When the internet first became mainstream and accessible to the general public, web pages were typically straightforward and simplistic in nature. Over time, website design evolved as well as how we utilize the web to find and locate information ourselves.
Keeping up with the top website design tips of each year can help you in your own journey of building a presence online. With the right website look and design, make a positive lasting impression whether you are building a website for personal or even for commercial purposes.
Logo and Branding
Creating a successful business and brand online is not an overnight process. In fact, most businesses and brands require years, if not decades to truly make an impression on thousands, if not millions of individuals around the world. In order for your business to stand out from the crowd in a thriving or saturated industry, choosing the right logo is a must.
Your company’s logo will be the first image a prospective customer or client sees when they are researching your company or viewing updates, posts, and promotions from your business, both online and off. When you think of well-known logos such as the famous arch from McDonald’s or the Nike Swoosh, you immediately connect the logo with the company and the items they produce and sell.
Hiring a professional graphic designer, illustrator, or logo designer is one way to ensure your logo is truly up to today’s design standards without intruding on your competitors and their current logos. Work together with a professional logo creator to define what is most important to you to represent within your company’s logo.
Updated Code and Website Framework
In 2021, having updated coding and framework for your website is imperative, regardless of the purpose of your site and online presence. Ensure that the coding and framework are updated for your website to prevent potential hacking attempts and security breaches. Websites that have not been updated recently or that are entirely outdated have a much greater risk of becoming a target for data and information theft.
Choosing the Best Design for Your Site
When it comes to building a website for any purpose, design matters. Your website’s design can make or break it, causing others to dive deep to learn more about your business or seek an alternative resource online. Choosing the right design for your website will likely depend on the type of website you are creating, the audience you intend to reach, and the overall goals you have set in place for your business.
Creating a design for a website from scratch is possible with the help of a website developer, a professional designer, and even a third-party website layout creator or website development firm. However, it is important to consider how the website is coded, formatted, and whether or not it is responsive and suitable for mobile phones, tablets, and other devices.
If you are unsure of where to begin when it comes to selecting a website design that is optimal for your site, start researching your competition to learn more about current website development choices. Researching competitors will provide you with valuable insight into how your competition sells items, promotes their brand, and appears upon seeing their website design or online presence for the first time.
The Importance of Typography
Another element of website design and website development that is overlooked too often is typography. The font and lettering you choose to use within your website’s design can keep or send visitors away. If text is too small, blurry, or difficult to read for your visitors, they will find another website design with the information, products, or services they need.
If a font is too colorful, funky, or ornate, it may turn those away who are seeking professional and authoritative sources on the type of content, products, or services you provide. Compare the website design and website development of your competitors to determine what type of fonts seem to appeal most to your target audience and the demographics you are trying to reach with your online presence.
First Impressions and Brand Matter
You only have one opportunity to make a first and lasting impression of your brand and business, especially when doing so online. Users online are bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands of advertisements, promotions, and posts each day that are relevant to them and their own personal lifestyles.
If you want your business and website design to stand out, you must take the design, look, and aesthetic of your website design and brand as seriously as the quality of your products and/or services. Visit your top competing websites and take notes regarding their website design choices, their landing pages, as well as their homepage features that stand out.
Ask yourself the following questions while researching your competition online:
- How fast did the websites of my competitors load?
- What was the first impression I had of the website design chosen for my competitors?
- How accessible are my competitors’ websites?
- What type of website design and website development did they use?
- Is it possible for me to view the website design using not only my computer, but also my phone or tablet device?
- Do the layouts load properly when I do so?
- What type of website development have they utilized for responsiveness and accessibility?
- Is my competition using social media integrations and social media itself in order to build their following? If so, what networks and platforms are most useful for my target market and demographics?
- Are my competitors interacting with their users and loyal customers or fans? If so, how are they doing so?
- What type of website development or tools are involved in the process?
- Are they using social media, email newsletters, or even online commenting systems to boost engagement and online interaction on their website?
Desktop and mobile device responsiveness is essential for any successful website development in 2021, regardless of the website’s purpose or function. Ensure that the design and coding of your website’s layout is optimized for not only just desktops, but also for mobile and tablet browsers.
Having a website that is mobile-friendly and responsive with any type of third-party device or electronic tablet is a way to maximize your ability to reach any desired audience you are targeting. When a website does not load properly with a mobile phone or tablet device, the user is less likely to place their trust in the website or brand itself, which may lead to a loss of sales or revenue.
Whenever you are building a new website, take into account the overall responsiveness of your site’s layout by testing it on various types of computers, web browsers, mobile phones, and even tablet devices. It is also possible to use a third-party service to test your website’s layout ahead of time prior to going live for the public to view to reduce the risk of problems occurring.
Accessibility in Website Design
How accessible is your website? Is it possible to access your website on a variety of devices and browsers with ease? Do you provide translations for users who are not English-speaking natives? Is it possible to browse your website if a user is deaf or blind?
While not all websites provide accessibility features to all users, it is one way you can help your business and brand to stand out while also leaving a positive impression on visitors and prospective customers. A website that is accessible to everyone and that takes into account potential disabilities, reading issues or physical handicaps is much more likely to garner trust from new users and those who may be in the market for the services, products, or type of content you offer.
Integrations With Google and RSS Feeds
Integrating both Google as well as RSS feeds into your website is not only a way to boost your site’s SEO or search engine optimization, but it is also a way to appear more professional and legitimate to new visitors and prospective customers or clients. Integrating Google as well as RSS feeds will provide your visitors with more opportunities to share pages, content, and even products with friends while simultaneously boosting your website’s ranking within top search engines such as Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and even Google itself.
Moving beyond simple and traditional HTML and into real-time web editing and updates with RSS feeds and integrations can help to take any website to the next level. Using Google and RSS feed integrations is also a way to connect with other websites and online communities that are similar or relevant to your own.
Social Media Integrations
Another way to help your website stand out in 2021 is to integrate social media into your website itself. Social media integrations can help you to quickly spread the word of your business and brand while also boosting the search engine optimization of your site and official domain.
Integrating social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Snapchat can help to maximize your online reach and ability to appeal to a wide audience, regardless of your preferred market and the demographics or age ranges you want to reach.
One way to help your website to stand out while minimizing manual labor and effort is to utilize chatbots. Installing and using a chatbot plugin for your website can save countless hours of responding to questions and inquiries. Chatbots are optimal for eCommerce stores as well as generic brands as they provide a unique opportunity to communicate with web visitors while also learning more about their wants, needs, and reasons for visiting your website automatically.
Although it is possible to have a chatbot coded and programmed individually for your website by a professional developer, there are plenty of third-party chatbot systems on the market to use within just a few minutes. Before choosing a chatbot that works for you, consider the type of questions you intend to ask and the information you would like to collect from your visitors to find a chatbot solution that is just right for your website.
Use FAQ and Ticket Systems
It is also possible to implement a ticket and FAQ system for your users to provide additional customer service and guidance. Creating a FAQ, or Frequently Asked Question section of your website can help to inform visitors and prospective customers of shipping costs, inventory details, and even info on returns and sales. You can also use an online ticket system for registered users and customers who are interested in more in-depth assistance or guidance with their purchase(s) or even with their account on your website itself.
Speed and Performance
Any website with poor speed and performance is likely to lose out on visitors and potential revenue. With most top-performing websites and networks today loading within milliseconds on both desktop computers as well as handheld devices, speed, and performance have never been more important when it comes to building a website of your own.
Whether you choose to build a website for personal reasons or if you are launching a commercial website to sell products and services, conducting speed tests is highly advisable before going live and prior to any new design changes and updates you make to your website. Speed tests can help you to determine whether your website is loading slowly due to your website’s server or if it is due to improper coding and framework.
If your website does not load immediately or within a second or two, users are much more likely to seek out an alternative resource to find the information or products they require. A website that loads fast and is reliable every time is much more likely to appeal to those who are interested in placing their trust in a website and brand that is professional and legitimate. A website that loads slowly or does not load at all is not likely to appeal to new customers and clients you want to attract.
Building a website on your own does not have to feel overwhelming or impossible with the right tools and tips to help your site stand out. Having a basic understanding of website design, current trends, and various website design and website development tools is a way for just about anyone to create a website that will truly leave a lasting impression on visitors and prospective customers.
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.