What Is the Best Way to Build a Website?

By Chad Buleen

  • Overview

    Building a Website is a fairly involved process. Simply browsing a few of the different Websites on the Internet shows that Websites can serve many different purposes. Because everybody has a slightly different reason for creating a Website, it is difficult to say what is the best way to build a Website. However, there are some general things that all Web designers can keep in mind to help them build the best Website for their purposes.
    • Step 1

      Think about navigation. A Web site is only going to be as effective as its home page. The role of the home page is to provide a portal for users and to facilitate the finding of the information for which the user is looking. This can only be done if the home page is designed to make navigation of the site easy. Most Web designers make a list of all of the landing pages that need to be created and linked to on the home page and separate them into four or five different categories. These categories should be immediately visible on the Web page and should include subcategories underneath them when they are clicked on or scrolled over.
    • Step 2

      Use white space. Many of the same design principles that are effective in print design are also effective in Web design. Particularly on the home page, a designer should not feel like every section of the page needs to be packed with text and graphics. By using a little white space, a designer is able to let the elements on his page breathe a little bit while also drawing more attention to the main elements of the page.

    • Step 3

      Keep the load time low. A good rule of thumb is that the images on any given page should not be more than 200 KB. Although many people now use DSL or cable Internet service, there are still those who use dial-up Internet. These are the people whom a person needs to think about when considering the best way to build a Website. If the goal is to reach a lot of people, the last thing a Web designer wants to do is make it difficult for a large part of his audience to see the site because it takes too long to load.
    • Step 4

      Remember to design for all screen resolutions. A Web designer should ask himself how the page he is designing would look on a 20-inch flat panel screen as well as on an 8-inch laptop screen. The page needs to be tested out on all major browsers before it is published to the Web. Remember to change the screen resolution or resize the page when testing to make sure that all size changes are accounted for and that the site looks fine regardless of size.
    • Step 5

      Optimize the content. Once the page has been designed, it is equally important that the text on the page follows good search engine optimization practices. This means making sure that the keywords that people will be searching for are included every few paragraphs -- but not more than that. Including keywords too many times is not the best way to build a Website because the search engines could classify the site as being too "spammy."
    • Step 6

      Beta test. After the pages have been designed and the content has been written, beta test the pages before they are published. Beta testing does not only help a person get a better idea of how easy it is to navigate through the Website, but it can also give a person an idea about which parts of the site are most popular and why. Use the observations gained from the beta testing to make any modifications that need to be made to the site.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • HTML-creating software
    • Internet access
    • Computer
    • Tip: Use HTML-editing programs to create pages. Programs like Dreamweaver can save a person a lot of time because it codes the HTML for a Web designer while the page is being graphically designed.
    • Tip: Use XML. Doing things like setting up RSS feeds cannot be done without XML. This technology can do a lot to make your Website more shareable.
    • Warning:
    • Keep it simple. If there is a lot of information that needs to be included on a site, create a good navigation scheme and several landing pages. Do not try to cram everything onto the home page. it will look amateurish and turn people away from the site.

    © High Speed Ventures 2011