Most professionals today understand the importance of having a website. But few know how to design a website that visitors will actually like and want to use.
94% of first impressions that your visitors will have about your brand will be related to your web design. So, while a website can be an incredibly powerful tool, it can just as easily be the biggest obstacle that immediately puts off the vast majority of your prospective targets.
That leaves many bloggers in a bind. While there are plenty of ways to create a website, some of them can be very technical, while others can cost thousands of dollars.
The good news is, even if you don’t have any experience with web design, you can put yourself in a position to succeed if you just take the time to understand the fundamental best practices that web design in 2020 is all about.
To help you get started, let’s explore some of the most critical aspects of creating a website that you need to consider.
Make Branding Elements Consistent
Branding is one of the key elements of any successful website. Today’s consumers don’t want to stumble upon a generic website that doesn’t have a distinctive brand identity and will instantly click away if they don’t relate to the visual elements that are present.
While having a distinguishable logo and a basic color scheme are a given, today, that is not enough to truly establish what your company is about and why prospective customers should be interested.
Your entire design must reflect your company’s values, public perception, and voice, aligning with what your customers expect and believe in. This way, you can break through the clutter and succeed even in the most competitive marketplaces that are usually dominated by large corporations.
Think about how you can use branding and visual elements to tell a compelling story, combining the design with strong and focused messaging that instantly tells everything the visitor needs to know about what your brand is all about.
Provide a Seamless User Experience
Convenience is a broad word. In web design, it can mean almost anything, but even so, bloggers that manage to excel at making their site easy to use usually have a much easier time reaching their online audiences.
But how can you make your website simple to use?
Having a mobile-friendly site is a given, but since the majority of all online traffic is now coming from mobile devices, you should even take a mobile-first approach and design your site’s usability from a mobile perspective.
That way, you can ensure that you don’t alienate a large number of prospective targets and can get your message across even on the smallest screen.
Another crucial aspect of UX on your site is speed. 79% of your visitors won’t return to a slow website, so if you don’t want to alienate them, make sure that your images are optimized, your code is lean, and your hosting is adequate for the traffic that you receive.
Finally, you need to identify the actions that you want your visitors to take and figure out which path will offer the least resistance towards making that happen.
Map out the visitor’s journey on your site and look for any bottlenecks or obstacles that might be contributing to them leaving. Then, correct those issues and try to highlight the next step as much as possible on every single page that a visitor might stumble upon.
Use a Website Creator
For a long time, website creators were seen as inadequate when compared to hiring a professional web designer. And the truth was, until very recently, the limitations were quite visible.
But today, when usability and convenience are becoming more important for both the end-user and the company that’s creating the site, using a website builder has become a much more feasible option.
For one thing, a website builder allows avoiding thousands of dollars in expenses that hiring a designer would likely end up costing. Website builders offer an abundance of features and possibilities for a fraction of the cost, which is ideal for freelance bloggers that want to have an online presence as soon as possible.
But the cost is not the only benefit of using a website builder. Even more importantly, they offer a range of benefits that directly correlate with today’s best practices of web design.
When you use a website building service, you can rest assured that your website will be lightning-fast, mobile-friendly, and optimized for the best performance possible.
The providers of such services are constantly looking for ways to improve their designs and templates, allowing businesses and individuals to tap into the most recent trends of the design world, taking advantage of new technology the moment it becomes available.
You may find that everything from the design elements to navigation will already be optimized for your needs, allowing you to quickly plug and play with various design elements that you know are proven to work well in similar situations.
The convenience and cost-effectiveness of today’s website builders cannot be underemphasized. They allow even novice online marketers to quickly set up a professional-looking website, eliminating many steps that would discourage a lot of people before.
Continue to Optimize
Even though you can set up a website relatively quickly using a website builder, you can’t expect everything to work perfectly from the moment that you launch.
Sure, you can rely on the best practices that are essential today, but you will also need to account for your audience’s individual preferences and the current landscape of your market.
Thus, the only way to ensure that the website delivers the results you want is to continually track your performance and test out different variables.
This way, you can eliminate any bottlenecks and optimize your website’s navigation, design, and copy to match audience expectations.
What’s more, you are likely to learn a lot about who your audience is and what they prefer, which will likely give you a considerable advantage over the competition in the long term.
Creating a website might be easier than ever before, but you still need to understand the basic principles of web design and the current best practices, if you want your site to be effective.
However, if you use a website builder and continue to optimize after your initial launch, you will be on the right path to success, even if you don’t have any prior experience online.