If you’ve spent any time at all surfing the internet, you know how easy it is to create a poorly designed website. Some are difficult to read, some are difficult to navigate, and some are flat-out ugly.
Your website is a direct reflection of your company and we know you want to make a good first impression. So it’s vital to understand the components that comprise a successful website. Here are five essential elements that combine to create a satisfying experience for your users, based on our experience.
Use colors appropriately. Generally, a site will contain 2-3 primary colors that blend well and create a suitable tone and mood for your business. Resist the temptation to use too many colors—it’s distracting!
Use suitable graphics. Graphics are important because they add visual variety and appeal to an otherwise boring chunk of text. Make sure they also add meaning and support to the written content but don’t overload an individual page (3-4 images at most).
Use quality photography. A picture really is worth a thousand words but not if it’s blurry, shadowy, or poorly composed. Make sure that all your website photographs are professional-grade.
Make easy-to-read text. The easiest combination to read is black text on a white background, and make sure to select an acceptable font size (usually between 10-12 points for paragraph text).
Make everything short and sweet. It’s best to keep your copy concise and break it up into short paragraphs. Don’t overwhelm your readers with too much text on a page. Be direct, clear, and compelling.
Keep it fresh. No one enjoys reading stale and outdated content. Make sure to update your content regularly.
If it’s broken, fix it. Every feature on your site should work correctly, including all hyperlinks, contact forms, search functions, event registrations, etc. Broken components will leave your users frustrated and disappointed.
Give no room for errors. Double-check all your facts and figures and make sure there are no typos, misspellings, or grammatical and punctuation errors. All are unacceptable and destroy your credibility.
Logic is a good thing. Place your menu items prominently at the top of your site or above the fold on either side, and limit them to 10 or fewer. Users don’t want to hunt for information.
Speed is always king. It’s imperative that your pages load as quickly as possible. You have just a few seconds to gain your user’s attention; slow-loading pages invite disinterest.
Browser and device compatibility are a must. All websites must be accessible through all major browsers and all websites must be optimized to appear on different devices—desktop, laptop, tablet, and smart phones.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of rules governing SEO and they are changing every day. Far too many for us to address here. But if you want your website to be found and seen on the Web, then you must employ SEO best practices. For sure, your competitors are.
We’ve barely scratched the surface about all the elements which make a website effective and compelling but hopefully these simple guidelines will be helpful to you and you can implement a couple in order to see some promising results. Good luck!