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Web Page Design Tips for Beginners

Website builders have made web page design a snap - select a template, pick your favorite color, fill in the contents and you can have your home page ready in under a minute. However, there's more to good web page design than just knowing how to use web page design software, and learning the basics of good web page design is quite easy. But let me warn you; this isn't your usual tips page about how to choose the right colors or perfect menu positioning. Of course, those principles are very important, but as a beginning website builder your priorities are a bit different, and such ideas, while absolutely necessary for website development, can wait a while.

In fact, the first principle of good web page design should be time management. Your website is a tool - a means to an end. As such, you should only spend as much time on design as is required, but not much more. Many aspiring web developers and business owners stumble at the first step and waste far too much time playing around with design aspects and bell and whistles. Instead, use the following guidelines to help you in the design process:

  • Measure your time objectively. Set yourself a timeframe to complete a task and once the time is up, move along to the next step.
  • Use web page design software to streamline the development process. Pre-built templates are a great timesaver and you can easily find free HTML templates (even free Flash templates) on the Internet.
  • Use web page design tools to add effects and features to your website instead of learning things like DHTML and JavaScript yourself.
  • Know when to outsource, and when to work on it yourself.

Now let's look at some of the things that can help you design good web pages.

Web page design tools

From adding online polls to your website to using simple calendars, there are many add-ons that you can consider for your website. In most cases, these add-ons are a simple matter of using a web page design tool that asks you to fill in some information and then generates the requisite code for you to copy and paste into your web page.

Of course, some advanced web page design tools like Swish (a Flash design tool) generate external files. In any case, whether it's a quick animation or a dynamic menu, the web page design tool always contains instructions on how to integrate these effects and features to your website. After all, the end goal of these tools is to make the process of web development a lot easier for you by helping simplify tasks that were time-consuming before, they give you the freedom to concentrate on your website's content.

Free web page design software

No web developer's toolkit is complete without good free web page design software. If you need to design a web page quickly, using pre-built HTML or Flash templates, a WYSIWYG web page design software will allow you to change options, enter your website content and even allow you to automatically upload your website to your web host. In short, consider your web design software as your personal assistant.

The thing with free software is that many people don't consider them to be as useful or as powerful as pricey software. That's a valid point; you cannot expect XYZ Publishing's web page design software that's distributed for free on the Internet to be as good as Macromedia's Dreamweaver (the industry standard for professional web development). However, we often tend to ignore our own needs; unless you are a web developer by profession, you don't need to use expensive software like Dreamweaver.

Free web page design software comes with the realization that it may not have all the features of a Dreamweaver, but the truth is that you don't need all those extra features. Every free web page design software includes a standard toolkit for building web pages, and with web page design tools helping you with added functionality, you really don't need much more than a web host and a domain name to complete your website.

Web page design prices

Some web design tasks maybe too difficult for you to learn immediately or do quickly with the tools at your disposal. Instead of learning new technologies, ask someone's help or pay someone to do the work. You might be saving money by doing it yourself, but that money saved will not compensate for the value of the time you will spend slaving over books. Instead, a professional could do the job in far less time, and do it much better as well. Web page design prices are extremely low these days thanks to the high level of competition. A quick trip to Rent A Coder will find you competent web designers who will complete your project quickly and cheaply.

Good web page design is as much about design principles as it is about knowing how to use the tools at your disposal. As long as you don't make design your primary objective and know when to ask for help, you will have the time to make your website successful - through quality content and by concentrating on promoting your business.

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