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Enhancing your website's design

Everyone wants their website to look appealing. In this article we give you ideas to help make your website look great.

We look at using templates, stock photography databases, image editing applications, the role of colour schemes, and more.

Use templates and build on them

Instead of starting a website design from the ground up, begin with a pre-built template and then make changes so that it is unique for your site.

A selection of new templates is included with the latest version of Multimedia Australia's BestAddress HTML Editor 2009 Professional and more templates are available for people who have registered the full version.

A fantastic alternative option is to have a website template professionally designed that is exclusive for your site. Since a website designer will only create your site's template, and you add content to your site yourself, you'll save money! Multimedia Australia now has a professional website template creation service. For details, go to http://www.mmau.com/webdesign/templates.php .

Use stock photography databases

Source professional stock photography for use with your website's design. Stock photographs are vital for creating an impressive website design. There are both free and paid stock photography databases on the Web. Be sure to always check the license agreement for any usage restrictions that may apply.

To find stock photography databases, enter "stock photography" into a search engine.

Create graphics using professional image editing applications

Learn how to use a professional-grade image editing application to create graphics that enhance your website's design.

Choose your site's colour scheme wisely

Colours create a mood and help portray your site's image. When choosing a colour scheme for your site, choose colours that are appropriate for your site's purpose. For example, a white background with dark-grey text can portray a sophisticated, reputable and professional image, while multi-coloured designs can be used to portray a fun and lively image.

Make the site's design easy to look at and use whitespace

Make your site easy to look at by using a large amount of whitespace throughout your site (areas in your site's design without any content) - focus particularly on the spacing between paragraphs, around images, and margins. Too much content on a page can make a site look overwhelming, overcrowded and unprofessional.

Use colours that are calming, and easy to read.

Let the design guide the eyes

Good website designs will guide a Web visitor's eyes around a webpage.

Studies have shown that when people visit a webpage for the first time, during the initial few seconds, their eyes will scan the page in a figure "Z" motion - from the top left corner to the top right corner, diagonally down to the bottom left corner, and then across to the bottom right corner. Take advantage of this fact when you design your site so that important page elements are found in those places.

A trick for helping to focus a person's attention to an important part of the page is to include a photograph of a person looking towards that location. People will naturally follow a person's gaze. Similarly, avoid placing photographs of people on your page that show them looking away from the direction of important page elements.

Make your site accessible

Place emphasis on making your site accessible. For example, take into consideration people with vision impairments, people using mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs to access your site, and those with slow Internet connections. A comprehensive article on making websites accessible is available at http://www.websitebytes.com/newsletter/mmau.php?id=webaccessibility .

Manually code your websites

If you know how to code HTML and CSS, manually build your website using your Web editing software's HTML and CSS editing modes. Manually coding pages will always give you a higher degree of pixel-perfect precision than can be achieved with visual editing modes.

Have your site professionally designed or re-built

For a truly unique and memorable website that captures the attention of visitors, have your site professionally designed or re-built. Professional Web designers have the experience and skills to create outstanding website designs.

Multimedia Australia now has a professional Web design and website design rebuilding service. For details, and to obtain an obligation-free quote, go to http://www.mmau.com/webdesign/ .

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