Web design tends to feel like rocket science to the uninitiated. Getting the right combination of colors, fonts and other design elements can be a challenge for beginners. Even those who have dabbled in website building still tend to suffer from paralysis by analysis when trying to come up with that magical combination that will engage users and fulfill business goals and digital marketing objectives.
The question in everyone’s mind still remains: what makes for effective online web design? What is it about a website that attracts a market and gets users to stick around?
As a leading internet company Strikingly is all about empowering individuals to share their ideas with the world through unique and well-designed websites. Our free web design software is the platform of choice for over 3 million startups, small businesses, creatives and students from all over the world. Our web design templates simplify website creation for beginners to enable them to compete with bigger brands in their niche.
Equipped with a powerful set of tools and the best free web design software, you can now get to work on creating a website that will appeal to your target audience. Here is a quick an easy guide to online web design to help you get started.
1. Choose a website domain
With Strikingly, free accounts have the opportunity to choose a custom free website domain. Alternatively, you can also purchase a personalized domain and connect it to your Strikingly website. You can also register a domain directly through the platform so you don’t have to deal with two different providers for your website.
You want to choose a website name that describes exactly what your site is going to be about. If you’re creating an online portfolio or a personal blog, for instance, you might want to use your name as a website domain. For SEO purposes, some business owners add target keywords in their website domain so that the site gets a good search result ranking when their market
2. Plan the navigation
People should be able to get around your website easily. They should be able to determine where to find the information they need within the first few seconds of their stay on your site. Your main menu items should include the most important sections or pages on your site. At the very least, you need to have Home (the main landing page), About (content about you and your brand), Products/Services/Portfolio, and Contact. You can also add other sections including a Blog or an online store depending on your content needs.
Do note that navigation will also set the direction of your content and the kind of features your website will contain.
3. Design the overall layout and appearance
Once you have a clear view of what kind of content and features you want to see on your website, it’s time to start designing. Web users are visual creatures and so it’s a no-brainer that your website has to look good to attract visitors. Having said that, a good quality template will be a good starting point. Strikingly features a growing collection of free web design templates that you can explore and further customize depending on your content. Use the website editor to change the color scheme into one that’s more suited to your branding. Experiment with different font combinations and add other design elements such as a custom logo, website icons and other graphics and visuals to make your site stand out.
The color palette and typography that you will implement will shape the opinion of web visitors. Paying attention to industry trends as well as your target audience can help make this a painless task. Certain colors are considered appropriate for specific industries. For instance, lawyers and accountants generally use shades of deep green or blue because they stand for professionalism and reliability. If you’re in the creatives industry, you might be able to play around with brighter and bold colors. If your target market is composed of new parents, you might want to consider using softer tones of pinks, blues and yellows and brighter primary colors for older children.
The good thing about Strikingly is that it’s okay for you to change your mind about your choice of website template. If the design you picked is not working for you, you can switch to a different one even if you’re already midway through building your site or even after publishing. This is a great option to have especially when you do a website redesign later on as your brand grows and evolves.
4. Build the content
Web design does not just cover the navigation and visuals of your website. It also covers messaging and content. You need to build content that interacts well with your design. People want their information almost automatically and you want to be able to communicate your message clearly and concisely. Efficiency is important when writing content for the web. Wordy copy can get in the way of emphasizing your brand’s unique selling points.
Content does not only mean your homepage or blog section. Look at the other areas of your website and make sure these sections are conveying the right information in the right tone. You want to keep your tone consistent across all the sections of your website.
5. Publish your website
Lastly, make sure you test all links and plugins on your website before you hit the Publish button. Test your site on different browsers and different devices to ensure that the user experience remains consistent regardless of the platform or environment the visitor is using. Once your publish your website, you can get to work on marketing your content and tweaking your web design to keep up with audience opinion.