Website development and design are key elements involved in building an online presence and a professional reputation. When a website is not properly designed, you run the risk of losing the trust of your visitors or preventing them from revisiting your site in the future. While it is essential to implement tips that improve web design while attracting visitors to your website, it is also important to understand common mistakes that occur when designing a new website from scratch.
Table of Contents
- 1 Consider the Purpose of Your Website
- 2 Choose the Right Color Scheme
- 3 Streamline Your Website’s Logo With Your Preferred Color Scheme
- 4 Use Professional Photos, Graphics, Animations, and Videos
- 5 Optimize Images Used on Your Website
- 6 Implement a Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Layout
- 7 Use a CMS (Content Management System) Such as WordPress
- 8 Take Advantage of White Space
- 9 The Importance of Proper Navigation
- 10 Test Multiple CTAs on Each Page
- 11 Include Sharing and Social Buttons
Consider the Purpose of Your Website
Building a successful website is not possible unless you have a defined purpose in mind for your site. Do you plan to share your company’s products and services with your online visitors or do you want to provide useful information that is relevant to your intended customers? Are you interested in developing an online community, or do you want to launch a website that is simplistic and straight to the point? What are your intended customers searching for when they visit your website? What would you want to see as a customer upon first visiting your website’s homepage?
Setting a clearly defined purpose and role for your website is the first step before choosing a layout and creating content that is actively displayed on your homepage.
Choose the Right Color Scheme
Choosing the right color scheme is extremely important when you want your website’s layout to stand out from any competition you have. Research popular color schemes and consider working together with a professional graphic designer or web developer to choose a scheme that is modern, yet relevant to your brand. Avoid using a wide variety of colors that are bright and simply do not flow. Properly implemented color schemes showcase a professional business and brand, which assists with gaining the trust and loyalty of prospective customers.
Streamline Your Website’s Logo With Your Preferred Color Scheme
Once you have settled on a color scheme for your website, ensure your website’s logo blends well with your decision. Have your logo reworked or redesigned to fit with your website’s color scheme if it is not a permanent logo that has already been shared and printed for business purposes. Streamlining your company logo and your website’s design is imperative to prevent confusing visitors while they are visiting your website to learn more about your products, services, and content for the first time.
Use Professional Photos, Graphics, Animations, and Videos
Use professional photos, graphics, animations, illustrations, and videos in all areas of your website. Avoid using outdated, grainy, blurry, or stretched images when representing your products or simply adding designs to your site. Outdated graphics can cause users to leave your website while also preventing them from viewing your site and company as a trusted provider. Work together with a professional designer or consider an online stock service to purchase high-quality graphics, photos, and designs that are right for your site.
Optimize Images Used on Your Website
Always optimize any images you use on your website to prevent your website from lagging or loading improperly. Simply resizing images will not optimize the media, requiring users to spend more time waiting for your website to load properly. When users are required to wait longer than a second to three seconds, they are much more likely to seek an alternative source for the information or products they need.
Save your images are .JPG or optimized .PNG files that are ready for the web using programs such as Adobe Photoshop for best results.
Implement a Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Layout
With the advent of smartphone technology and increased access to Wi-Fi, utilizing mobile-friendly and responsive web layouts are a must for any type of website. Use a responsive and mobile-friendly website to prevent alienating an entire audience of users who prefer browsing using their mobile phones, tablets, and other portable devices. Without a responsive and mobile-friendly layout, your website’s layout is likely to load improperly or incompletely, causing a loss of interest in your online users.
Use a CMS (Content Management System) Such as WordPress
Using a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress is a great way to optimize your website’s layout while also implementing SEO (search engine optimization) tactics, images, portfolios, and various plugins that are most relevant to your intended audience.
WordPress is free of charge and one of the most popular CMS solutions available on the market. With WordPress, choose from thousands of free and premium themes to quickly install on your website for a layout that is attractive, relevant, and extremely responsive for all users and devices. Even if you are unfamiliar with programming yourself, WordPress provides plugins that make it easier than ever to connect with your online visitors and prospective shoppers.
Use plugins such as WooCommerce in conjunction with WordPress to launch your very own eCommerce store. Opt for a gallery plugin to showcase your products or to create a professional portfolio. Use an SEO plugin developed just for WordPress to improve your website’s rankings on top search engines such as Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo!, and Bing.
Take Advantage of White Space
Consider the amount of white space you are using on your website before publishing a new layout. White space helps direct users to various locations of a website without overwhelming them with imagery and cluttered designs. Avoid filling your entire site layout with graphics and photos as this can quickly confuse visitors or turn them off from using your website altogether.
Choose a navigation system that is simple, effective, and easily accessible (on both desktop and mobile browsers). Navigation bars should be immediately noticeable upon visiting a website, whether you prefer a vertical or horizontal navigation solution. Choose a navigation setup that works for the type of products, services, or content you plan to share with your visitors. Consider how users in your target demographic browse online to find a navigation setup that is most suitable. Test your website’s layout in multiple browsers and with various devices before going live and sharing your creation with the world.
Test Multiple CTAs on Each Page
Using CTAs (calls-to-action) help to lure users to learn more about a business and what it has to offer. Use a CTA on each page of your website while testing the overall engagement of each CTA (based on messaging and placement). Use tools such as Google Analytics to track and monitor the effectiveness of each individual CTA you use to determine the best way to communicate with your prospective customers. Implement working CTAs in each of your email newsletters and on social media pages you use to represent your business and brand.
Include Sharing and Social Buttons
Implementing social media share buttons on each page of your website is another way to increase engagement while driving additional traffic to your website. Once you have installed a CMS solution such as WordPress, search for a free or premium social sharing plugin that is right for your website and its current style. Social sharing buttons encourage users to engage with the content you share while also providing you with free marketing on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram–for maximum online exposure.
Understanding some of the most important tips and tricks to keep in mind while designing a new website is imperative to avoid missing out on potential opportunities to gain followers or loyal customers. With the right tips, tricks, and design resources, ensure your website is acceptable, useful, and appealing for any audience or demographic you intend to reach.