How to design a website – few things to remember
Everyone who starts the adventure with their own business sooner or later will have to face the challenge of designing a website. For novice entrepreneurs, this is often a topic that be overwhelming. In addition to technical aspects like security, choosing the right hosting, you also have to think about content and visual attractiveness.
In 2018 over 4 billion people in the world had access to the internet. That makes more than half of the worldwide population. And these statistics are constantly growing, which is why entrepreneurs are increasingly deciding to invest in their online business. Websites are also often the first point of contact between potential customers and our brand. It is here that the consumer often makes the decision to buy your services or products. It is also here that you begin to establish an emotional bond with them.
However, a poorly designed website can also have a negative impact on our brand and its effectiveness. That is why it’s important before we start working on the site to look at what makes it effective.
The article is not only useful for people who are just starting their adventure with an online business, but also for those who would like to refresh the existing website or who see that it does not bring the desired results. Now we’ll begin!
Few things to consider before designing a website
What does Google like?
Google’s guidelines change quite often and it’s hard to keep up with them. No one really knows how the algorithm works, and Google guards this secret like sanctity. However, when changes occur, it usually gives tips on how to optimize websites and its content so that they are better rated by the world’s largest search engine. It’s good to look at Google’s latest guidelines on its algorithm if we want our website to be easy to find and appear high in the search results.
Server and website speed
Before we start building our website, we must go through the domain registration process and choosing a hosting. What should be noted is primarily the quality of services offered and the speed of servers. Whether or not a hosting company stores content that is against Google’s policies may affect how our own website will be perceived by search engines. In addition, the faster the server, the greater the chance for better positioning.
Users and their needs
Similarly to the design of visual identity, also in the case of website design, it is necessary to specify our target group and its expectations. To skilfully arrange and plan the content of our website, you must first know who you serve. Thanks to this, your offer will reach the right people faster.
If you haven’t defined your ideal customer profile yet, check out this article in which I explain why understanding our customers is so important and what we should know before we commission a graphic design.
Content and architecture of your webiste
Once you understand the needs and expectations of your potential customers, it’s time to look at what content will interest them. Let’s try to empathize with them and answer the question:
- What information are they looking for?
- How can they reach it and how fast?
- What will make them satisfied when they contact you for the first time?
- What will make them come back?
However, you should remember that apart from the content itself, the layout is equally important. Therefore, look at the information structure as well. A good solution would be to follow the principle of progressive disclosure. According to it, the information should be provided gradually – from the most important, short and concise ones that hit the nail on the head, to the more detailed, which are presented only when the client decides to learn more.
Too much information during the first contact may discourage the user from reading. Thus leave your website before he even reaches the information he’s interested in.
Remeber about keywords
Keywords are words or phrases that your potential client uses to find us. Even before you start work content, look carefully at what keywords people can enter in a search engine. These phrases should be in headers and texts, but also in URLs and photo descriptions (so-called alternative text). Google Ads may be a useful tool for planning keywords.
Structure and navigation of your webiste
User experience design is a field which is gaining more and more publicity every year. Although it’s not new in the design world. But what is it all about?
UX design is responsible for designing products in a way that make it user-friendly and meets users needs. Designers aim to ensure contact with the product (in this case, the website) is smooth and effective. The main goal is to ensure website usability, accessibility and understandable. Whether your site is user-friendly consists of many factors (many of which I mentioned above), however, for our site to be truly friendly, it must be properly structured. Whether the user will be able to perform the planned action depends on the appropriate layout, clear navigation structure and appearance.
Prototypes are an additional tool that helps to avoid errors. Designers use them for visualizing a website. Thanks to that you can check the website’s basic functions and efficiency before the project reaches the developer.
What are the important elements of UX design?
- Clear and intuitive navigation,
- Appropriate content hierarchy,
- Visible call to action – elements suggesting what we expect from the user,
- Proper color contrast,
- Clear structure and graphics that match the content,
- Both substantive and visual coherence.
Do the links matter?
Links are definitely one of the most important elements in positioning. Thanks to them your website has chance to be higher in the Google ranking. Remember to include keywords in the links. An important element of SEO (search engine optimization) are also the so-called backlinks, i.e. external links that lead to our website. Thanks to them, Google will perceive our site as a reliable source of information.
Mobile and responsive versions
In 2018, over half of the global network traffic came from mobile devices (according to www.statista.com). It is worth bearing in mind that this trend is constantly growing. Google also has this in mind and rates higher sites that have a mobile or responsive version. Therefore, before you choose an offer for website design, be sure that the mobile version is included in the price.
Take care of the security of your website
When creating a visual identity for our brand, we want our clients to trust us. Thanks to this, they are more likely to benefit from our offer. The site is similar, the more so because it is one of the basic tools in building the desired image. One way to ensure a high level of trust is to ensure user safety. That is why it is worth investing in a Secure Sockets Layer certificate. Having an SSL certificate is also a sign for search engines that our site is trustworthy.
The success of a website depends on many factors and is the result of careful planning. If we want to break through the competition and we want to attract the attention of potential customers, it is worth bearing in mind the above elements. Taking care of the right structure and content architecture, search engine optimization and visual attractiveness will help our company achieve better results and inspire the trust of people to whom we direct communication.
Hi, my name is Magdalena. Brand designer and strategist with a passion for creative thinking, travels, and coffee. I'm inspired by new challenges and everyday life. I observe, read and listen. That's how I learn and gain experience to use it in my works.