It’s never been easier to create a website. Not just a basic, stripped-down version of one – modern builders make it incredibly easy to create a beautiful website very quickly. You don’t even have to be a designer or an engineer to set it up. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money, because you can find great shared hosting packages that are also very affordable. And you can use the websites you create to earn some money if you’re willing to put some additional work into them.
Creating a high-performing website, however, is not that easy. High-performing websites might look just pretty and well-designed on the surface. But a lot of skill goes into making websites that look that way and are also extremely effective. And adherence to some of the important principles also helps a lot.
Websites can sometimes be works of art. Mostly, however, they are a means to an end — a way to get a point across, attract customers, sell products, or advance a cause. There are many more purposes a website can serve, but they all come down to helping you further your goals.
The purpose of your website has a huge effect on the design choices you make. If the main goal of your website is to entertain, you will design it so that it’s very easy to navigate and update. E-commerce websites, which have a purpose to facilitate shopping, have a number of things you can do to help them live up to their purpose.
Last year, the rate of adoption of smartphones continued its staggering growth. If things continue going the same way, we can expect a third of world’s population to be smartphone users. Rates of adoption might vary from one region to another. Still, there’s no running away from the fact that, at any given moment, your website will have a mix of visitors using mobile and desktop devices.
Because mobile and desktop devices are very different, your website needs to be adaptable to both. The term mobile-friendliness means that your website was built so that it’s easy to view and navigate on a mobile device. There are a couple of ways you can do this — there’s responsive design, building a separate version of your website for mobile and desktop visitors, or adaptive design. And you’ll need to pick one.
Personalization has been one of the biggest buzzwords of the online business ecosystem for the past couple of years. It’s the practice of using design elements, features, and functions to provide each user with an experience that’s tailor-made for them. You get to do that thanks to easy access to an abundance of visitor data.
Personalization can take many forms. You can create separate landing pages for different categories of visitors. You can use elements such as search bars that provide personalized recommendations to visitors. The tools you need are out there, you just need to determine whether it’s a good time to implement them.
Speed is everything for a website. Even the promise of the most useful information or the best products won’t make a lot of users wait for a slow website to load. The internet has taught people to expect immediacy, so that’s what they’ll want from your website.
There are many things you could do to speed up your website. Everything from minifying the code, to including light design elements will help the website load faster and perform better. You should also perform speed tests as you implement different speed-boosting strategies.
In web design, it’s often a good idea to state your claim boldly and as soon as the website’s main page loads. If the visitor needs to spend more than a couple dozens of seconds on finding out what the website is about, you will most likely lose them.
Simplicity has other applications in web design. Simple visuals are great for emphasizing the most important elements like calls to action. A simple menu can make navigation less confusing. Not giving your website visitors too many choices will make it easier for them to make the choices you offer. The list goes on.
No matter how easy it gets to create a website, it’s still difficult to create a high-performing one. It takes time, resources, and plenty of know-how to create a website that’s able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the growing competition. The best way to make sure your website can do that is to always keep these five principles in mind, and use them as guidelines for the choices you make.