Designing a website, whether it be for personal use or for your business can take some time to plan out. Whether you do yourself or have website designers to do it for you, there are a number of things you need to consider carefully so that you don’t end up spending a lot of money for something that you don’t like or end up replacing soon after getting. Here are some top tips for designing a website.
Have A Plan
Planning is always essential to anything you do and that, of course, includes designing a website. Create a plan for what you want to achieve for this design in particular and touch on things that you currently have on the web design that you want to keep. There may already be aspects of your current design that you like and perhaps some specific functions that work well already. You also want to factor in the budget that you have for this new website design. Prices for web designs may vary whether you opt for a design company or an individual. Sit down and really think about every aspect of it, including how you want your branding to be displayed. That’s something that’s very important because when existing customers or readers come onto the site, they want to see that it’s your website they’re on and not something that’s completely unrelated. A good website design shows professionalism and tells your clients or readers that you have a serious passion for what you’re creating, whether you do it as a hobby or as a money earner.
Include Your Social Channels
Social channels are essential to your website because it’s beneficial to bring together all your digital profiles and have your website as the main site that everyone goes to. Any followers that you may already have on Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform will be able to discover the website if you tag the link onto your social media profiles. And when it comes to your website, you want to display your social media channels clearly. Download the artwork from the relevant brand guidelines page of each platform and then place them on your website. It’s definitely worth putting it a the top of your website, as opposed to just the bottom. A lot of users are normally only engaged with a website above the folder and lose interest as they scroll down. Usually, a reader will scroll to the bottom just for contact details so if you’re picking between the two, always display social media icons at the top of the page.
Assign Call To Actions
Call to actions are a way of getting a reader or customer to do something that you want them to do. It might be to sign up to your mailing list for freebies and VIP content, or it could be to direct them to another part of the websites. With blog posts, call to action is normally placed at the bottom of the article to encourage interaction with the reader. It’ll normally be a question that the reader answers in the comments section of the post. This is a really effective way of communicating so think about how you want to assign these. Whether you do it as a pop-up every time, someone hits the homepage of your site. You could also add it as a landing page so that they need to fill in their email to gain access to the website.
Make Room For A Blog
A blog can be a very powerful thing for your website and one that you should include within the design process. Creating plenty of content is important to help maintain your audience. Incorporate a blog section when it comes to designing a website and think about how you want this laid out. If your website is in regard to fashion or beauty, then you’ll probably want a lot of it centered around photography. If you plan on doing more how-to and help guides, then you may want a simple grid layout that pop-ups the article as you hover over it. It’s the smallest of details that will make a big difference, and as you grow your blog, you may want to tweak your design slightly as the demand for your content increases.
Put All The Important Stuff Above The Fold
Above the fold is still something that relates to website design, even though it traditionally is referred to more original media formats like newspapers and magazine covers. The most engaging point for your readers is at the top of the page. This is what they land on and what they first see. That means that you want the most important stuff there. Whether that’s your brand’s logo or a message that you want to get across to your readers. Always maintain your focus point with this section when it comes to designing. Of course, you still want to ensure everything else is interesting to look at but above the fold is where it really counts.
Use High-Quality Imagery
Imagery is certainly something that is very important and possibly even more important than the words you have on your pages. If the imagery isn’t high-quality or interesting to look at, your users will switch off. The same goes for the page loading time, and if this isn’t enough, it’ll annoy those who are online. We expect a lot as humans now more than ever, and if your site is not up to the typical standard of most sites, it won’t do well. Try to get more high-quality imagery, whether that’s taking the photos yourself or using stock images to fill the space in the meantime. Make sure that the sizing of the photos is correct and that they’ve been compressed enough so that they don’t affect the loading speed of your website. Ensure that they are on-brand or that they have some relevance to what writing is mentioned around it. If a blog post is about technology, you want photos of technology and digital-themed photography, rather than a picture of a piece of fruit, for example.
Clutter is a negative thing, and it can have an emotional effect on your readers when it comes to the design of your website. If there’s too much going on in one space then it’s just going to confuse your readers and likely want them to switch off from what they’re trying to engage with. Always think about the spacing of everything on your website and how you don’t want to create too much clutter in a small area. Lay this all out in your initial discussions with a website designer and ensure that like any clutter at home, it has a place to live, and that’s where it should always be. A website audit is something that’s worth doing to question those browsing your website and to see if it’s something that you currently have a problem with.
Designing a website from scratch is a project that should be taken with some seriousness. No matter what the website is used for, you want to show a professional level in front of your readers and to show them that this is something that’s worth engaging with. Follow these tips when you come to re-design or create a website and don’t be afraid to ask for help and to question anything along the way when it comes to the design process. You want it to be perfect, after all!