By Matt Casadona
Simply having a website to have one isn’t enough for businesses. You need a website that gets traffic and converts. Most business owners aren’t also web designers and developers, which means that you put your website design in the hands of others. Unfortunately, many web designers don’t have any knowledge of marketing, so when you ask them to create a website for your business, they might create a beautiful website that simply does not convert.
Web Design Best Practices
Just like art, everyone in the world has their own opinions about what a well-designed website looks like. However, it’s not just about aesthetics. Website design is much more complicated than looking good; instead, you have to focus on user experience, accessibility, and your overall business goals. Let’s take a look at 3 web design best practices to implement on your website.
1. Brand Standards
Your website should have consistent branding throughout, just like all of the other tools you use for marketing. For example, a website that promotes tax software should keep their website branding consistent with the software design they are marketing, using the same fonts and color schemes throughout. Websites that lack consistent branding can look confusing and increase bounce rates on web pages, which means that your visitors have left.
While, of course, looks aren’t everything, your potential customers and clients do expect you to care enough about your business and their experience on your website to create a good-looking design.
Your website should have a balance between visual elements and text elements. A balanced design will look clean and professional without being boring. Your balance can be incorporated in individual page layouts, which can include centering your text or visual elements across the page. You can achieve balance in the following ways:
You can have a symmetrical website design by arranging elements evenly across the webpage. Centering is the easiest way to do this, but that can come across as boring on web pages. To avoid making your symmetry boring, you can create balance with different elements like large images and blocks of text.
An asymmetrical design can still be balanced and involves an uneven distribution of elements on a web page. You can use other design elements like color to balance an asymmetrical design as well.
An off-balance design suggests motion on the page. This design might be right for you if you want to attract attention to a certain web page or area of that web page.
Organization and Placement
Also known as web design composition, the placement and organization of design elements typically use the rule of thirds to create a balanced composition, just like it does in photography.
Check out the spacing of your elements to determine if you have enough white space to highlight certain elements of your design. Design elements, including images and text, should be spaced evenly so that users know what to focus on.
Every website and web page should have a focal point that attracts the attention of the website user. Every page should focus on one major focal point that aligns with the goal of the page.
Color and Contrast
Another important branding and design element, color, is essential. Not only does it help potential customers identify the brand, but it can attract their attention to certain areas of your web pages. Contrast, on the other hand, helps website visitors to clearly see text that needs to be read on the page. As you can see from this website, VIBES, has their branding colors as blue and yellow
Also known as your font, typography is another branding element that you should bring to your website. Make sure the font you choose can be displayed correctly on any computer.
2. Code Standards
Your website should have a set of coding standards that it follows, including:
SEO helps attract visitors to your site without the need for advertisements. Coding your website correctly works hand-in-hand with SEO. While many businesses understand the need for SEO, they don’t understand how it works with your website.
Many people use only their phones to search the web. A responsive design for mobile is necessary for creating a good user experience no matter what device or browser is being used to view the site. A positive mobile-responsive website can help increase conversions.
Many people still feel uncomfortable giving their credit card information to any business online. Creating a secure website is necessary to keep your customers’ information safe. Best website security practices include:
- An SSL certificate
- Keeping login credentials secure
- Using a secure web host
If a page takes too long to load, your website users will get impatient and quickly leave. Having a website that loads quickly is key to keeping people on your website and reducing bounce rates.
3. Accessibility Standards
Your website should be accessible to everyone regardless of software, language, location, and ability. Website accessibility helps your business succeed because you’ll be accessible to everyone in the world. Those with disabilities will still be able to visit your website, along with those using small screens, the elderly, and individuals with slow internet speeds.
Accessibility is an ADA requirement for transportation, telecommunications, employment, and more, and lawmakers are hoping to amend it for websites as well. Not only that, but it can help you win more business because you’ll be more inclusive and access a greater network of people who might be interested in your products and services.
To make your website more accessible, you can add a toolbar that allows users to change font size, check your color contrast to see if it fits the ADA standard, or add a transcript. If you’re not sure how accessible your website is, you can test it with the Web Accessibility Initiative’s Evaluation Tools List.
Web Design Best Practices for Businesses
When it comes to designing your website, make sure that you follow these standards to ensure that your website is able to convert. By working with a qualified and experienced web designer and developer, like one of the top Chicago web design companies, you can ensure that your website is not only beautiful and functional but can bring in more customers and clients and help your business succeed and grow.
About the Author
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.