When creating a website for your business, there are certain things to keep in mind from a design perspective that can make or break your site. Even if you do not plan to spend a fortune on your site, paying attention to each of these items you will ensure that the final product is something of which you can be proud.
Here are 5 tips for designing your business website, even on a budget:
Tip #1 – Make sure your Website loads fast
Have you ever tried to view a Web site only to find that it takes 20 seconds to come up on your screen? Unless it has been recommended by a friend or you have some other real desire to visit the site, you most likely gave up and moved on. The first 10 seconds is very important in terms of the attention span of your visitor. During that period, you need your site to load and for the visitor to be able to “get” what your site is about. If it takes longer than this, your visitors will run out of patience and leave.
Hint: if you want to show off a large portfolio, or photo gallery, feature it on a page other than the home page.
Tip #2 – Limit the navigation menu options
Your Web site needs to serve a specific purpose and remain focused in appearance. If your site is trying to be all things to all people, it will end up being of value to almost nobody. The simplicity and focus of your site design is reflected in your navigation and displayed on your home page for all to see. If you believe your site requires more than around five menu options, make some of them sub-menus that are available only after the user selects one of the five main options.
Tip #3 – Make a clear & visible call to action
Ever shopped at an IKEA? Their stores have a custom layout that allows you to look around freely and yet literally leads you from one section to another, all the way to the cash registers at the end of the path. Let this be a model for how you set up your website: on every page, you need to make it abundantly clear to your site visitors just exactly what it is you want them to do. Do you want them to contact you? Order your product or service? Whatever it is, make this call to action very easy to spot from anywhere on the site.
Tip #4 – Be available
You do not want to lose customers just because you failed to give someone the chance to ask a question. Just as with your call to action, make it clear to visitors that no matter where they are on your site they can easily locate help via phone, e-mail, live chat, call back, or FAQs.
Hint: present the various options in a prioritised way depending upon your users needs.
Tip #5 – Be consistant with design elements
The look-and-feel of your site as a whole is really just a combination of all of its individual components. Pay close attention to every detailed component of your new site. Use appropriate colours and graphics, pay attention to font size, make sure your messaging is readable and makes sense, and make sure images look crisp and appealing. Items that you think are minor might form the basis for whether someone chooses you or a competitor.
Whether you are designing your own site or hiring a professional team, pay attention to these items and you will have a perfect website for your business.