website design
Posted on / by Justin Widdop / in Blog

Website Design 101 – Website Design Basics Explained

For many businesses the whole area of websites and website design can be a complex matter.

  • I know we need a website, but will it really help us?
  • What do we need to have in our website?
  • How do we make sure it works for us?

The above are just a few of the many questions that we get asked on a regular basis.

In an ever-expanding digital age, it’s becoming more and more important that not only do businesses invest in a high-quality website but that they understand how a website will work for them. Many businesses suffer from what we call ‘The Pretty Effect’. They have a ‘pretty’ website design that sits online and looks nice but achieves very little. This is not the way it should be. Your website should…

  • Get your busines results
  • Attract new business
  • Generate leads

We want to help you understand a little about more about websites and website design so you can make the right decisions for your business. The purpose of this blog is to give you some simple factors that might be helpful for you to know when it comes to the wonderful world of websites.

Getting your domain name right

Every website needs a domain name, which simply put is the name of your website. Here are a couple of tips when it comes to choosing your domain name…

  • Keep the name as short as possible. The longer the name the more complex you make it for people so keep your domain name as short as possible. This is not imperative but just a helpful suggestion.
  • Own your own domain name and keep it in your own account. It’s important that you as the business owner legally own your own domain and have it in your own business account. There will be times when you need to locate certain information so having access for this is really important.

It goes without saying that your domain name is important so take your time in choosing the right one. Gone are the days where your choice really helps towards your SEO and Google ranking, it’s now much more about your own personal choice so focus on that as the priority.

The importance of a responsive website design (mobile friendly)

It’s vital that your website design is responsive (meaning, mobile friendly). For many websites you will find that over 70% of the website visitors are viewing from a mobile phone so making this as easy for them as possible has to be a priority when it comes to your website design.

The last thing you want is to be causing obstacles for 70% of your potential customers. Your website design has to work perfectly on mobile and be created so that it works just as well on mobile phone as it does on a laptop or desktop computer.

Ensure your website is fully secure

For any asset you own it’s important that you ensure that it’s safe and secure. This is why we pay for such items as alarms, security features and insurance. The same principle applies to your website.

Your website is an asset to your business and the reality is there are many unsavoury people who are happy to hack your website and cause you no end of problems that you can do without. This is why it’s important you ensure you have the right security in place on your website. So many business owners have no idea if…

  • They have security plugins installed or not?
  • Is their website getting backed up on a regular basis?
  • What happens if the website gets hacked?
  • Should the worst happen how do I restore my website?
  • Is my CMS (system your website is built in) and software (plugins) that work with it getting updated on a regular basis?

Sadly, website security is so often not taken into account and leaves many business owners in a vulnerable position.

Understanding your CMS (Content Management System)

Most websites are now built in a content management system. In years gone by websites would have been coded from scratch (which still does happen) but more often than not websites will now be built in a CMS such as WordPress. There are many advantages to this, and you can read about why we believe WordPress is the best option for most businesses in a blog we wrote here.

There are also cheap website builders out on the market such as Wix and Go Daddy where you can sign up and build the website yourself. If you have very little budget, then this will be an option for you. They are much more limited in what you can achieve but they do exist for those that don’t want to or cannot afford to invest in their website.

If possible, we would always encourage a business to invest in professional website design and most likely built in WordPress.

The value of the right content

It’s becoming more and more important that the content on your website is created and written with a great deal of thought and care. Not only does the text on your website tell the story of your business and what you have on offer it also plays a valuable part of your SEO.

Google put importance on the words included on your website and they will make a difference to your ranking. Knowing your keywords and ensuring that these are part of your copy is vital but not at the expense of well written content. The priority of your content must always be that it reads and communicates well to your target audience but never forget the importance of SEO.

Never forget SEO

If you want to attract new customers and leads through your website, then you need to be aware of the importance of search engine optimisation. Simply put this is the work put into a website to help it get found higher up Google (other search engines are available).

There are so many factors that go into SEO some of it can be quite simple whilst other aspects are much more complex. To understand more about SEO, we wrote a blog post called SEO 101 which you can read here.

Including social media

Love it or hate it we all know that social media is huge and pretty much everyone is now on one platform or another. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or another, social media needs to be linked to your website. There are various ways that you can do this but in general it will be one of two ways…

  • Simple links to your accounts
  • Feeds where your latest posts are fed onto your website

Whichever way you do it, make sure you do have links or feed to your business social accounts from your website.

Proof of the pudding

Reviews and proof that you are good at what you do must be included on your website. Everyone knows that you are going to say you are the best at what you do but when a customer says it about you then your potential customers ears prick up. Your website design must include proof that you are good at what you do, and we would encourage you to include as much as you can from the list below…

  • Written testimonials
  • Reviews being fed to your website from the likes of Google and Facebook
  • Case studies
  • Video testimonials
  • Logos of clients you have worked with (the more well known the better)

The more of this you can include the more you demonstrate yourselves as a leader in your industry.

Getting your ‘calls to action’ right

If you want people to take action on your website, then you have to ask them to do so. The question you must always ask when it comes to your website design is what do you want your visitors to do next? Once they have learnt more about you, read your reviews and understand you are good at what you do, what step do you want them to take?

It could be get a quote, request a call back or tell us more about your project? Whatever it is you need to ensure that your website includes clear call to actions that encourage your website visitors to get in touch so you can follow up on their enquiry as efficiently and quickly as possible.

 

Choose Purple are a website design agency near Sheffield. Working with business across the UK on developing stand out websites that generate results we would love to talk to you about your website design project. You can contact our team here or tell us about your project here.

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About Justin Widdop

Justin is the Managing Director of Choose Purple, a design and digital marketing agency located in the heart of the UK. You can connect with him on Twitter @choosepurpleltd.