Websites are known to be one of the most lucrative tools for business and organisations, allowing them to display their products or services, whilst acting as a point of contact for potential clients.
Serving as an online platform, websites give businesses space to advertise their brand whilst displaying additional information, such as contact details, products and services, business background and photographs. They have been incorporated into the vast majority of businesses and act as an integral aspect to not only advertising and marketing, but to the smooth operation of the day-to-day business.
Due to the importance of the website, it is imperative that is is designed and written perfectly. Any flaws within the web pages will be spotted not only by competitors, but potential customers also, and could severely damage the business’ reputation. The website is the ‘face’ of the company, and it must be inviting, professional and user-friendly.
Site colours and design
A well designed website must incorporate colours and themes from an existing logo, creating an online brand identity that customers are able to recognise and remember easily.
It is advisable to select between three and four colours throughout the colour scheme, using colour to help particular words and pictures stand out. When bright colours are used, they must be done so sparingly to ensure the pages do not appear untidy and cluttered.
Written content on the vast majority of websites needs to be clear, concise and grammatically sound. It is important to remember that the vocabulary and semantics on each page must be easy to understand for the intended target audience. Confusing potential clients, however unintentional it may be, could result in frustration and the loss of a potential sale and must be avoided as much as possible.
The pictures chosen on websites should reflect the products and services provided by the business accurately, demonstrating why the products are better than competing brands. Images can be used for other reasons, such as keeping with the selected style of the website, breaking up a large amount of text, or to be used as navigational tools such as buttons or links. However, too many images will distort the audience, and a fine balance must be found to retain and interest the browsing customers.
The vast majority of modern websites have two or three columns, allowing businesses to spread their information around in a compact and coherent manner. Too many columns will display so much information that it would become difficult for the audience to absorb it all, and valuable messages could be lost and wasted. It could also serve to overwhelm the reader with text and images, driving them away to a competing website.
The navigational menu must be in clear view on the web page, allowing for the website to flow easily to other pages without causing the reader any frustration or stress. The goal is to make their online experience as pleasant and as simple as possible, and having a user-friendly website will achieve this.
There is such a vast quantity of website and image programmes, that it can often be a difficult decision on which ones to use. Whilst they all offer creative and innovative options, there are a select few that are deemed to be web designers essential tools, and can be found on most web designers computers. The below list is a brief summary of the most highly recommended programmes and tools for website designing and building:
Adobe Photoshop – A true classic digital image editor, Photoshop has remained a favourite throughout the years. With almost endless possibilities, the programme offers intensive options to enable imaging and text editing, allowing business to create fresh, modern and unique images for their websites.
Dreamweaver – Known as one of the finest and most popular web design and HTML editing software, Adobe Dreamweaver offers web developers a useful and indepth tool. Unlike other HTML editors, Dreamweaver uploads files locally to a remote server using File Transfer Protocal, (FTP) WebDAV or SFTP, making it simple and straightforward to upload information from a computer onto a server.
Firebug – This is a Mozilla Firefox add-on, and is incredibly useful for web designers to assess and edit HTML accordingly when ever they need. This is a huge time-saver, and is an excellent modern tool for all businesses who are creating their own website.
Search engine optimisation
Once the website has been completed and is ready to be published, search engine optimisation is an ideal method of ensuring it will be viewed by as many potential customers as possible. It allows businesses to reach out to customers not only across the country, but across the world. There are many processes which are incorporated by SEO, involving keywords, meta tags and descriptions, and they all serve to make websites more attractive to the search engines.
Keywords are particularly important, as they need to be entwined into the actual written content of the website. Researching the most popular search terms will give a good indication of which words to include, placing them strategically so they do not stand out, but rather blend into the text.
As websites are such a vital component of the majority of online businesses, it is pivotal that they are built to the highest of standards. The website acts as the online home for organisations, displaying their finest items and selling points. If a business website has been poorly built and designed, it will reflect on the business, leaving them with negative connotations and missed out opportunities.
If you are not completely confident in your ability to create the ideal website for your business, then contact a professional web designer, such as Pixel Web Design. They can guide you through the process of bringing your business online without the stress and complications that comes along with it, whilst ensuring your business has a modern, user-friendly tone. Contact a member of the team today and let them steer you into the illustrious realm of professional website design.