The value of a digital presence
The importance and value of your online presence cannot be overstated! Having a professional, fast, secure and ascetically pleasing website is vital to maintain brand recognition and credibility.
Website design is often your company’s first impression
At one time, the primary way of discovering new businesses was to come across them by chance while moving about town or to look them up in the yellow pages. It’s also the reason names like “AAA” started gaining prominence so that they could be the first one listed. The internet and search engine optimization have shifted this dynamic so that any business can be on the first page regardless of their name as long as they follow the rules for quality content and design. Instead of searching the phone book, people search on Google.
And once they find a relevant business, the majority of users will click through to the website to make sure the company does what they’re looking for. It’s not enough that your company has a listed address in Olympia; web design is something that can’t be overlooked. For many, it’s the first impression they’ll get, and there are several things a professional web designer can look for to make sure that impression is a positive one.
Make your site look better
New elements for HTML are constantly being created, including new ways to display information. This means that if you have an older site, it’s likely outdated because new and better methods for achieving the same task have been developed. Many users consider an older, buggy site to be worse than having no site at all. A competent web designer should be well-versed in HTML as well as jQuery so that your site can be efficient and look great.
Flashy elements are great; if used in moderation
If you’ve ever opened a website and seen an animation made from a company’s logo, it can be a clever and impressive feat. At least, the first time. If it happens on every page, this saturation will eventually become more of an irritation than a benefit. Some of these elements are great when used properly, such as:
- Carousels and sliders, especially if you have changing special offers or anything that is time-sensitive. However, the user should have control of moving between different slides at will if these are used.
- Animate on Scroll (AOS) techniques can make a site seem comfortable and cozy, with more content appearing as the user scrolls down.
- Video and image placement can be very effective or ineffective depending on location and it’s important that your media draws attention when you want it to.
- Many more elements may or may not be appropriate depending on the kind of business you have and your long-term marketing goals. With hundreds of design elements, getting the design perfect is a precise process.
Increase site usability
It won’t matter how beautiful your site looks if nobody can use it once they arrive. Poor navigation, changing layouts for each page, and no hierarchical structure are all things that a designer notices and can fix for your site to make sure it’s easy to use.
Site navigation is a critical component of a professional website
Landing pages are important because people searching for keywords arrive on these pages from search engines, but that doesn’t mean other pages aren’t important as well. It’s imperative that users have the ability to go to other pages if they wish. Typically, you’ll want navigation at both the top and bottom of the page, and it needs to be organized intuitively.
For instance, a general contractor could have a menu item for “Roofing” and submenus for “Roof Repair” or “Roof inspections” within that. It’s important to keep the menu bar decluttered, but also have access to many different pages of the site, a fine balance that developers can help you find.
Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
Mobile devices can no longer be ignored now that they account for nearly 60 percent of web searches. But designing a site to be mobile exclusive can cause its own set of problems, which is one reason why M-Dot sites have lost favor with Google and other search engines and they advocate to have these sites changed as soon as possible. The new standard is to use responsive and/or adaptive layouts that cater to many different screen sizes, but just as important is that the page loads quickly.
Different screen sizes present different challenges
Because laptop and desktop screens are larger, they are able to fit more information onscreen at once. With mobile, the challenge is figuring out how to prioritize content on a smaller screen. Responsive layouts address part of the problem by changing the element size with the browser window size—usually by percentages—but when they’re side by side on desktop, which one should be displayed first? There’s no easy answer for this it. The best option depends on many factors experienced web designers consider before making the final call.
Page loading should have no hiccups
One behavior that accompanied faster internet speeds is frustration with waiting for pages to load. After getting used to pages loading lightning fast, it’s extremely difficult to use a site that takes a long time to load. This is such an important issue that most mobile users will actually leave a site if it fails to load in 3 seconds. Google has noticed this, and has responded in kind by making page load speed a major ranking factor starting in July 2018 for mobile searches. So if you have an existing site that takes much longer than that, what can you do?
Do you need a fast or comprehensive web design overhaul?
Learning web design can take a long time and involves a number of different skills including basic knowledge of programming, color theory, data analysis, and much more, and isn’t something that can be picked up in a couple of hours. While taking the time to understand these factors will likely be beneficial, if you don’t have the time, patience, or resources to do so, many professional web design companies would be happy to help.