Best Practices When Designing Your Website-Featured.jpg

Best Practices When Designing Your Website

The great thing about website builders — like Websites 360® — is that they make it possible for every business to build its own website. For one, it’s much more affordable to build your own website than it is to hire a designer to do it for you, and two, you no longer need to have years of experience in web design to get it right.

With a plethora of incredible website templates to choose from and a user-friendly website builder, every business can have a great-looking website. However, that doesn’t change the fact that some websites are more effective than others at meeting certain goals or providing a pleasant user experience for visitors.

No business owner wants a website just to have a website. You want a website to build awareness in your brand, convert and help you capture data about your customers, among many other things. In order to build an effective, user-friendly website, you’ll need to keep a few best practices in mind while designing it.

5 best practices to keep in mind while designing your website

#1. Make it mobile-friendly

These days, very few of your visitors will be viewing your website on a laptop or desktop computer. Instead, the majority of them will be checking out your website on their smartphones, which is why your website needs to be designed to provide the ultimate user experience on mobile.

Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly starts with choosing a design template that’s responsive. A website with a responsive design will automatically reconfigure itself depending on the device it’s being seen on. This is beneficial because it ensures that everyone who comes to your site gets the same functionality and aesthetic.

Responsive design is critical, but it’s not the only thing you’ll need to consider where mobile-friendliness is concerned. You’ll also want to ensure that your buttons are large enough to be clicked with a finger and that your navigation is simple and easy to maneuver through.

Learn more about the why and how of building a mobile-friendly website.

#2. Keep your navigation simple

The navigation bar of your website is the main way that people will get from one page to another. It’s also how your visitors will search for the information or products they’re looking for. Do yourself a favor and ensure that your navigation is simple and easy to use.

When it comes to the navigation of your website, simple is better. There’s no point in trying to reinvent the wheel. Drop-down, menu-style navigations are simple, straightforward and, best of all, people are familiar with them and know how to use them.

If your navigation is complicated or difficult to sort through, it’s likely to hurt your site’s bounce rate — which is the rate at which people leave your site shortly after arriving. Not only does this mean losing potential customers and a negative user experience for your website visitors, but it can negatively affect your website’s organic rankings.

Learn how to build a better website navigation.

#3. Make it fast

There are two main reasons why it’s critical to ensure that your website is fast. One, people have short attention spans these days, and if your visitors have to wait more than just a few seconds for your website to load, they’re going to click the back button. Two, it’s not just your website visitors who will expect a fast experience; Google weighs site speed in its organic search algorithm. If your website is slow, it could hurt its organic visibility online.

Ensuring that your website loads quickly enough for the average internet user starts with picking the right web host. When it comes to web hosting, you pretty much pay for what you get, and if you settle for a cheap web hosting service, chances are, you’re going to experience site speed issues.

You should also make it a point to save images using the right file type, as well as to resize and compress the images on your website. Large, high-resolution images look great but can slow your website down to a turtle’s pace.

Learn how to optimize your images for site speed and SEO (search engine optimization).

#4. Utilize white space

A common website design mistake is to try to cram too much into a single section of your website. Typically, this will be above the fold, as this is the first place visitors will look, and brands have a lot to share with visitors and not a lot of space to share it. But, this can convolute your message and create a negative experience for your visitors.

White space is a powerful web design tool, and it’s the antithesis of clutter and confusion. When you give a single call to action plenty of white space around it, it becomes the focal point of the page or the section, not just another element. White space prevents the important parts of your page from getting drowned out by everything else.

In addition to pointing your visitors in the right direction, white space is also visually appealing. When you cram too many elements into a page or a section, it will make it look busy and unorganized. But, the strategic use of white space will make it look sleek and modern.

Learn more about white space and its role in web design.

#5. Keep your branding consistent

Your average local business website will have anywhere from 5 to 10 pages. E-commerce websites tend to have many, many more, thanks to products and product categories. But, the point is that, regardless of whether someone lands on your homepage, a product page, or a service page, it should be clear that the page belongs to your brand.

Make sure that your website feels cohesive and that your brand is properly represented on every page of your website. That means keeping the colors consistent and including your logo on every page. You should also keep the tone of your content consistent, as well as the typography of your website.

Images, too, should be consistent. This doesn’t mean they all have to be of the same subject matter, but try to keep other aspects consistent, like lighting, camera angles, etc.

These best practices will help to ensure that you’ve designed a website that’s built for conversions and organic traffic. Start building your website with Websites 360 today!

Originally published on 3/9/20