Even though you’d find a lot of CMS (content management system) such as WordPress, Wix and others, website development still takes a lot of skills to whip up. While one may quite easily put together a couple of pages, throw in a menu on top, slap a logo and a favicon and create a contact page, there are still a few important things to consider while you roll your sleeves up and dive in the world of website development. In this post, we attempt to respond to people’s question: What to keep in mind while designing a website?
We came across a very informative visual and thought of putting it out here in the form of a blog post. The original photo is supposed to be from Visual.ly and it is attached at the bottom of this post. . Though we have tried to remain true to the original visual, we have however expanded on the points – either for more clarity or in an attempt to provide a bit more depth to the point in hand.
Let’s go through each point – a total of 26 – one by one:
1. Domain Name
Choose a name that people can remember well and choose wisely (and appropriately) whether you will use .com, .net or something else.
Choosing an appropriate domain name is critical as it represents your presence online. It is the name that people will recall (or completely miss), so have a good think over it before finalizing down on one.
Your domain name should not only be easily remembered but also reflect the type of business that it represents.
2. Web Hosting
Choose a reliable one and look how much capacity you need. For hosting, read our amazing post where we have listed some of the most popular, affordable and exceptionally good web host for your need. There are some many web hosting companies on the market offering many alternatives – such as shared hosting, dedicated VPS (virtual private servers), fully managed hosting, cloud hosting and others.
Picking the right one for your need is important for your business, so ensure you have the correct web hosting solution for your website.
What is the purpose of the website: business, corporate, ecommerce etc.
Websites have different purpose, so it is imperative that you find yours before actually spending time and resources developing it. Is it just a simple brochure website or a more complex e-commerce one?
Having a purpose beforehand will ensure that your vision of website design and development goes smoothly and gets fulfilled. The importance of this step to keep in mind while designing a website is understated. We cannot emphasize it enough.
5. Layout and Colours
Colours affect the ‘feel’ of your website. Neat layout is always preferred. Don’t forget about footer too.
Colours speak a thousand words. They have an intrinsic quality of evoking certain feelings that otherwise would have been difficult to evoke. Medical related websites have a blue-green tone for a reason, while e-commerce website go for bright call-to-action buttons such as orange.
6. Site Map
Clear site map and flow chart.
A sitemap is what it is – a map for your site. It lays down all the necessary information for a visitor, in a very simplistic format. This also aids in ranking your website in search engines, as they are able to understand what your site is all about and how the information is laid out.
Your website has to provide a good and informative content to the users. Target certain keywords to rank high in search engines. The type of content like language, picture, video etc., have influence of how fast or how slow the website will load.
It is cliché but content really is the king. You can barely succeed online if you fall short of great content. It is the most important arsenal that you should have and it will determine whether you site is found to curious visitors or whether it remains under the heaps of the other unheard ones.
You have to know who your audiences are, then you can build content to attract them.
Think about it – would a dentist website attract people seeking dental treatments if the site’s owner dishes out pages and posts about technology? Of course not. That is not its intended audience. A dentist’s website should provide valuable content around the various treatments options, about dental hygiene and other related topics. That is what is appropriate for the website and that is what is expected of it.
Don’t put too much advertisement on your website. If it is not necessary, don’t put it there.
Though advertisements are a great way to monetize your website - especially if they are blogs - it is still important to tone them down to a level that is not obtrusive. You don’t want to repel your readers with adverts staring them in their faces every time. If your website is a business website, adverts are usually frowned upon, unless very strategically placed and do not interfere with the natural flow of the content.
10. Pop-up Messages
Prevent pop-up messages. It is the most annoying type of advertising because of slow loading and sometimes you can’t close it.
Although this is a blanket statement, we feel that one should use these pop-up messages sparingly. There are few use cases where pop-up messages are perfectly fine to use – such as exit intent pop-ups to capture a lead.
11. Attractive Design
Good website should be simple, yet professional.
This goes without saying! Every website should look its part. Nobody likes to visit a website only to find it an utter disaster. Websites need not be over the top with fancy texts and fancier animations; they ought to convey a message to their visitors and they should look elegant and professional.
Though it may sound simple to accomplish this seemingly simple step but the number of websites out there screaming their bad designs, is quite something. Speaking of what to keep in mind while designing a website, we say this one thing for sure!
Make an ‘eye catching’ button and ‘call to action’ button like ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Download Now’. Try using bright colours like orange or yellow.
Tastefully done buttons are a great way to catch attention and drive users to take certain action which you want. Not only do buttons have a big role to play but they should be placed at strategic locations on a web page to capture attention and bring home the conversions. Great buttons have great responsibilities.
You can choose from a clean look, colourful look, or you can consider patterned background too.
It’s pretty obvious that between a bland looking web page and one that is adorned with a graceful background that pops right out, we’d choose the latter. Backgrounds are a great way to hold people’s attention and even to emphasize the message you wish to convey.
Choose image carefully as it will create lasting impression for everyone, so you want it to be good and memorable.
No website will look nice without images. They play such an integral part of any website and marketing campaigns –whether online or offline. Images bring together the essence of your products or services and nothing works better than images that truly stand out. Choosing the right image is critical to your online success and it will be suicidal for anyone to take them for granted.
15. Easy Navigation
Users can easily find what they are looking for.
The ability to easily navigate a website is so underrated. Many a website owners wrongly assume that a visitor will somehow manage to find their way through the site. This is so farther from the truth. Without a strong understanding of how a visitor comes on the website and makes his way through it, it must not be unconditionally assumed that a person will find it easy to browse through.
There are so many websites out there, but you have to make your website stand out from the others.
Don’t make your website boring and drab. You don’t want your website to be just a faceless identity in the vast ocean that is the internet. Offer something unique to people who visit your site, pop your website with nice colours and features that’ll help it stand out, do something exciting for your site’s user that will help them recall your website – the possibilities are endless!
Keep your website up-to-date to keep visitors coming back.
This cannot be emphasized enough. Would you ever go back to a website that you once visited in the year 2010 and has not be updated since? Chances are slim. People are naturally drawn to newer shiny things. You cannot afford to repeat the same old stories that your visitors have already been used to. They want something new, they need something fresh.
A good website has to be search engine friendly. It means it is easy to find your website in the search engine.
What use is a website that people don’t find? You may have the best content on the internet, or adorned your website and made it look ultra-pretty or have the best solution to a problem people are searching for – but it is still languishing somewhere online where the search engines have a hard time finding it.
19. Cross Browser
A good website has to be able to be viewed properly in all types of modern browsers, example: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari.
A website that is meant to look good just on one browser will lose a lot of customers because everybody uses different browsers all the time. Someone may use Google Chrome, while someone else may have his preference with Mozilla Firefox. Just because your website looks great on Chrome does not mean that it will look the same on Firefox, Safari or some other browser.
You should put in the time to ensure your website looks the same on different browsers, the most popular ones at least.
20. Screen Resolutions
Formerly, web design made 980px in width. But as responsive web design is getting popular, a site can be designed up to 1230px in width.
According to websitedimensions.com, about 35% of the entire users have screen sizes of 1366px and roughly 20% of them have 1920px in use. As you are building a website, ensure that these popular screen resolutions are catered to. You don’t want your website to look awful on most devices, so don’t skip this step.
21. Social Media
Integrate social media in your websites to facilitate easy content sharing.
The adage goes: Be where your audience is. And in this day and age, the audience is definitely online. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and a thousand other social media outlets out there, screaming for your attention.
Integrate some of the most popular ones on your website so that it facilitates easy sharing of content when they like it. We humans have a tendency to share things that we like or think someone will – so provide your users an easy channel to share and distribute valuable content with their friends and loved ones.
Choose your typography. Legible font is definitely important. You don’t want people to squint their eyes while reading your text.
Clearly this is a no-brainer. People aren’t just looking at those beautiful images you have on your website, they are also reading what is on it. If you have decided to show your creative side by choosing a super fancy font that looks stunning but hard to read, good luck with that. No, I’m not praising. I’m being sarcastic. You will only drive visitors away from your site if the font is difficult to understand and read.
If visitors have to register to interact with your website, give them advantages when they do.
When you asked them to take some time off and register themselves on your website, it will bode well with them if you offer them something. It need not be outlandish but a simple reciprocation of thanks will be sufficient. You could offer them a few reward points for joining in, or even a free e-book or maybe a 10 minutes consultation call if that is possible.
Not only will this be appreciated by the new registered members but will also get you some more.
24. Tracking & Analytics
With it, you can monitor how your website goes and how to optimize it.
Obviously, when you have your website up and running, you also want to monitor how it fares online. There are many tools available to help you do that, the most famous one being Google Analytics. You can utilize these tools to understand how many visitors you’ve had in a duration of time, how many pages are the most popular amongst them, which geographical locations do they come from, what devices are in use and many other metrics.
25. Provide Security
Visitors have to feel safe when they leave their information in your website. Especially when they have to register their contact details or credit card numbers.
Security and privacy are the talks of the day. With the amount of information that is available online it becomes difficult to distinguish between sites that are truly reliable from those that are not. In the wake of online scams and digital fraud, you ought to protect your website visitors’ identity and personal information. Ensure that your website has an SSL certificate (most of the good hosting companies provide for free nowadays), is GDPR compliant and more importantly – provides an environment of trust and reliability that they seek online.
Footer may not be the main thing in your site, but with a well-designed footer, you can impress your visitors.
Footer is the last thing your visitors see on your web page. Having a well thought-out footer with links to other pages or snippet of information for ease of use will most certainly aid in a better user experience. A footer is as important as the header and unfortunately most site owners take the place for granted, resulting in a misshapen footer that looks like it doesn’t belong to the website.
Having an elegant footer with a design that flows naturally to it, looks great on any website. Not only will it impress your users but a cleverly crafted footer may lead to a conversion that you were seeking for.
As we mentioned earlier, the image below is the original one from Visual.ly and we think it's a great one, as to what to keep in mind while designing a website.
We hope you create something truly special and memorable, taking cues from the list. If you have something of your own, do let us know and we can try to incorporate your idea as well.
Over to you!
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