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Website Design Software

 

Your choice of website design software is absolutely irrelevant to the success of your website. The kind of website you want, and the level of your knowledge will determine the tools that your should use to create your website.

"Website design is a process of conceptualization, planning, modeling, and execution of electronic media content delivery via Internet"

--Wikipedia

Wikipedia has it right, and the most important steps are conceptualization & planning, but how exactly?

The goal in defining the concept and planning is to create a website that will meet the needs of the visitors and will draw the most traffic. Let's step back and talk about what is needed to design a website from the very first step.

 

Website Conceptualization

The main keys to drawing website traffic are site theme focus and page keyword focus.

The search engines are partial to sites that are focused around a theme ("Irish food", "Lake Sunapee", "fine art", etc.) where every page is related to the site theme.

Each page should be focused around a keyword term that is related to the site concept (fine art portraits, fine art drawings, fine art techniques, etc).

The page keyword focus and the site theme focus work together to give the search engines a clear picture of what the website is about.

You should not just pull your website concept out of thin air. You need to research the supply and demand, and it is actually a very good idea to start with several possible website theme idea, or several angles on a particular theme, so you can pick the best one.

 

Website Research& Planning

Use research tools like Wordtracker or Google’s Adwords Keyword tool or Site Build It Brainstormer that extract information from the search engines to find the concept that the most people are searching for (demand), and has the least amount of competition (supply) – other websites with similar information.

Got a website idea or two? Go to the Google’s Adwords Keyword tool and enter your site concept. Try it first with the synonyms unchecked to just see keywords that contain your concepts keyword. Then run it again with synonyms checked to also see related keywords that could expand the scope of your theme. You will also see the search volume for each keyword – how many times that phrase was searched for in a specific time period.

You can begin to collect relevant keywords for one or more themes and use these to put together a plan or map for your website.

You will probably see that one of your website concepts has a much higher search demand than the others. You should probably go with the concept that has the highest search volume, but there are other things to consider like the number of related keywords, how much search volume they have and, also, the number of websites that have similar information.

The best and easiest system I have found is the SBI Brainstorm It tool that makes it a snap to research and compare potential site concepts.

Click here for a slideshow overview of the SBI Brainstorm It Tool

 

Google does not care about the look of your site.

It does not matter to the search engines how good your site looks – they cannot even see what is in any of the images, including your logo. All that matters is two things:

The content – the words on the page as well as the Tags – the bits of text used to label images (ALT tags) and describe the pages (META tags). This is also referred to as “on-page” criteria.

Off-page criteria – This refers to information which is not a part of your site that the search engines use to determine the quality of your website.

Off-page criteria include the links from your site, as well as the quality of the sites that link to your site. For example, a link from CNN.com would have much more importance than a link from your cousin’s blog but, in general, the more links you have pointing to your website the more important it will look to the search engines and the better your website will rank in the search results.

In general, it is much better to focus on great content and getting links than it is to have a really slick design.

Fifty pages of content on a plain looking website will outrank twenty pages of content on a really polished and slick looking website any day.

 

Website Design Tools

Once you have the site plan draft and an idea of the scope of the website, you can choose the design tools you will use to build it.

There are two main categories of web design tools:

HTML editors work directly with the web site code, and require you to know HTML and any other web technology you will be using, like JavaScript or XML.

WYSWYG editors (pronounced “whizzy-wig”) hide the web page code and allow you to create pages as if you were using a word processor. The program writes the code as you type and move page elements around. WYSWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get.

I have used the free website design programs in the past and they have worked very well. I used HTML Kit for editing the HTML code directly, and KompoZer for WYSWYG editing. You certainly can’t beat the price and they get the job done.

At the high end, there are the “big three”: DreamWeaver, FrontPage and GoLive. They are all very powerful and very expensive. They allow you to use either direct HTML code editing or WSYWYG. I use Dreamweaver for WSYWYG editing but I find I often need to switch to the HTML panel and edit the code directly.

There is a new program called XSitePro that does the best job of writing all the code for you. Everyone is saying it is the best web design tool for non-programmers and is the easiest of all to use.

But, if you are serious about creating a web site, you should take the time to learn at least the basic concepts of HTML, which are really very simple.

 

Website Hosting/Design Tool Packages

Also, most web site hosting companies have tools for creating basic web sites. The best combination of hosting and web site design tool is Site Build It. This tool allow you to build web pages using a block-by-block method, without needing any HTML at all.

 

Next -- Introduction to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-->Click Here

 

 

The best web design tool is the one that will help you build a website to draw the most traffic and, by that measure, Site Build It! has a huge advantage over all the others.

Site Build It! also allows you to use other web design tools along with, or instead of, it’s block-by-block site builder.

Site Build It!

 

Do you have a comment or question about the website design software information on this page? Use the Contact form to let us know.

 

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