Get to know a little more about website development by looking more at its essence and objectives, as well as the care you should take to get results with your website.
A robust online presence is very important to the success of a small business. However, when you are new to this, developing your own website from scratch can be an overwhelming process that takes time, effort, and resources to accomplish. If you don’t know the basics of website development , you will be at risk of making mistakes that will end up hurting your business, even if you hire a professional website designer to help you.
Whether you want to launch your own website from scratch or develop for someone else, here is a step-by-step process to guide you.
set your goals
The development and launch of your website should always be based on a good and solid plan for greater chances of success. Start by clearly defining your goals and positioning your business online before doing anything else.
Ask yourself the following questions… Will your website serve your brand’s purposes? Will you be selling physical products or promoting your services in-store? Are you going to use it as a means of getting email list? Next, make sure your website elements match your brand identity. Aligning your small business web design with you on business goals is crucial to the success of your web development project.
Explore your options
Curiosity is a good thing here as it promotes inspiration for new ideas. If you want to improve your website design and creativity, look for places that offer a lot of template options to choose from that you can later customize to suit your needs. You can, for example, take inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. Choosing the best website designs couldn’t be easier.
Prepare your content
Now that your design has been chosen, you can start working on all your visual and written content (e.g. text, images, graphics). It would be ideal to have all your text and principals ready before your website officially launches. This can consist of paragraphs of long text, headers, an about us page, and calls to action.
The good thing is, you can always change things up if something proves to not work well (either on your own or with the help of a web design company ). It’s also a good idea to keep your content fresh, seeing that search engines favor new content.
Start with a solid content plan that includes both verbal content (eg, text and visuals as well as buttons and graphics). However, as the old saying goes, quality is more important than quantity.
Show your best and newest content first. It’s often more efficient to give your visitors a little “flavor” and keep them coming back, compared to adding excessive things that can confuse or irritate the visitor to the point of leaving your site. You also want to make sure that your site’s loading speed is fast. People are impatient or simply don’t have time to wait more than a few seconds for your site to respond. If it takes forever to load, they will just give up and look for other sites.
Create an efficient sitemap
You can think of your sitemap as the architectural blueprint of your online “house” (aka your website). A sitemap will include all the pages you want to develop, their order and their connection to each other. Search engines like Google are favoring pages that connect to each other, and this produces better ranking and ranking results. However, the best web design is one that makes it easy for the visitor to take action from one page to another without too many links.
All things considered, an extensive and complete website should include the following aspects: a welcoming homepage; an attractive gallery that showcases your products and services (this is where visitors will explore your offerings); a solid about us page and a page with your contact details such as email address, phone number, social media profiles and physical address.
If you want to go beyond the basics, it would also be a good idea to include the following:
A blog about your business . By keeping your blog active and frequently updated with new content, you can establish yourself as an authoritative source in your industry and improve your SEO campaign as blog posts will improve your visibility in online search engines. Make sure it’s on a separate page on its own, as well as in the footer area of your site.
A helpful section with frequently asked questions . A FAQ section can save you and your customers valuable time and effort in answering common queries that would otherwise take a long time to address for each user separately. Be sure to include all these questions and their corresponding answers on a separate page on your website.
A page with your main testimonials . If you already have a list of satisfied customers, ask them to leave feedback on your testimonial page which can serve as online proof of how great a job you’ve done. Shoppers are always looking for reviews from other customers, so dedicating a page with positive customer reviews is sure to grab their attention and influence their decision to support your business rather than a competitor.
Use the right colors in your web design
Whether you realize it or not, using certain colors can make or break your website and your brand in general. Colors have the ability to evoke certain emotions and reactions depending on the context in which they are used. The color theme of your site plays a part in the visitor’s impression of your site, the length of their stay on your site, and other important metrics.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should use costumes and multiple colors to catch the attention of your website visitors. If you want to keep things safe, opt for solid, pure colors like white and light blue or black in the background. Only use two colors on all your secondary elements, for example menus and buttons, as they are easier on the eye.
Choose appropriate fonts
In addition to choosing the right colors, the fonts you choose to use are also very important in making your website look clean and crisp. Based on the latest font trends, creative and modern fonts are “in” but you can use any font as long as it matches your brand identity and doesn’t take any attention away from your messages. You can experiment with one or more fonts and compare them to see which ones are most appropriate for your site.
Add the finishing touches to your website design
Just like icing tops on a cake, your website will lack “something” if finishing touches are not made, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem at first. You can, for example, add animations, graphics, demo videos and other aspects without necessarily having to change your website’s HTML code. Just a few small finishing touches can give your website the UP it may need.
Keep your website clean and organized
Your site visitors need to feel familiar and comfortable when they are browsing the different pages and sections of your site. That’s why it’s best to keep your site as clean and organized as possible. There’s a certain content order you might consider when you’re trying this: your most important and compelling content should be positioned first, above the fold. The “above the fold”, if this is your first time encountering the term, is a key area that pops up on your visitors’ screen without them having to scroll down to see it.
Keep in mind here that most of your website visitors will just swipe and scan your content quickly. In more specific terms, this means that they will likely only look at the top and bottom of your webpage. Thus, it is important to display all vital information in the top and bottom sections and use the center areas for less important information.
Show your presence on social media
Use the power and potential of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to encourage content sharing among users and spread the word about your new or existing business online. It has minimal to zero costs and is actually a very efficient method to boost your brand online and interact with all your customers. To make this possible, add a bar with social media buttons to every page and post on your site. A great tip is to display this in the header, footer, or an anchor on the sides of each piece of content.
Don’t Forget Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While this practice may seem overwhelming, website optimization (SEO) is really essential for your website as it optimizes your content to rank better in search engine results. This implies that the more you appear in search results, the more traffic you will get to your website and the more leads that are interested in your products or services. It might seem like SEO is just a post-design aspect of your website, but that’s actually not the case. Even if you have a creative web design that is visually appealing, it won’t gain many eyes if you don’t implement SEO best practices.
First and foremost, you need to choose a domain name suitable for your business, enter a description of all the photos that will appear on your website, and use keyword-targeted headlines and descriptions on all your pages. Luckily there are platforms that have made the process a lot easier for you thanks to special SEO tools and guides that show you the ways to easily boost your website’s SEO from scratch.
Make sure your website is mobile friendly
It is a well-known fact among web designers and web design companies that there are a large number of users accessing websites through their mobile devices, especially in the last couple of years. The number is expected to increase further in the near future. And, as you’ve already guessed, you better have your site optimized for these users, or you’ll lose out on a huge market here.
A key aspect to focus on when optimizing your website for mobile devices is clear navigation and readability of your website. For that reason, include things that make it easier for the user to navigate, for example, link shortcuts to various pages on your website or deep links and contact forms so that potential customers can get in touch with you directly. It’s important for mobile users to easily navigate your content without having to scroll down or use a bunch of links to get to your target page. This makes the mobile user experience seamless.
Ask for external feedback
Everyone can benefit from a little outside help. If you choose a web design agency or your trusted friends to give you a second opinion, you can open your eyes and see things you personally missed, like misspellings, missing punctuation, incoherent phrasing, inappropriate graphics or color themes, difficult navigation from page to page, and so on.
So make sure that all the key and secondary elements of your website are clear, organized, consistent and match your brand or business identity.
Finally, make sure your site looks good on mobile devices and other screen sizes. To help you with this, you can ask friends or customers to access different screens and devices to check your website design.
For more information on how good website design can help your business, contact our professional team of web developers.