Designing professional websites is an aim that many small business owners have as they try to scale in today’s digital age. Right now, over a billion websites are online. That tells us just how hard it can be to craft a site that stands out.
Still, there are tried and true ways to create sites that not only get found online but can leave an impression on the people they touch. Our team has sorted through all of the website design noise to give you what we think are the seven most important tips you should keep in mind when designing your site.
Keep reading to discover what they are and to take your web presence to the next level.
1. Know Your Site’s Purpose
Planning is everything when it comes to building a website. You need to understand before picking up a design tool exactly what your website aims to do and how it will achieve that goal.
Speaking to the first of those two factors, purpose, do you know what goal you’d like your site to achieve? Do you want it to generate sales? Will it simply be there to extend brand awareness?
Knowing exactly what the perfect outcome for your website is will allow you to gear every design choice you make towards that end.
2. Work With a Content Management System
It used to be that business owners needed to know how to code or needed to hire costly developers to create a great website. Gone are those days.
Modern website design is driven by content management systems. These systems have made it so anyone can build stunning sites with the help of templates, plug-ins, and other turn-key tools.
This, of course, doesn’t discount the value professionals can bring to your site, even when using a content management system. Think of a content management system as a framework that provides value similar to the benefits of SAFe DevOps, which will allow you to carry out whatever tasks you want to do more efficiently.
3. Keep Things Simple
When you begin to explore content management systems and how easy they make development, you may be tempted to “overdevelop”. Overdevelopment means doing more with your site than is required for it to achieve its goal.
Designing professional websites largely comes down to getting consumers to take the desired action with as little effort as possible. Anything that can be stripped away from your site without impeding its mission should get cut.
4. Use Imagery
The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words holds true. As a matter of fact, people can process pictures up to 60,000 times faster than they can process words.
When using imagery for your website, try to lean on elements that speak to your brand, and don’t feel generic. Many developers have fallen into the trap of riding stock photography too heavily and end up alienating consumers that are put off by that impersonal strategy.
If it’s possible to create your own images for your website, do so. If that’s not a budgetary or possible due to time restraints, try to license images that impose license limits. That means they limit the number of places an image can be circulated.
5. Think About Mobile First
Smartphones have reached astounding levels of consumer saturation. In the United States, over 80% of adults own a smartphone and most use them to access the internet.
As we see mobile phone usage rise, we continue to see traditional computer use plummet. With that in mind, your website is better served catering to mobile users.
The good news is that responsive website design (which is built stock into almost every content management system template) allows you to please both computer and mobile users. It may just take some adjusting.
Scrutinize your website’s “breakpoints” to make sure content is properly scaling when subjected to different screen sizes. If you’re having trouble keeping things clean on computers, tablets, and phones simultaneously, seek professional help.
6. Learn Everything You Can About SEO
What good is designing professional websites if customers can’t find them?
The best way to cut through today’s digital clutter is to get to know SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of researching and integrating target keywords into your site’s design to get it noticed by platforms like Google and Bing.
The more relevant your keywords are to your target market, the more likely search engines will be to suggest your site to searchers. Well over a billion searches are conducted on Google daily. That goes to show you how valuable it is to learn how to work with the search giant.
7. Hire a Pro
Some of us can read design tips for ages and still not get the results we want. In these cases, it’s worth saving yourself stress by calling in pros. A professional web developer can help you design and perform regular website updates that’ll keep your site working its best for years to come.
Hiring pros is more affordable than ever today, and many work in content management systems. So, consider giving a professional a try!
Designing Professional Websites Takes Trial and Error
Like most things in the tech space, designing professional websites is a process of doing and redoing.
Consumer tastes are constantly changing. Search engine best practices are updating. Business models are getting turned around.
Keeping track of that movement and tweaking your site to meet demand is what will make you successful.
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