Websites seem to be just as much of the norm for people as a phone number. From bloggers to corporate entities, the Internet is full of information. However, not all websites are created using the best strategies. In fact, many people often skimp out on some of the things that could contribute greatly to success.
Although proper web hosting is a vital component to the success of a site, it’s not the only part that needs attention. There is a lot of work that goes into the process to make a webpage something that is productive and engaging.
Here are 10 things the most outstanding web designers have in common when it comes to building those sites.
1. Always Testing the Web Environment
Constantly testing the website on various platforms is an important part to making sure most people have the same experience. For example, what looks incredible in Chrome may look unappealing in Firefox. This is why many designers will have several popular web browsers on hand to test the layout in all of them.
The layout is only part of the testing process. Scripts, plugins, modules and any other addition the designer installs are tested rigorously to ensure it works. A function that crashes when used can hurt an online reputation while turning visitors off from the site.
2. Developing Excellent Navigation
The navigation menu is an important aspect of the site as it helps visitors control the content. If this is missing important elements or seems too overwhelming, it can easily become problematic. For instance, an improperly designed menu can fill a mobile screen with options rather than content.
Keeping navigation to strictly necessary components streamlines the process. Some will also use sub-menu items to deliver a logical hierarchy of material.
3. Creating Readable Content
Creating high-quality content includes making it easy to read. This isn’t merely for the good of engaging visitors, either. In fact, search engines like Google rank quality content much higher in the results page.
One way to ensure readable content is by using tools like Readable.io. This tool will analyze the content and deliver a score based on how easy it is to read. Yoast SEO for WordPress has a similar tool for those who want to use the popular content management system.
4. Organizing the Layout of Content
Having a good layout for the content is also a priority when trying to engage visitors and search engines. Logical use of headers, bullet points and paragraphs is important to keep people skimming through pages and search engines indexing the site correctly.
It’s also important to understand the hierarchy of headers ranging from H1 to H5. This will play a part in visual appeal as well as SEO.
5. Providing a Clutter-Free Experience
Excellent designers will cut back on elements that make the site seem cluttered. For example, too many ads and banners can take away from the purpose of the content. Too much clutter can also play a role in visitors becoming lost when trying to find specific information.
When it comes to web design, one can have too much of a good thing. This is especially true for those using WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. It can be tempting to include all the nifty tools one finds on the Internet to the website.
6. Developing for Mobile-Friendliness
Not all responsive designs look good on mobile devices. Just because something seems mobile-friendly, doesn’t make it so. This is why designers will often test the layout on mobile technology to ensure it looks good and is easy to use.
This process often includes optimizing images, lazy loading and removing elements that slow the site.
7. Keeping Visual Content Low
Images and graphics can add an amazing visual appeal. However, too much can also lead to distractions as well as a much slower website. In fact, many experts state how using more white space is a good way to develop webpages.
Depending on the purpose of the website, too many graphics can be as much of an eyesore as using gaudy colors. Sometimes a simpler approach is more effective.
8. Creating Clear and Easy Forms
Subscription, email and contact forms are an important part of many designs. A properly created form that is easy for guests to use could mean the difference between a full email list for marketing and an empty one.
Visitors need to have clarity behind the information being requested and how to submit it. While this may sound like an obvious part to the site, coding errors and confusing instructions are often the reason why these forms are ineffective.
9. Always Checking the Links
Broken links on a website can be damaging to its reputation from visitors as well as search engines. It appears less professional and visitors can be discouraged from returning to the site in the future.
Luckily, there are a number of tools that can do this check automatically without going to each page one-by-one. For instance, the Broken Link Checker in WordPress constantly scrutinizes any links added to the site.
10. Using Call to Actions
Last, but surely not least, is the use of call to action content. This can be a sentence, graphic or verbal instruction to act. For example, “Visit today to get yours” is considered a call to action.
This method of engagement is so beneficial that it’s included on landing pages, blog posts and even included at the end of videos. It’s a way to remind the visitor to act and often inspires them to do so. As a result, the call to action plays a major role in boosting sales as well as further engaging the guest.
Creating a Website is More than Just Adding Text..
A good website starts with good web hosting. However, there is more that goes into making the site a success. From developing high-quality content to testing the environment on mobile technology, it will take a degree of dedication to create a memorable experience for users. Don’t assume that a few lines of text with a keyword or two is going to be enough. The competition for traffic on the Internet is simply too high for such actions.