Distinguishing Your Site from Everyone Else’s

When you start to create an online presence, you might be tempted to just use a site like WordPress.com or Blogger.com and customize their templates a bit. That’s not your best option, though. Most sites like that make you look like just another blogger, rather than someone stepping out of the crowd and making a name for yourself, not to mention really promoting your product. There are some easy steps you can take to do that without having to invest a ton of money in your site. You will have to invest time, but that’s part of starting any business.

Starting from a Template

Most people don’t have a lot of experience with website design. That’s just fine. Say you’re starting a site for gamers. You should first do some research about what popular gaming sites look like, then find a gaming website template that you like. There are plenty available. While other sites will probably use something very similar to the template you’re starting from, that’s fine. You can customize it easily.

Your template should allow you to customize colors. Start there. Find a site like ColorCombos.com or ColorSchemeDesigner.com that will help you come up with a palette you like. With such sites, you select a color, and it offers you colors that are complementary, contrast well, or otherwise will look good with your original color. You can then apply these colors to your website template. That modification alone distinguishes your site from all the others. Next, you can choose fonts.

Readability and Accessibility

One of the things you need to consider when employing your template is that your site needs to be accessible. You need to consider users with poor or no vision. These people might use screen readers, or might have their browsers set to adjust text to specific sizes and fonts. If your website template is a good one, it will automatically be set up so that the font you use is the preferred font, rather than the automatic font. It should also have the font size be relative to the size people have their browsers set to, instead of being a set size based on pixels. You should also check to be sure the colors you chose contrast strongly so that readers don’t have to squint, adjust the settings on their monitors, or anything else before they are able to read it. If they have to, they probably won’t come back, no matter the quality of your content.

Images

Your site will probably have at least a few images. At the very least, you’ll likely have a header image or a front-page image to add interest to your site. Your chosen website template should allow you to do this easily. You don’t want to have to license images; that can get expensive and complicated. Instead, you can design the image yourself, ask someone you know and pay them accordingly, or hire a graphic artist. Whatever you do, make sure the image represents your brand well.

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