With almost everything now found on the Internet, it makes sense that to make sure that your business is staying up-to-date with all of the technological changes that are occurring.
Creating a website however can be a somewhat daunting process. Many companies are unsure where to start, particularly if they have never had one before. So we have done some research, and with the help of our own web developer have decided to come up with a list, to help you with the creation of your new website.
Our top 10 tips for creating an effective website.
- Research: Before you even start designing and creating your website the first thing you need to do is research. Start by looking at other websites out there, and take note of what features and/or elements that you like/dislike1. From there you can start looking at specific themes and features that you would like to try and emulate in your own website1. Once you have this covered, you’ll be able to work out exactly what content you want and where you want it. Planning is everything!
- Responsive Design: In this day and age, although PC’s and MacBook’s are still being used, more often than not, people are using their mobile phones to browse the Internet2. With a greater amount of traffic using mobile devices to access the web, it is essential that your website’s design is responsive. A responsive design ensures that the no matter what device is being used, your website will automatically scale either up or down to fit to the current screen size2.
- Purpose: It is essential that you cater to the needs of your target audience. Work out what your audience is wanting from you – is it information? Entertainment? To purchase goods?3 Once you work this out, it is really important to ensure that each page answers any questions before they have even been asked1. By meeting this purpose, your visitors will have no doubt when they arrive at your website, exactly who you are and what you do – if this isn’t clear to them, you’re going to lose customers3.
- Speed: People want information quickly. If they have to wait for it – a maximum of three seconds according to studies – visitors move on to the next webpage, which loads more quickly4. If your webpage takes a while to load, try resizing your images and videos, so that visitors can access your content almost instantly3.
- Visual Hierarchy: A visual hierarchy, is a particular pattern that our eyes follow1. According to scientific results, when online, our eyes follow an “F” shape pattern (top to bottom, left to right). This means that the majority of what people see is in the top left corner of your webpage, with the right-hand side rarely being read3. Therefore, it makes sense that your most important information (i.e. sign up button, contact information), will be found in these hot spots!1 Just be careful not to place too much content in these areas, as too much can overwhelm your visitors and won’t achieve the desired result1.
- Simplistic, Clutter-free Design: Lately, many websites have been taking their design back to the basics, choosing minimal and simplistic layouts2. At the moment grid-based designs and flat-designs, with lots of white space are very “in”3. They are easier on the eye and more aesthetically pleasing as they appear balanced with little to no distractions2. By only placing a minimal amount of content on each page and leaving an appropriate amount of white space, readers are more likely to focus on your important content, rather than get distracted by flashing images or messy sidebars (eliminate all sidebars – they are no longer helpful)5.
- Navigation: A user-friendly website goes a long way with your visitors. Generally speaking, if a user has to “click” more than three times to try and find the information they are looking for, they aren’t going to stay on your site for very long3. User’s need to be able to find the information that they want immediately2. Hence the importance of having logical and simple menus3. You no longer need sidebars with links to other pages, as well as your primary menu5. Stick to a primary menu, this will make it easier for your audience to find their way around, and keep your website clutter-free5.
- Fonts: When placing text onto your website, it is essential that you choose an easy to read font, as again, if people can’t read your content, they’re not going to want to stay on your website for very long. Typically, a Sans Serif font, such as Arial or Veranda, are the easiest typefaces to read when online3. To keep your theme consistent however, try not to use any more than two-three different font types5. Using only a few, will ensure that your headings and body text differ slightly but that your website has a very consistent feel to it. Another important aspect of choosing a typeface, is the size that you are going to publish it. Generally, bigger is better!5 The larger the typeface, the more likely it is that it will grab viewer’s attention, and place a further focus on your content5. We recommend not dropping below as 16-18pt font size as any smaller is just not practical1.
- Colour Scheme: The colours you choose for your website will be the make or break of your website. Depending upon the purpose of your website, the colours you use need to represent you. Although vibrant colours can be eye-catching, they also create a lot of emotion amongst the audience, so they should only be used sparingly, so that they stand out (i.e. for buttons or call-to-actions)3. Using contrasting colours, particularly for the text and the background, work well, as it allows for easier reading3. If you’re trying to achieve balance and/or harmony within your site, complementary colours work well3. Again it is all dependent on your website, as long as the colours aren’t too vibrant, and you have enough “white space”, you should be able to create a fantastic colour scheme that represents your company3.
- Images: Images really help tell your company or organisation’s story and give your brand an identity3. By using images, your audience can connect with you and help understand what you are all about, often better than they do with words3. However, it is important that your images are of a high professional grade, if you don’t have any either consider taking your own high-resolution professional photos or consider purchasing stock photos, to help translate your brand into images5. Also consider incorporating professional videos and/or graphics, both of which help your audience interact with your brand3.
Well they are our tips. If you still aren’t sure or don’t have the time to create a website or just want to update your current one, why not contact us at IP Partners and let us design and develop your website for you?
- Wix Staff, 5 Web Design Tips for a Professional Site, WIX Blog, 2014, viewed 2 March 2017, <http://www.wix.com/blog/2014/03/5-web-design-tips-for-a-professional-site/>
- K Strickler, What Makes A Great Website? 10 Website Trends For 2016, CommonPlaces, 2016, viewed 2 March 2017, <http://www.commonplaces.com/blog/10-website-trends-for-2016>
- S Woods, 10 Tops of Principles of Effective Web Design, Shortie Designs, 2014, viewed 2 March 2017, <http://shortiedesigns.com/2014/03/10-top-principles-effective-web-design/>
- C Steiner, The 10 Essentials of Any Effective Website, Forbes, 2010, viewed 2 March 2017, <https://www.forbes.com/2010/03/24/web-site-design-entrepreneurs-technology-tips.html>
- Elegant Themes Staff, 12 Web Design Tips to Help You Achieve Success in 2016, Elegant Themes, 2016, viewed 2 March 2017, <https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/tips-tricks/12-web-design-tips-to-help-you-achieve-success-in-2016>