Designing a website is very long and complicated process. You have to write thousands of lines of code for executing a task. In the same way design prototypes, coding, programming, testing and making the website bug free is also not an easy job.
But a checklist can make everything easier to get all the things done, you just need to follow the below checklist.
Web Design Best Practices – Checklist for Web Design
1) Website Layout:
Website layout is the most important part of any website. If you don’t have eye-catching layout, readers leave your website. Therefore, follow below mentioned tips to get the attention of readers.
- Choose a eye-catching layout that appealing to your audience.
- Your logo is your brand so design it very carefully or get it designed from any online logo websites.
- Header title should include the site name/company name and description should be informative and accurate.
- Footer area should include copyright information, sitemap details or any other important information that you want to share with your readers.
- Website should display without horizontal scrolling at 1024×768 and higher resolutions.
- There should be a balance of text and graphics with good contrast between text and background.
2) Web Browser Compatibility:
Browser compatibility is very important part of any website and it helps readers to re-visit to website. If website doesn’t work on some web browsers like Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, readers will avoid to visit the website.
- Check your website support on almost all the web browsers such as current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari (both Mac and Windows).
- Website should display on most popular mobile devices (including tablets and smartphones).
3) Clear Navigation:
Navigation is also a very crucial part of any website and its design should not be taken lightly.
- Limit the no of menu items to 8 or 9. Limit drop down menu to one level if you can.
- All the navigation links should clearly and consistently labeled so that the same can be used to target the audience.
- All navigation hyperlinks must work properly — remove broken links from your website.
4) Color, Graphics & Multimedia:
In web design, color, graphics and multimedia matters a lot. Therefore, you need to be perfectionist while choosing the same for your website.
- Use appropriate colors and graphics to get the attention of readers.
- Text color should have sufficient contrast with background color.
- Graphics/images should be optimized and used with the Title and Alt tags.
- Don’t use too much animated images at the website.
- Each audio/video/Flash file should serves a clear purpose and use with proper title to enhance the visibility.
- Check download time for audio and video files, extensive use of audio and video files may degrade the performance of web page.
5) Content Presentation & Accessibility:
- Common fonts such as sans-serif and Open Sans family should be used.
- Website content should be organized in a consistent manner with headings, bullet points, brief paragraphs, font sizes, and font colors.
- Content should provide meaningful and useful information that should not be outdated.
- Content should free from typographical and grammatical errors. You can use links to other useful websites if necessary.
- Avoids use of ‘Click here’ words while writing text for hyperlinks.
- Hyperlinks should use a consistent set of colors to indicate for visited/non-visited link.
- If graphics and media files are used, the alternate text should be provided.
- All internal and external hyperlinks must work properly.
7) Search Engine Optimization:
- Check <title> tag length: 55 to 60 characters length including spaces recommended. (Don’t go up to 60 characters, anything longer will be truncated in search results.)
- Meta Description Tag: A meta description is used to identify the content within the page. 150 to 160 characters including spaces is recommended.
- URL Tips: Make your post URL short and sweet that describe the content as best as possible. Don’t use numbers in URL, Use less words with hyphen (-) to seperate words within the URL.
8) Website Speed / Performance:
Your website performance matters a lot on the web. You can increase your web page speed by:
- Leverage browser caching and reducing server response time.
- Optimize images by reducing the size and with the use of Alt and title tags.
Today security is the major concern of all the website owners and web developers. As security is not limited to below tips but it will help you to safe your website from the attackers up to a certain level.
- Take back up of your website regularly and keep your backups physically secure.
- Keep your web server computer physically secure and use strong password for your website.
- If you use database then use database libraries that protect against SQL injection in a systematic way.
- Guard your website against XSS and CSRF attacks.
- Use CAPTCHAs to slow down potential spammers and attackers.
- Protect Session Data – Session information is written to a temp directory and in the case of a shared hosting server, it can be easily read by someone else other than you. Therefore, you should not keep your sensitive information like passwords or credit card information in a session.
I hope the above web design checklist will help you to develop outstanding website.