Web design demands that your business website effectively communicates your message and demonstrates how your business can be valuable to your visitor.
Therefore, a website design is as much about responding to the visitor’s needs as it is about visual appeal, so every design should work to maximise the relevance and impact of the content with eye-catching colour schemes, big bright images, and captivating headlines.
There are a lot of moving parts behind what a visitor sees when they land on your page, here’s how to check that you’re on the right track.
The header sits at the very top of a web page and is usually the first thing a visitor sees, so it needs to make a good first impression.
Branding is a significant factor when considering the design of your header. It should memorably state who you are, preferably with a professionally designed high-quality logo alongside your short and to the point company USP (unique selling proposition).
Headers which are correctly doing their job tell the visitor they are in the right place and dissolve any confusion about what your business is about and how to get in contact.
The header section should also contain a menu system for convenience in navigating to other critical parts of a website or quickly getting back to the home screen.
The Content Section
The modern website requires up-to-date, relevant content that will help your visitors. Most web surfers will land on your site via a search they performed in Google (or some other search engine), so if the page doesn’t have the answer they are looking for they will quickly click off your site and move on to the next.
If this happens too often, then the search algorithm will assume that your site does not satisfactorily answer the search term. As a result, your site will eventually drop from the search results.
To stop this from happening, make sure your content has catchy headlines (not clickbait), and well-written useful material which contains the keywords for which you want your site to be found, and also provides a satisfactory answer or solution to their query.
Break up your content with eye-catching images. Original images are preferable to stock images, but the most important thing is to make the page visually appealing while breaking up the text into easily digestible chunks.
Sidebar: The Importance of a Sidebar and What it Should Contain
The sidebar plays a crucial role in site navigation and is perhaps just as important as the content. Most websites will keep the content of the sidebar the same on every page, but this may not always be the best strategy.
It is possible to customize your sidebar for each page, helping it to seamlessly tie in with the content, provide extra value, and create fewer distractions.
Cramming your sidebar full of items will soon turn it into a jumbled, confusing mess, so the trick is to keep every item relevant to the main content. Your money pages should have the bare minimum of distractions, while your homepage may be able to get away with a lot more content in the sidebar.
Here are just a few of the items you can include in your sidebar, provided they are relevant to the message the page is delivering:
- A search box
- Blog Categories for ease of navigation
- Blog or email signup
- Upcoming Events
- Social media connections (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Etc.)
The above are perhaps the essential items to include on every page, but a few optional extras may enhance your visitors’ experience:
- List of recent posts
- Blog categories list
- Testimonials (would work well on a money page)
- Ads and Promotions
- Blog archives
- Website owner bios
- Contact information
- Facebook latest posts widgets
Website Footer: One of Most Important Factors on Every Website
The footer is the last chance for you to grab your reader’s attention as they scroll down to bottom of the page, so it’s a fantastic location for one last call to action (CTA) such as making a purchase or contacting you for more information.
A new style of the footer, the mega footer, has been steadily gaining ground and demanding more real estate on web pages. Favourite items included in a mega footer are images, testimonials, and mini sign up forms.
How to Make a Telephone Number Clickable
The majority of web browsing now takes place on a mobile device, which means that people are searching for your business wherever they are. They could be on a bus, train, plane, or sitting at a coffee shop. In a lot of cases, it’s highly unlikely they will have a piece of paper and a pen handy to jot down the phone number for your website.
To make it more convenient for them to contact your business there and then you should make your phone number clickable. It’s very easy to do and requires only a couple of HTML tags.
In the code of your web page where the number appears, insert the phone number as so:
<code><a href=”tel:1-555-555-555”> 1-555-555-555</a></code>
Importance of Browser Compatibility: How to Make Your Website Browser Compatible
A website needs to be compatible with as many browsers as possible to ensure you are maximising your market penetration. The major browsers your site will need to be compatible with are Mozilla, Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.
Internet Explorer is getting a bit long in the tooth now, but it is still around, so you may want to check your demographic to see which browser they are using most.
Most web development environments such as Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress have browser compatibility built-in, but the best way to check if your browser looks good everywhere is to use a testing site such as crossbrowsertesting.com
The Importance of Mobile Responsiveness
Responsive design is a must for the modern website. Google has been hinting that mobile-first search results have been in the works for years, but it’s now official.
If your website does not look as good as it does on a desktop, then it will need some work, or it may start getting bumped from the search engines.
Fortunately, CMSs such as WordPress have basic responsive design built in, and there are also many add-ons and plugins which help you create a seamless experience between the switch from a desktop to tablet and mobile devices.
What is a CDN and why is it Important?
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are a collection of servers dispersed over a wide geographical area.
In a standard website delivery system, the elements of the web page are handled by a single server. Single servers quickly become a bottleneck when multiple connections are made to the website at the same time.
As Google gives faster loading sites more love in the search engines – anything over 3 seconds is considered interminably slow – it makes sense to use every resource available to ensure your site loads as fast as possible. CDN’s are one avenue webmasters can take to improve their visitors’ experience.
The days of throwing up a website in five minutes and hoping for the best are long gone. Over 80% of people head straight to the web when researching a new local business. This means your website needs to look the part if your business is to stand any chance of remaining a viable concern in the new digital age.