Building a fully-functioning website is an easy task for prospective entrepreneurs and bloggers because your website can be up and running without coding or significant web design experience. Although the process is easier, learning basic web design principles can improve the functionality and appeal of your website.
Keep Your Website Simple
Simple web design can make it easier for your audience to focus on your content or the products you are selling. One overlooked aspect of web design is white space. Many people erroneously believe the more graphics, colors, and text they can stuff onto a single page, the better. Unfortunately, this often translates into a cluttered website that may overwhelm your audience. Try to limit graphics on your website to products, logos, and what is essential to tell a story. Avoid animations or other processing-intense graphics on your website, which could potentially slow down your website or may require special plug-ins to be viewed correctly.
Aim For Harmony
Your website should be harmonious in the typography, color scheme, and layout. Before you start working on your website, it is good practice to create a text file that will contain the master design. It will include your font choices (typography) and samples of the fonts you are using. You should also establish specific areas of your website where these fonts are used. For example, you may have two or three font choices, with each having a designated role. One font may be used for menus and your logo, a different font can be designated for headings, while a third font may be used for the body of blog posts.
In your master file, you can keep samples of the color scheme you will use. Ideally, most of your website should be a neutral color, while accent colors can be used from your logo to create cohesiveness. Your content management system (CMS) and/or theme for your website may dictate your website layout options. Try to stick with a single layout for the static pages on your website. The exceptions are pages with unique functions, such as the homepage, blog, storefront, or gallery.
Optimize Your Website
Regardless of the goal for your website, such as selling products or blogging, the main goal is to increase traffic. You must optimize your website for search engines to increase your ranking and visibility. One factor in the way your website ranks is its speed and if it is optimized for different platforms. Many aspects regarding the speed of your website will depend on your hosting plan. In the beginning, most people use shared hosting, and unless you have many features on your website that require intense processing, shared hosting is acceptable. As your website content and traffic increases, you may need to consider upgrading your hosting to a virtual private network (VPN) or private server to maintain speed. Make sure all features of your website work on mobile platforms and are easy to read, otherwise, your website may be penalized by major search engines.
Basic web design principles will help you avoid common, costly mistakes. When in doubt, it is usually better to err on the side of simplicity when making design choices.
For more information, contact Midwest Websites.