Website Design 101: Store Your Ideas and Build a Great Site

All Dressed Up: Website Design & Set Up

Creating a Website

This very good overview and basic introduction to designing and publishing a website covers everything. From a basic description of HTML to the basic information needed when you shop for a web host.

Think Before You Click (PDF)

This PDF document published by Northern Kentucky University is aimed at small businesses ready to establish an online presence. Included are some good tips on choosing a domain name, and investigating web-hosting contracts as well as how to get started tips for designing a website.

Web Design Process

For a quick at-a-glance look at the process of web design, this page gives an easy to read explanation of each step from initial project definition to site launch.

How to Learn Web Design

Ben Hunt has written several publications and web tools to assist beginner in developing a website. Though his blog does have affiliate links and the expected recommendations for products, there is a wealth of free resource material here. Including a look at the skills, you may already possess or should consider developing to have a successful website.

The Dummies Guide to Website Design 2012

Daniel Piechnick is a professional web designer also offering free information to help you design and launch a successful web site. All the information needed to start a website is here in an easy to understand and follow format.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) Web Designs for Dummies (PDF)

This is a full PDF version of the book by the same title. With 385 pages and full chapters covering all aspects of Cascading Style Sheets in formatting and designing a website, this free resource may be a handy reference to save for quick reference.

100 Dos and Don’ts in Web Design (PDF)

Just as the title promises, this document does include a hundred tips on what to do or not do when designing your website. The tips are broken down according to topics for quick referral. Tips are included for content, navigation, design, bandwidth, text, images, and compatibility.

The Site Wizard

The site Wizard offers extensive resources to the new web site designer as well as seasoned webmasters who are ready to refine their site or design. Beginners will find resource information helpful in setting up a successful site while seasoned webmasters will find helpful information on promoting, and revenue making from their established websites.

Newbie Website Design

Newbies can build a professional looking website following the step-by-step explanations found here. From getting started through final launch, there is an easy to follow one-on one teaching feel to each lesson that helps you confidently advance the publication of your first website.

Designing Usable Websites (for those with disabilities)

When considering the design and function of a website, you should consider the usability of your site for those with visual or hearing challenges. This site provides a lot of information you can use to make your site accessible to the widest range of users possible.

Web Design Principles

This is an extensive checklist of web design principles to use when designing your website. With this checklist at hand, no crucial step will be overlooked.

Sweet Talk: HTML & Program Jargon

HTML Goodies: The Ultimate HTLM Resource

This nontechnical version of what a website should consist of is easy to understand. Here you consider everything from the cosmetic eye-appeal of your site design to content and functionality. This site also includes a discussion on making the often forgotten maintenance aspects as much part of your design as the layout of your website.

HTML Made Easy

Are you a little intimidated by the idea of learning HTML coding? There really is no need to be concerned. This site does make it easy to understand in a series of educational lessons.

HTML Basics & HTML Codes

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the code used in the design and development of webpages. This site contains a reference and explanation of basic HTML codes. Also included are examples and instructions for using basic HTML to set up your first webpage.

Writing HTML

This is a series of free tutorials to set up your website using HTML codes. If you download the archived files to your computer, you can design and set up your website offline. The tutorials are also available in PDF format and may be downloaded and printed but have plenty of inks in your copier as it totals over three hundred pages of great resource material!

HTML Tips

Here you will find a listing of HTML tips to help you overcome some of the most common obstacles in structure and style that can affe4ct the final look of your webpage.

HTML Validation: Choosing a DOCTYPE

The document type declaration or DOCTYPE is used by a validator to identify the type of HTML you are using in coding your pages.

Tables, Tags, and Definitions

On this page, you will find an easy to understand explanation of the tables, tags, and definitions you will be using in designing your website. In addition to defining how each is used, there are easy to follow instructions to assist you in adding the appropriate tags to your webpage.

HTML - Special Entity Codes

Special Entity HTML codes are used to identify special characters such as ÷, à, or symbols.

Picture This: Web Graphics

Guidelines for Effective Use of Web Graphics

In considering the effective use of graphics on you web page, you need to keep in mind the style, organization, and purpose of your website. Graphics should enhance rather than distract from the message you wish to share.

GIF & JPEG Basics

While there are similarities between JPEG and GIF images, there are times when one will be a better choice for your web page than the other is. This page explains the basic differences between the two typical image files.

Computer Graphics

This page is a general overview discussion of the use of computer graphics and introduces the idea of creative animation.

Text as Image

Text as image is generally limited to use in headlines or titles. This page explains the pros and cons of using image as text in solving font limitations.

Adding Images as Background and more

For easy to understand assistance in adding images to your site as backgrounds or other special options, this site is a great resource. In addition to discussing which, file type to choose, there is also helpful information on using images as maps, or links.

Compression Types: GIF, JPEG, & PNG

Images used for web pages are typically a compressed file that allows the image to be used while it takes up less space. Here you will find detailed information on the three most commonly used compressed image files.

Graphics: What Affects Speed on the Web? (PDF)

While it is true that certain files and graphics take longer to load, there are other factors to consider that also affect speed on the web. Graphics are often compressed even more than the original in a mistaken belief that will improve the speed at which your page opens. Typically, all you get from compressing a compressed file further is poor image quality.

Photoshop Web Graphics (PDF)

This PDF introduces the use of the Photoshop companion program especially for web designers. If you are already familiar with using Photoshop, this resource can help you use the ImageReady program to create professional quality graphics for your website.

Preparing Images for the Web (PDF)

For an introduction to resolution, file formats, optimization and editing that is necessary to prepare images for use on your web site, this is a great resource in downloadable PDF format that can be printed for easy reference.

Parking: Web Hosting & Domains

Hosting Considerations

While it may be tempting to host your site with the cheapest server you find, consider these points before entrusting your site to a web host. The serves and quality of support will have a huge influence on how visitors are able to access and use various features on your website.

How to Build and Host a Website Free

A free website is possible and can be a good way to be acquainted with designing and maintaining a site. There are several possibilities for a free site for a personal journal, family information center or a small group newsletter. However, there are limitations and disadvantages to a free site.

Free Web Hosting Pros & Cons

While the previous site explores the advantages and disadvantages of designing a completely free site, this page takes a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of free web hosting services.

Purchasing a Website Hosting Program

Having learned about drawbacks to free web hosting, here you will find considerations to keep in mind before purchasing a hosting program. Knowing features, services, bandwidth availability, and technical support contacts before signing a web host contract is essential.

Web Hosting for Beginners

For more information, every beginning web master needs to know about hosting options, check out this article in Tripwire Magazine.

10 Facts You Need to Know about Web Hosting

Perhaps the most important ten facts you should keep in mind are those clearly discussed here. The obvious are cost, and features but host size and total broadband availability are other areas this author stresses you need to discuss before agreeing to service. Above all-communicate your needs and expectations with any prospective host and read all contract points before signing on the dotted line!

Getting Along: Website Testing & Management

Software QA Test

One thing to keep in mind during all phases of designing and publishing your webpage is test, test, then test some more. Simply because your site looks good on your computer and preferred browser does not mean it will look the same to everyone else. This site offers a wide variety of testing options.

Web Accessibility Tests Using Firefox and WAVE

Free and user-friendly tools to test your site using Foxfire and WAVE will help ensure that your site is available to as many viewers as possible. This includes the 12-step Foxfire test as well as a test for Foxfire Add-ons.

Gender Preferences and Usability (PDF)

This is an interesting study documenting how men and women differ in how they view a website. Uses differ between men and women as well and an understanding of gender preferences can help you design a site that is attractive to as many individuals as possible.

Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

Check out this site for an extensive listing of available testing tools to check for accessibility and availability in compliance with W3C standards.

20 Free Online Tools for Website Testing

Testing the performance of your webpage is necessary. While there are a number of testing tools and programs you can purchase, you can also find a good selection of testing options free on this page. These free tests are a good place to start and often give you all you need to get your webpage revision done quickly and easily.

Resources on Accessible Web Design

When designing a website, your goal is to attract as many visitors as possible. With the resources available on this page, you can design a page that is accessible to individuals who may have disabilities. Often an accessible website is also much easier for visitors without limitations to understand and navigate. A win-win combination all concerned.

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