Web design is a topic very commonly discussed online in today’s world. One of the main reasons why it’s a popular topic is because it’s relatively new and people are still trying to figure out what kind of design will be the most alluring or enticing. So, designers experiment, try to adapt their approaches to some of the latest trends, and at the same time, they try to make websites that have a natural call to action, without causing any confusion.
The following article will discuss and provide some guidelines on how to design your website, in terms of efficiency and aesthetics. Its goal is to explain how to organize your pages so that it caters to a wider audience, and how to appear as professional as possible.
Choose the appropriate theme for your site
Theme selection is widely influenced by the type of business you are running. It’s safe to assume that the majority of websites use WordPress as their platform of choice, so the following themes suggested here will be WordPress themes. Furthermore, the themes I am about to list are all really fast and have proved quite reliable during recent tastings:
● Parallax Pro – Built using the genesis framework, Parallax Pro comes with integrated SEO functionality and a code fully optimized for the web. The theme has great typography and 5 pre-made color styles: blue, red, orange, green, and pink. Parallax Pro is perfect for a company website;
● Rosa – If you are running a restaurant, café or a bar, you might want to consider using Rosa as your WordPress Theme. The theme comes with features like product menus that are easy to edit, and it is compatible with Woocommerce;
● Nexus – It has numerous shortcodes that are easy to use, it has a nice appeal on both desktop and phone or tablet display due to its layout, it is cross-browser compatible, has localization support, custom widgets and a homepage builder. Nexus is a perfect candidate for your blog or magazine website;
● Best – Probably the fastest theme currently out there. Best can easily fulfill SEO demands, and it also comes with an inbuilt review system, numerous styling options, as well as a floating navigation menu. So, if you want to have an early boost in the SEO area, Best will rise to the challenge and serve that purpose.
● Diamond – Much like Rosa, Diamond has Woocommerce compatibility, and it is favored among small business owners who want to have an online store on their website. It has ZOOM framework, a parallax slider and one-click widget install, as well as various homepage layouts;
● The Fondly – If you are planning on making a website in hopes of generating viral content, most of your traffic will come via social networks. The Fondly comes with both inbuilt social media buttons and SEO settings. It also has features like snippet support and live customization. Additionally, out of all the abovementioned themes, The Fondly has the most user-friendly design.
These are some valid suggestions, but if none of these themes meets your demands, do some thorough research and find a viable candidate.
Websites with longer pages have become somewhat of a trend lately. This can be attributed to the fact that the user base relies more on mobile devices to browse the web these days. So, for the purpose of catering to mobile users, websites are designed in a way that allows more content to be displayed on a single page. This way, there is far less clicking or tapping on links to find what you need. The iPhone 6 page on Apple’s website showcases this long scrolling page trend, and more products are displayed on one long page.
Content information density
Basically, whatever you put on your website needs to say something about you. This means that your website should give more than just basic info – it can also tell your users what kind of traits you nurture as a business and a content provider. So, you can be witty and helpful, you can share your story in a unique way, etc. The Space Needle website has this nailed down quite well, and should be your go-to example.
Even the loading screen itself conveys some sort of information. One way to store information in a non-intrusive fashion is simply to have cards that are displayed after a visitor hovers over a particular area of the website. This way, the visitor does not need to leave the current page just to find out what other sections of your site are all about.
Follow header trends – no background image
The majority of websites use no image in the background of their header. With no image in the background, the text is far more visible, and it doesn’t take as much time for your page to load. Since these first impressions matter, it’s quite understandable why people steer away from using images. Other than that, there is no good reason why you should shy away from including an image in the background of your header.
First of all, you can stand out from the crowd. Second, you can use the image to convey some sort of message, as it was discussed in the previous section. Third, if you plan on using some of the abovementioned themes like Best, the loading speed won’t be as big of an issue. On the other hand, if you do not have a picture that makes a strong impact on first sight, then just use text and follow the trend.
Keep it simple, but brilliant
Another reason why you should avoid using header background photos is to follow this trend – simple but brilliant. Basically, the idea is to remove all the non-essential elements and to stick with a simple and easy to navigate design. The online audience reacts positively to these websites, and it makes the whole design process a lot easier, so there’s no good reason for this plan to fail.
Of course, the reason why this type of design became popular is because it differs from the majority of web design tropes like sophisticated layouts, background colors, lots of images, etc. Who’s to say that once this becomes too widespread, flashier websites won’t be making their comeback? It’s just something to bear in mind when making your decision.
Ghost buttons and larger icons
If you are interested in supporting the previous argument, you might want to consider these tips. The trend began when Apple introduced its iOS 7. It had achieved the goal of simple aesthetics by implementing larger icons and so-called ghost buttons (basically a thin line which outlines a transparent button).
This results in a refined appearance and it doesn’t interfere with an image of the product on display. It’s rare that both aesthetics and efficiency can have such a great synergy like in this case, so don’t have any doubts concerning this design technique – all you need to worry about is that the background image does not prevent visitors from seeing the position of the button.
Use embedded videos
To make your page more engaging, you should introduce an explainer video. This is perfect for commercial use, and to serve as a tutorial for visitors who might not have an absolutely clear idea of how your services work.
The video is also another positive SEO component, as someone is more likely to hear what you have to say in a short video than to read the text on your site. It’s quite simple actually, videos are a more potent medium for conveying information than text, as we are highly visual beings, and the level of retention is increased when watching video.
Make sure the video you use is of high quality, professional and fun to watch. It would be wise to include some background music and sound effects, as well as to make it more immersive. If you cannot meet these demands, then wait until you can. It’s not a good idea just to put out any sort of video, because you may appear unprofessional.
It appears that, in 2014, infographics witnessed a popularity surge, and more and more people started using them on their websites. Now, to fully utilize an infographic on a certain page, you should make it interactive. By introducing interactivity, you will engage the users more, and you will be able to feed them more data than with a regular infographic.
Again, all you need to do is introduce hovering features, so that additional information pops-up as someone hovers over a certain line of text. The more time people spend on your website, the better it will reflect on your overall traffic.
We hope you found these suggestions useful, and that they will come in handy when you are trying to decide what you want your website to look like. Remember to use an adequate theme, to include more relevant and essential information, use fewer elements and include videos and interactive infographics to make your visitors stick around for a while longer.
Also, make your website more mobile-friendly by introducing longer pages and by incentivizing frequent scrolling. Just follow these guidelines and you will create a nice little online corner of your own.
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