To build professional looking home page sections for your own website.
We’re going to take some popular off the peg themes and make them look more bespoke.
If you look at the demo pages of most themes, the front pages are filled with professional looking graphics. These can be photos, illustrations, graphs, screen shots, icons etc.
If you take these images away the front page often loses it’s sparkle.
You can make great looking home pages with no graphic elements at all. But it’s not easy.
Finding the graphics
There are many websites that provide free images. But be careful. If you use images without permission you can, and quite possibly will be, sued.
Ideally you should take your own photos or make your own illustrations. Then you have no problems with image rights.
But please remember, only use images if you’re sure you have permission.
Tips for choosing images
If possible use your own images of…
- Work you’ve done
- Yourself speaking at an event
- Photos of yourself talking with a happy client
- A member of your staff giving a presentation to a client
- Photos of your shop front, office or premises etc.
The photos or graphics you use should be in some way relevant to the work you do. Funny cat photos might look cute but they probably won’t help you sell your services or products.
Now you have the building blocks you need
You should have…
- Some photos or illustrations
- A color scheme
- An idea of the fonts you’d like to use
Search the internet for inspiration
There’s a thin line between inspiration and copying. A good rule of thumb is that if you got the idea from viewing just one website, you’re probably copying. But if you found a font combination on one site, color scheme on another and the layout grid you want to use on a third, your creation is much more your own. Ultimately this is a decision you have to make for yourself.
Turn off your computer and start to sketch
Once you’ve filled your imagination with good ideas, sketch some layouts on paper.
By using pen and paper you can try several ideas in just a few minutes.
You are now going to think of and sketch, different designs for your own home page. Does your theme have a Flexible Layout? If it does you should refer to a sketch of the Flexible Layout options, as you design your home page layout.