As the Internet becomes more intertwined with people’s lives, any business wanting to stay successful has to be online. Regardless, a website that does not work can cause a business to suffer. Learn what is involved with developing a successful website with these helpful tips and ideas. For multimedia presentations, take advantage of the new HTML5 standard. Although HTML5 isn’t quite as robust for animation and games as Flash, it has the advantage of working stably on mobile phone browsers, including those contained in Apple hardware. HTML5 is also quite a bit leaner than Flash, so load times will improve, as well. Don’t pile on the graphics. Some images are necessary. However, too many are overwhelming. Graphics should improve your site, not just pretty it up. Having the right amount of graphics improves your website’s usability. Use a tracking service, rather than displaying your visitor counter for all to read. Many websites still display their counters, yet they do not serve any real purpose. There are many high quality tracking services available, and some are even free. Use these instead of showing off how many people visit you. Be sure your website works both with and without the “www” prefix. Some people will type this in before they head to your site as a force of habit, and some may not. You should make sure that customers will be directed to your site either way, or you may have some confused people on your hands. Understand what you want your site to do. This means that no matter what information you share, do your research. People will not come to your website if you don’t appear to know what you’re talking about. Knowing your subject thoroughly will make your blog good. If you want more visitors to your site, you need to design it in a way that makes it easy to update content. If your site can be easily updated it helps you to be able to quickly add new and relevant information. A site that is constantly updated will keep your visitors coming back for more. The best web sites communicate a lot of information in a small amount of words. If you are long-winded, people will easily get bored and find another site that is more concise. Make sure any content is relevant and easy to understand – newspapers use an eighth grade reading level, which is the most common literacy level. If you are not feeling confident in any area at all when you’re designing a website then go ahead and ask for help from someone. You can either find help from a friend or from strangers on places like forums on the web. Just be sure you don’t tackle anything without knowing what you’re doing first. Try designing for all screen resolutions. A simple website can always encourage visitors to remain and read the content. If your site doesn’t look good for a specific resolution, the visitor may leave since they cannot view it. Designing a stretchier layout that fits any screen resolution lets you know that all visitors can enjoy the content. Every website designer needs a good platform to test their work out on, and XAMPP is probably the best out there. XAMPP will allow you to run your test sites with PHP and mySQL, so you will always be able to spot anything that needs to be changed. XAMPP is a relatively light download and it’s also easy to figure out. When building a website, enlist the help of Adobe Dreamweaver. Even amateurs can quickly get the hang of using this program. With this program, many features can be added, several layouts and templates can be made, and sites can be tested before being loaded on permanent servers. We are all used to seeing the letters “www” at the beginning of a website address. But this well known sub-domain is not always necessary to gain access to a site. Be sure that your site works with or without this, as you could lose a lot of traffic by users who don’t know that it works both ways. If your website is a commercial venture, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and potential losses by eschewing free web hosting. Although everyone likes to hear that something is free, there really is no such thing. Though you won’t pay for the hosting in dollars, your site will suffer when it is constantly crowded with advertisements that you have absolutely no control over. This will cause you to make sacrifices in your business ethic and design, and customers will shy away from your sites. Don’t limit your creativity by using the first free or most well known name in website design software. There are virtually unlimited numbers of free and open source packages that will help you to create amazing sites. By using the one that everybody knows the best, you risk producing a site that looks a lot like theirs. A great tip for all web designers is to reserve the “m” subdomain name for your website. This is key if you ever plan on creating a special site strictly for mobile use and with all the smartphone out there, this is not only a good idea, it is a necessity. Even once you have learned the basics, you should always keep learning new techniques. As you well know, nearly everything in the tech industry changes at the speed of light, and if you don’t keep up with this progress your site will show it. Reading design blogs is a great way to learn what is trending so you can stay competitive. It is important to contact references when hiring a company to take care of your web design needs. There are some companies that are not delivering the quality work they claim to be able to deliver. Simply calling their references will give you the ability to be sure that they are capable of living up to their claims, and that you will be satisfied with the end result As you can tell, it’s not too hard to design a website. If you understand the techniques behind it, you should know how to build an appealing and effective website for your visitors. Use these tips to get your website off to a great start.