How do you get new inspiration for your business website? How can you quickly develop a template graphic design? With so many options out there, including layout, color, and hundreds or thousands of font types, it can be like trying to pick a tree in the woods. You can end up running round in circles, getting now fast, and the options can seem mind-boggling.
One way to get inspiration for your new website is, obviously, to have a look at other websites online. Check out your competitors websites, and websites relevant to your business niche. You can make a list of the elements on those websites that you particularly like, or would like to include in your web design.
When developing a graphic template for your new web design, a good place to start is with color. Decide on a primary color, then use lighter or darker shades of that primary color and / or a complimentary color that goes well with the variations of your primary color. Once you've made your color decision, think about creating a pleasant, clean design, that makes it easy for your visitors to find their way around your website. Do not use huge images or photographs as background images, as this will slow your site down. You want your pages to load quickly, this is now slightly more important than it was in the past, due to a recent Google update.
Make sure that the images you use makes sense in terms of the text content that you use on your website design. A great website to use that this is iStockPhoto, which allows you to search for images by category and has thousands of high-quality images that you can use on your website. You can even download example images to use in your layout design before purchasing them for a few dollars each.
Make sure your webpage is designed with modern accessibility standards in mind. Currently, XHTML and CSS are the flavors of choice in terms of laying out your web page for Internet browsers. You can go to the W3C validator web page to check there are no major errors in your web design.
You really want your homepage to be the primary focus of your main keywords, or keyword phrases for your business. Make the navigation consistent across all pages of your website so that a user will find it easy to navigate back to the homepage and to other areas of the website – and try to make sure that a user can reach all the pages on your website within three clicks of the mouse from the homepage.
Having made all the decisions about color and layout, you can proceed to lay out your graphic design in the image editing program of your choice. Popular programs include fireworks, photoshop and the popular free image editing program called GIMP. If this is your first web design, and then gimp may offer all the functionality you require. A common size for webpages is currently around 1000 pixels by 800 pixels, once you've laid out all the elements of your webpage and a graphics editor, use the splitting or splicing function inside that program to output the elements in the correct format for an HTML page.
You can then use the outputted HTML from your graphics program to produce multiple pages from this template. Popular HTML editors include Adobe Dreamweaver, Note Tab pro, and free editors such as Coffee Cup.
Using the individual graphics programs, and HTML editors is well beyond the scope of this article, but there are lots of online help, communities, and forums out there to help you on your way.