When building a new website take notice of these top tips…
Before any new website is launched, it’s important to consider what its functions and objectives should be. It’s easy to assume that an eCommerce site exists purely to sell, for instance, but that overlooks the importance of areas like brand-building and customer service. While a reviews site should focus on informative critiques, it should also explain why this particular site is an authority on that subject and host clickable links to retail platforms.
Here are ten things for startups and small businesses to strive for when designing or commissioning a new website:
- A clean homepage. The homepage is where a website’s battle for audiences is won or lost, so ensure your website’s central landing page is simply presented and easy to navigate. It should be obvious how to access every sub-page, and it’s important not to overuse colour in an attempt to be eye-catching.
- Ease of use. A clean and crisp website creates positive associations among site visitors. Resist any temptation to give website sub-pages flowery names or italicised font buttons, and ensure that the desktop and mobile interfaces look the same for a consistent visitor experience. Add contact details onto every page as well.
- Branding. Companies like Apple and Amazon are very clever at promoting their brand through strong use of logos and references to their brand names, which is a feature any corporate website can adopt. Having a distinctive logo is great for building brand awareness, but try to avoid tacky slogans or YouTube monologues.
- Effective content. This is a very subjective issue, but a professional copywriter (often employed by web designers on a freelance basis) will be able to distil out the essence of a site’s content and ensure content is crafted for search engine optimisation. Short paragraphs and bullet points are advisable, and try to avoid unfocused text or making the same point twice.
- Low-resolution images. While it’s important for photos to look sharp and not appear pixellated, reducing their size has a number of benefits. It accelerates loading speeds, reduces the processing requirements on display devices, and can even be beneficial to search engine rankings.
- Minimal code. Following on from point 5, websites are increasingly being ranked according to how quickly they load. Compressing or reducing images can offer benefits in this regard, as can minimising the need for plugins. Avoid transitioning images or autoplaying content, both of which can slow down on mobile connections.
- No unnecessary pages. There’s little value in burying content away in obscure sub-pages, which is why larger websites often publish a sitemap. However, this won’t be necessary if the number of pages is below ten. Every page should be easily accessible from the others with a single click, with menus in the same place throughout the site.
- Relevance. The thrill of launching a new website – especially your first – can lead to mission creep, where more and more elements are thrown in. Ensure no superfluous content or tangential sub-pages end up on the finished site, and don’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the company or brand’s core aims and messages.
- Low-key advertising. Ad revenue can be vital for a new company’s balance sheet, but excessive ads can mark sites down in search engine rankings. Place adverts in the same one or two spots on each page, and try to ensure they have a degree of relevance to existing content. Ad-free homepages look much classier, and retain more traffic.
- Reliability. Before a new site launches, test it in all the main web browsers on a variety of desktop and mobile devices. This often identifies programming glitches or display issues, which can be resolved without the public ever knowing about them. A satisfactory browsing experience will also help to encourage repeat visits and custom.
Bespoke website design from our trusted partner Design Direct UK will account for all of these elements while you take care of the important stuff: running your business! Find out more here.