Good design on your website is what can set you apart from competitors—and bad design can drive away potential clients faster than almost anything.
Most people can’t afford to hire a professional to create a website for their personal website. However, creating your own well designed website is not as hard as it may seem.
Understanding some basic elements of design is the first place you should start when you’re thinking about creating your own website—even if you want to use a template eventually (plenty of websites offer beautiful, free templates that are professional looking.)
Line and shape are the very basics of design; everything is based off of simple lines and simple shapes. It helps if you can sketch out your ideas for the website, especially if you’re working from the ground up. Starting off as simple as possible—with little or no text—can help keep you focused on your end goal, and then text and color can be added later.
Using a simple typeface is also important. If you’re thinking about using Comic Sans…just don’t. You want to use a clean, sharp, sans serif font for your headings and menu options, and an equally simple serif font for large amounts of body text.
If HTML is too much time commitment for you, then most websites offer templates that follow the basics of design already pre-made and ready to go for you. WordPress, one of the most popular, offers a large amount of heavily customizable templates you can use to create a professional looking website fairly quickly.
Other sites you may use include Square Space and Blog Spot. All of these sites have some templates that cost money, and they generally are the nicer, cleaner templates, so it may be worth investing a little bit of money.
The best way to learn about good design is to look at other’s work; going to popular websites and studying their design is very helpful in learning what things work with your own website.
Using free tools is a great way to get started. When your site becomes successful you can always pull in professional help and make things more personalized with your own domain and custom design. When you’re ready for that, we’re happy to help however we can. In the meantime, we’ll be cheering you on.