Presentation is super important when it comes to your website.
It’s like meeting someone for the first time. You can tell by the first impression if you’re interested in getting to know them better. A website has a similar effect on your new visitors — the impression your website gives determines whether they’re likely to return.
To make a good first impression, your website needs a good website design.
Website design is more than how your website looks — it’s how well it works.
The basic website design principles and practices in this article will guide you on making your website design effective and engaging.
Basic Website Design Tips
Simplicity is key. There is no need to get fancy with your website design. In fact this may actually distract or confuse your visitors. Simple is not boring! A clean, fresh website design is perfect for most visitors nowadays, who value seamless navigation and functionality.
Stay on-brand. Choose a design or theme that reflects what your business is all about. For example, it would be a little weird to use a fashion-centered design when your business is about fitness.
Make it fast. Your visitors won’t have the patience for a website that takes a long time to load. Make sure to optimize your website design by reducing the size of any images. Also, there are many good, free WordPress plugins that will compress your site’s files to improve load times.
Go easy on the eyes. This applies to text, color palette, and imagery. Your visitors will be sifting through pages of content, so it’s best to go with fonts that are easily readable such as Helvetica, Roboto, or Lato. A complementary color combination and well-balanced images will create a visually-pleasing look.
Create the content first. Assuming you have (or will have) a WordPress site, you will simply choose a theme when you are ready. But write your content first, and then choose your theme to reflect your content, not the other way around.
Using a WordPress Theme
Fortunately, it’s easy to create a nice-looking website these days without using a website designer. Keeping the “minimum viable” principles in mind, you just need to get something out there so you can move on! For instance, look at my website, tameyourtech.co. It’s very simple, but people have told me it looks very nice and very professional. Someday I’ll fancy it all up, but for now, it’s all I need!
So don’t get too caught up in perfection. Choose a theme that’s close enough, and go for it.
If you’re a little scared of installing themes and all that, go with the simplest possible one — the default theme that WordPress installs for you. This changes every year, as styles and trends change, but they’re all very simple, and pretty generic.
If you want to be a little more bold, and spend a little more time, you can get a premium theme from Envato. Premium themes have more features and options, yet are still very affordable. Most are well under $100.
Once you’ve chosen (and installed) a theme, you will need to make some customization decisions. Use your brand colors and your logo and tagline to make your design look like your brand.