Planning a website can feel overwhelming, thanks to the constant changes in technology and user expectations. But it doesn’t have to be so intimidating. With a well-thought-out plan, you’ll know exactly what elements to consider when designing your website.
Although every website is different, there are some essential elements that all websites should include. This article will look at the must-have features of any successful web design plan, detailing why each aspect is important and how to incorporate it into your website.
Define The Purpose Of The Website
When it comes to the planning stage, you must define the purpose of your website.
- What do you want the website to achieve?
- Who is the audience you’re targeting?
- What kind of messages are you trying to convey with your website?
Defining the goals and objectives of a website early on can make or break its success. Your website needs to have a clear purpose, like providing information about a product or service, establishing an online presence for a business, driving sales or conversions, promoting brand awareness, etc.
Once you have determined your site’s primary objectives, you can craft content and design elements around them. For example, a website dedicated to selling products online will differ from one aimed at promoting a local business (although some details may overlap).
Nowadays, this point is less of an issue thanks to the plethora of dedicated content management systems aimed at creating the perfect site regardless of purpose.
Nevertheless, despite the abundance of choice, not all are created equally. While your first choice might be to opt for something like WordPress, which is the most well-known, there are other choices that provide superior performance.
For example, it is widely accepted that one of the better options is webflow which enables users to develop blazing-fast websites that look amazing and offer a flawless user experience.
If you are worried about your ability to create a site using anything other than WordPress, you should know that there are webflow site development agencies that assist in the creation of almost any type of website you require.
By defining your website’s purpose upfront, you can ensure that all other aspects of web design planning tie together to meet those goals. This will lead to greater success in achieving what your desired outcomes are for your webpage.
Establish The Overall Look And Feel To Match Your Brand
It’s essential to give your website a unique look and feel that fits perfectly with your brand identity. This includes customizing page layouts and selecting fonts, colors, images, icons, and other design elements.
Your ultimate goal is to create a visually stimulating look that emphasizes the features and strength of your company…not just make something that looks pretty or trendy.
You’ll want something timeless yet attractive to the eye, which will help to distinguish you from the competition and leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Try using the same palette of colors featured in your logo across all of your materials, such as flyers, business cards, emails, etc. The more consistency there is between all elements associated with your brand, the higher recognition you’ll achieve with customers. Some ways you can accomplish this include:
- Using the same color palette featured in your logo across all materials, such as flyers, business cards, emails, etc.
- Incorporating fonts and typography that reflect your brand’s personality and style.
- Select images and icons relevant to your business and ensure they make the right impression.
- Utilizing custom page layouts tailored to your website’s purpose and objectives.
- Include a tagline or slogan that reflects your company’s values.
- Design a recognizable and memorable logo for visitors to associate with your brand identity.
- Creating an engaging homepage design that captures visitors’ attention immediately upon arrival on the site.
Find The Right Hosting Provider
Your website will go nowhere without a reliable host that provides fast loading speeds and plenty of storage space. Nevertheless, when looking for a host, you’ll want to consider things like customer service quality, server uptime, bandwidth limits, and pricing options.
All of these elements help you determine if the host is the right fit for your needs. You’ll also have access to various features depending on your hosting plan.
Ensure that the provider has unique tools, such as FTP access, and the ability to handle growing traffic levels as your business grows.
Moreover, check if they provide cloud hosting services that can automatically scale in times of sudden traffic spikes. For instance, some providers like Verpex offer both managed and unmanaged cloud hosting services. The answers to these questions will help you determine which host may be best suited for powering your website.
The last thing you want is tech problems to keep your website from reaching its full potential. On a final note, you should be prepared to pay a bit more for private hosting and avoid shared options if possible.
While shared hosting is cheaper, there is no way to know what other websites share your storage space, and it’s simply not worth the risk.
An Efficient Navigation Structure
Creating an efficient navigation structure for your website is essential if you want your customers to be able to navigate vital pages unhindered. In order to set up an efficient layout, you should first analyze your content to understand what kind of pages are available on your website.
Then divide those pages into logical sections and create a clear hierarchy. Website visitors should be able to find their way around the site’s main areas and navigate between sections seamlessly.
You can also consider adding secondary navigational tools such as breadcrumbs or search functionality to help visitors locate specific pieces of content quickly and easily.
Additionally, always ensure you test out your navigation structure with different user types and consider their feedback when updating it. Remember: always be testing!
Ensure SEO Is Done Correctly On A Technical Level
When planning your web design, one of the most critical aspects you must consider is the infamous Search Engine Optimization (AKA SEO). This is a process of ensuring that your website complies with the technical requirements of various search engines.
As such, it is essential to ensure that your website will appear in search results when potential customers are looking for you or services similar to yours.
While this post won’t go into the off-site aspects of the discipline, it’s essential to get your on-site or technical SEO on point if you want to achieve SERP Nirvana!
When performing SEO on a technical level, several elements should be addressed, including page titles and meta descriptions, keyword use throughout the site, correct usage of heading tags, image ALT tags, and proper HTML code structure.
It can also be beneficial to ensure all your URLs contain keywords relevant to what people would be searching for so that these URLs can appear higher in Google search results.
Additionally, setting Canonical URLs will ensure duplicate content is not indexed. Altogether, getting your technical SEO right means understanding how search engines work and correctly implementing tactics to increase visibility and acquire organic traffic.
While much of the heavy lifting will be done when you use an efficient CMS like webflow, it’s still crucial to research what you need to do to get your site ranking.
Make Sure Your Calls To Action Are Effective And Seamless
Your website’s calls to action (CTAs) are essential elements of any successful web design. They tell your visitors what to do next and help them take the desired action. Therefore, ensuring that your CTAs are effective, seamless, and visible is essential.
For example, if you have an online store, ensure the “add to cart” button is prominently displayed on each product page. Or, if you have a lead generation form, use eye-catching colors and larger font sizes to draw attention to it.
You also want to make sure that your CTAs appear in logical places on your website. If you’re asking people to sign up for a newsletter or register for an event, put this CTA at the end of relevant blog posts or other content pieces instead of randomly dropping it among other non-related content.
Doing so will create a more seamless flow that encourages people to act now rather than waiting till they forget they saw the CTA in the first place.
Create Content That Establishes You As An Authority In Your Industry
Creating content such as informative articles and visuals like videos or infographics plays a vital role in website design. Not only will it create value for your audience, but it will also help establish you as an authority in your industry.
This type of content experiences lots of search engine traffic, which can potentially provide more leads than traditional web design elements, like meta tags and image optimization (as per the technical SEO section discussed previously).
Content creation also helps build trust between you and your potential customers. It demonstrates that you’re knowledgeable about the problems they may encounter and how to solve them effectively.
For a website to be effective and engaging, proper planning is essential. By taking the time to consider all of the necessary elements, you’ll be able to create a website that speaks to your target audience, helps them to find the information they need, and distinguishes your project from competitors.
With careful planning and thought, you can ensure that your web design meets your project’s goals.