10 ways to make your website look better

These 10 tips on improving your website are so effective they’ll make you some spare cash and make you more physically attractive.

Somewhere, wallowing in the gigantic sea that is the internet, is your site.

It’s not alone. It’s got a lot of neighbors and more than 100,000 new ones every single day. Is your site down there at the bottom, in the cold darkness with the suckerfish? Or is it up at the top where food is plenty and the sunlight still streams in?

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say your site is somewhere in the middle. After all, you’re here at Charfish and you’re reading this blog post. That means you probably already care about design. And if you care about design, you certainly aren’t wallowing around at the bottom of the ocean with the rusty old anchors.

But what can we do to get your site a little closer to the surface, where the sun is warm and you’re more visible to the world at large? Well, lots of things. Way more than 10 but that’s the number we’re going to deal with in this series.

The 10 ways to make your website look better series is going to deal with each of these in detail:

  1. Eye trails
    • Does your site effectively lead your visitors’ eyes? And if so, where does it lead them to? It may seem like a small detail, but if you’re not leading them somewhere, you can bet the one thing they’ll be looking for is the “Back” button.
  2. Line-height
    • Wouldn’t it be nice if you could add a bunch of luscious white space to your site with one simple line of code? Well you can, and it could make a world of difference.
  3. Color Unity
    • Gone are the days of using every color of the rainbow in your site. People know better now. But while you’re busy not making that mistake, are you making others? Or, the more subtle possibility, is your site just being…average?
  4. Paragraph breaks
    • Everything your language professor taught you was wrong. Okay…not everything. But he certainly made a bad call on this one.
  5. Images
    • It’s good to have images in your posts. But where do you put them? Are you actually making your website less usable and less friendly by poor image placement?
  6. Contrast
    • There are no faster ways to make a website less legible and more annoying than dealing poorly with contrast. Here’s what and what not to do.
  7. Advertising
    • There’s nothing really wrong with advertising on your site. Anyone who tells you so is jealous of your income or is just a generally smelly person. That said, there are numerous ways to advertise really really poorly. This post will teach you about effective advertising design and show you how to make a few extra bucks. This post alone is well worth its weight in pixels.
  8. Font fun
    • We know about bold and italics. But is that all we can do to make our fonts a little more fun and our sites a little more user friendly? Nope, and I’ve got a couple ways for you to improve your site in about three minutes
  9. Discipline your fonts!
    • Fonts are fun and there are plenty of insanely bitchin ones out there. But how do you choose which is best for your site? Which ones go in the header and which in the body copy? How about the headers and impulse copy?
  10. Size problems, aerial photos and magnifying glasses
    • Look, I may have lousy eyesight but you don’t need to rub it in. And what’s with the medley of sizes and shapes? Is this an IQ test or something?

This is going to be a great series, full of simple and fast changes you can make to your site to bring it to a higher level of professionalism.

You’re not going to want to miss any of these posts so Subscribe now!


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Charlie Pabst is a guitar-wielding designer, a sharp-shooting writer, and a tell-it-like-it-is ever-kid. He is also not afraid of hyphens.

He is the founder of Charfish Design and Ignite Living.

You can read more about him here. And you should definitely follow him on Twitter.

8 Responses to “10 ways to make your website look better”

  1. Excellent intro, man. I’m really looking forward to the series. This is exactly what I need right now.

  2. Anthony –

    Thanks! I’m gonna have two or three posts up next week, starting with what ended up being a really long post on eye trails.

    Hope you dig it, and hope to see you around s’more.

  3. Wow, the intro it self is enough to improve a website design.
    Thanks, I will look up the other parts as well.
    And this article was writtern 4 years ago… Impressive!

  4. Darlene –

    Thanks for the comment! Yeah…we’re waaaaay late getting the other parts of the series updated. Actually, it’s been so long we’re redoing some of the ones that were already posted, to keep them up to date. They’re coming soon!


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