Common Mistakes by New Web Designers

Common Mistakes by New Web Designers

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Starting out in  web   design  is exciting, you’ve learnt a whole new set of skills and you’re ready to take on the big bad world of freelancing. You need a site something that says “I’m the best; choose me for your work”. So your pour everything into creating it, all the stuff you’ve learnt over the past few months or even years. Two months later you have your masterpiece coded up and ready to go. Everyone you know says it looks great and you look at it everyday just to make sure it still as good.

Then you speak to someone in the industry, they rip your site to shreds, this is wrong, that’s the wrong colour, it’s not valid. At first you hate them but you will slowly realise they are right.

I went through all this, it wasn’t fun but slowly I realised my “masterpiece” was not perfect. Industry professionals, while overly harsh are experienced and their advice will be critical to your success. To save you too much embarrassment here are some handy things to check in the construction stages of your website.

Page Size & Loading

Loads of people have broadband these days but not everyone. A good percentage of people, around 40% at last survey still use 56k to view the net. As you are bound to know most people will leave a site if it hasn’t loaded in a few seconds so you need to keep loading times down. This means keeping images small and to a minimum and designing in divs not massive chains of tables.

You also need to reduce the amount of unnecessary code in the page this means using complete external CSS and not stick random flash or java in there just for the sake of it. These scripts can achieve some fantastic effects but they can easily annoy visitors and potential clients as well as slow the page down.

Generally valid code also loads better than invalid code. Not only that but many higher level clients look for W3C compliance in your work, it shows diligence and ability and will also make your site eligible for listing in special compliance directories.

Free Hosting and Emails

Making your website look professional is only half the battle, you need to appear professional from all angles. Registering a domain for both your site and emails is essential. Free hosting service may seem like a good idea while you are “starting out” but clients will just see it as unprofessional and cheapskate.

Free hosts will also plaster your site with ads and script restrictions so you may not even be able to do what you actually want with the design.

Small Site Mistakes

Disabling the right click

I have lost count of the amount of websites by new designers that I have seen this on. Without a doubt it is one of the most pointless activities on the ent. Not only does it massively frustrate anyone viewing the page. Assuming that a right click is designated for saving an image is stupid; in this modern age of browsers right click menus contain thousands of commands including bookmarking the page. More importantly it does not actually stop anyone stealing images.

Background Music

Another common mistake from new web designers, especially flash heavy ones. Do you really think your page is so important to other people browsing the net you have to take over control of the audio output of their computer? What if they are on multiple sites? What if they are listening to music or watching a video in another window?

There are very, very few websites that need background music so do not include it in your portfolio page.

Hit Counters

Monitoring and targeting your traffic is an extremely important procedure but not one that the visitor needs to see. Far from making your page look tacky invisible hit counters can seriously compromise SEO. Avoid including them on your page and instead plump for more comprehensive offsite solutions like Google Analytics or AWStats.

Make sure none of these errors occur on your page and you will be a few steps ahead of many other new (and old) web designers out there. Good luck in the  web   design  industry and remember to keep on top of the newest trends, which will always be the way to win business and create a successful  web   design  agency.

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