Most new freelance web site designers are working hard to earn a good reputation and develop a nice portfolio, before they can expect to win profitable projects. One of the first sources for freelance web site design tips should be the very software you are using - the Help section is a valuable resources we often ignore.
Most of today's web designers work with Dreamweaver, but there are plenty other web builders out there that you can use. Learn the software well and know its limitations - this will help you shape your work and your offers. Here is a list of the most efficient freelance web site design tips, many coming from our personal experience and some from veteran web designers:
Careful with new web technologies - some things such as java applets, activex controls or shockwave objects may not display correctly to your users. If you are targeting a highly general website audience, avoid them. Many web designers also include this as one of their favorite freelance web site design tips: avoid any tools that require plug-ins as most of your visitor's will probably never go through the trouble of installing a plug in just to see your site.
Be clear with the structure - what does this website want? Make it clear, from page one, what the site is about. Any successful freelance web site designer will tell you that visitors are not after flashy graphics and wacky menus - they are after information and they want it fast.
Web layout and appearance - here are the most popular freelance web site design tips regarding layout and visual appearance of a site:
Split your information into logical sections and try to have a consistent theme throughout the entire site make sure your starting page is attractive and well laid out - try to use colors, styles and fonts that complement each other
Web page size - try to keep loading time small. As a freelance web site designer you will often receive requests from clients to build intensely visual pages - try to find the balance between using a lot of graphics and having a page that loads quickly. The general size of a page should be around 50K or less.
Browser neutrality - these freelance web site design tips should help you avoid the mistake of stating "this site is best viewed using X browser and in 800x600". People are annoyed to read that and they will quickly leave. Test your website in a different size screen and a text-only browser. Also go for a different color resolution or a different browser with a minimal feature set in order to get a better idea how your site will look on different computers.