Tips for Creating an Affordable Website
In today’s digital world, websites are like the front of a store or the packaging on a product. Organized, attractive and unique websites draw customer attention. Websites that look outdated or are difficult to navigate detract from the brand’s image and discourage consumers from doing business with the company.
A good website is well-organized and easy to navigate, has interesting content and appealing images and clearly communicates the company’s brand. Most importantly, good websites engage visitors and encourage them to spend more time browsing the site, which hopefully leads to increased business.
Many companies undervalue the importance of their website or assume the time, effort and money spent on designing a custom website isn’t worth the return. But with more of today’s consumer interactions going online, it’s increasingly important for companies to pay attention to their online image.
With the right professional design team, companies can create custom, affordable websites that enhance their image and drive new business.
Designing Your Website
Starting a website design project can be both exciting and daunting. As you plan for and start your project, it’s important to carefully plan before starting the actual design and development process. Here are the general steps to follow for typical web design projects:
Set Your Goals
Start by thinking through your business goals and the goals of your website. What are you hoping to accomplish by building a new website or refreshing your existing website? Is it to gain more business? Maybe it’s to enhance your online presence or refresh your brand. Or maybe it’s to make your website more accessible and user-friendly.
No matter your end goal, having a clear vision in mind for your website will help shape your design project. Remember: the point is not to renovate for the sake of renovating — it’s to accomplish a defined business goal.
Next, think about your customer. Who are your customers and what are they looking for when they search for you online? Create a clear picture of what your customers want and need and think about how you can give them what they’re looking for.
You can also use this time to consider new customer bases you may want to appeal to.
Make a Plan
Once you have an idea of your goals and customer strategy, the next step is creating a “blueprint” or wireframe for your website. During the wireframing process, your design team will map out all the content you want to include on your website. This gives you a better idea of what the finished product will look like and provides you with an opportunity to make revisions before the actual site work begins.
The design team creates a design mockup of your site so you can see what your website will look like when fully produced. This step isn’t just for fun — it’s important to confirm that your ideas for the site’s design will work with production limitations. This step is where it’s especially valuable to have professional guidance.
Often, inexperienced designers will start by designing a website without first considering limitations, then have to compromise design factors in the later stages of the site’s development to meet requirements. Professional design agencies can help clients come up with website designs that are affordable, engaging and practical.
With a strategy and design in place, your design team will create your website. Effective websites will be responsive, intuitive and user-friendly. They should be easy for you to manage and update as needed.
Tips for Designing Great Websites
Great websites are easy for users to navigate, provide helpful information and enhance the company’s brand. Read on for some specific tips to consider when designing your website.
Make It Pretty
Customers shop with their eyes first. Studies show that users often leave web pages after 10 to 20 seconds. Consequently, the images you choose for your website are a critical point for engaging the user and drawing them in to spend more time on your site.
You can have the most engaging written content in the world, but if your images are unappealing or outdated, customers usually won’t stay on your website — meaning they’ll never see the wonderful information you so carefully put together.
Photos and images on your website should align with your brand’s colors and overall look and feel. Your images should represent your company and help communicate your brand’s message. Make sure your photos are good-quality and help support your brand’s message. If possible, avoid using stock photos, which can look stiff and unnatural.
Make It Engaging
The first 10 seconds of a user’s page visit are critical for the user’s decision to stay on the page or leave. Web readers are extremely skeptical and don’t invest lots of time on individual pages. If the user stays after 10 seconds, they’re more likely to spend additional time on the site.
So your job is to grab their attention up front and keep it. Think of a storefront window display. If the stuff in the window is interesting, passersby are likely to stop in and look around, increasing the likelihood they’ll make a purchase. The same goes for your website. If your website homepage is attractive and engaging, users are more likely to go beyond the homepage and look at other content on your site.
Consider changing elements of your landing page and homepage occasionally. Fresh content will keep users interested and encourage them to visit the site again.
Make It Neat
Your website must be set up to clearly communicate your message. Internet users don’t have the patience to play detective — they expect content to be easily understandable and digestible. If your site visitors have to spend more than five seconds trying to understand what your company does, they’ll move on to another site.
When designing your website, keep your layout and design simple and clutter-free. Don’t try to cram too much into a given space — this is a situation where less is more. Make sure images are sized correctly and don’t overlap. Give everything on the page room to breathe.
For written content, keep language simple and straightforward. Eliminate excess information and make sure it’s organized in a way that customers can easily find it. Short paragraphs, bullets and subheadings can help you organize written content and make it easier for users to scan and process text.
Remember that web readers aren’t reading content word for word — they’re usually scanning for the information they need.
Make It Responsive
In today’s digital world, tons of web searches begin on mobile devices. Your website should have responsive design, which means it automatically resizes and reconfigures itself based on the device it’s being displayed on.
Another option to responsive design is having a mobile version of your website, but responsive design provides the most streamlined user experience and is considered the best option for SEO purposes.
Regardless of what approach you choose — responsive design or a mobile version — it’s critical that you make your site compatible with mobile devices. More than half of today’s web searches begin on mobile devices. So, if customers can’t access your website on their mobile device, you could be losing half of your potential customer interaction and business.
Make It Straightforward
Your website must be easy for customers to navigate and search. Web visitors should be able to quickly find what they’re looking for on your site. If they can’t find the information they want right away, they’re likely to move on to another site that’s easier to navigate.
To make your website easy to navigate, consider including menus, sitemaps and Frequently Asked Questions. Menus and sitemaps should clearly describe what information can be found on each page. Remember: it’s not the job of the consumer to find information — it’s your job to make the information on your site easy to find and understand.
Designing a great website is one thing. Making site visits convert into sales or customer signups is another. Companies that take a structured approach to their conversion strategy are twice as likely to increase their sales.
Here are some qualities of websites that successfully increase and encourage business:
They Make a Good First Impression
First impressions are formed in seconds and have a big influence on a customer’s overall opinion of your website and company. You have to communicate your message right off the bat.
Take time to understand your unique value proposition. What makes your company special? Why should customers buy from you over other competitors in the market? Think through what you offer that customers will think is great and state it upfront, loud and clear. Visitors to your site should be able to look at your home or landing page and immediately understand the benefits of doing business with you.
Another big part of a customer’s first impression is your headline. Your headline should be clearly written and give customers an understanding of your value. For example, having your headline read, “Order now!” doesn’t give your customer any idea of your value. Having it read instead, “Free shipping on all orders, order now!” gives the customer a clear idea of the value they gain from shopping through your website.
They Keep Things Clear
Clarity is essential. Users are highly likely to give up on a site rather than try to discern meaning. Respect the user’s time. Make content easy to understand to keep users from leaving your site.
Calls-to-action should be short and to the point. Graphics should be meaningful and help guide the user. Headlines should immediately communicate the company’s value. Remember: users often leave sites after 10 seconds, so make that time count by giving them the most important information in a clear, digestible format.
Pay special attention to signup forms. Users often give up or leave a site if they see long forms with lots of fields to fill in. Once you’ve gotten the user to the point of signing up, the last thing you want them to do is give up during the signup process because your form is too much work to fill out.
Conversion experts agree that simpler forms tend to produce better conversion rates. So keep your forms limited to as few fields as possible and only ask for information that’s completely essential. Your customers will thank you!
They Get Customer Opinions
There’s no one formula for creating a website that turns clicks into sales. But companies focused on making their website resonate with visitors are willing to test different tactics to see what works. Don’t be afraid to test different ideas — when you find something that sticks, you’ll know.
Customer surveys and focus groups are a great way to gauge customer opinions and gather valuable feedback. With a better understanding of your customer’s values, preferences and pain points, you can design a site that better serves their needs and converts into more sales.
Keep an open, consistent dialogue with your customers. This will help you keep a pulse on their feelings towards your site and company and allow you to intervene early if things get off track.
Designing for Success
Good websites can make a world of difference in a company’s business performance. With a unique, informative and user-friendly website, you can boost customer engagement and encourage new business.
For businesses looking for custom website design, The NetMen Corp provides a one-stop shop for all your company’s web design needs. Offering affordable custom web design packages, The NetMen Corp works with clients in all sectors and industries to deliver beautiful and usable websites that capture customer attention and drive growth.
All of our site design packages are fixed price and include unlimited concepts, revisions and access to royalty-free images. Clients are matched with a creative team of three to five in-house designers to design their website and an account manager as a direct point of contact. Upon delivery of the final product, clients get full copyrights for the designs as well as copies of the full original and editable files.
When working with The NetMen Corp, your satisfaction is our highest priority. Our design team will work with you throughout the process to develop a completely original, high-quality site design that you’ll love. When the project starts, you’ll receive initial design concepts within three business days. We provide unlimited revisions, delivered within 24 hours, and will keep working until the final design is to your satisfaction.
If you’re not happy with our first initial concepts, we offer 100 percent of your money back. Additionally, with our project payment model, you pay for the site work throughout the design and development process so we can ensure you’re happy with the direction of the project and final product.
A custom website could mean so many new possibilities for your business. Get started at The NetMen Corp!