Web Design Basics: A Simple (But Complete) Guide

  • 7th September 2018

On the internet, there are 644 million active websites. You have to make sure you do everything you can to be different than your competitors.

There are lots of things you can do to achieve this, but one of the fundamentals is to have a great website. However, this can be hard to do if you’re not a web designer.

That’s why we put this guide together to give you a run through of the web design basics you need to know about.

Check them out below!

Focus on Your Purpose

Every business has a goal for their website. And it’s okay to have multiple goals. The biggest thing is that you design your site based on these objectives.

In other words, everything you do should be aimed at helping people take a certain action. Your goal could be to sell products, generate leads, gather contact information, or a host of other possibilities.

But it’s important to decide this before you start designing.

Keep in mind that every page will have a purpose. For example, a product page’s purpose is to provide information and lead people to purchasing.

So in all you do, think about the underlying purpose of your pages.

Pick Images Carefully

Pictures and graphics are a great way to grab people’s interest on your website. Often they are the first thing people notice! That’s because visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.

But make sure they correlate with the content on your page. They need to match up. When content and images work together, they can pack a powerful punch.

Also pay attention to the technical side of images. When picture files are massive, they can slow down your site in a big way, which will negatively affect your SEO.

To avoid this, optimize your images. Compress them so that they’re big enough to not be pixelated but small enough to let your pages load quickly. It’s a balance but it can be done.

Think About Your Fonts: One of the Biggest Web Design Basics

The truth of the matter is that people come to your website to consume information. So no matter how stunning your site is, if the text is hard to read, your website is pointless!

Often times, people use fonts that are beautiful but impossible to read. This happens especially often with cursive or script typefaces.

These are okay to use as titles if they are still easy to read. But for body text, always use a serif or sans-serif font. There are lots of options out there.

Also, don’t overload your website with too many fonts. Stick to two or three total throughout your entire site.

Keep Things Mobile Friendly

It’s official: people use mobile devices to access the internet more often than desktop computers. To keep up, your site needs to work super well on smartphones and tablets.

If your site performs poorly on a mobile device, people will leave and find what they need somewhere else. In today’s day and age, people expect mobile sites to work just as well as a desktop.

To make this happen, make sure you build your site using a responsive platform. That way, your website will automatically resize to fit whatever screen it’s on.

This is an especially great option if you’re not a web developer and don’t have access to one. You’ll be able to make sure your site is mobile friendly without having to rebuild it a bunch of times.

Work on Your About Us Page

Today’s consumers place a great emphasis on working with companies who have a great story. People like to support businesses with morals and purposes they agree with.

An About Us page is the perfect place to feature this type of information. You should also use this space to market yourself. Mention how many years you’ve been in business and include information about specific certifications or awards you’ve received.

Also consider reviews from present and past customers on this page. This is your chance to truly wow your readers!

Improve Your Forms

Forms are a part of every modern website, so you should make sure they work well. Whether people are using them to purchase something, sign up for your newsletter, or to request a call from your sales team, the process should be as seamless as possible.

To accomplish this, only ask for the information you really need. For example, you don’t need someone’s job title when they purchase. You just need their name, email, address, and card information.

Don’t complicate the process by asking for information that’s not necessary.

Sometimes, however, it’s not necessary but would be nice to gather one additional piece of information, like a phone number. In these cases, it’s fine to put that field but don’t make it required.

That way, people can fill it out if they want to but can still fill out the form without it.

If you’re not sure what information to gather, consider doing some tests. For a week or two, use the form with the additional field. Then switch and get rid of that additional field for the next week.

Check out the results and see which form converted better. That way you’ll know what to do moving forward.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve read through our guide to web design basics, it’s time to implement these things on your website. But that can take a lot of work.

If you’d like help making it happen, our team is happy to help. Contact us today to learn about our web design service packages.

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We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

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We offer professional website design and online marketing services that help websites increase their business.

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