Creating a business website takes a lot of creativity, SEO knowledge and Internet savvy. The site needs to be easily navigable – to users and search engine crawlers – compatible with mobile devices and, to top it all off, it has to look pretty. Luckily, you don’t have to figure out how to do all that on your own.
This series explains how to create a website that will help your business be successful in the online market. Here’s how to design a functional, visually appealing website.
Make it Easy to Navigate
If your layout is too confusing, users won’t want to explore your site for long. Create your site so that it’s easy to navigate. Most websites are set up basically the same way: important/most-used tabs at the top, menu on the left side of the screen, related articles, ads or products on the right side and links to sectional pages at the bottom.
Sticking with a familiar layout ensures that users will quickly learn the site’s setup. If you want to branch out, make sure you keep it simple by organizing your site logically.
Make it Compatible with Mobile
Consumers aren’t just using smartphones and tablets to surf the Internet and play Angry Birds – purchases made through mobile devices are increasing. In fact, sales from mobile devices should reach 15 percent this year. That said, if your website isn’t compatible with mobile devices, you’re missing out on a chance to reach a quickly growing audience.
Test your site’s mobile compatibility by searching for it on your smartphone. If your site can’t be accessed by mobile devices, consult with a company that does mobile web design.
Make it Look Good
Now comes the fun part – bringing life to the website. Everybody from the CEO to the interns has an opinion on what looks good and what doesn’t. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a graphic designer in your business, make her the authority on what the website should look like.
When coming up with design ideas, there are a few things to remember:
· Use the same themes and colors (preferably the brand’s colors) throughout the site
· Use colors and text that are easy to read
· Keep the design simple – you don’t have to use every color of the rainbow
· Avoid using too many graphics – these can slow down your website
· Use professional photos for blog posts and products
If you’re not lucky enough to have a graphic designer in your midst, seek out a company that does web design services to ensure your sites’ quality.
Make it Easy for users to Communicate with you
Setting up communication outlets allows users to contact you with questions about your products and services. Provide resources for them to contact you, such as a “Contact Us” page that includes the company’s address, email and phone number, a live chat option or a feedback form. These resources should be clearly marked on each page of the website.
By creating a website that’s designed well and easy to use, consumers will have no problem navigating your site. Keeping users in mind when designing your site should help guide you when deciding on layout and functionality. Continue to part two of this series to learn how to choose the right web hosting service.