15 years ago, creating a website for your business was not in reach for most small to medium sized businesses, nor was it exactly necessary. Now, in this digital age, having a website for your business is essential to your survival. Websites increase your visibility and the awareness of your brand, without an online presence your business could fade into oblivion. It is extremely beneficial in more ways than one. For example, it can help you gain access to constant hoards of potential customers looking up businesses through search engines.
So you have a website, good. But it’s one thing just to have it, and another for it to be good. Effective web design is another huge step in the right direction, and it can be tricky to master. When designing a website, or hiring someone to, you have to consider many elements. Considering all of these correctly and putting it together harmoniously will make the most out of your web page.
6 Key Things to Consider When Designing a Website
Most business owners are aware of how important branding is. It is more than just a name and pretty logo. It is your overall look, your voice, your value proposition, your public perception, the message your company sends the world. Designing a website is just another way (— and arguably the best way) to communicate your brand to the public through the web.
Your website should capture your voice and value in a beautiful and functional way. It should have a purpose, rhyme, and reason. The biggest key to make branding actually work is consistency. Your brand has to stay consistent across all platforms you display yourself in. Online and offline. For example, colours have to stay exact, fonts have to be universal, and the voice you talk to your customers with (serious, easy-going, or relatable, etc.) has to remain the same. You should aim to use a brand guideline to keep your visual styles, themes, and fonts consistent and pleasing to the eye. If you don’t have a brand or want to improve your current one, contact our design team. We excel in creating great brands your customers will connect with.
2. Ease of Use
If you take away anything from this article, let it be this. If a website isn’t user-friendly, there is almost no use to having one. People are increasingly getting less and less patient, and attention spans are shortening. If a visitor doesn’t know why they need you, 5 seconds into your website, they will lose interest and click out. If they can’t instantly find a way to contact you, they won’t. If your website misleads, confuses, or looks haphazardly put together, you will lose many potential customers. No matter how good your social media is, how great your marketing campaign is, or how strong your brand is, leads will walk away in frustration over a confusing website.
This is why hiring a professional might be the way to go. They are experts in UI/UX (user interface and user experience) a.k.a. building efficient functionality to a website. Most web developers know what keeps a user onboard and why users click out. Accessibility and readability is also important. It’s always good practice to design for multiple languages, possible disabilities, and impairments. This especially includes being responsive (mobile, tablet, other screen friendly.) This ensures that your website is accessible to the many different types of internet users. Keeping your website simple with a clear structure and site map will help.
Aesthetics are important. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The visual elements of your website from colours to themes to typography is your aesthetic. Most people are also visually inclined and design sensitive. For these individuals the look of your site will make or break your brand. Having an attractive and professional looking page automatically builds trust and accountability. These visual elements should be consistent with your current branding, they should also catch the eye and draw the viewer in.
For any images or graphics, choose only high-quality, high-resolution to show on your site. Make sure that you can use it too! Simply Google Image searching and saving those results is not legal. And you might face copyright issues with the photo’s original owners. If you don’t know how to find royalty-free photos, we can help you with that! Pick colours that match your branding and blend well together. Properly done typography looks simple but is actually complex! Play it safe and keep it simple.
Speed goes hand in hand with ease of use. A slow loading page is one sure fire way to get users to exit your site and move on. Studies show users abandon pages that take more than three to five seconds to load, so there’s always a balance between aesthetics and speed. With people’s short attention spans, you need everything to load instantaneously. One issue new websites can run into is trying to do so much with high-resolution photos, graphics, animations, etc. that you actually overwhelm your website. Avoid overloading your servers by keeping speed in mind.
There are many behind-the-scenes ways to optimize and shrink the file size of your images and graphics to load faster. Nutech Digital can help you with this as well! Of course, you can always buy more speed, but this is not always necessary, as each site should operate on a case-by-case basis. Buying hosting storage is a choice you should make in discussion with professionals who can help you get the look you really want and the performance you need.
A website can be beautiful and easy to use, but without proper content, it will feel empty, unprofessional, or useless. What is the purpose of your website? And how does your content coincide with this purpose? Website content is especially important when developing a website. The voice you use should be on brand, valuable to the consumer, and search engine optimized. Your content should be accurate, informative, and convince your audience that they need your service or product. To do this, make it obvious that you know your target audience, that your business can relate with their needs, and that you are trying to connect with them personally.
Nutech Digital has designers and copywriters on staff that are professionals in content writing and creating. We plan websites with content in mind first. We ask the important questions that lead to actual results. Talk to us if you have any questions about how to write effectively in your business voice.
Probably the most important factor for business owners when considering hiring professionals. When designing a website, you should research the averages of how much everything costs. It can become a costly expense so before approaching any web design, figure out how much you are willing to spend on it. Deduce if you even have the budget to do it at all. Some costs you should consider are: hosting service, pre-built website theme, hiring a web building expert. There are many different costs of designing a website that most people don’t think about. Know what kind of website you want and what your website actually requires, and what you’re willing to cut corners on.
Designing a website should be a well-researched, thorough endeavour that can require patience, time, and a decent amount of skill. While many hosting services offer user-friendly building platforms, it can be severely limiting. Many online DIY platforms restrict your creativity, level of customization, and often put useful features behind a paywall (if it can do it at all). Contact us to learn how we can make a customized, eye-catching, mobile-responsive website for you.