If you are getting ready to set up a website, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind. If you are planning to hand over the reigns in the creation of your website, you could end up being very disappointed. There are several principles that are necessary if your website is going to be modern and effective. If the website is designed poorly, the site can experience low time on site, low pages per visit, and less traffic. There are 10 essential principles that you should be aware of, if your website is going to be a success.
Tip #1: Each Page Needs To Have A Purpose
If your website is going to be effective, you are going to need to cater to the user’s needs. Some websites are designed to provide information to the users. Some sites are designed for entertainment. There are sites designed for interaction, and others sell goods or services. Since there are many purposes for a website, you should make sure that yours has a clear purpose. If your site is going to have various pages each with a different purpose, it is important that the purpose of each page is clear and concise. If the content is spread all over the website in a haphazard manner, your entire website will be difficult to understand. If your site is designed this way, users may move on to a similar site whose pages are more well defined.
Tip #2: Make the Content Easy To Read
When a person visits a website to get information, they often want to get it as quickly as possible. To make this possible, you should make sure that the content can be quickly scanned. This allows the visitor to get the information that they need or to determine whether or not they need to look elsewhere. There are a few ways that you can make the content easy to scan and easy to read. You can start by organizing your content information using headlines and sub-headings in bold print. Using numbers and bullet points is also a great way to break up the content. If you put your content in one long, winded paragraph, visitors won’t stay on your site for too long. Instead, they will move on to a competitor’s website to get the information that they want faster and easier.
Tip #3: Choosing the Right Typeface
Just because you find a certain typeface to be more attractive, it doesn’t mean that it is going to work well for your website. If you are typing a letter, a memo, or a document, you can use your favorite typeface. Nowadays, drawing tablets keep getting better, therefore, you can use different typefaces on these mobile devices as well. However, when it comes to the content on your website, you should use those that are easiest to read online. Overall, Arial and Verdana are the easiest to read online. If you are looking for a more contemporary font also have decorative finishes, you should go with the Sans Serif font. It is easily readable online and it looks great.
The font that you choose is not the only issue that there is to consider. You also need to choose the right size font. The ideal font size for a website is 16px.
Finally, your combinations are also a factor. You should not use any more than three typefaces on your website. Also, keep it down to three point sizes if you are going to ensure that your design is properly streamlined.
You can break up your content with headings, sub-headings, bullet points, and numbers, however, if you don’t use the correct font size and typeface, your website won’t be a readable as your visitors need it to be.
Tip #4: Choosing The Right Colors
There are plenty of colors and color combinations that you can use for your website. In order to bring more visitors to your site and keep them there longer, you should use the right colors and combinations. If you want your content to be easy on the visitor’s eyes, you should use contrasting colors for the text and the background. To create balance and harmony in certain areas of the site, you should go with complementary colors.
A few examples of these colors include green, red, blue, and orange. When you combine these colors in the right way, it will produce light which will hold the visitor’s attention. If you are going for a more modern and uncluttered look, you can’t go wrong with using white. Finally, vibrant colors can be very distracting. These colors should be used sparingly. Bright, vibrant colors are best for clickable buttons or call to action. Using the right colors can mean the difference between visitors spending a few seconds on your website and several minutes on the site.
Tip #5: Choosing the Right Images
When a person visits a website, they want to see photos. In many cases, the photos can be more effective in communicating than in a well-written paragraph. Also, if you use the right photos, it can help you to connect with your target audience. The right photos can also help you to properly position your brand. If possible, you should take your own pictures for your site. Using your own pictures will help you portray what you are hoping to on your site. If you don’t have the time to take your own photos or if you don’t have the photography skills necessary to take great photos, you should consider purchasing stock photos. These photos are high-quality and they are relatively inexpensive. In most cases, you can find a stock photo to meet all of your needs.
Simple images are not going to be enough if you really want to reach your target audience. You should also include videos, graphics, and infographics. These are a great way to communicate with your audience effectively. There are many users who prefer to watch a video rather than read several paragraphs of content. If your site doesn’t have videos and other types of graphics, your visitors could end up logging off your site and moving on to your competitor’s.
Tip #6: Easy Navigation
One incredibly important aspect of a successful website is how easy it is to navigate through it. There are many people who use the internet who are not very tech savvy. If it is difficult for these people to move around the site and take action, they are going to go to one of your competitor’s sites that are easier to navigate. Studies have shown that web visitors who have trouble navigating a website will try for less than 7 seconds before logging off and moving to another easier to navigate website. The first rule to follow is the “three click rule.” This means that your visitors should not have to click more than three times to get to the page where they want to go. If they need to click more than three times, it can bring them to various pages before they get to the desired page which for some, can be confusing.
Creating a page menu that is clearly marked, “Menu” is another important tactic. If you have a pull-down menu that is marked with three horizontal lines, it can be confusing the less tech-savvy visitors. Finally, when designing clickable buttons, you should make sure that they are clearly defined. Marking the clickable buttons with, “click here” and using bright, vibrant colors will help even the least tech savvy person find the buttons that they need to click on.
Tip #7: Use a Grid-Based Layout
If you place your content randomly on the site with no plan or purpose, the site can look messy and cluttered. This is not appealing to the eye. This will cause visitors to log off and move onto another site. When organizing your website, you should use a grid-based arrangement. This type of arrangement will keep your content in boxes, columns, and sections, which will make the content feel more balanced and better looking. Also, the content will appear more readable and it will be easier to understand.
Tip #8: Use a Pattern That Goes Left To Right And Top To Bottom
The average person reads from left to right and from top to bottom. If you want your website to be effective, you cannot force the reader’s natural visual flow. It is best to go with the reader’s natural behavior. The content should be located on the left side of the screen. Also, since the typical person reads from top to bottom, the important points should be listed at the top. If you want your visitors to find your content readable, The left, right, up, top, bottom pattern will be more pleasing to the eye, keeping your visitor’s attention.
Tip #9: Keep Load Times Short
Nothing is more annoying to internet users than waiting and waiting for a website or web page to load. That little spinning circle at the top left of the screen can be infuriating. If your visitors are forced to watch that little spinning circle for too long, they will move on to another site with shorter load times. There are a few ways that you can cut back on your load times including:
- Choosing the optimal image sizes
The quicker your web pages load, the longer your visitors will remain on your site.
Tip #10: Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Back in the early days of the internet all the way until the early 2000’s, having a mobile-friendly website was not a concern. Back then, there were no Smartphones. There were some mobile devices that could access the internet, however, the cost to do this was astronomical. According to recent studies, Smartphones and tablets are taking over as the preferred way to browse the internet. There are a few reasons for this. First, more and more people are using drawing tablets. This means that users can easily add text and color to existing sites. Also, many people find reasons to search the web while they are out of the home or office.
For example, if you are out shopping and you need the ingredients for a recipe, you call pull it right up on your Smartphone or Tablet. If you are waiting in line somewhere and you get bored, you can fill the time surfing the web. Finally, if you are laying on the couch or in bed and you need to Google something, you can do it on your Smartphone or tablet without needing to get up. Recent studies have shown that the number of users who use a desktop or a laptop to surf the web has dropped to 48.7 percent over the last year. Since Smartphones and tablets have become king when it comes to surfing the next, your website needs to be mobile friendly.
Even if your website is easy to navigate on a desktop or a laptop, it won’t be enough now that more people are surfing on their mobile devices. Your best option is to build a dedicated mobile site. This will be completely different than your traditional website so that users can navigate it easily. If you don’t have the revenue to build a separate mobile site, you can build the site with a responsive layout. This would allow your website to adjust to screens with different widths. If your website is not mobile friendly, mobile users will move on to a competitor’s website that is more mobile friendly.
When it comes to your website, your main goal is for it to get as many visitors as possible. You also want users to stay on the site for as long as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to follow the tips listed above. You may have a certain vision for your website, however, if you don’t design your website based on readability and usability, you aren’t going to get the amount of traffic that you are hoping for.