What’s the best website design for your business, are you thinking about building one yourself?
I’m often asked which platform or software is the best to use when creating a new website.
There are quite literally hundreds of DIY platforms out there, so why should you use a professional?
Well, probably for the same reason that I choose not to service my own car. If I put my mind to it, and invested lots of time in learning a new skill I could probably do so, but do I want to? The short answer is no, my time is more valuable spent managing and growing my own business. I’d rather get a professional to do it, and know the added benefit is that my car is safe to get me from a to b!
Same thing applies to your website design, your website is your digital shop window. With internet user statistics on the rise; and with more and more consumers doing their research into products or services online, prior to purchase, can you really afford to blow a gasket?
Here’s another thing, not all websites are created equal. Companies such as WIX and Yellow might offer some low cost solutions for start ups, but always look in to the additional costs, such as hosting and support, and more importantly be sure that your website is going to grow with your business. Don’t fall into the trap of low start up costs, charges are often increased in the second and third year, or whenever you wish to add extra functionality and pages to your website. I’ve recently taken on clients who have started out using these platforms only to find that they have very quickly outgrown them, we’re in the process of transferring their website content onto a new WordPress website.
Here at Kate Coote. we build all our websites using WordPress; WordPress powers more than 23% of the web, it’s simple to use, and yet has huge functionality. It’s open source which means the software source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone, in other words, it’s a collaberative, community driven platform that continuously evolves so it’s incredibly future proofed.
A website is never a finished project, it should continue to grow as your business does. Content will need to be changed and updated, you should be able to do this yourself (if you want to); you should never find yourself locked into a contract with a web developer where you have to go back to them for every single change.
All that aside, when you’re considering website design the most important thing to consider is user engagement… You may have the fanciest design in the world, but if your users are not engaging, you may as well not have a website at all. To that end, I thought I’d share our top 7 tips to increase user engagement.
- Content, content, content – I said it three times because it’s so important. Include a blog page in your website design, post often, make it original, but more importantly make it useful. Practice the art of “not selling” and concentrate on helping your potential customers.
- Be a good guide – Navigation is so important. Remember that not all visitors will land on your website’s home page. So always include clear routes around your website, with strong “calls to action” to lead where you would like them to go.
- Speed things up – Nobody has the time to wait around for slow loading websites. This often comes down to the types and size of the image files you use on your website. Check the speed of your website load time HERE.
- Keep it clean – Include white space and avoid clutter; too much going on is distracting. In a former life I was cabin crew for the world’s favourite airline, there’s a reason we’re only offered two choices, “chicken or beef”, offer more and that inflight meal service would never end!
- Make it mobile – Your website design should be mobile responsive. As of 2013, the worldwide percentage of mobile internet users was 73.4 percent. Figures suggest that by 2017 that will rise to more than 90 percent. Not only will Google send you flying down the hit parade if your website isn’t mobile responsive, but your mobile users will be gone in a flash.
- Get social – Include links to your social media channels on every page of your website. Also include a social sharing widget so users can share your original and useful content with their friends.
- Find ways to stay in touch – Add a newsletter subscription on every page of your website design, this will help recycle your traffic and generate return visitors.
If you would like a website design review of your existing website, please contact us for this complimentary service.