As your trusted IT partner, we have a lot of experience with websites and we know how much of a minefield website development can be. That’s why we wanted to share our knowledge with you, so you know the right type of questions to ask when it’s time to upgrade your website.
Choosing the right design
Choosing a design for your site is very subjective. Everyone’s got an opinion on what makes a website look good and what doesn’t.
It’s also very emotive. Business owners tend to have very strong opinions about their websites. They either love or hate them, and often that’s based more upon the design than anything else.
But what really makes website design hard is that it’s evolving all the time, and at great speed.
If your website design is more than three years old, then it’s time to refresh it. Yes, website design really does evolve that quickly. It’s one of the many reasons we recommended you use WordPress, because you can change the look of the site without having to totally rebuild it.
The principles of great website design
We know much about how people use websites from something called heat maps.
These track what people look at on sites, and what they click. This is the beauty of designing websites. You can use clever technology such as heat maps and other tracking tools to receive real time feedback on how people are using your website.
It’s one of the many reasons website design is evolving so quickly.
1.The usability of the site is more important than the design:
It might look pretty, but if it’s not easy for people to use, they’ll hit the back button. Most people have less patience than you think. Don’t make them have to think – make it easy for them to get the information they need and then act on it
2. Put the basic building blocks in the right place:
Your logo should be top left, your phone number top right, your navigation at the top underneath the logo, and your address in the footer. Why? Because that’s where people expect to find these things. Putting the basic building blocks in the right place is an important part of increasing usability. Your site should meet conventions, not defy them.
3. Focus on the most wanted outcome:
You want people to register, fill out a form, buy a product and commit to you as a new lead/customer. That’s the Most Wanted Outcome, so make sure every element of your site is focused on achieving that.
4. Keep it simple:
The design of the site should make it easier to find information and make a decision about whether to engage with your business or not, not hinder it.
5.Keep it clean:
Most modern websites have a white background, clear readable font and warm colours. They do this because all of these elements come together to elicit a positive emotional reaction in the reader. You can use high quality photography from within your business to add colour and increase emotional appeal on the homepage & across the site.
6.Make it responsive:
As we’ve already mentioned, making your site responsive to all technology is vital nowadays. Bear it in mind during the design process.
The ultimate website checklist
If you’ve got this far, you will have a good overview of what makes a great website. But there are lots of details that you might be thinking about that haven’t been covered. We’ve created the ultimate website checklist that you’re welcome to download for free, to help give you some guidance on what your website should include.
If you have any questions about WordPress, or anything else, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
If you’re also thinking about getting your website upgraded, be sure to check out the WordPress website packages we have available.