Designing a website is no easy feat, especially if you’ve never designed one before. If you can, hire a professional website designer to do it for you, but if you can’t, make sure to read up on the basics of coding to get an understanding of how a website works.
As you build your website, remember to keep testing it to ensure everything works as it should. You can either do this manually or use end to end automation to have the testing done for you. This will help to smooth out any wrinkles that may disrupt the website experience.
Read on to find out more about the do’s and don’ts of website design:
Make your website visually appealing
- This means using an attractive colour palette that compliments what your website is about. If your website is for a funeral director, for example, you probably don’t want to be using hot pink and neon yellow. Similarly, your logo should complement your colour palette and the whole page should look balanced.
Create a responsive design
- A responsive design allows visitors to access your website on any device. Remember, screen size and shape can be very different on a desktop than a phone, so text size and button placement may need to differ. Navigation is also different, so the design needs to accommodate both mouse use and touchscreen.
Include clear and concise information
- The information you place on the homepage needs to be as clear and concise as you can manage. You only have about 10 seconds to engage a visitor, and if they don’t understand what you’re selling within those 10 seconds, they’re going to leave your site in search of a new one.
Make it easy to navigate
- Buttons, menus, and search bars need to be obvious so that almost anyone can use your website. Remember, you have a legal obligation to make your website accessible to all if you’re offering a paid service, so your webpages need to be just as easy to navigate as a brick-and-mortar shop would need to be.
Use high-quality images
- If you’re going to use images, make sure they’re clear, even when displayed on a large or small screen. Your images need to be able to withstand stretching too, so when a mobile device is rotated, the image doesn’t become pixelated or distorted.
Overcrowd your pages with too much information or imagery
- White-space is your friend when designing a website. This doesn’t mean leaving large areas literally white – it just means some areas of a page should have no information or detailed imagery to give the key points space to breathe.
Use tiny fonts that are hard to read
- Not only does this make your website inaccessible to those with a sight impairment, but it also makes everything look cluttered and confusing. Text should stand out against the background and it should be obvious what you want the visitor to read first. Always use a Sans Serif font, as this can make text clearer too.
Forget to proofread your content
- A typo, no matter how small, will look highly unprofessional to your visitors, so make sure to triple-check your work before publishing it. Poor spelling and punctuation sticks out like a sore thumb on a website, but it’s easy to avoid by simply proofreading.
Use stock photos that look cheesy or outdated
- Similar to using high-quality images, you need to make sure your photos don’t look old-fashioned. Certain styles are indicative of a specific time (clip art was popular in the 00’s, but it now looks archaic), so stick to contemporary imagery that won’t go out of date.
Use annoying pop-ups
- Whilst you need to ensure you are receiving permission for cookies from visitors, any other pop-ups can be infuriating for someone trying to view your website. Many websites are guilty of pushing visitors to sign up for email newsletters by using a pop-up, but this is more likely to annoy your visitor than encourage them to stay.
The standard of websites has vastly increased in recent years, so it can be hard to compete with some of the more advanced designs. However, by following the tips above, you should be able to design a high-quality site that attracts plenty of visitors day after day!