CelticWeb.Design shares a list of general web design guidelines that you should follow while designing your own site. These guidelines below are widely accepted throughout the website design industry, and will help make your site more attractive and user friendly.
A website should be carefully planned before it is built. Creating a dummy website with a flowchart of the site's pages laid out help get the finished result looking exactly right.
Navigation should always be easy. Navigation links can be placed on top, bottom, left or right of the page. Whatever method is chosen, the navigation bar should remain consistent and clearly visible throughout the website. Visitors should not have to click more than two links on your site to reach the information they require.
All links should work on a website. This also applies to images. There should be no broken images or links on the website's pages.
Web pages should load quickly. The website's pages should take no more than 20 seconds in total to load fully. Visitors to your website will not wait longer than that.
First impressions count. A website's main page should clearly identify the website's purpose and grab the attention of visitors.
Web pages should look consistent throughout the website. By using the same background colour, navigation links and logo, visitors browsing will know that they are still in the same website. Busy backgrounds and images should also be avoided as they draw the visitor's attention away from the website's main content.
Content is king on a website. Page content should be interesting, unique and written in a clear and effective manner. Spelling and grammar should be checked and corrected throughout the website.
Contact information should always be available on a website. Your visitors should always have a way of contacting you. A link back to the home page should also be placed on every page. Page footers with authorship, revision information, contact details, and the website's URL also complete and greatly contribute to web pages.
Web content should be updated on a regular basis. Website promotion such as search engine submission is also essential. By updating pages and promoting a website, visitors will come back.
Test all web pages. All web pages should be tested on various browsers with different platforms. Pages sometimes view differently with different colour setting and screen resolutions. It is important to try to achieve a site that is compatible with the major browsers.