Website Design Tips: How to Create The Perfect Website (2018 Update)

By: Rob Whaley

If you are looking for some website design tips and some practical information to point you in the right direction keep on reading. I think you are going to get some great value out of the infographic I have created below. I hope you enjoy the read.

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Here are my key take away's from the website design tips infographic:

1. Put Pen To Paper First

Before you begin the design process it helps to have a basic site map and general layout/framework of your website on paper before you start. Remember to keep yours or your client's goals in mind, and what the problem actually is that you are trying to solve. This will help iron out any potential problems you may face and keep you focused on the task at hand.

Rob's 2 Cents
It really does help to layout a basic site map of your whole website before you begin the coding or design process. Especially if you are designing a website on behalf of somebody else. You want a clear roadmap on exactly what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to get there. You could use good ol' fashion pen & paper or use online tools such as Evernote and Mindjet.

 

2. Have a Professionally Designed Logo That is in Alignment With Your Branding,  Brand Message and Links to Your Homepage

Your logo is the often the visitors first interaction with your business or company. Your logo must be professionally designed and tell a story that best represents you and what your business actually does. Your logo must also help people establish a positive correlation with it by way of skilfully using text and visual imagery that invites & intrigues people to want to become loyal raving fans of you and your business.

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Rob's 2 Cents
Your logo must be professionally designed there are no ifs or buts about it. If your logo looks like an amateur has designed it, you will find it much harder to establish credibility, trust and finally earn your customer's business. People want to deal with professionals, so why make it harder than it needs to be?

 

3. Have a Strategic Navigation Menu   

The most common forms of navigation menus are typically placed horizontally directly under the header. Your aim should be to have your most important pages and links in your primary navigation bar. If your primary navigation is not clear or easy to understand, you will end up with users leaving your site instead of trying to sort through your confusing menu's.

For links or pages of lesser importance consider having these either in the footer section of your site or on a sidebar. 

Remember you are trying to keep the reader focused on what they are looking for and avoid distraction by keeping the users experience clean, easy and as user friendly as possible.

Examples of Navigation Menu text:

Home, About Us, Services, Gallery, Products , Contact Us 

Or why not stand out with an intuitive approach that takes visitors on a journey and invites them to click on your links.

For example:

What We believe, What We Do, How We Do It, Why Choose Us, Work We Have Done, Get In Touch

Rob's 2 Cents
With over 1 billion websites on the net today, many people still adopt the same ol' approach that has been around for over 20 years. Why not do something different and stand out from the crowd and all the other same old websites on the internet.

 

4.   Make it Easy For People to Get in Touch With You

Have a clear button or call to action that is super simple for people to make contact with you and enquire about your business or service. You could have your phone number in the header, a button that says "Get In Touch" that links to your contact page. Or professionally designed images with a call to action such as "Book an Appointment" or "Make an Enquiry".

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Rob's 2 Cents
People often forget the most important piece when it comes to building a website. You must make it clear and extremely easy for people to get in contact with you. If your web visitor struggles to find your contact information they will simply leave your site.

 

5.   Use Clear and Readable Fonts That are not too Small

No one likes reading mountains of text or squinting to try and make sense of what your trying to say. Make sure you choose a font that is clear and large enough so that it is easy to understand and read.

Rob's 2 Cents
If you are unsure of which fonts are web friendly fonts make sure to check out this resource. There is nothing worse for your web visitor than having issues trying to understand or read what you are trying to say.

 

6.   Make Smart Use of Colours

Colours can help to set the mood or tone of your message and what your business stands for. Think about how you want your prospect to feel. Do you want them to feel happy or sad when they visit your site. Do you want to create a professional environment or a playful one? Your use of colours can help evoke emotions that can really help or hinder your websites success.

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Rob's 2 Cents
If you are unsure of which colours are web & user friendly make sure to check out this website. It will definetly point you in the right direction to ensure the colours you have chosen are optimized for the internet.

 

7.   To Be Responsive Or Not To Be Responsive

Is unfortunately no longer longer a choice but a need in today's world of website design. People in Australia interact with their smart phones over 480 Million times per day (source:http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf) If your website is not responsive in it's design then your website is not set up to meet your customers demands. 

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Rob's 2 Cents
If you are unsure as to what "responsive design" actually means please click on this link to find out more. If you want to survive in today's marketplace this in an absoulute MUST HAVE.

8.  You Must Have Landing Pages

In the early days pre social media, PPC advertising and email marketing most web visitors would begin their journey on your site at the home page. But now a days with the many options and platforms users have to view your content your website must be equipped with multiple landing pages where the visitor can find key information about your product or service that also entices them to make contact with you or enquire.

Rob's 2 Cents
With social media now becoming the the platform that holds most internet users attention, if you are advertsing on any of the soclal media platforms, you must have strategically designated landing pages for each medium, designed to give critical information aout your busines/product but also entice people to join either a mailing list or enquire and make contact with you. Some great resources for landing page creation are ClickFunnels & Landing Pages.

9. Using Flash Is A Thing Of The Past

As of 2016 84% of the Australian population are using a smartphone. (source: http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf)

Use of Adobe flash is not supported on mobile devices. HTML5 is gaining much more popularity and by the looks of it will be the way of the future.

Rob's 2 Cents
Since the invention of the smart phone it is smart to say that the majority of users will be consuming the internets's content on a smartphone device. Plain and simple if you have a flash based website and your users devices are not flash compatible, you will be serverly limiting your audience and therefore your income.

10. Sliders Are Outdated And Ineffective

These days if you don't capture the readers attention in a matter of seconds, they will leave your site and move onto one of your competitors websites. 

You don't have time to have your reader waiting to see what information will be displayed on your various slides. You must give the the user what the need quickly and strategically place call to action images and buttons throughout your website that grab the readers attention and entice them to make contact or place an enquiry with you.

Rob's 2 Cents
Don't get me wrong sliders still can be effective if used correctly. But to achieve success you must run a series of A/B tests to see which slides are effective and which are not. The majority of users will not preform A/B tests and optimize each slide for optimal performance. Therefore my vote is too leave them out. For further reading refer to this resouce orbitmedia.com

11. It Pays To Have Professional Images

Instantly make your website look professional and give credibility by using high resolution, royalty images from websites like: https://www.pexels.com/ or http://www.istockphoto.com/. It is very easy to spot the difference between generic images that have been used or in some cases "stolen" from Google Images and a website that has taken the time to invest in professional royalty free stock images. Do you want your visitors impression of you to be generic or professional?

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Rob's 2 Cents
This is a no brainer. You get what you pay for. If you want quality it is worth the investment. As the good old saying goes "first impressions last" You want your images to say "professional" not "amatuer"

12. Use Fonts That Are Easily Readable On Multiple Devices

When deciding on which font type to use for your website, you must also remember that a large majority of your audience will be viewing your site across multiple devices such as laptops, pc's, tablets and mobile devices. You must keep in mind what looks good on a computer or laptop may not like the same on a tablet or mobile device. 

Pick a font that is easy to read and not too small. Generally fonts should not be any smaller than 11pt. Your aim on a fixed width design should be to have up to 15-20 words per line of text.  

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Rob's 2 Cents
Did you know that fonts can look different depending on which device and operating system you are using? Certain fonts can look completely different to how you originally intended, dependant on whether your end user is using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, windows based device, MacOS or Google Andriod. If you are unsure which fonts are web safe and universal across all devices, make sure to check out this link.

13. Keep Your Design Sleek, Clutter Free And Simple

Web users of today enjoy navigating a site that is simple and easy to use. Limit the amount of "clutter" and unnecessary use of tables and or flashing images that take away from the overall user experience.

Keep your visitors laser targeted, focused and driven towards whatever the reason was they came to your site in the first place.

Rob's 2 Cents
These days web design has become a battle for attention. Your content really needs to be on point the survive the attention battle between the numerous website and social media platforms available today. You have heard the sayings "keep it simple stupid" or "less is more" you litteraly have a matter of seconds to capture the readers attention by way of using beautiful imagery, catchy headlines or mulitmedia. For furthur information take a look at this link.

14. To Create Your Website Yourself Or Hire A Web Designer?

If you are new to web design and just want a simple website that looks professional and is easy to use then you have a lot of options available to you that are very cost effective. You could consider using services like Wix or Weebly. You basically choose a theme, and add images and text much the same as you would when editing a word document.

Another option for those that a have a little know how is to use a pre made wordpress HTML template from a website like Themeforrest. Here you will have a little more control over the colours, images, fonts and basic layout. You will need to purchase the template, and have a hosting account to host your website.

The last option is to get website custom designed and tailored to your needs. This is the best alternative as you have complete control over how your website will look and preform. And while there is an investment required depending on what you need, it is not as costly as you may think. 

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Rob's 2 Cents
Should you hire a web designer or use a self hosted do-it-yourself solution? Well that depends on your budget. If you have time to spare and a slim budget than a website builder such as Weebly.com should do the job. However if you you are short on time or just want a customised professional solution tailored to your needs than hiring a professional web designer is the best option. For futher reading you can refer to this article.

15. Consider Your Site's Loading Speed

Ensure you are using files and or images that have been optimized for load speed. Google now penalizes sites that have a slow loading speed. High resolution images or video's that take time to download will dramatically effect not only your user experience but also your rankings.

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Rob's 2 Cents
Even Google has stated that it will be rewarding websites with a faster load speeds with a higher ranking. It makes sense as in the modern world users want the best information in the quickest fashion. If you want to check just how fast your website is loading please refer to this this tool or Google's Page Speed Insights.
 

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<div class='visually_embed'><iframe width='1' height='1' style='width: 1px !important; height: 1px !important; position: absolute;left: -100px !important;' src='https://visual.ly/track.php?q=https://visual.ly/community/Infographics/computers/web-design-tips-2017&slug=communityInfographicscomputersweb-design-tips-2017'></iframe><a href="https://visual.ly/community/Infographics/computers/web-design-tips-2017/?utm_source=visually_embed"><img class='visually_embed_infographic' src='https://visual.ly/node/image/658237?_w=540' alt='Web Design Tips 2017' /></a><div class='visually_embed_cycle'></div>

</a><p><strong>Infographic</strong>, courtesy of <a href="http://www.project-local.com.au/website-design-tips">project-local.com.au</a></p>

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