You’ve read it a hundred times, your website is the first impression you make to any prospective clients as well as future employees. All businesses require a website in this digital age. I recently was in need of a legal expert, and the name I was given did not show up on Google. I was immediately concerned and did not give them a call for that sole reason.
Imagine how much business you may be leaving on the table by not having an up to date and engaging website. Custom Websites enable brands in all industries to expand their visibility. While marketing and sales go hand in hand, at the end of a call or networking event, you need an action item where you can send the people you meet. This is where your website comes into play.
The mere fact that your visibility is constantly growing should be reason alone to invest in your website. Professional site design piques visitors’ interest and encourages them to explore deeper. A potential client frequently views your website first to learn more about your business or organization. Your brand’s visibility may be improved online, where there are no territorial restrictions, with the use of a website. And you’ll want to direct fresh website visitors to your own top-notch website whether you use email marketing tactics or start using social media.
The benefits of custom site design might outweigh those of any other digital marketing technique for your company. In reality, if you don’t have a strong online presence with your own website and are unable to convert website visitors into clients, the majority of digital marketing and traditional marketing campaigns will fail or be less successful.
Your website includes all of the crucial details about your company or organization that website visitors need to know, such as who you are, what you sell, how to contact you, where to find your blog and other thought leadership, and much more. With your distinct online presence and beautiful web page design, stand out from the competition and enhance the appearance of your brand.
Hubspot offers a variety of blog articles where you can learn more about the different factors that go into designing a custom website.
With all that being said, what are the top factors to consider when building a custom website design? Here are our top 5 topics to think about:
#1: Custom vs. Template Designs
The obvious and most relevant upper hand of getting a custom web design is that it will make your website stand out from the crowd and give you an edge over your competitors, which is very important in today’s saturated web environment. When it comes to Google Ranking, Custom websites are more search engine friendly than website templates so they tend to rank higher.
Custom built websites will always tailor to your business needs in a better way but it also gives you the room for incorporating your company’s branding into it. There is a factor of scalability with custom websites and they grow as your business grows. Moreover, the additional benefit of a content management system (CMS) makes it easier for the business to keep the website updated from anywhere.
Unlike a custom designed website, a website template has a shorter development cycle. Another benefit of using a website template is that it cost less so if you have a low budget, you can still get a website template. You do not need to be a coding whiz to create a website anymore, thanks to website templates. Even a person who does not know HTML and CSS can create a website template.
#2: The Look and Feel
Keep your design balanced. Balance is all about ensuring that your design does not tip to one side or the other. It is like the balance of weight in achieving symmetry or asymmetry. You will find that every design you think looks good has a well-constructed balance underlying it. And every design featured here scores high on each of the seven principles we discuss. So take a minute to scroll up and down and see for yourself if they all pass muster.
Grids are your best friend. The concept of grids is closely related to that of balance. Grids are a series of horizontal and vertical rulers that help you “compartmentalize” a design. Think of columns. Columns improve readability, making a page’s content easier to absorb. Spacing and the use of the Rule of Thirds (or similar Golden Ratio) make everything easier on the eye.
The Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio account for why sidebars, for example, are usually about a third of the width of the page and why the main content area is roughly equal to the design’s width divided by 1.62 (equalling phi in mathematics). We won’t get into why this is, but it does seem to hold true in practice. It is also why the subject in professionally taken photographs is usually positioned not in the middle but at the intersection of an imaginary nine-square grid (three by three, with two horizontal and two vertical lines).
This leads us to our third topic:
Find out for yourself what works together. Soak up as many website designs as possible, such as those featured on any of the many CSS showcase websites (like Best Web Gallery), to get a feel for how colors interact with each other. Pick two or three base colors at most for your design, and then use tints (which are lighter, mixed with white) and shades (which are darker, mixed with black) of these base colors to expand the palette where necessary.
Picking nice colors is as important as picking the right colors (that is, the right colors for the job). A Web design for a cozy little restaurant would do well with “earthy” tones: reds, browns, etc. Of course, there is no such thing as a surefire recipe. Every color sends out a message, and it is up to you to get the message right.
One of the most important aspects of web design is actually making the site usable for the average user. Most customers who visit your webpage are not professional HTML coders, so they might need things simplified a little bit (which is fine).
Server uptime – It’s important to ensure your visitors don’t get an error trying to load your site. Invest in good hosting. Invest in good hosting. We never cut corners here, get a good web host that you can depend on.
Broken links – Double check that there are no dead links on your site. SEO tools like Ahrefs and Screaming Frog will crawl your site for you and find all the broken links.
Mobile responsiveness – Make sure your site can handle different screen sizes and slow connections. Google has also moved to a “mobile-first” index which means they index the mobile versions of sites. So a great mobile site will help you get better search results.
#5 Content and Contact Info
At the end of the day, no matter how much time and money you invest in your website, the people who come to use it will determine its success. Yes you can update and monitor any errors, ensure you are ADA complacent, but if you are not putting the correct information in there, you will not get the correct use out of your website. More than ever, content marketing plays a major role in any company’s advertising campaign. Marketing specialists will help create lists of topics to make sure your website has the most relevant information on there. However, there are some basics that hold true no matter the type of website you are creating.
- About: Tell us who you are. Where are you located? How was the company founded? What is your bread and butter and how can someone get in touch with you?
- Team: Your staff may be large or small, it may make the soul of the company or it may be a tool in the sales process. Regardless, prospective clients want to see that there are human faces behind the product they are purchasing. Having a team section can house not only your leadership but also reflect the culture.
- Products/Services: What are you offering and what makes you a subject matter expert at it? Portfolio or case studies are a great way to highlight what you have done in the past and why perspective clients may want to take a risk in hiring you.
- Bonus: Blogs: When it comes to SEO and Google rankings, generating content is king.
Since the shift in 2020, businesses across the board have invested in having an up to date and functioning custom website. Not only are Google rankings to be considered, but if you are not constantly monitoring and investing time in having your website updated, you will inevitably lose prospects and maybe even discourage existing clients who may not want to use your website. There are so many tips and tricks as well as complimentary tools you can find online that the process can be as simple or as complex as you prefer.