For many, the first impression of your website can say a lot about the kind of person you are. After all, that’s all we really have to show people who we are online. (If you own a website of course)

For example, if you are labeling yourself as a designer in your portfolio, but use (or buy) a template, what does that make you? A designer should design his or her website, not use the work of others in their respective repertoires. So, what do others think of this?

Or, let’s look at it this way; you create websites. Lets say that the one chance you had to make an impression on someone was your website. Take these factors into consideration.

Load Time
What happens if you are using heavy images and uncompressed files? The site will take longer than usual to load. This can say that you are lazy, don’t know any better or don’t care. You should always make sure that you are saving your images for the web, and are compressing your CSS and HTML files.

Principles of Design
If your design is wacky and all over the place with colors that don’t match and no adherence to design elements, then people could think that you just don’t know what you’re doing. Color, proximity, and typography are all principles of design that can make a huge impact.

Themes and Templates
Keep in mind that you want to stand apart from the crowd. Yes, templates and themes are readily available on the web but that doesn’t mean that we should use them. I personally get a bad vibe when I visit a website that is using a theme that has clearly not been edited in any way, especially when people are supposed to show that they know what they are doing. On the other hand, too many people using a similar design may not register in a good manner with others as well.

Your Message
Also on the subject of templates, please make sure that you are sending out the right message. A dark blue and rugged design will give me the impression of sadness or something bad. This is because blue is a cool color. Cool colors like green, blue, and sometimes purple give off a sad impression. So, in other words — if you are trying to make people happy, don’t use negative colors just because it happens to be your favorite.

For example, if you are trying to give off the impression that you have a successful marketing business, don’t use something flowery just because you are an amateur gardener. You need to relate your design to your content.

User Interface and Interaction
A website nowadays needs to be easy for all to see and use. For example, I just came across this website. It looked like it was designed many years ago. Why, you may ask? Because it’s design was really outdated. It reeked of the 90’s! The page width probably didn’t exceed 750 pixels and the font sizes were between 9-12px. Don’t forget the .gifs!

In the long run, websites need to appeal to the masses. A lesson that I learned long ago was that you need to set your text size to something other than 10px. Not everyone can attach themselves to the screen like you can. Not to mention that they probably don’t see as well either. What looks good to you may not look like that for others.

Also, don’t make your website ridiculously hard to use. Make things easy to find. Don’t use pop ups or sign ups or anything else that may be intrusive because people visit you for your content. If they can’t get to it then they won’t come back.

I wrote this to show you guys that the face of your website means everything. It’s a wake up call to you, (and me!) that others are watching your work, and in turn making judgments about you for it. I hope that this has taught you a thing or two, and that you use what you learn! My #1 goal on this blog is being able to help people! I love helping people, and when I hear that I helped one of you out, it really makes my day. Thanks for reading!

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