Basic Tips for Success as a Freelance Web Designer6/9/2011 3:52 PM By William Pirraglia
Freelance web designers that capture the most consistent and lucrative assignments tend to follow characteristics and practices that employers seek. As is common to most superior endeavors, attention to detail often separates the great from the good. Prominent web designers and developers – just like athletes, writers and politicians - must perform consistently and concentrate on improving their skills. These simple but valuable tips should steer you in the right direction to help you attract the best opportunities.
- Design fast-loading websites. Animated, graphic-heavy pages may look exciting at first, but can then annoy visitors and customers. Unless you have a client that wants a site to simply show off, concentrate on fast, not flash.
- Use simple navigation designs. Sure, the web-literate community is rapidly expanding. However, even the most web savvy users appreciate simple navigation designs. It’s your responsibility to get them to where they want to be on your site as soon and easily as possible.
- Employ professional fonts only. Disregard creative but difficult-to-read fonts. Be professional – if your client mandates a particular font (which is rare) and you disagree, politely assert your reasoning.
- Compress and minimize images. Few wildly successful websites employ an abundance of images, unless of course images are the basis of their business. Compressing images you do use will facilitate fast downloads and avoid irritating customers.
- Use lots of white space. Remember, website clutter is a killer. Like effective print advertising, websites can be most effective when using a “less is more” approach. Avoid the temptation to include too many images, too much color or too many fonts. Stick to white space to keep visitors focused on your mission.
- Ceaselessly check for broken links and fix them. Before and after you publish, regularly check the site for broken links. It’s common for web designers to test links before publishing, but assume thereafter everything will be fine. Even internal links back to your own web-designed pages can be broken. Clients, understandably, become very cranky if their site includes one or more links to nowhere.