Jen McKinnon
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6 web design basics you should know

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We always recommend to have a professional web developer design and build business websites. However, it’s easy to become reliant on web developers for the full spectrum of web design needs. So, what happens if they are unavailable to you? Knowing the basics can help you out of a sticky situation and save money. So, what should you invest the time to learn?

  1. How to make changes to text on your website

It may sound silly to the technically advanced, but this is probably the most fundamental of all the web design skills you should acquire as a small business owner. Making basic changes to text on your site is something you should definitely not be paying a developer for. Not only are developers expensive to employ, this task is relatively simple, and it won’t take you long to catch on.

  1. How to create a new page

Before the arrival of Content Management Systems (CMS), like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, adding a new page to your website was more than just an effort. It took time and the knowledge of a unique digital language (HTML) to hard code it. This made it incredibly difficult for anyone who wasn’t a developer to add new pages to an existing site. Now, with CMS readily available not just to developers but to amateurs as well, it has become very easy to add and remove pages from your site with the touch of a button.

  1. How to upload a photo

Once you have added a new page, you’ll want to diversify the content it contains. The traditional way to do this is with the addition of images to break up your text. Pre-CMS, adding images was another pain point for non-experts and required HTML knowledge. While you can still use HTML to do so, now, with any of the website building suites, you are able to embed and manipulate images easily. Platforms, like WordPress, give you the option to add images using the CMS interface or toggle to the ‘text’ tab and add images manually with code.

  1. How to post a blog

Blogging is an important element to any website as it keeps your business relevant and discoverable. It’s recommended that you update your business blog at least once a month to keep Google crawling your site. Just like creating a new page, any business owner should be able to navigate their way through their site’s ‘back end’ to add a new blog article with a click of the mouse. This will enable you to keep your content fresh and continue to feed the Google algorithm to improve your SEO.

  1. How to embed a video on your website

Video is fast becoming an essential element in your online presence, so it’s only natural that you should be using it on your website. Learning how to embed videos on your web pages and in your blogs will enable you to use the most popular digital medium to promote your business. Yes, this is probably one of the trickier of the six web design essentials, but it is by no means impossible, even for the least tech savvy among us. Depending on where your video is hosted (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) you will likely need to enter some code to embed it. This may seem daunting but is relatively straight forward.

  1. How to add a form

Finally, you should know how to add a form. What good is your site if you cannot capture valuable customer data? Not as good as it could be, that’s for sure. Being able to add a form to your site allows you to offer value to your site visitors for the very minute price of their personal contact information. For example, you may get people to sign up to your monthly newsletter; you may offer a no-strings-attached consultation; or you may offer a free downloadable eBook or white paper. However, in order for people to receive these things, they should be asked to provide their email at the very least. Marketers call this gated content and it is a form of lead generation. If you haven’t got a form on your website already, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

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By Jen McKinnon


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