As technology advances, it enables us to achieve more and more tasks without even realizing how complex they are. Learning how to design a website by yourself is one of these.
Thanks to the evolution of website builders, you can design a website and craft an impressive online presence of your own. Using professional web design features, you can generate revenue, nurture a community of fans, and promote your brand online.
Also read –
- 12 Best Website Builder for Artists & Creatives
- 5 Best Website Builders for Photographers
- 10 Best Portfolio Websites Builders For Creatives
So, what is web design, and how do you get started? We’ve got the knowledge you need to put you on the right track. From choosing your website builder and domain name to understanding how to design each element of your site, this complete guide will walk you through how to create a website in 2022:
Why Is Web Design Important?
Web design is essential because it can set people’s first impression about a personal brand or business. Web-users decide whether to engage with a site in less than 0.05 seconds, mainly by evaluating its looks.
Moreover, web design also contributes around 75% to a visitor’s judgment regarding the credibility of a person or a business. Thus, if a website appears poorly made, people may consider it a scam.
On top of that, web design can significantly impact a customer’s buying journey.
Toptal reports that 88% of online shoppers won’t make repeat purchases if they have a poor user experience. Furthermore, mobile visitors are five times more likely to leave a website if it doesn’t look or function properly on their devices.
Web design also plays a significant role in brand recognition. Maintaining visual consistency across all marketing channels can make it easier for the target audience to identify your business’s identity.
Finally, website design matters for SEO. If visitors find your site difficult to navigate, search engines will likely perceive it the same way. As such, the bots may have a hard time crawling the content for indexing and ranking purposes, especially if you don’t have a sitemap.
How to design a website –
01. Set Your Goal
Whether you’re designing a website for yourself or a client, it is always necessary to first clearly define the website’s purpose and goals. Having your website’s purpose and goals fully fleshed out is how you’ll obtain an audience and eventually grow. This is the primary reason why websites exist. Companies and brands invest heavily into their social media, branding, content, and website to reach their target audience and build relationships.
At times, clients will come to you with their purpose, goals, objectives, branding, and content complete and ready to be implemented into a CMS (content management system). However, the occasional clients in need of your expertise will also come to coordinate a complete redesign of their current site, content, and branding. Whatever the circumstance, these clients present you with a blank canvas ready to pour your paint of knowledge and good taste to make a masterpiece.
Therefore, we found it necessary to kick off this guide addressing what precedes web design, the defining and planning stage. This is perhaps the most crucial stage in web design, and thus, it’d be an injustice if we didn’t explore it before getting to the core topic at hand.
But, you’re an aspiring web designer, not a UX, content, or brand strategist — so, where do you even begin?
Your purpose is simply your “why”.
There is no point in investing your time and money into a website if you don’t have a clear idea of the purpose of its existence.
Defining your why is determining your “problem, solution, and market,” but for a website. If you’re tasked to design an eCommerce site or an online store, you must first find the problems and solutions for that target audience you want to connect and grow with and implore why they should go to you?
That said, in answering this question, you’ll pull from methods used in both user experience and business strategy. We’re talking UX questionnaires, project plans, opportunity workshops, listening tours, and so on. These planning and discovery methods are a lot less complex than they sound and so it is worth the effort to see them out.
They will be valuable tools to draw from when you build your brand identity and later design your website. Additionally, they will provide you with the means to better understand the site’s intended purpose and goals.
Once you’ve defined your why (i.e. your website’s purpose), you’ll then need to address your site’s goals: what will this website set out to achieve?
This is where you’ll revisit your notes taken from the questionnaires, opportunity workshops, and listening tours. Read “between the lines” and examine the responses. Where in your messages are the problem, solution, and market? What is the value?
Your what will allow you to know your how.
It completes your why. It, too, paves the way for your how as it identifies your audience and the possible opportunities to provide value to them (via your purpose).
This is your what, or instead, your goal: find the opportunities within your target audience.
So this leaves us with our final question, how?
This is where you take your discoveries from your why and what and transform them into a website.
Yay! The design process can finally commence!
But first, you need to fine-tune your objectives.
Let’s drum up an example, your client has a small business selling pottery, and they’ve come to you to make an eCommerce website to generate more leads (why). After sitting down with them and their team, you all have redefined their purpose not only to sell pottery but create an online community for pottery enthusiasts (what).
You, being the top-notch designer you are, review your post-interview notes and discover another opportunity to connect with their audience by transforming their online pottery store idea into something more of an online brand. Better yet, an experience that will set them apart from their competition and create a loyal consumer base. This calls for something more than a website; this calls for content, branding, a colour scheme and palette, and more. This will generate leads solely from their online store and SEO (search engine optimization).
This is how you set out to achieve your why and what.
But this poses the next question, how will I create this next-level brand experience?
Where do you draw inspiration from while affirming to your client that your vision will increase leads, validate their investments, as well as your efforts?
The design begins with discovery and later comes into fruition through sound research.
Before designing a website, be crystal-clear about what you want to achieve. With so many types of websites out there, you should start by deciding which kind will help you meet your goals:
- An online store to sell your products
- A portfolio website to showcase your art
- A business website to manage and grow your business
- A resume website to grab the attention of potential employers
- A blog to share your knowledge with the world
- An event website for weddings, parties and company events
- A photography website to display and sell prints
- A fitness website to book new clients
- A restaurant website to help with online orders, delivery and payment
Once you decide which type you need, it’s time to start the exciting part – designing your site. As you set off on this journey, keep your overarching purpose in mind and think about how the design will help achieve your objectives.
As you move forward with designing a website, you’ll find that your choice of elements to include will vary depending on what you want to accomplish. For example, if you’re going to sell your photos online, try displaying your work in a portfolio format and including an online store where you can sell prints. Or, if you’re creating a website to land a job, a professional and straightforward resume website sans embellishment might suit your needs perfectly.
If you need help to envision a design that meets your goal, browse these outstanding website examples for inspiration.
02. Choose A website Builder and Build Your Website (or brand’s) Identity
Now that you’ve identified your goal, your next step is to choose the right website builder to accomplish it. A website builder (also known as a CMS) is a platform on which you can design, personalize and publish a website without any coding knowledge.
There are dozens of platforms available on the market. Not sure which one to use? Wix.com was ranked #1 out of the best website builders in the world, and for a good reason. Here are a few Wix advantages:
Diverse pricing models: Creating, publishing and hosting your website is free for as long as you wish. Premium packages are also available to upgrade your online presence with tailored features. They include everything you need to succeed online, from professional templates and web design features to a custom domain name.
Design customization: Whether you’re a seasoned website designer or are still learning how to design a website, you’ll find that Wix offers different creative routes for everyone.
One option is the Wix Editor, whose drag-and-drop technology gives you complete design freedom. Each element of your website’s design can be customized for the look you want, while plenty of tools and built-in features will heighten its professional presence.
Beginners might also enjoy using Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), the first artificial intelligence platform that creates websites for you. This is an excellent solution for designing a website quickly – after answering a few questions, you’ll get a complete website that you can customize afterwards.
At the same time, experienced creators can look into Velo by Wix, which lets you dive into your site’s engine to build sophisticated apps, APIs and databases. This way, you’re sure to have a one-of-kind result that suits your brand perfectly and looks like no other website in the world.
Professional solutions: Because your website is the hub of your online life, Wix puts all of the professional answers you need in one place. Tools like email marketing, invoices, bookings, social media accounts and more can be integrated into your website’s design for the best experience of managing your site and business. On top of this, you’ll also be able to optimize your site with Wix SEO to increase your chances of getting found on Google.
Unique design features: Wix’s design features are entirely customizable, which means you can design your website exactly the way you want. From a suite of imagery and backgrounds to innovative features like transparent videos and scrolling effects, you’ll have plenty of options to start with, and you can always upload files of your own.
Customer service: You’re not alone in your journey of learning how to design a website. If you need assistance, you’ll always have someone to talk to, thanks to Wix’s 24/7 support team and social media pages. If you want to read up on web design tips, find web design tutorials, and get inspiration, you’ll find plenty of helpful material available online, too. To grow your knowledge in web design, online marketing, SEO and more, – take a look at the Wix Blog (sincerely yours) and Help Center.
Brand identity, the final precursor to design. Whether or not you’ve decided to draft up a mood board, you have to build a brand identity.
This is where that patience mentioned above comes into play. Fleshing out your brand identity is what will distinguish your work from others, appeal to your market, make your site memorable, and generate those sweet leads for yourself or your client.
There will be times when clients already have their brand identity established and seek your services for implementation in a website builder. Yet, there will be a time when you’ll be sought out for more “complete” services. Therefore, it is a part of the title as a designer to know the essential elements of brand identity just as you would know design principles.
The colour wheel (or colour circle)
Colour perhaps has the most profound impact on a brand’s identity. It dictates the overall tone and mood for a brand towards the user immediately upon arrival to their site. We all know this — bright colours convey happiness, muted colours give seriousness, and a lack of colour makes the information focal rather than the brand.
A choice colour scheme can enhance a brand’s identity and consumer experience by a margin. There’s a psychology behind colour, so be keen to use colour to your advantage if given the opportunity by your client. Many colour tools can help you identify a suitable colour scheme to use.
Typeface and font make typography; they are not synonymous with one another. The font you use, whereas the typeface is what you see.
While the difference between these terms can be frivolous to most, it’s something to consider as a designer. For example, Times New Roman is a member of the font family Times.
When employed strategically, typography can be used as a creative device to communicate meaning. Not just in your words, but the typeface itself. Typography can shape and build a brand’s identity and recognition to a user. It can hold their attention and convey overall tones and moods, the same way colour can.
Some say typography has a more profound psychological impact than colour; some believe colour is the stronger contender. Whatever ends of the spectrum you fall under, typography is expressive and stimulates the human psyche.
The final visual element of a website’s brand identity is imagery. It can be a core design element for your brand identity and social media or blogging content.
You’ll use imagery to work alongside your colour scheme, typography, and copy. Imagery can also extend beyond photo usage; it encompasses various elements that come together on a web page. Icons, illustrations, and animations can make up for the imagery on a website. Sometimes these can be superb and subtle additions only to be stood out to the designer’s eye.
Imagery is an interesting element as it can also be a simple play with white space on a web page to create a better balance in layout or further highlight a CTA (call to action).
Be sure that the imagery you choose to employ is cohesive with how the website looks and feels for the viewer. Inappropriate imagery or stock photos that are so frank in their “stock-like-ness” could entirely discount a brand’s identity as a whole (why research is crucial to understanding a client’s desired brand identity).
Functionality can quickly go overlooked, but it can do wonders to enhance a site’s experience and distinguish it from competing brands.
For example, one of our favourite web designers, Niccolò Miranda, uses functionality to create hypnotic virtual experiences within a web page. Not only does this establish their signature style as a creative web designer, but it also cements their client’s brands in the subconscious minds of their target audience (and Niccolò brings these stellar experiences to life via Webflow).
Functionality is not necessary, but it can take a brand to new heights when incorporated effectively. However, not every brand needs customizations and stylizations within their website. Before creating your hyper-stylised functional mockups, know your client’s brand and target audience.
Like imagery, voice is an element that will be employed both on the website and on social media. It has a dual function as a content and design element. Most companies that will come to you will already have their copy pre-established, as copywriting is typically the job of an in-house or outsourced copywriter. Nevertheless, if you are tasked with creating copy, have it be aligned with the personality and style from the visual design elements.
Style & personality
Color, typography, imagery, functionality, and voice communicate the brand’s overall style and personality. Your job as a web designer is to bring these design elements together to illustrate the desired identity for your clients in the form of a website.
Each of the above-listed elements lends structure to one another, just as the discovery and research methods do and will. The exciting part is seeing these elements come together to establish a high-quality user experience for both brand and its users.
Ready to design a website? Here’s how to get started:
- Go to Wix.com from your desktop or mobile.
- Enter your email address, pick a password – and voilà! You now have your account, from which you can create as many websites as you wish.
- Explore the vast collection of website templates, pick the one that’s most relevant for your needs, and start customizing it with the tools and features of your choice. If you’d instead build your website from scratch, you can start with a blank canvas and take it from there.
03. Define Your Layout
Once you’re logged into your platform of choice, it’s time to conceptualize your website layout. If you want to start from scratch, you may want to map out your website’s design on paper before you begin to drag and drop. However, another option is to use a template, a pre-designed layout created by a professional designer.
For instance, Wix offers an extensive library of free website templates. You’ll find designs for every kind of website, whether you’re looking to create a business website, a blog or a personal website. Start browsing through the hundreds of options until you find a layout you love. Then, you can make it your own by fully customizing all its elements and removing, adding or changing details like text, images and colour.
You can pick between a multi-page template and a single-page one of these designs. If your website includes a hefty amount of content, you’ll probably opt for a multi-page site. However, you may want to go for a one-page website with less scope to display. This trendy option is popular for landing pages, event websites, and other short-form content sites.
Pro tip: There’s no better way to get your web design juices flowing than by seeking creative inspiration. An excellent way to start is to look at website examples that got it right. Grab a pen and paper, and jot down ideas you like as you browse through some of the best website designs. There are plenty of social media platforms dedicated to design inspiration, such as Pinterest and Dribbble, so make sure to check those out too.
04. Claim Your Domain Name
To put it in simple terms, your domain name is your address on the internet. It’s what your visitors will see in the bar of their browser, right after the “www.”
Registering your domain name is critical for online success. Internet users automatically perceive websites with a custom domain as more professional and trustworthy.
When chosen wisely, a domain name also helps search engines (like Google and Bing) understand what your website is about. This is important because it helps bring in more traffic to your website.
Now, how do you choose a domain name for your brand? To make it memorable, keep it:
- Short: The longer it is, the higher the chances of visitors misspelling it.
- Simple: Avoid symbols, special characters and numbers.
- Professional: Your domain name should incorporate your own or business name to avoid confusion.
- Evocative: Hint about what you do into your domain name by incorporating words related to your business.
You can find out if your dream domain name is available by using this domain registration tool. If it’s not, don’t panic. Try out different variations of your original choice by playing around with the word order or adding “the” at the start. If your top choice is still up for grabs, don’t hesitate to acquire your piece of virtual property.
Pro tip: Picking a domain name also means using the right domain extension. From .org to .com and .net, you can choose from 45 top-level domain extensions. It’s best practice to use one that suits your business type and geographic location.
05. Gather Your Content
Now that you’ve set the foundations for your design, it’s time to get practical and prepare the content that will be featured on your website. This includes your images, text, logo, videos, and more.
Use your material as much as possible to ensure you’re offering unique and branded content. If you’re not using original content, just make sure to acquire your resources legally. Wix comes with a wide selection of media features, including a library of over one million free photos from our partners at Unsplash, Vector illustrations, and interactive videos exclusive to Wix. There are also endless stock photo and image reservoirs you can check out.
While having plenty of material on your website is excellent, remember always to put quality over quantity. In an era of decreasing attention spans, the best way to catch your visitors’ attention is to showcase only your best content.
Finally, make sure your content is fully branded. Think of your website as an online persona – everything from the written content to the colours and fonts you use should reflect who you are or your brand identity.
Pro tip: New to the marketing game, or feel like you could sharpen up your brand language? This guide explains everything you need to know about building a solid brand identity, from creating a logo to defining your tone of voice.
06. Add The Right Pages
Every business is unique, and so is every website. Nevertheless, there are some traditional sections that your site visitors will expect to see. If you’re going for a multi-page website design, here are some must-have pages:
Homepage: You have one chance to make an excellent first impression, and your homepage is it. It should clarify who you are and what you do and serve as a starting point for visitors to navigate your site. Since it’s likely to be the first thing visitors will see, aim for a homepage design that’s clean, organized and eye-catching.
Make sure it contains the most crucial information: your logo, your business name, and a navigation menu inviting visitors to browse further. Once you’ve got these basics down, consider what sort of website background, imagery, written content, and calls-to-action you can add here to engage with visitors.
About Us page: Tell your story, and share your values, methods and any other information that defines your brand with an About Us page. Welcome new visitors by using the first person (“I” or “We”) since it adds a friendly touch of friendliness and warmth. Also, don’t forget to include a picture of yourself or your team members, since clients always like to see the face behind a business. These 21 Best About Us Pages will show how this page is done if you’re looking for inspiration.
Contact page: When visitors want to reach out, they should get hold of you quickly. That’s where a contact page comes in. Make sure to include your phone number, postal address, business email address and social media accounts. You can also consider adding a live chat widget that gives visitors the chance to reach out and get an immediate response or a contact form where they can write their message directly through your site.
Your product or service page: The product page (or service page, depending on your industry) is where your visitors discover what you have to offer, and if they’re convinced, take out their credit card and make a purchase.
When you design a website with a product or service page in mind, here are some key recommendations: Add high-quality product photography, write specific and engaging product or service descriptions, and be transparent about your conditions (such as shipping, return, or cancellation policies).
A blog: Creating a blog boosts your reputation as an expert, helps you foster a loyal community, and is an effective way to drive traffic to your website.
If you’re not a natural-born writer, don’t fret – you have much more to say than you think. You can write about your clients (success stories, case studies, interviews) or yourself (events you attend, new employees, and more). But the most valuable blog ideas will come from your expertise. Your readers will love to discover the tips, methods and hacks you use to solve the problems you meet and will appreciate the added value.
Testimonials: An honest testimonials page is a wonderfully practical addition to your website design. Studies show that 77% of satisfied customers will recommend your business or service to a friend after having a positive experience. If the purpose of your website is to bring in new customers, leverage the power of word-of-mouth and let your satisfied clients do the selling for you.
Splash page: A splash page acts as a preview to your site, greeting visitors before they reach your homepage. This is a great way to engage with visitors using high-quality visuals or text or promote a special offer or event.
FAQ page: An FAQ page is a dedicated page on your website that provides visitors with quick and straightforward answers to common questions in an organized and structured manner. It can save time by providing automated solutions and offering an excellent experience for users.
07. Design Your Website Elements
You’ve got your content ready, claimed your domain name and set up your website’s pages. It’s officially time to design the elements of your website.
In this section, we’ll talk about all the details that will bring your website together and how to arrange them to form one cohesive design. Ultimately, these decisions should be guided by your brand identity – the distinct appearance and voice you use to communicate your message to audiences. On top of this, keep usability in mind: your website should always facilitate easy navigation and strive to give visitors an engaging experience.
Here are some elements to work on when learning how to design a website:
Website architecture: Your pages need to be correctly connected to provide visitors with the best website navigation experience. Make sure visitors can easily find the pages they need by adding a navigation menu and implementing internal links. Ultimately, follow the “two-click rule:” Your visitors shouldn’t have to click more than once to access any page of your site, wherever they are.
Menu: This central design element will display the different items featured on your website, ensuring that visitors can easily find and navigate from one page to another. Website menus range from the standard horizontal header menu to the condensed hamburger menu. Whichever style you choose, it’s recommended to make it accessible on every page of your site and keep the number of items to a minimum to avoid cluttering the screen.
Colours: Color psychology proves that different hues impact human behaviour, making it an essential aspect of website design. When choosing your website colour scheme, a general rule is to limit yourself to three shades: one primary colour (60% of the mix), one secondary colour (30%), and one accent colour (10%). Of course, if you’ve already solidified brand colours for yourself or your business, these should be included.
When choosing the best fonts for your website, pick legible ones (both on desktop and mobile) and be consistent with your brand identity. While the world of typography is vast, opt for a maximum of three fonts to avoid visual chaos.
Header & footer: Your website’s header and footer are found at the very top and bottom of your website, respectively. Both of these elements can be used in your website’s design to enhance usability and engagement.
A website header is a great place to include features you want visitors to discover immediately, such as your logo or navigation menu.
While a website footer won’t be seen right away, it can still be used to help your visitors in several ways. For example, it’s an excellent place for you to add your contact information, social media buttons, or an email sign up form.
Motion: This refers to all of the non-static elements of your website, which can be very handy when you’re trying to catch the eye of visitors. Motion can come in many shapes, sizes and locations across your website design: implementing hover effects to encourage interaction, using VideoBox to add stunning products, or even uploading a full video background.
While animations will spruce up your site, use them in moderation. This guide explains all the dos and don’ts of adding energy to your website design.
Scroll effects: As the name suggests, scroll effects appear when the visitors scroll up or down your site. Their sophistication can draw attention, but most importantly, they help create a smooth transition between the different layers of a website page.
One such effect is parallax scrolling. This professional 3D effect can add a sense of depth to your page, resulting in a positive browsing experience. This, along with other scroll effects (such as reveal or zoom-in), can be achieved using the Wix Editor.
Favicon: A favicon is a small icon used to “represent” your website in a website browser. Take a second to look up at this tab in your browser, and you’ll see a tiny Wix logo in the left-hand corner – that’s a favicon.
Despite its small size, a favicon is an excellent tool for helping users locate your website in those moments when too many tabs are open. It will also contribute to your website’s branding by presenting your logo in a different location, and its sharp appearance adds a measure of professionalism to your website design.
Whitespace: This is the area of your website that doesn’t include anything. Frightened by all this space? Don’t be. Not only is the increasing use of white space trendy (minimalism, it’s here to stay), white spaces also give your visitors room to “breathe” between images or pieces of content, contributing to a much better user experience.
Pro tip: What would artists like Leonardo da Vinci say about designing a website? A lot, we imagine. The same rules that governed art and design for centuries are also applicable to the internet. Discover how the 7 fundamental design principles can be applied to websites from balance to symmetry.
08. Pick The Professional Tools You Need
The internet is becoming one of the most important marketplaces in the world. It’s estimated that in 2022, over 2.14 billion people worldwide will purchase goods and services online. For the creative and professionally minded alike, adding some of the following tools to your website can help facilitate efficient and secure transactions.
To further help you design your site, Wix encompasses several bespoke solutions to help businesses across all sizes and industries interact with clients. Incorporating these features will elevate your website so that it not only looks good but operates seamlessly:
Scheduling software: If you run a service business, your website receives online reservations and payments 24/7. Wix’s scheduling software does just that. It includes the most sophisticated options on the market, from letting clients book appointments online to the ability to manage your staff’s calendars.
Online-store: Want to sell your goods online and generate a continuous revenue stream? An online store is a way to go. From tracking your orders to using Wix Payments to get paid quickly, you’ll be able to manage everything from one dedicated place.
Social posts: Raise brand awareness and drive traffic to your site by creating eye-catching social media graphics and sharing your posts directly to Facebook and Instagram.
Music: Wix Music is a cutting-edge platform for musicians who want to expand their audience while maintaining total creative freedom. It enables you to sell your music directly on your website and keep 100% profits. Simultaneously, it distributes your tunes to over 120 digital stores.
Video Maker: Did you know videos can boost organic search traffic to your website by 157%? With the Wix Video Maker, you can enhance your website design with customized videos to engage your audience and improve traffic. These can be used to promote your products or services, share exciting updates, and more.
Owner app: The Wix Owner app conveniently allows you to run your site from anywhere, whether this means life chatting with visitors or designing your website on the go. You’ll even have a mobile space where your regular followers and clients can join.
Expert tip: The Wix App Market includes a large selection of apps to boost your website’s business potential. From chat to payment, pop-ups and advertising on Google, there’s a tool for every aspect of your business.
09. Make It Accessible To Everyone
These days, a truly excellent website design should be accessible to everyone. Web accessibility ensures that all people can comfortably experience and interact with your website regardless of their abilities. This includes people with vision impairment, temporary injuries, hearing loss and more. With over one billion people living with some form of disability, catering to everyone’s needs is crucial. It also shows that you and your business value inclusivity and diversity.
There are several ways to improve the user experience on your website for everyone. Make sure to build your website layout hierarchically, using clear headers to define the different levels of information. In addition, ensure that your site is fully operable with a keypad, write alt text for your images, use heading tags and more.
10. Optimize Your Website For Mobile
Smaller screens do not equal minor impact. With increased smartphone and tablet usage, you must ensure a seamless browsing experience across all devices by optimizing your mobile website design.
When creating a site with Wix, a mobile version of your site is automatically generated with the Mobile Editor. This means that you won’t have to worry about building a new structure from scratch. However, it’s still up to you to make sure you’re optimizing your content to fit this smaller piece of real estate.
Firstly, on your mobile website design, try to keep only the most essential elements on the page, removing whatever isn’t necessary. Secondly, optimize the space above the fold by placing the most vital bits of information there, such as your menu or name. This is what your visitors will see first, so keep it engaging and informative.
11. Strengthen Your SEO
After you design a website, nothing is more satisfying than watching the number of visitors grow. One way to increase traffic to your website is by improving your SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of optimizing your website’s content so that it ranks well in search results.
SEO requires time, patience, and persistence to get results, but you can start setting up your SEO as you design your website. Here are some SEO tips that you can apply to your content to improve your chances of ranking in the top results:
- Conduct keyword research: Keyword research will help you find the most relevant keywords for your site. Once you have them, pick one main keyword and a couple of secondary ones – but no more than that. Place your keywords in strategic locations across your site (SEO title and description, homepage, etc.), but don’t overdo it. Search engines penalize websites that “stuff” keywords unnaturally into their content.
- Include on-page SEO: This is about telling search engines what your pages include. Your website builder will ask you to fill in the meta-data on each page. This consists of the URL, the SEO title (the blue link you see on Google’s results page) and the description. Although visitors may not notice these elements, they’re essential for ranking.
- Add alt text: Alt text refers to the descriptions that you give to your pictures. These won’t be visible to your visitors, but they give Google a strong indication of what the media is about. Google may have a lot of knowledge, but it can’t “see” photos or GIFs (yet!). Alt text will help your visual content appear on Google results pages. Plus, writing SEO-friendly alt text for your images is also essential in improving your website’s accessibility.
- Boost internal linking: This will make ultimately it more accessible for Google’s bots to navigate through and recognize your website. Adding links throughout your website design will also encourage visitors to discover more pages.
Pro tip: You can regularly track the growth and performance of your site by utilizing Wix’s marketing integrations and connecting your website to tracking tools, like Google Analytics or Google search console.
12. Engage with visitors
These days, visitors expect to engage with you on your site and beyond. Connecting with your followers across multiple channels is a powerful way to build relationships with them – and will ultimately bring more eyes to your site. When you design a website, including some of the following features will keep your audience connected and informed.
Live chat: Adding a live chat widget to your site makes a big difference in your visitors’ ability to interact with you. Whether it’s to provide fast customer support or help undecided visitors make their way to the cart, this small window at the bottom of your users’ screen is an excellent addition.
Social media: Similar to your website, your social media channels are an essential aspect of your online presence. As you design your website, add links to your social accounts to build your social following and provide another outlet for visitors to connect with you. These should be located somewhere visible, such as under the menu, on your page’s right or left side, or in the footer.
Newsletter: Email marketing is a great way to maintain a connection with your audience. You can use email newsletters to update visitors about the latest sales on your online store, promote new blog articles, or celebrate your achievements with subscribers. Invite visitors to subscribe to your newsletter by placing a lightbox on your website.
Forms: One powerful way to build long-lasting relationships with your customers is to ask for their feedback. Creating an online layout for your website ensures visitors have a safe place to share their thoughts about your products, services, website or customer support.
13. Ask For Feedback
At this point, you may know how to design a website successfully, but there’s still room for growth. Being impartial is especially difficult when it comes to your creation, which is why creating a website involves asking for honest feedback from individuals you trust.
Be receptive to their critique, and remember that you may not always like what you hear. To ensure a flawless final result, ask a friend or colleague to check the following elements double:
- Is the text correct? Spelling mistakes can ruin the professional reputation that you’ve worked so hard to build.
- Are the pages easy to navigate? If it takes too long to find a strategic page of your site, it means that you may need to rethink your site architecture or improve the visibility of your menu.
- Is your web design optimized for mobile? Over 50% of internet users browse websites using a mobile device. You certainly don’t want to leave half of the world’s population frustrated.
- Are all the links working? Click on every link to make sure none returns a 404 page (this indicates that the page doesn’t exist anymore).
- Are the SEO elements filled out correctly? From alt text to title tags, there are some items to verify so you can rank higher and grow your search engine visibility.
14. Publish And Update
Having a website is a necessity in 2022. But having an up-to-date website is what makes the difference. A site that looks like it’s been lying dormant for too long is uninviting and unreliable. Make sure to be alert, stay in the know, and update your content as often as you can.
As you learn how to design a website that constantly grows and evolves, you’ll need to know how to update your site. There’s always room for improvement, and you want to make sure that you keep your website design fresh.
Stay savvy by keeping up with web design trends, and use that knowledge to update your site’s design over time. Don’t forget to keep your content up-to-date, too. Make sure it’s always relevant and proves to visitors that you’re on top of the latest developments in your industry.
How To Choose Your Website Platform
Now that you know what type of website you plan to create, your next step is to choose your website platform.
We’re covering four of the most popular website platforms, each for varying website objectives and design knowledge. If you know how to design a website using a bit of code and content blocks, some could be easier for you than others.
Easily the most popular website platform, 20% of self-hosted websites are powered by WordPress. This is because it’s so incredibly versatile and customizable.
You could look at five completely different websites with no design elements in standard, and each could still be a WordPress website.
But with great power comes great responsibility.
Yes, you can create a robust and unique website with WordPress. But it also requires you to get your hosting plan, purchase and upload your theme, and fully build your website from the ground up – unless you hire a WordPress developer.
Let’s start with the first thing you’ll have to take care of if you choose to create a WordPress website, and that’s your website hosting.
There are many different hosting options, like GoDaddy, Cloudways, DreamHost, Hostinger or Bluehost, each with their plans based on what you might need for your website.
To give you a sneak peek into the types of hosting plans you might choose from, here’s a look at BlueHost’s options.
For a blog or portfolio website, you might be able to get away with a shared hosting plan. Still, if you’re building a website for an online store or another area where people input their payment information, you’ll need a better, more secure option.
The next thing you need to know about WordPress websites is that you’ll have to purchase a different WordPress theme.
While, yes, WordPress does offer a few free and paid options, you’ll find a lot more variety if you check out an online market like ThemeForest. For example, you can create a robust and unique website with WordPress, built on a Biona sports nutrition theme basis.
There, you can browse through professionally designed themes that fit various website categories, like a blog, an eCommerce or marketplace website, a real estate site and more.
Once you find a theme, you can purchase it through ThemeForest and download the theme’s zip file to upload to your WordPress website.
Another thing that sets WordPress websites apart from the other platforms we’ll mention is adding plugins to customize your website further.
WordPress plugins allow you to connect analytics, create an online shop, quickly change your design, make it easy to share blog content, and more.
The ability to add and take advantage of the thousands of plugins often causes people to choose WordPress, but we have more options if you want something more essential.
Squarespace is an easy drag-and-drop website builder that helps users with little to no website design experience create a beautiful website that can work for their objectives. Plus, you don’t have to worry about external hosting.
With Squarespace, you’ll simply choose from one of their website template options based on the type of site you’re looking to create and then customize from there.
You can easily add, edit, and delete pages from your Squarespace dashboard. You can add a blog to your website, create secondary page navigation and more.
Squarespace also hooks up to specific website tools like Google Analytics and allows you to input necessary SEO information to rank in search results.
Pixpa is an all-in-one, no-code platform for creators and small businesses to create beautiful, professional websites complete with a built-in online store, blog, and client galleries. Pixpa’s versatile platform has everything you need to showcase your work, share ideas and sell your stuff online without any coding knowledge.
Building your website on Pixpa is super easy. Begin by signing up for a 15-day full-featured trial. Pick a template of your choice as the starting point. Pixpa offers a multitude of stunning, pixel-perfect, mobile-friendly templates. You can customize your site design using a simple & powerful visual style editor. Adding pages to your website is a breeze with Pixpa’s drag-and-drop page builder.
With a host of built-in tools such as SEO manager, Marketing Popups, Announcement Bar and much more, you don’t need any extra plugins to start growing your traffic and converting more leads.
Another drag-and-drop website builder that will host your website for you is Wix. Simply browse through their website templates to find one that suits you and start customizing.
Wix is very similar to Squarespace in its features and how you create and customize your website pages.
You can also access analytics and SEO or create an affiliate program with your Wix website, which is essential for anyone hoping to build and monetize a successful website.
The last website platform we’re going to cover is Shopify. While Shopify websites are much less customizable, they’re perfect for online shops that want to start selling their products with little to no hassle.
You’ll still choose a store theme to create a website look and feel that matches your branding, but your customization options are much more limited.
One reason why Shopify is very popular is its app marketplace. There are plenty of third-party apps for all kinds of e-commerce solutions like inventory management, shipping, marketing, customer support, etc.
Make sure you also install some of these security apps to protect your website from attacks and recover your store in case of any disruption.
Then once you choose a theme, activate it on your online Shopify store, add your products, input some copy, and most of the work has been done.
Looking to create a WordPress website without breaking your teeth with code? Elementor’s intuitive drag and drop editor enables users to develop comprehensive, stunning websites at scale.
Users can choose from thousands of pre-designed, fully responsive website templates or create their site using Elementor’s Hello theme. Lightweight and minimalistic, Hello is the theme of choice for web designers to create a complete website from scratch.
Elementor makes life a lot easier when building a WooCommerce website. By creating them with Elementor, online store owners can bypass a complicated, code-heavy website building process. The results are pixel perfect, custom-designed online stores guaranteed to satisfy your customers.
What Makes an Effective Website Design?
A website design is effective when it ensures the site achieves its purpose. For example, if you have a blog, the web design should make the content delivery and the reading experience more enjoyable.
However, every website requires different elements to make its design more effective. Here is the roundup of the features all websites should have:
- User-friendliness. All of the features and elements should be accessible and easy to use.
- Organized structure. The organization of the pages needs to be logical to ease the user in locating the correct information.
- Readability. The fonts, colours, and layout should make the content pleasant for scanning.
- Aesthetic consistency. All the web pages should employ the same design elements to maintain visual harmony, brand identity, and ease of use.
- Speed optimization. Every design feature must have a function that benefits the user and the website’s purpose. There cannot be any redundancies that can otherwise impact the loading time.
The Modern Way To Design And Build For The Web
I wasn’t being hyperbolic or facetious. Anyone can design a website. Be it static, dynamic, eCommerce, for businesses, agencies, portfolios, blogs, forums — whatever you or your client’s heart desires — anyone can design a website, and they can do so beautifully by using Webflow.
Web design should be an accessible and effective creative process. One without bounds, just as it is for graphic design or illustration, and with Webflow, it is.
Webflow is a designer’s playground; it’s your playground!
This platform is exciting because it encourages creativity by providing designers of all backgrounds, knowledge, and experience the tools to explore the ends of their imaginations and impress their clients in the process. It is the platform to establish yourself as a professional web designer, grow in your knowledge, scale your reach to clients and uncover a network of other aspiring and experienced designers.
Webflow makes web design fun again. Its limitless abilities foster the notion that anyone can build a website without compromising their artistry due to a dated, bland, or convoluted web builder.
What Tools Can You Use to Improve Your Website Design?
Now that you know how to design a website, let’s discuss some additional tools that can take the site to the next level:
- Icon or illustration packs. They’re great for making any website more visually appealing. DrawKit has several accessible selections for various industry categories. Many affordable artists are also available on design marketplaces, like Fiverr or Upwork.
- Stock photos. Make sure to pick only high-quality pictures to maintain credibility. Go for the images that feature human faces, as they can build trust when appropriately used. Unsplash is an excellent place to look for such ideas for free.
- Page builder plugin. This kind of tool is for WordPress users who want to incorporate the experience of using a drag-and-drop website builder on the CMS. A well-known example is Elementor.
- Logo maker. Consider this tool if you don’t have branding for your business yet and aren’t looking to hire a designer. It can generate a professional-looking logo in minutes.
- Canva. This freemium design software is excellent for making banners for websites and featured images for blog posts. It’s also great for last-minute photo editing and social media marketing content.
How To Design A Website – A Summary
While website design can seem like a daunting task, it is by no means impossible. You can create a beautiful site without hiring a professional web designer with the proper knowledge and tools.
To recap, here are the steps on how to design a website:
- Define the purpose of your website.
- Look for web design inspiration to visualize what the result looks like.
- Choose a website platform that suits your skill set, budget, and site’s purpose.
- Select a theme that aligns with the site’s purpose.
- Customize the colour scheme and font according to your branding.
- Set up the essential pages: the homepage, about page, contact page, blog page, and products or services page.
- Optimize the website’s navigation system, visual hierarchy, page speed, and accessibility.
- Make the web design mobile-friendly.
- Test your website using usability testing tools and launch it.
- Monitor your website and make tweaks as you go.
While all websites are different, a good site design usually focuses on user-friendliness, organized structure, readability, aesthetic consistency, and speed optimization. Be sure to keep these characteristics in mind when you design your website.