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Live 2.0 - First Impression counts!

As a web designer, I've always focused primarily on the look of a website before the content. Make no mistake that content isn't as important, these 2 actually go hand in hand. You may have a website packed with great content, but if your design is poor and hard to navigate, your first time visitors may become your last time visitors. I always emphasize on a simple CLEAN design because the internet is practically a world of convenience. I tend to get frustrated when a page takes 15 extra seconds to load, not even to think of when it's actually done loading, and I can't find how to get to the content I'm looking for.

If you are to launch a website its best to higher a web designer that will understand the image that you want to go for, but if you are a personal blogger and want to search for a theme to use, here is my advice for you:

  • What makes a web design a GOOD design? Well, design is based on preference and image. If your blog is about business, yet you have hearts and stars throughout your layout, it doesn't really go well for your image, does it? :P Obviously when dealing with a business blog, it's best to keep things clean, simple and to the point. Use colors that are soothing to the eyes and not over the top and too bright.
  • When planning content assortment and block placement, make sure the title of each block is clearly visible and pertains to the content it holds. Seems simple enough, but I've seen blogs where 4 different types of content were placed in one block. It really gives assurance to your visitors that if a tab says "Tutorials" that they will be seeing tutorials when they visit that page.
  • A custom logo/header is like a last name for a website. Having custom logo separates the serious from the not to serious. That may not be factually true for your site, but from a visitors point of view, a custom logo gives a website a certain prestige that plain bold text cannot. You have no idea how much a custom header can make a whole website look completely different even if you are using a free template.
  • Favicons are great! You don't really need one, but it sure makes it a whole lot easier to identify in bookmarks.
So remember, first impression counts. We all knew this, but just in case you had no idea on how to make a good first impression, try my advice, let me know what you think! If you have any other tips for a good design, drop a comment and I'll add it to the list!