When it comes to website design choices, the sky’s the limit. You’re really only limited by your imagination. With that being said, if you’ve never had a website built before, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.
This page is designed to help you to make some basic decisions to get you started. The basic elements of a website are:
- Navigation Bars: You can have one or two navigation bars. They can be above your header, above and below your header, or just below your header. Navigation bars typically have links or buttons that will take your customer to pages like your home, about, testimonial, or contact pages.
- Header: This is the area at the top of your website that will usually have your company logo in it. It might also have a brief statement about your business (AKA – Tagline).
- Background: This is the unused section to the right and left of your website. This area can be filled in with a color or it can be left white if you prefer.
- Sidebar: This is a section on either the left, right, or both sides of your website. It contains small sections called widgets that can contain a list of articles, products, etc.
- Main Content Area: This is often a section where you write about your business, product, or service in more detail.
Here’s a Basic Diagram of the Elements of a Website
For your convenience, I’ve created a simple diagram that shows the individual elements that I described above. Please note that you can click on the diagram to make if appear larger and you can even print it if you would like to.
It’s Time to Make Some Color Choices
Now that you know what the basic elements of a website are, you’re ready to make some decisions about what colors you would like to see on your site. When it comes to describing colors, things can get quite complicated. The easiest way to pick out colors is to use a website like this one: html-color-codes.info.
This is just one of many websites that will help you find what are called “hex” codes for particular colors. For example pure white is represented as #FFFFFF. Hex codes are always six characters in length. They can be numbers, letters, or a combination of numbers and letters.
What you’ll need to do during this stage of the design process is provide us with the hex codes and tell us where you want the particular colors used.
An Important Thing to Know about Colors
Something to keep in mind is that the way you see red on your computer may appear slightly different on other monitors. The way a particular color appears on your computer may be different than the way it appears on ours. The same is true for mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.
This variation in color can be due to the way a particular monitor is calibrated, the quality of the monitor, or even the brightness setting.
The main thing to remember is that it’s not possible to get a particular color to display exactly the same on every device. The best you can do is pick a color that looks good on your computer. Then after we put the color on your website, look at your site on a few different devices to see if you’re still happy with it.
What about Photos?
If you would like to use photos on your website, you just need to provide them to us and tell us where you want them to appear. Before, you do, you really should read this important article about how copyrights apply to pictures that you might want to use on your website: Using Photos on Your Website.
Would You Like to Have Some Animation on Your Website?
Many people like to include what is known as a “slider” on their website. I actually have one on the homepage of this website.
Think of a slider as a way of telling a “visual story” to your customers or the users of your website. It can be much more powerful and eye catching than trying to tell the same story with words.
Use Other Websites for Inspiration
If you’re having a hard time envisioning what you would like your website to look like, we encourage you to spend some time looking at various websites on the Internet. Then, you can email us the URL of a website that you like the design of and we can see if we can incorporate the elements of that site into yours.
Keep in mind that your website should reflect your particular business so it’s never a good idea to simply copy the design of another site. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with using other websites as a source of inspiration.
Remember That Nothing is Set in Stone
The process of designing a website is exactly that, a process. As we make progress on the development of your site, you may find that you’ll end up changing your mind several times about various aspects of your website.
As your website starts to come to life, feel free to provide feedback about what you like and also what you don’t like. We can always change things until you have a website that you absolutely love!