Whether you are sharing information, free content, or even selling products and promoting your brand, there are a few design tips and tricks to keep in mind. When you are thinking of creating and launching a new website for any reason you want to outshine your online competition at all times.
Choosing the Right Design
Deciding on a look and design for a website is not always an easy or straightforward choice, especially if you are new to web design or building an online presence altogether. In order to select or create a design that is truly right for your website, it is important to ask yourself the following questions before getting started:
- What is the purpose of my website? Am I selling products, offering services, or providing content to my users?
- Who am I targeting with my website? What is my target demographic? What age range, gender, and location am I most interested in reaching with my website and with future marketing campaigns I intend to launch publicly?
- How will I spread the word about my website? Who is most likely to have a genuine interest in my website, and why?
- Am I solving a problem with my website? If so, what problem am I solving? If I am not solving a problem or offering a solution to a question for users, what reason will my audience have to visit my website?
- How does my target audience currently obtain the information, products, or services I intend to create and/or share with my website?
- Are there currently competitors online in the industry and market I am entering? How can I best research my current competitors to learn more about the success of their online presence?
- What type of design and online presence do my competitors have? Are my competitors targeting the same demographics, or are they honing in on a different age/gender/location altogether?
The more questions you ask yourself while in the planning process of a new website, the easier it will be to determine which style of layout and design is right for you.
Choosing the right font and typography for your website is also a key decision that should not be taken lightly. Whenever a user visits a website that is difficult to read or navigate, they are much more likely to go elsewhere for the content, information, or products they need. Typography in web design matters, which is why using Google-approved fonts or solutions from The Google Font library is highly recommended whether you are coding your website from scratch or using a CMS, or Content Management System such as WordPress.
Similar to typography, navigation is a cornerstone of any great functioning website, regardless of the website’s purpose or target audience. Without proper and fast-loading navigation, users are likely to exit your website in an effort to find faster results elsewhere.
When choosing a layout and design for your website, consider how users are most likely to access your website, whether they will do so using a traditional web browser or if they are more likely to access your site via a smartphone or tablet device. How will users navigate your website? Is the navigation better placed horizontally, or vertically? Is your navigation menu properly coded to load responsively for those who are using smartphones, tablets, and other non-native desktop browsers to access your website?
High-quality Graphics and Imagery
With any website or online presence, you online have one opportunity to leave a positive and lasting impression. Whether you are creating ads for your website or if you are designing graphics for the layout of your site, high-quality graphics and imagery are essential to truly leave a lasting mark.
Any time you are selecting a layout or website design for your website, be sure to do so only with high-quality images such as vectors and other graphics that are modern and high-definition. Avoid using blurry, grainy, shrunken, and outdated graphics, as this may cause users to believe your website is outdated and therefore, incapable of providing high-quality results, products, or information.
If you are unable to produce graphics and high-quality photographs to use while building or creating the layout for your website, consider using a third-party image bank or online community. Register to purchase or download high-quality and premium graphics and images to use in order to cultivate a professional and trustworthy brand and online image for your website and/or business.
The Importance of SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most important and highly effective tools used by web designers, coders, and programmers alike today. Top search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and Bing all use search engine optimization to help with placing websites and URLs within appropriate places each time search results appear for a user.
A website that is highly and properly optimized for search engines is much more likely to appear within the first page of top search engine results. As the majority of users click websites that appear within the first page of search engine results, boosting your website’s SEO is extremely important and highly valuable in any market or industry.
When you are designing your website’s layout or choosing a website design that is right for you, keep the SEO of your layout in mind. Even if you are using a service such as WordPress to host your website, seek out an SEO plugin to help monitor and track the overall success of the optimization of your site over time. Tracking your website’s ranking is an important job to maintain visitors, customers, and ultimately, income streams.
Updating Your Website’s Coding and/or Framework
Keeping your website’s coding and framework updated at all times is key to ensure maximum speed and proper loading times. A website that does not have proper coding or that has an outdated framework may load slower than competing websites on the market, costing you visitors and potential revenue.
Additionally, when a website’s framework and coding are outdated, websites are at a much greater risk of being hacked or attacked by bad actors and even digital thieves. Routinely check and verify that your website’s coding and framework are updated and in proper standing to protect your website and all of its content at all times.
Speed and Performance
The speed and performance of a website can make or break a website’s potential. When a user attempts to visit a website but it requires more than a few seconds to load, they may not stick around to see what content or products appear. As websites become increasingly optimized and faster with dedicated servers and dedicated hosting solutions, it is now more important than ever to optimize your website design for speed and performance.
When building or creating a layout from the ground up, consider the load time for each of your pages based on the graphics, imagery, animations, and other features you intend to implement. Prior to launching any website design you create, it is highly advisable to test your website design on various platforms and devices to ensure the loading time is up to your standard.
With mobile browsing becoming increasingly popular even over traditional desktop browsing, it is essential to ensure your website design is optimized for all mobile smartphones as well as tablets and other portable devices. Mobile-first optimization ensures that your website development easily loads on all devices other than traditional web browsers from desktop and laptop computers.
With mobile-first optimization, ensure that you do not ostracize half of your audience by creating a website design that is only visible when using a traditional web browser. Additionally, a website development and/or brand online that appears mobile-friendly and optimized is much more likely to give a professional impression to visitors who are new to the site.
In addition to mobile-first optimization, mobile responsiveness is just as important to prioritize. When a user is browsing a website design using their mobile phone, they are likely on the go or seeking quick and immediate responses. When planning the layout of your website design and resizing graphics or selecting the type of framework that is best for your site, keep mobile responsiveness in mind.
Before launching your website design, it is also important to test your website development on multiple types of smartphones and other devices or by using a third-party testing service. Using a testing service provides valuable insight into the overall loading time as well as mobile responsiveness on your website on a wide range of desktops, devices, and electronics, even if you do not own them yourself.
Tablet and Smartphone Compatibility
It is also important to keep both tablets as well as smartphone compatibility in mind, especially if you are building an eCommerce store for your website design or if you intend to reach users who mostly browse the internet using phones and tablet devices along with other devices or electronics other than traditional computers. Test and verify that your website development loads properly on all popular devices such as Apple and Android tablets as well as smartphones in addition to a wide range of browser resolutions.
It is also advisable to test your website design in various browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Brave, and Google Chrome to verify that your website development is loading and appearing properly on desktops, laptops, and portable electronic devices.
Social Media Integrations
When creating your website design, consider how you intend to integrate social media into your website development project along with other services such as Google or an RSS feed. When you are thinking of implementing and integrating social media into your own website for your online presence, ask yourself the following questions:
- How will you increase the interactions and comments on your website?
- Will you create content that can be shared with other users on your website development project?
- What social media tools and platforms are most relevant to my website, and why?
- What demographic that I am targeting is most likely to use social media platforms I am integrating on a daily basis? How does my target demographic interact and engage with their social media daily?
- Are there tools available with the social media platforms I prefer that can help me to better reach and appeal to my target audience?
- How do I intend to share my content or spread the news on my website? Will my social media integrations help others share links or simply comment, engage, and interact on my website with others?
- Who is most likely to interact and engage with the social media integrations I choose to implement on my website?
- What benefits am I likely to reap by integrating social media into my website? What metrics will I track to determine the overall success of the social media integrations I choose?
Another way to boost overall engagement on your website development when designing your site is to implement a chatbot. Chatbot solutions are available via third-party solutions and are also available as plugins for a wide range of CMS, or Content Management Systems. You can use a chatbot solution for WordPress, a free CMS solution, free of charge.
Using a chatbot is a way for you to connect with visitors who are browsing your website development without requiring additional manpower or employees in the process. With a chatbot, learn more about your visitors, why they are on your website, and what they need, even as you sleep or step away from the computer.
Creating a website in a hyper-competitive industry is not always an easy task, nor is it one that is completed overnight. However, understanding the latest website design trends and tips can help you to maintain a competitive edge regardless of your website’s purpose and target audience. With the right website development layout and website design, make a positive lasting impression on the users you intend to reach the most.
D2 Branding provides exceptional website design services in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas. For a complimentary 15-minute website development consultation with the D2 Branding website design team, call us today at (918) 520-8012.