7 Website Tips for New Businesses
Learning design is a daunting task.
When it comes to designing your website, it quickly accelerates. From learning to code, optimizing your site for SEO to ensuring a user-friendly platform... it's overwhelming.
This post will walk you through a few tips that will help non-designers nail down a few basics to creating a beautiful user-friendly website.
1. Start with a Sketch
Before you decide on a platform, purchase a domain or scroll through template after template.....sketch.
To get started, you'll want to sketch a wireframe. A wireframe is the layout of a website that showcases what elements will be included on each page. When creating a wireframe its best to keep it simple. Use squares to represent images, lines for text and circles for icons and logos. Starting with a sketch gives you the opportunity to prepare your content, decide on the optimal layouts and purchase the appropriate number of images and graphics before you have invested any money.
During this stage you don't need to finalise anything just get a better understanding of layout, elements and usability.
2. Utilise your Brand's Style Guide
Your brand is your businesses home base, so its important that your brand is properly represented.
When you are designing your website (or a professional is, Hi!) you want to create brand consistency to reinforce brand recognition. This means pulling out your brand's style guide to reference brand colours, patterns, icons, typography, brand collateral and anything else that encompasses your brand.
Would you like access to a step by step guide to planning each page of your website strategically so you can grow your following, your list and your profits? Drop your email below to get it FREE!
3. Leave room to breathe
I'm a big believer in the power of white space.
White space is the intentional use of negative space in design. This translates into: anything without a design element is white space. Your website margins, columns, line breaks, etc.
White space gives your design the room to breathe. It's benefits are not just aesthetically pleasing, but tangible: increasing legibility, higher comprehension and improved attention to your website.
Use large, legible fonts. Why? If people can't read it they won't share it. If they don't share it you don't grow a following and if you don't grow a following you don't make any money.
I'll reiterate: large, easy to read fonts equals making money.
5. Simplify your Navigation
Your Navigation is a large factor in your website's usability. An overwhelming navigation that doesn't drive action, sales or connections, isn't serving your purpose.
Try to break down your content into 2 or 3 categories: Primary Navigation, Secondary Navigation and Blog sidebar Navigation. In your Primary Navigation you may like to include things like product page, blog, webinars, shop, services page, etc. Ina secondary navigation (usually your website's footer) you may include: about page, contact page, legal and privacy, resources, etc. In a blog sidebar you might include: archives, popular blog posts, about page, resources, etc.
What's included in one should not be included in the other. Simplify.
6. Invest in High Quality Images and Graphics
In the end, good design comes down to the details.
It's important to think of all the ways your brand could be simplified, enhanced or more user friendly through the use of images and graphics. eg. icons, blog post graphics, social media templates, etc.
Not only should you invest in high quality images for the sake of your audience, but you should also invest in these images for the sake of your brand. Low-quality, grainy, pixelated images make your brand look unprofessional. Investing a little money can go a long way.
Consider looking into stock images, icons or templates on Creative Market.
7. Mobile Friendly is a MUST
No website design is complete until it's mobile friendly.
This is actually one of the reasons I love Squarespace. All website templates come equipped with mobile friendliness. Plus, they make it really simple to view your mobile website from your computer just by resizing the screen.
'69% of consumers worldwide between 18-39 use mobile devices to research products and services before they buy' - Spade Technology
I hope these tips help you in some small way to get started on your website today.
If you have any more questions about designing your site please feel free to contact me I would love to help in any way I can firstname.lastname@example.org