The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Web Design


Cheat Sheet

Hello everybody,

I apologize for not posting the last few months; I have been very busy with school and all that sort of stuff. Fortunately, I am now on Summer Break and I can post a lot more now. The topic that I want to go over today is regarding something that I really wish I could have had when I started doing web design. Even though I only started a couple of years ago, I wish that I would have taken the time to look up some good cheat sheets that would have helped me be able to design websites most efficiently. Anyways, let’s get right to it.

Web design is very complex, but yet one of the most simple things that we use. The internet is almost taken for granted because of all of its complexities. For example, this website runs on WordPress, which is a major company that changes constantly and has a lot of code in it. It has been changed by tons of people, but the ultimate goal of all of that is what you see on your screen right now. That is the goal of most web-based programs, to look better or give viewers a better experience. Keep this in mind when you are creating the design for your website. A lot of people think that making a website that you really like is the best way to go. This is true to a certain extent. But if you actually want high quality visitors, you have to appeal to those visitors, while also enjoying your own website. What I’m trying to say is to find a medium between you and your visitors.

Much like with step one, this step is about keeping your website basic. Basic web design is what a lot of people are wanting these days. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main reason why you should use basic web design is because basic websites load the fastest. It’s pretty much a fact that the more complex of a website you have, the slower it will be for a lot of viewers. Another reason for a basic website is easy navigation between your pages. I don’t like having to page jump just to find one specific thing that I am looking for. Not only does that make for a bad user experience, but it could also be a mess to create that website, even if you use a CMS (content management system) it would still be a mess.

If you prefer using the old fashioned way (just writing code), then I would recommend keeping a couple of pages bookmarked for future reference. There are a lot out there that could actually make writing code a lot simpler. Even though there are a lot out there, some of them may cost you money. The one that I use has all of the cheat-sheets for just about every command that you will need for HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery. This great page is from Design Your Way, I recommend that you check them out, since they have a lot of great topics regarding web design.

The last step that I have for you is to add a little character to your website. Make the website a memorable experience so that people will want to come to the website. This could be using an odd theme that not many people use or know about if you choose to go that route, or maybe you could write in a different style than most other people. However, if you choose to use a different style of writing, try to stick to the one style of writing, or else people will think that different people wrote the content.

Even though this topic isn’t necessarily about web design, I will still talk about it anyways. I want to go over the benefits of images and how you can easily create them. The program that I use to create some of my images is Gimp, the free and easy to use image manipulation program. I won’t say that I am a pro at this, because I am not, and if you have a better program, go ahead and use that one. If I wanted to create a simple image (like the one that I am using for this article), I will usually just open up a new project and create it all by myself. If I wanted a more complex image (like the one from this post) I will normally just get it off of a website like Flickr and mess around with that image by enhancing it or something.

Anyways, thank you for reading this, I hope you learned something from it (I know that I did) and hope that it was enjoyable. I am definitely going to be following the steps that I gave in this tutorial more often. I will also be starting to write more since school is out and I have a lot more free time to do this sort of thing. With this free time I will be working on creating higher quality articles and be enhancing this website quite a bit. This website definitely has some things that it needs to be improved on (like the forum section, it is currently removed because I get lots of spam there).


Thank you for reading,

Andrew Cook

How Web Design can help with SEO



Welcome back to The Grand Web. I am sorry that I haven’t posted in a while, and will definitely be posting more frequently. Today we are going to be talking about a pretty big factor in both web design and SEO. There are many things that make the web a great place. As you probably know, I think that web design is probably the most important, but it isn’t everything. You also have to consider content, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the one thing that every website owner wants and basically needs in order to succeed. Not many websites can say that they are where they are today without using SEO. So how does web design fit in with SEO? The next couple of paragraphs will tell you.

WordPress Themes and SEO

WordPress themes can be great for just about anything. They make your website look better without you having to put much effort into it, but more importantly, it can help with SEO. Most themes are different in how they will help with SEO. Most will add meta tags in the header, some make it easier for the bots to find and read your website, and others (mostly premium themes) will automatically put you into the search engine. Another thing that WordPress themes do for your website is put in some content on each page. This content is usually just a sidebar or a header, but ever piece of content counts, especially with the search engines.

The WordPress theme that I am using for this website isn’t a premium theme, so I have to manually submit my site into the search engine index. However, this one does automatically use meta tags, which works surprisingly well. A lot of SEO tactics will rely on using meta tags (Google is trying to make ranking based more off of content instead of meta tags).

Why Web Design Helps with SEO

There are many different things that will affect the ranking of your website in a search engine. One of these things is how long visitors will stay on your website. With a bad web design, visitors are likely to click off of your webpage. If you have a slow website, visitors will click off as well. If your visitors don’t stay for that long, search engines will realize that your site isn’t the best quality (of course you will visitors that accidentally click or bots, and search engines will usually ignore those people).

Search engines used to only care about keywords and page authority, so people usually stuffed keywords all over the place in order to rank high, and then put more keywords to rank higher. Keyword stuffing is a way of the past now (keywords are still helpful though), and now search engines are looking for more quality content. A lot of people did not like having to go through a bunch of search results in order to get their question answered, so most search engines changed their algorithms. Now we have to focus on writing quality content, and more importantly, make things more enjoyable for the visitor. That is why we use web design. Web design was disregarded for many years, mainly because there was no reason to use it and internet speeds were too slow to actually load something visually appealing. These days we can use just about any image we want and it will load on just about any computer.

Tempera (my WordPress theme), in my opinion, accomplishes what I just went over. It doesn’t take that long for it to load, and it looks very good. This design fits the topic very well, which really does affect how well your site will rank in the search engines, especially in Google. If you search for a topic about anything in a search engine, chances are that all of the top 10 websites will look very similar.

Thank you reading this article and visiting my website. Your viewership and interaction is much appreciated, and I hope you learned something from reading this. If you did learn something, feel free to like my Facebook page or follow my Twitter by clicking on the social media icons.


Until next time,

Andrew Cook

Ideas for Web Design


Inspiration for Web Design

Welcome to February! This month is going to mark the first full month of me running this website! To start this month, I will talk about ideas for web design and how to find them. Web design is one of the best parts about the web. Web design is on every website, including Google and Facebook. For every good website, there needs to be at least some creativity for the website. In this quick tutorial, I am going to give you a couple ideas and give you some inspiration for web design.

Where to Look for Inspiration

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Some people get inspiration from looking at nature, while other people use art to get their inspiration. Pay attention to the new ideas that people use for their web designs. Some people use the informative way, where the main purpose is to provide lots of information, these websites include .edu websites and Other websites use social interaction for the content and focus on web design. These kinds of sites include websites like Facebook and Twitter. Other websites are hybrids of the two, similar to this website. This website is a hybrid website, between content and web design. This website does not have a constant flow of content like Huffington Post or another news network, but this website does update often and have something new at least once a week. Blogs tend to be this way, especially ones that are run by a single person.

Inspiration for web design is based off of what people want and ease of access. For example, you can have an amazing and outstanding looking website, but if it isn’t easy to navigate, you are doing it wrong. Something that most people tend to enjoy is flat web design. This kind of web design has more of a retro/modern feeling. This kind of design is shown all over the place, like on iOS7 and Windows 8. Most of the larger businesses are switching to it because it is what people want to see, and it is very easy to design.

How to Learn New Ideas

New ideas for web design don’t happen overnight. They take months to develop and become popular. If you look closely, you can see a lot of websites follow what a much bigger website does to change their design. So how can we learn to design like that? My number one source for information is YouTube. YouTube has so many videos about web design, whether you want to learn coding or use a different kind of software to create the website. You can also learn how to create and design the images you will want to use for your website.

For this website, I haven’t (yet) made my own web design. However, I tend to use web designs that I know will last a long time. There are a lot of web designs that don’t last that long, mostly because they go out of style. Other reasons are because the design becomes inconvenient for the owner of the website owner because they wanted to do something else with the website. This website design is very versatile and can be used in many situations, and can be used for any other design. I go into more details about the WordPress theme I chose in my previous post, if you want to know how to choose a theme for your website.

Other ways to learn new ideas for your website is to look at the code for a website that you like. I use this a lot. Some websites (like Google) try to hide the formatting and code they used for the web design. Of course, you can always find a way around this block, but why do that when you can go to another website with a similar design.

Thank you reading this article and visiting my website. Your viewership and interaction is much appreciated, and I hope you learned something from reading this. If you did learn something, feel free to like my Facebook page or follow my Twitter by clicking on the social media icons.


Until next time,

Andrew Cook


How to Choose a WordPress Theme


WordPress Theme

What is the first thing that you want to do when you create a Website using WordPress? For most of us, we think of changing the theme. There are thousands upon thousands of themes to choose from, but normally we only view what WordPress features and not what we really want for the website. In this quick tutorial, I will show you the steps that you need in order to find the Theme that fits your website perfectly. I will also be sharing how I chose the theme for this website.

Step One, the Layout

The most important thing when it comes to choosing a theme is the layout. Without a layout, your website will just be a big jumbled mess. That is why we usually choose to go with a theme for our website. The organization of most themes is mostly the same, sidebars on the sides, menu on top. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a great thing. People love to use sidebars, and they make web-navigation so much easier. The layout doesn’t just have to organize your stuff; it can also create functionality within the website, for example, the sidebar on websites or the social media icons on top. These functions are all part of the layout.

When choosing the layout of this website, I wanted to have a right-sidebar, content being in the middle, a header, and a menu under the header. This theme was very customizable with layout features, which is why I chose this over the other ones.

Step Two, Functionality

Functionality is a pivotal point in web design. If people didn’t like functionality, the web would be filled with websites that are very plain. The smallest things are the things that really matter to people, like when you hover over links. If you don’t use the hover feature, you are really missing out on some great web design features. Not only is the hover feature useful, but social media icons are also important, especially these days. Other functions that you might consider are making a responsive website (this helps mobile users greatly), and putting together photo galleries and slideshows.

When I was choosing the theme for this website, functionality played a huge role. I wanted the website to be responsive, have links that change color, and have social media icons.  This theme had all of those things, and then some. If you want a nice functionality, look for themes that are similar to this one.

Step Three, Speed

When you look for a theme for your website, you will want it to be very fast. A lot of themes have many functions, but some of them are VERY slow. You will not ever want a slow website. Especially this year, since mobile users just keep going up, and since they aren’t the fastest machines out there, you will want a fast website. Things to look out for when looking for a fast template include lots of JavaScript, HD images in the template, and background code that doesn’t do anything. If you want to test the speed of your website, I would recommend using Pingdom, for they provide you with everything you need to help you make your website faster.

When looking for a theme, this was a crucial thing. You have already heard about all the horror stories about a website not load fast, and I did not want that. When I was looking for a theme, I was using my tablet, that way I would know if it would load faster on mobile devices. When I did a test on Pingdom to test my speed, I got a 79/100, which isn’t bad.

Step Four, Color Scheme

Color scheme is a very important part of creating your website. It gives it character and makes it your own thing. Most WordPress templates allow for different color schemes. The more customizable the theme is, the better. Your color scheme should reflect the niche that your website is in. For example, a website for health should not have a darker color scheme, it should have a lighter color scheme.

When choosing the color scheme that I wanted for this website, I took into consideration what the topic was going to be. Darker colors make your website look more legit, and when you combine it with some lighter colors, you get a stronger feeling towards the website.

Thank you reading this article and visiting my website. Your viewership and interaction is much appreciated, and I hope you learned something from reading this. If you did learn something, feel free to like my Facebook page or follow my Twitter by clicking on the social media icons.


Until next time,

Andrew Cook


How to Design a Website

Creating a Web DesignDesigning a website is a lot more than just simply putting together a theme and uploading articles. I can make a website in under 10 minutes and then publish it and call it my website. But nobody will enjoy the sloppiness of what I just created because there is a lot more to website design than that. Depending on how you create your website, you are going to want a lot more features. For example, a blog can’t be just a bunch of text. While you can create a blog to be exactly that, it won’t be an effective blog. In order for your website to be effective, you must have a good web design. Effective web design includes links, and plenty of them. While you don’t want to have a bunch of links all over the place, a link here and there would be perfect for a blog. A great way to add links to your blog would be to have a sidebar and header. The links in your sidebar and header should link to somewhere else on your own website. These will be how the user navigates your website.

Making Your Website Visually Appealing

The whole point of web design is to make users like your website. While there are many ways to make users like your website, the best way is to have an appealing website. Not only will this bring in more viewers to your website, it will also make your viewers trust you more. For example, whenever I see a website with a bad web design, I will normally click off of it because it appears to be a spam website. The best way to get a good web design, is to understand how to create a website for yourself. The most powerful way to do that is to understand CSS. CSS is the language that will style your website. If you are not a programmer or don’t have the time to learn CSS, then I would highly recommend getting your own web designer. The reason I would get a web designer, is because they know what they are doing and will optimize your website to what you want it to be. However, getting a web designer can be quite expensive, and can take longer than using a theme. A theme is the template that your website uses. There are many great, free themes on WordPress, which is what this website uses. I will get more into ways to choose a theme in a later post.

There are a lot of small things that a user wants from a website. My personal favorite is the hover feature. This feature is what you see when you hover your mouse over a link and it changes color or style. Adding a hover feature to your links will make people want to click on them more often, which will result in a longer time stayed on your website. Whenever I am making a website design, I make sure to use the hover feature, especially in my menus. Another reason to add more small things is so that you can create a more interactive website.

Tips to Making a More Interactive Website

These days, everybody wants things to be more interactive. That is why social media is becoming very popular. So what is the best way to do this? The answer is quite simple actually. Use social media icons! People love to click on them, and they will also want to interact with you. There are many other ways to get your fans to interact with you. Most websites will include a Contact Me page, which is where a user can fill out a form to contact you or get better information on how to actually contact you. A lot of normal users, however, prefer to not use the Contact Me pages, because they think that they are specifically for businesses to contact the owner of the site. So in order for you to get your fans to interact with you, you will need to take the initiative and make it easier for them to do so. That is why I include Forums and Comments on my websites. Forums and Comments will allow people to interact with other people and interact with you as well. Both of these will make the viewer’s experience far more enjoyable.

Thank you reading this article and visiting my website. Your viewership and interaction is much appreciated, and I hope you learned something from reading this. If you did learn something, feel free to like my Facebook page or follow my Twitter by clicking on the social media icons.


Until next time,

Andrew Cook

Welcome to!

Welcome to My name is Andrew Cook, and I enjoy making websites. This website in particular will be fully about web-design. Ever since I was a kid, I loved surfing the web and looking at the designs. I never fully knew what went into these designs. In my years of browsing the web, I became familiar with many websites and learned many different things about websites. I was basically a general internet user, who just wanted information. I developed tastes for certain kinds of websites, and disliked other kinds of websites. The reasons I did and did not like certain websites was because of the design and design layout. Many designs, I noticed, were either too plain, or too complex. Others took way too long to load, so I just clicked off of the page. I never wanted any of my websites to be like that, where it takes way too long to load. And I hope to not see any of those again.

That is why I am creating this blog. To help you not only make your website better with little bits and tricks, but also to help you learn how to design websites, and teach you the things that I learn from making web designs. The best part about this, is that I won’t ask for a single dime. I plan on posting at least every other day, and putting in a whole lot of content. All of this content will be based around the idea of web design, and how it can affect your blog’s visitors or your business’s customers. Sure, you can buy a book on web design and find out all of the answers to your questions. But those answers might expire in the next couple years or when CSS and HTML get an update. All the content you will see on this website will be 100% fresh, and you won’t have to spend anything. Also, I will be including themes that I create in CSS and uploading them to this website, for you to download and look at, and possibly use.

I want to thank you for visiting this website, and will ask you to check back often to see a lot of new content. It will all be web design related and on-topic. My promise to you would be to teach you everything I can about website design, and would like you to share with me what you do to improve your websites, that way we can build a full community together. I would, again, like to thank you and hope you come again.

Until next time,