Updated: Jan 29
When it comes a website, you don't just slap a logo on a page that has a custom URL. You need to fuse design with purpose and flawless functionality. You not only need to create something beautiful that will grab your visitors attention, but make sure there are no broken links. Sure you need lot's of content, but not just any content. It needs to be of value to the consumer, distilled down to its main purpose and not full of fluff. The navigation needs to make sense so that you drive sales with calls to action - all while making sure it looks uniform across all devices.
Great websites have a few key ingredients:
1. Look professional through and through
I've seen it over and over again, business owners first reach out to me, I go through the trouble of putting together a quote just to have them either never get back to me or say it's too expensive and they are going to do it themselves.
"How hard can it be, it looks like you just drag and drop?"
Yes, true, you drag and drop. What 95% of them don't know is how to actually make a website that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. What they also don't know, and are usually too stubborn to care about, is that one of Google's algorithms to determine where you pop up in search results is the user experience, a.k.a. how aesthetically pleasing to the eye it is.
But let me ask you this, when you go to a shitty looking website with blurry or pixelated photos do you stay there long? You know, bounce rate (how quickly visitors come to and then leave away from your site) also determines your ranking in search results. When you go to a shitty looking website, do you feel like your credit card info is safe and secure enough to spend money on it? Or would you rather leave, and go to one that does? I bet whatever website you do end up spending your money on does look good.
The point is, you are investing your time, energy and money into this website - if you insist on doing it yourself, do your homework! Take the time to look at your competitors websites, do research on what the most recent trends are, and don't think that you know it all! Be open minded and willing to be the student, not the teacher. You may know your industry but most likely you don't have a clue what you're doing when it comes to this. Just saying.
2. Have a beautiful design
Right off the bat, you know what isn't beautiful? When your website looks like it was made in the 90's. Or even the 2000's for that matter! While we're on the topic, try to give it a makeover at least once a year. Me, personally, I am always making small updates almost every month that add up to a whole new look over time. I see something fresh in the industry that inspires me and I like to sprinkle a little bit of that style onto my site and make it my own.
There are some key things to remember:
Simplicity vs Clutter
Simplicity goes a long way, the more you add clutter the more your visitor is distracted, which ultimately leads to confusion. And as I always say, "If you confuse 'em, you lose 'em".
Look at this fucking website, HOLY SHIT! This is the definition of a cluster fuck. My mind goes off into another dimension when I look at this. My eyes are going in every direction. It just looks like a giant hot mess of shit that I want no part of, immediately makes me "Whoops! Never mind..." and want to leave.
The sad thing is I've seen this more times than I'd like to remember. I get it, business owners have a lot going on, a lot on their minds. And this is definitely like peeking into this person's mind. This right here is the perfect example of when a business owner needs to back off and let someone who knows what they are doing do it for them. There's no hope that they would ever be able to do a site themselves. Yikes.
Dark vs Light
Dark web designs can have an elegant and creative appeal, don't get me wrong. They are also ideal for many types of businesses. However, they are not suitable for every website and should be used only when appropriate.
In spite of the striking visual impact that some dark designs can have, many designers don’t know how to effectively pull them off without turning off the visitor. With dark design comes less readability, and ultimately less ap