utilize the parchment bar. Utilize this space to add suggestion to take action catches and your best substance to promptly get the consideration of your guests.

The Header: This is the most vital piece of your site as it contains the logo and more often than not a zinger to depict your business in short.

Logo: This speaks to your image and subsequently ought to convey an in number and clear message. Our details show individuals invest equivalent to significantly more energy getting their last logo composed and sanction than getting whatever remains of their site outlined and finished.

Zinger: A ‘punch line’ if utilized, must be unique, short and fresh. It must portray your business and ought not simply be some arbitrary line replicated or re-composed from a popular individual’s quote.

Business Name: The site and the business name is generally placed in the header.

Route: This is again the most vital piece of your site.

Sites with misguided and outlined route more often than not experience the ill effects of low transformations, low online visits and high skip rates.

The route ought to be outlined in approach to give the guest an unmistakable, exact and prompt access to whatever he or she may have arrived on the page hunting down.

“Basic” and “Simple” are the watchwords to be recalled here and pleasant conspicuous vivified route is all great however of no utilization if the guest discovers it tedious or it neglects to load in time because of his/her constrained data transfer capacity or much more terrible he/she is not able to discover the route by any means.

Tips:
• Do not attempt to pack each connection in your route menu nor forget any of your essential pages
• Keep your most critical “suggestion to take action” catches above-fold.
• Keep your page burden time to least.

Underneath Fold:

The underneath fold area is the piece of a website page which is obvious to the guests strictly when they look down.

Body: A concise and exact depiction is required here.

Typically broad data is furnished here alongside highlights of probably the most imperative administrations gave and connections to the internal pages.

Tip:
• Use thumbnails or little pictures with each administration or item recorded here to be highlighted as details show individuals will probably tap on something that has a picture going with it than something without.

Footer: This is a segment comfortable base of the page used to put in connections to inward pages which can’t be suited in the top route menu. Utilize the space astutely to highlight more essential administrations/items from your inward pages additionally the copyright and lawful messages are to be put here (such “terms of utilization”).

Greeting page: This is the page where the guest terrains to lead the business.

This page is critical from your business viewpoint as the genuine business gets led here. The guests are guided to this page so they can purchase your administration or item.

The above fold area ought to again have all the invitation to take action catches, for example, the purchase or request catches.

The body must contain extremely exact data about the particular item or administration you need to offer and no broad data ought to be packed. (You would prefer not to confound or hinder your forthcoming customer in any capacity).

Utilize heaps of pictures and fresh portrayal for outlining an effective greeting page.

Do’s:
• Have a legitimate appealing catch intended for your “request” or “purchase” join.
• Design a legitimate contact structure with a submit catch emerging from rest of the containers.
• Mention the present stage/steps on the off chance that you have a multiphase structure top off succession.
• Check if the shopping basket connect really works and there is no time delay with an excess of sidetracks incident.
• Have connections or pieces for more administrations or items that a customer may be keen on beneath fold as proposals

Don’ts:
• Never have an excessive amount of substance on your point of arrival
• Have message just form.
• Have an excess of various types of items/administrations recorded.
• Have fragmented/under development page live.
• Have non-working connections/catches
• Extremely high load times

The above post, albeit not a far reaching aide is adequate for most newbies in any case.

Best Landing Page: Explained

Do you know what a landing page is? Recently, Best Web site Designers learned that many organizations have misconceptions about landing pages. So, we gathered the most frequently asked questions about landing pages.

What is the purpose of a landing page?

Landing pages are an economical, measurable marketing instrument for transforming the targeted site visitor into a prospective customer or client. The purpose of the landing page is for lead generation.

Best landing page fact: While some companies rely on email, social media and traditional forms of marketing, the best landing pages have been found to convert a minimum of 40 percent of targeted traffic into a new lead.

Is a landing page the same as a Web site?

Used to promote an organization’s services or a specific promotion, the landing page is not one in the same with a Web site. Unlike a Web site, which illustrates all of an entity’s products and services, the best landing page promotes one offer, designed to motivate the visitor to subscribe for more information.

What is the distinction of a well-designed landing page?

As with anything, the best landing page exudes stunning, functional design qualities. Unique visitors determine whether they will read a landing page based on two criteria: relevancy and complexity. In other words, is the best landing page is specific to the consumer’s search query and reflects overall reading simplicity.

Does the best landing page include navigation?

On the contrary, the “best landing page” does NOT necessarily include navigation.  Since, landing pages are designed with the intent to obtain contact information (lead generation), navigation is unnecessary.

Can you provide any web design tips for creating a landing page?

The best landing page is comprised of a clean font, bolded headlines, few links and appropriately positioned graphics. Since humans tend to scan for information, use bulleted content.

As graphics tend to capture the visitor’s attention, placement is key. To avoid upstaging the offer or objective of the landing page, position graphics with care and if possible, make the graphic clickable.

Custom Web Design, Custom Web Site Design, Online Presence

We all know that in the first few seconds of landing on a web page a visitor makes a big decision, to either stay on the website or to leave the site and continue surfing for something different. You have goals for your business and a good online presence is important. In fact, your business’ internet presence might be a prospective client’s first impression of your company. Website design is important because it can grab a site visitor’s attention, engage them, and get your company’s message across to them quickly. A professional custom web design offers a series of advantages to your business. It is important in helping to increase your sales and give you exposure to thousands of new prospective clients.

It is important that your website conveys a strong image to your clients. All businesses want to save money yet at the same time have a profitable business. When it comes to your website it needs to send out a professional image. Using a pre-built website template might seem more economical but in the long run it might not be more beneficial and could end up costing you valuable money. The more professional your website looks, the more creditable your business looks and the more clients you will gain.

Custom web design offers many benefits. With a custom web site design you will have a unique design. The website can be designed to incorporate your business’s branding, the designs and logos of your business, so that it reflects more about who your business really is. Your website will be different than anyone else’s site. The website will be more adaptable to the needs of your business, whether you do online sales, or surveys, your site will be able to perform the functions that you need it to. Custom web design can allow you to maintain and update the information on the site by incorporating a content management system into the design.

A custom website design firm will use marketing research as well as creative design skills to make that first impression a positive one for your website visitor. They will be able to cater to your company’s needs to create a website that will help you step ahead of the competition. They will use state of the art technologies to create a high quality site that will improve your company’s online success.

Tips for Hiring the Best Website Designers

Creating an effective website is necessary for your business’ success.  Many small business owners try to create or redesign their business website on their own but in today’s technologically savvy marketplace amateur websites struggle to compete with professionally designed websites that have been created using all the latest search engine optimization techniques for site visibility.  If you really want to create a strong internet presence you will need to hire a professional website designer.  Consider the following tips for hiring the best website designers.

Have a Plan & Goal

Have a plan and goal for what you want from your website.  When meeting with potential designers you should have a list of specific desires for your website design.  These desires or characteristics should include items such as the size of the site, the target audience, the type of content you’d like, updateability, database needs, sales transaction needs, as well as the search engine optimization needs and design features that you like.

Designers will not know what you expect or want if you don’t tell them so be prepared to discuss your vision and goals with them.  It is also helpful if you can outline a specific timeframe and budget for the task.  Another tip, this one’s a freebie, don’t select the website designer based solely on the price of the project, frequently you get what you pay for.

Visit Other Sites

Look at other sites from the same industry to gather ideas about what you like and dislike about websites.  Visiting other sites will allow you to discover what seems to work and what doesn’t.

Create a List of Designers

Create a list of potential designers.  It can be easy to find website designers in the phonebook or with simple internet searches but this isn’t always going to get you the best website designers.  You need to find a designer that will suit your project needs.  Get names through referrals from friends, family, other businesses or even your competitors.  When you visit your competitors’ websites you can typically discover who designed the site by searching for a link to the designer’s website in the footer.  Be sure you create a list of several website designers so you have a number of good options to choose from.  Compare these designers against each other.

View the Designers’ Portfolios

Look for samples of the designer’s work.  Viewing a designer’s portfolio of websites is the best way to know how talented the designer is.  When looking at the websites consider:range of design stylesdo all the sites fit a specific niche or is there a wide range of industries represented?ease of navigation and finding necessary informationpage accessibilityworking linkshow links open (same page or new window)design consistency between pagesaccessibility of the sitemap and contact informationrelevance, quality, and timeliness of contentpage alignmentreadability of textpage loading speed

Talk to References

Check References

Ask for references and pick up the phone and use them.  Make sure you speak to other customers of the website designer.  It is important to understand the designer’s work ethic and other businesses that use the designer will be able to speak to that.  When talking with other businesses and references find out which designers are easy to work with and which are challenging.  Designers that listen well and have good follow-through are going to be the ones with the happiest customers.

You will want to check with these other businesses to see if the designer has represented their business properly through the website design.  You not only want an attractive and useful website but you want one that will speak accurately of your business’ culture, philosophy, products, services, and branding.

Conclusion

A good website design can mean the difference between your business’ success or failure.  When it comes to internet marketing for your business website design is essential.  Using the above tips will increase your chances of finding the best website designers for your projects.  You will be investing a lot of time and money into your website so be sure to do your research and only hire the best.

Tips for Improving Your Blog

There are thousands of blogs out there and hundreds of new blogs popping up each week.  With this influx of blogs it’s important to take steps to ensure that your blog ranks high in the search engines, if you want people to read it.  Below are some tips to help you improve your site and increase your standing in page rank.

Fresh Content

Many blogs are created with great enthusiasm but then they aren’t updated on a regular basis.  This is something you want to avoid.  If your blog isn’t being updated regularly then you’re missing out on several SEO benefits.  The more quality content you have on your blog the better.  More content means more pages for search engine spiders to index which will help your page rank.  More fresh content will help improve your site’s bounce rate as well as increase the number of repeat visitors.  Visitors love new content and when your site is updated regularly with quality content they’ll want to come back day after day to read it.  If content hasn’t been updated after several visits they will quit coming back.

Build Community with other Bloggers

Blogging is a form of social media and should be social.  Don’t just live in your own little world, reach out and participate with others.  Comment on other blogs in your niche, contact blog administrators, and link to other blogs in your posts.  When you have a relationship with other bloggers you open the door to the possibility of creating guest posts on their blogs.  These posts can contain a link to your blog which will gain you some necessary backlinks.  The backlinks will help to increase your page rank in the search engines.

Add Images and Media

The text of your blog posts is extremely important and is what the search engine spiders will focus on, however, a bunch of text can be monotonous and boring for readers.  Break up the blocks of text with images, slideshows, videos, surveys, and infographics.  There are a number of sites where you can find free images to use.  A good balance of images and text will help to attract more readers and keep them coming back.

Link to other Posts, Sites and Blogs

When a reader has finished reading your blog post where do you want them to go?  Add a related posts section to the bottom of each blog.  This is where you will link to other posts and content in your blog that are related to the same topic.  This is beneficial because it can keep visitors on your blog longer.  Within the article of your post you may also want to include links to other blogs or other websites that offer relevant information.  However, remember not to overdo the links.  Limit the number of links to 2 or 3 per post and 2 or 3 related posts.  Too many links appears to be spammy to search engines as well as visitors.

Allow Comments

Allow comments on your blog so readers can participate in an online discussion about the topic.  Be sure to moderate and read all comments before allowing them to be posted on your site.  When you get comments it’s good, it means that people want to interact and participate in a discussion.  You should respond to the comments you get on your blog.  Answer any questions asked, respond to what they have said or at the very least you can thank them for the comment and for reading the post.

If a visitors leaves a comment with a URL go to their site or blog and if possible leave a comment.  This is another effective way of building a relationship with your readers or with other bloggers.

Focus

It is easier to attract followers if you have a specific topic that you write about and stick with it.  Own that topic and brand yourself as an expert in that field.  This allows readers to know what to expect from the blog.

Let Readers Subscribe

Allow your blog visitors to subscribe to receive an email whenever there is a new post.  This will alert your repeat visitors to new posts and keep them coming back.

Know What the Readers Want

Always write your content with the reader in mind, do not write for search engines.  Write your posts as if you are answering a question about why the topic is good for the reader.  Address concerns and problems that your readers have and if you don’t know what those are then ask them for some feedback.

Break It Up

Big blocks of text are daunting and can look boring so break up the text.  You can not only use pictures but use bulleted lists and headers as well.  When you use headers it is easier for the reader to skim the information and skip to the sections that are most helpful and relevant for them.

7 Tips for Using Texture in Website Design

There are times when it is appropriate to use texture to make your web design really stand out.  This is a practice that has become increasingly popular over the past few years.  You can give a site a weathered look or nostalgic look by applying texture to make a design look more interesting, add character, and evoke a different emotion or reaction from the visitors.  Texture can really make a statement but it shouldn’t be applied to every web design.

Weathered and nostalgic aren’t the only options when it comes to applying texture.  Weathered seems to be common but there are also metallic textures, wooden, fabric, water color, torn paper, sand, basically any type of texture you can think of.  When used properly these designs create sites that wouldn’t be the same if the texture had not been applied.

There are a number of different ways to apply texture to a website but before beginning keep the following tips in mind:

Less is more

Simple website design is popular.  Effective website design does not need to be very detailed instead it should convey a clear, simple, and accurate message through the images and content.  Using texture on your site doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with it a little texture can go a long way.

Texture should match the audience

You need to determine who your website audience is and then choose a texture that will reflect the personality and interests of that audience.  For example, if rugged denim is popular with the teen crowd and your site is geared towards teens then using a denim texture would make a lot of sense.  Choose a texture that will appeal the to particular audience you are trying to draw.

Don’t overdo it

Everything on the site doesn’t have to be textured, the entire page doesn’t even need to be textured.  Texture can be used just in the header, the footer, the sidebar, framing images, or even as a thin strip under the menu.  This technique when used with a white background can really make a statement.

Mix it up

If you want to create a vibrant look to your site remember that the entire website doesn’t have to contain the same textured elements.  A site might have a wooden texture as the background but the content could be glossy.  This contrast can give a great feel to the web design.  To maintain a cohesive look choose a monochromatic color scheme to enhance the effect.

Heavy textures

Some textures are awfully bold and heavy; they can overwhelm a page and should be used carefully.  When a page has minimal content heavy textures can work really well.

Make it readable

Never sacrifice readability for use of texture.  One of the most important things about your website is that visitors can gather information from it.  If they can’t read it then the purpose of your site begins to fail.

Consider the point

Have a plan in mind for the use of texture.  What are you trying to convey?  What is the effect that you’re going for?  It’s easy to get carried away with the use of texture but when you know why you’re using it it’s easier to create a good balance.

How to Prepare for the Corporate Web Design Renovation

If most CEOs had their way, corporate web design would subliminally program every unique visitor to buy, opt in or act now. The page layout would be developed to subconsciously conjure the audience, closing business 99.5 percent of the time. But, “hypnotic web design”  is as fabled as Nonetheless, the recipe for developing purpose driven web design is not that intricate. It begins with every corporation possessing a focused vision of their brands, products, and services. It also entails a basic comprehension about the target market. By developing a specific web design agenda, a lot of time, money and havoc can be alleviated.

Step #1  A Corporate Identity  Assessment

Create several composites of  the various sectors and target audiences that your corporation serves. Then, evaluate whether there is room for tweaking these areas.

Compared to the competition, are there any unique market niches, where there is a shortfall of supply but a high demand for fulfillment? By evaluating a site’s keyword traffic and searches coupled with a compilation of customer feedback new products and services are born.

It’s the same strategy that Apple used to design iPad. Since many people only use their personal computers, to share media (photos, YouTube videos), check email  and even read electronic periodicals, as in e-book, the technology behemoth recognized the consumer demand for technology developed to resolve most personal uses.

Are there are any new services that should be added to your site’s navigation? With the site renovation for the corporate web site, now is the time to strategize new Web pages.

Step #2 Web Design Wish list

In step one, it is vital to have a fine tuned definition of how your corporation plans to use the Web site to complement the marketing strategy and other benchmarks. Based on the aforementioned details, determine which features would be beneficial for the objectives:

Lead generation

Secure ecommerce / online transactions

An ability to make web page changes internally.

Search engine optimization planned for a specific conversion objective

A medium to interact with prospective and existing clients

Also, determine how much your corporation can allocate for the marketing budget alosn with a specific completion date.

Step #3 Website Design Company Selection

Next, compiling the company’s strategy and web design wish list, obtain a site analysis from a Website design company with a reputation for achieving results.