Yes, web development is a very real “thing”. A website is not just a great design. When developing a website, there are a million things that have to get done. There are the marketing goals, design, the workability, the coding, and, of course, the search engine optimisation and inclusion of analytics code. It can be easy to accidentally overlook a few of the details unless you work to a strict checklist of everything that must be done, and tick each item off when it has been done completely and double-checked.
But there are many ways that you can individualise a website and tweak it so that you can show the personality of your company. Some techniques are obvious: change the colours, streamline the shapes, try a different font, add new content. If you ever feel stuck, here are a few beginning ways to help guide you in building effective websites.
1. Rollover colours and images – This is one simple way to make a website stand out. Simply changing the colour or image on the mouse over gives the site a little more “pop”. You will have seen this many, many times by now. But consciously give this a little more attention when visiting other websites to see how they use this technique.
2. Add photos – It doesn’t have to be a photography website in order for you to add images. Find places to fit images in, and the website will become more personal and more appealing to the eye.
3. Flash – Flash is, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) a now-defunct technology. There were many small things that could be done with Flash that helped to make a website stand out. If your site still uses any Flash elements, then you should look for alternative ways to make your website stand out from the crowd.
4. Let the user interact – Whether you have a blog, a place for comments, or surveys – interaction makes the user feel more involved with the site and will increase your chances for return visitors.
5. Make it easy – This may sound a little counterproductive after reading the first 4 tips, but sometimes, when nothing else works, you have to go back to the basics. Make sure the site is easy for a visitor to use first, and then build forward from that.
I hope these simple points will help you when you are just starting out.