Web Design 101: The Top Website Design Tips for Beginners
When you have a business or run any type of organization, you have enough to be concerned about. You have increased competition, and you need a consistent stream of customers.
Did you ever think that your website could contribute to lost revenue and a poor brand reputation? People will make snap judgments about your brand and whether or not they will buy from you in the first few seconds of visiting your website.
That means that you could be losing business just based on your website. You can stop the bleeding by knowing some basic web design principles. Take a look at these website design tips for beginners so you can understand how your website impacts your bottom line.
Your Website Starts with a Purpose
Why do you have a website? That is a core question that you want to answer for yourself. For some people, they know that they need a website, but they don’t fully understand the purpose of it.
Your website needs to serve a purpose. In other words, what do you want people to do when they get to your site? Your website will serve as the main focus of your online activities. People will visit your site to do research or to learn more about you before deciding to work with you.
The reality is that your website can be a sales tool. It can be used to generate leads for your business. If you think of your site in this way, then that will change how you design your site.
For example, let’s say that the purpose of your site is to educate customers and to generate leads. You can design your site to emphasize important content on the home page and have a mailing list signup form in a prominent place.
Reflect Your Brand
Your website’s design is a reflection of your brand. When you have a serious or conservative brand, you want to have a site that is professional and serious in tone.
Colors, typography, content, and images all work together to create that impression in the mind of the users.
For example, conservative brands wouldn’t want to have bright colors or rounded lettering like you’d see on a site for a toy store. That would only confuse visitors as they try to learn more about your brand.
Or rather, lack thereof. Your website needs to be designed with speed in mind. It’s tempting to add a lot of pretty images to your site, but those images can cause your website to load slowly.
You can lose over half of your site’s traffic if your site takes more than three seconds to load on mobile devices.
How can you make your site faster? There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to site speed. You may have a slow website host, for example.
From a design perspective, make sure that your site is free of clutter. You’ll want to make sure that images are compressed, and you use caching on your website. For WordPress users, these can easily be done with plugins.
Design for All Devices
Do you know how your website looks on mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers? You need to make sure that your design looks clean and crisp across devices.
It’s not only a matter of providing a great experience but a matter of ranking higher in search results, too. Google just released new guidelines regarding website content and made it very clear that your site’s content is easy to read on mobile devices.
How do you incorporate mobile devices into your site’s design? It’s simple when you use WordPress to build your site. Most WordPress themes already have a responsive component to them, so you don’t need to learn how to code.
Navigation is Part of Design
How easy is it for people to find information on your site? You want your website’s navigation to be intuitive. If you force people to think about how to find your services, they won’t stick around long to try to figure it out for themselves.
You also don’t want to have so many pages that a user has to click through pages of content to find what they’re looking for.
One thing you can do to make this process easier is to create a wireframe of your site. This is a basic skeleton of your site that will help you focus on the key pages of your site and the overall user experience.
This is done in the early stages of the design process. Doing this step will help your overall website design stay focused and you won’t have to redo pages in the middle of the design process.
Keep Your Design Simple
Simplicity rules across these website design tips. The less that you have on your site, the better. You want to have a nice balance between images, text, and whitespace.
If you have too much of one thing, like a wall of text, then users are likely to tune out and go to the next website.
The Top Website Design Tips
A lot of people approach website design as “it’s just a website.” What you have to realize is that your website serves as the storefront to your organization, whether that’s a non-profit or e-commerce store.
People will make a judgment about your organization in the first few seconds, so you need to make those seconds count.
Make sure that your website looks sharp across all devices and that your site is built for speed. You always want to test your site’s design and see how users are navigating the site, too. The more you design with users in mind, the longer they will stay on your site.
Do you need help implementing these website design tips? Contact us today to find out how we can help you create a website people will love.