Today I want to tell you something simple and basic. Every page of your site should look pretty much like the others, so design and use a template.
Have you ever been to a personal site where every page uses a different type of background?
Often new designers use different colors on each page, different fonts, and different page layouts. I did it myself when I first started designing sites over fifteen years ago.
This is not done by most professional designers because we know that when a visitor arrives at your site, they’re usually looking for information. They need to know where the information is.
Easy site navigation is essential. The links to all the other pages should be in the same location on every page to keep site visitors from having to guess how to get around. Having all the pages look essentially the same is easy on the eyes. This holds the pages together so the visitor will indeed know this is one site he’s browsing, not ten different ones. It is a matter of aesthetics and practical site navigation.
So when you’re ready to design your site, do the front page first. Work on that page until the template is perfect, then empty the text area and make as many copies of the empty page as you’ll need to build your site. Fill each page with the appropriate text and graphics, and you’ll have all the pages done quickly and easily.
UPDATE 2022 – I wrote this article back in 2007 when this was more of an issue. These days most sites are built on a content management system like WordPress where this is not an issue.