How to Make a Website: Adding Functionality and Interactivity

By Philip Harding

The web brings the world together. We use the internet to get directions, we use it to make purchases, plan vacations and get information. In many ways it has changed the way live our lives—and it continues to evolve.

With tools like WordPress and Joomla it’s easier than ever to build a website, but you can’t get the professional results without some professional direction.

The Components of Good Web Design
Unfortunately good web design doesn’t just happen, for a website to be engaging, you need a few basic elements. Thinking about how your users are going to interact with your website and what kind of service or information you are providing will help you craft a site with usability.

A good template can be the basis of a good website but isn’t the only thing you need to create a good site.

1. Theming & Design
If you’re making a website about robots, you might think of using metallic colors for borders. If you’re building a site for a flower shop, you might consider vibrant colors and images of flowers. It’s important that your theme and design is interesting and appealing to your target audience.

2. Information & Fonts
Fonts or the style of text you use can easily communicate a theme, but they should also be considered for usability. There are two basic font types: serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have an added flourish and don’t tend to look as clean as sans serif fonts when they are brought down in size. How much text will your site have? If it’s a lot, you should consider a cleaner sans serif font. Stick to three basic fonts, a headline font, a subhead font and body copy—and keep them in a similiar family. More than three fonts can be distracting and make your site look unorganized.

Do you pictures have captions or descriptions? Do you present contextual or similar content in a way that it’s easy for users to find more content similar to what may have brought them to your site?

3. Usability & Interaction
Your website should be easy to navigate, meaning that the information should be organized and user friendly. A slideshow or gallery might be a great way to show off images but if the interface is clunky or not intuitive it won’t appeal to your users.

4. Scanner Friendly Presentation
More and more, our TMI (Too Much Information) society skims over information. Long paragraph? TL;DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read). Instead use bulleted or numbered lists. Images, infographics and other entry points can make an article more inviting and easier to read.

Best Practices for the Web
Where do you go to learn web design? Digital Media Academy teaches web design with the latest tools and technology, which is important in the constantly changing world of the web. Taught by industry professionals and tech educators with years of experience in their field, at DMA’s tech camps for kids and teens students learn the web design skills and techniques they need to build amazing websites.

Creative web designers and web developers continue to push the limits of what is possible on the new web frontier, don’t wait any longer to become a part of this exciting interactive space.