10 tips to get your website design spot on

Mac with open web design project
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Rawpixel)

A website is often the first impression potential customers will have of a business in this day age. In today's digital era, that first impression is more important than ever as customers increasingly search online for products and services on a daily basis. 

A well-designed website will not only grab attention, but may also hold that attention long enough to convert a visitor into a customer. 

Should you be in need of some help in revamping or creating the perfect website design for your business, below are ten tips to help you be on your way to designing a website that's both visually appealing and effective. 

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1. Keep your homepage minimalistic 

Your home page should be an introduction to your business, setting the tone and conveying your message quickly and effectively. Prioritize the information you want visitors to see immediately without overcrowding the page with unnecessary content. 

Keep it concise and clean, having only necessary items such as navigation bars, logos, search bars, and other essential elements. Keep long stories for lower-level pages and make sure that the links are clear and easily accessible from the homepage. 

Having a minimalistic design will offer a better user experience; creating an attractive interface with no distractions from key product or service features that you would want to show off.

2. Design with visual appeal in mind 

When it comes to website design, one of the most important elements is visual appeal. Designing with visual appeal in mind means making sure the overall aesthetic of your website looks pleasing to the eye. 

This includes choosing a color scheme that works well together and avoiding too much clutter on your pages. You should also focus on creating a consistent look and feel throughout the website by ensuring typefaces, photos, and other visuals look cohesive. 

Quality images are key when creating a visually appealing website, so try sourcing stock photography or creating custom videos or graphics for an added wow factor.

3. Create easy to read website content 

A great website design is essential for drawing in potential customers and establishing a strong online presence. One of the biggest parts of this is making sure that your website content is easy to read. 

Creating content with the right tone, length, and formatting can make all the difference when it comes to keeping readers engaged. You should try writing shorter paragraphs and sentences, while also including simple words that many reader can digest quickly. 

Utilize headings and lists to draw attention as well as strategically break up large chunks of text. Additionally, use high-quality images and visuals related to your topics instead of blocks of text whenever possible. Last but not least, make sure you double-check your content for any typos or grammar issues before you post it.

Woman creating her own website on computer

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Kaspars Grinvalds)

4. Ensure your site is easy to navigate 

Websites should be appealing and easy to navigate, allowing the website user to get to exactly where they want quickly and intuitively. Ensure your site is easy to navigate by making sure all pages are clearly labeled and organized logically. 

Ensure the main navigation is consistent throughout each page, so visitors can easily find their way around the entire site. Also, make use of simple grid layouts for page organization as this makes a huge difference when it comes to how visitors view each page. 

Make sure your menu(s) stay visible at all times while scrolling down, so visitors can easily return to any previous sections they want. 

5. Stay mobile friendly 

Mobile devices are becoming the primary way people access the internet. As a result, having a website that is not optimized for mobile use can be detrimental to your business. Users who have difficulty navigating your website on their mobile devices are likely to leave your website and move on to a competitor's website.

In addition to user experience, mobile-friendliness is also a factor that search engines like Google take into consideration when ranking websites. Google's algorithm now favors mobile-friendly websites in search results, which means that having a mobile-friendly website can help improve your website's visibility and drive more traffic to your website. 

To achieve this, ensure that your website is using a responsive design. Responsive design is an approach to web design that allows a website to adapt to the size of the device it's being viewed on. This means that your website will look great on any device, from a desktop computer to a smartphone. By using a responsive design, you can ensure that your website is always optimized for mobile use. Another way to make sure your site is mobile-friendly is by simplifying your design. When designing for mobile devices, simplicity is key. Mobile screens are small, and users are often on the go, so they need information quickly and easily. 

To create a mobile-friendly website, focus on simplifying your design. Use clear, concise language, and keep your design clean and uncluttered. Avoid using too many images or videos that can slow down your website and cause frustration for users. Also using a mobile-friendly font is another important factor when designing for mobile devices. Fonts that are too small or difficult to read can be a major frustration for users. Choose a font that is easy to read on a small screen and avoid using too many different fonts. Most website builder services allow you to edit your site in mobile view too, which is useful because you'll see exactly what your site will look like on mobile when it's live.

A designer group chooses the color scheme of the application.

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Wasan Tita)

6. Avoid hectic color schemes 

When designing a website, the color scheme is one of the most important elements to consider. The colors used can largely affect the overall look and feel of the site, as well as impact user experience. To create a website that is visually appealing and easy to navigate, it is crucial to avoid hectic color schemes. 

To avoid hectic color schemes when choosing colors for your website, it is important to start with a neutral base. This means using shades of gray or white as the background for your site. A neutral base will create a clean and simple canvas that allows other colors to stand out and make an impact. It also helps to reduce visual clutter, making it easier for users to focus on important elements of the site. 

Another key tip to avoid hectic color schemes is to limit the number of colors used in your design. Too many colors can overwhelm users. Instead, choose a palette of two or three colors that complement each other and convey the desired mood or message. Using shades and tints of these colors can add depth and variety without adding too much visual noise. 

7. Don’t ignore SEO 

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This means that when people search for keywords related to your business, your website is more likely to appear at the top of the results. This is important because the majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and if your website doesn't show up in those search results, you're missing out on a lot of potential traffic and customers. 

To ensure that your site is optimized, conduct keyword research. Before you start designing your website, it's important to know what keywords your target audience is searching for. By conducting keyword research, you can identify the phrases and terms that people are using to find businesses like yours. 

This information can then be used to inform your website content and ensure that it's optimized for those keywords. Another important factor is optimizing your website structure. The structure of your website is important for both user experience and SEO. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate, with a clear hierarchy of pages and a logical flow from one page to the next. 

This will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website, which can improve your rankings. Also, use descriptive URLs. When creating URLs for your website pages, make sure that they are descriptive and include relevant keywords. This not only helps with SEO but also makes it easier for users to understand what the page is about before they click on it.

 8. Make sure typography is consistent 

Typography is an essential component of your website's design. It can make or break the overall user experience of your website. If your website has inconsistent typography, it can make the website look unprofessional and unpolished. In contrast, consistent typography can enhance the readability, legibility, and overall user experience of your website. 

The first step in creating consistent typography is to choose the right font. You need to select a font that aligns with your brand, audience, and message. A good rule of thumb is to choose no more than three fonts; one for the header, one for the body, and one for accent text. Another way to make your website design spot-on is by creating a hierarchy in consistent typography. It refers to the organization and arrangement of text elements based on their importance. 

By creating a hierarchy, you can guide your website visitor’s attention toward the most important information. You can create a hierarchy by using different font sizes, weights, and styles. Another way to make your website design spot-on is by having consistency in font size and spacing. 

This is critical in creating a polished and professional website design. You should establish a set of guidelines for font sizes and spacing and follow them consistently throughout your website. This can help ensure that your website looks cohesive and easy to read. 

Alignment is another critical aspect of consistent typography. You should align your text elements to create a clean and organized look. For example, you can align text to the left, right, center, or justify. Whatever alignment you choose, make sure that it is consistent throughout your website.

9. Use white space strategically 

Also known as negative space, white space refers to the areas of a design that are left empty or blank, without any visual or textual content. While it may seem counterintuitive to intentionally leave blank spaces on a website, the strategic use of white space can actually improve the overall user experience and enhance the visual appeal of your website. 

White space can be used to create a clear visual hierarchy on your website, highlighting important elements such as headings, buttons, and images. By leaving more white space around these elements, you can draw the user's attention to them and make them stand out more effectively. 

However, it is very important to ensure that the amount of white space used throughout your website is consistent, both within pages and across the entire site. This will create a more cohesive and polished look and feel.

10. Don’t forget high-quality images and videos 

High-quality images and videos are important for adding a new look and feel to your site, and as important as it is for these added elements to be top quality, it's also important for your images and videos to be relevant to your brand, products, and services. For example, if you run a fashion website, your images should showcase the latest fashion trends, while a food blog should feature mouth-watering images of delicious dishes.

Another crucial aspect of using images on your website is to ensure that they are high-resolution. Low-quality or pixelated images can be a major turn-off for visitors and may give the impression that your website is unprofessional. Make sure to use images that are at least 72 DPI (dots per inch) and preferably 300 DPI for print-quality images.

Ensure that your images load quickly and don't slow down your website's performance by optimizing them for web use. This includes compressing the images without sacrificing their quality, using appropriate file formats such as JPEG or PNG, and adding alt tags to improve accessibility and SEO.

In addition to images, incorporating videos into your website can also enhance user experience and engage your visitors. Videos can be used to showcase product demonstrations, tutorials, or even behind-the-scenes footage. However, it's important to keep videos short and sweet, as lengthy or irrelevant videos can be a major turn-off for visitors.

Just like images, it's crucial to ensure that your videos are high quality. Poor quality or shaky videos can be unprofessional and may drive visitors away from your website. Make sure to use high-quality equipment and editing software to create visually appealing videos.

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Ruby has been a freelance technology writer for over four years and has a passion for information technology and the Internet in its entirety. She has a wide range of specialities including web hosting, streaming (Firestick, Kodi, and APKs), VPN, information technology, and affiliate marketing. Ruby is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of the Philippines, and regularly codes in her free time.