Even if you are a first-time website owner, you still want your website to look professional. Visitors are more likely to put their trust in a site that looks like it was done by someone with a little website know-how than one that looks thrown together. If you have a WordPress site, hiring a WordPress developer will not only help you get your site to where you want it to be but will also allow you to focus on your own work.
There are some basic things you can focus on that will take your amateur website a professional website. Here are seven tips to get you started:
1. Correct Grammar
Website pros know content counts. Google ranks websites these days on how valuable the content is, how well it matches the keywords it is ranking for and even what the grammar is like on the page.
Think about it. If you were to go to a website to seek out a service or product, and you saw typos and misspelled words, how likely would you be to purchase something from that company? You would probably head to another site that did use correct grammar.
Either hire an editor to look over your content or invest in tools like Grammarly.
2. Color Coordination
Psychologists estimate the impression a color makes on people can impact whether or not that product or service is accepted.
But, choosing colors for your design takes more than just throwing together a few colors for emotional impact. Instead, it’s important to choose colors that mesh well together. You can achieve this with a color wheel, such as the one at Sessions College’s website called the Color Calculator.
3. Simple Navigation
Website navigation is extremely important to overall user experience. Site visitors are often in a hurry and want to find information easily and quickly. A well-designed site has simple navigation. There are many reasons why simple navigation is important, including:
- People like to find things fast.
- Simple navigation means it’s easier to find products to purchase.
- There is a decrease in bounce rates and an increase in length of time spent on the site.
Although the content might not be the first thing you think about when pondering your site design, it is as important as the overall design itself.
Readers need to know they can trust what you write. Take the time to research statistics. If you’re going to make a statement about a particular statistic or study, be sure you can back up the statement with actual research. Here’s an example:
Unreliable Claim: Some studies say that many Americans skip breakfast each morning.
Reliable Claim: According to this study by The Huffington Post, 31 million Americans skip breakfast each morning.
You should also link out to any studies you quote in your posts.
5. Card-Based Designs
You’ve probably noticed the new trend of card-based designs. This design keeps things looking clean and crisp. According to Inside Intercom, cards are popular for reasons such as:
- How easily they can be moved around
- Ease of navigation
- Similarity to sites such as Twitter, Pinterest and coupon sites.
A card-based design allows you to give your site visitors little bursts of information about different categories on your site and even to feature products, sales specials or items you want visitors to notice first.
The fonts you use can have an impact on your overall design. Typography encompasses more than just the type face, though. It also includes the colors you use, where you use them and even elements such as bold and italics.
Used judiciously, the addition of some text in a different color can draw the eye of your site visitor and even encourage him to take specific actions.
Some other elements of typography include:
- Space between text (you want some white space, so the reader can scan over the text)
- Length of lines across the page (again, you want some spacing between different elements, but not too much, to create a visually pleasing look)
7. Use Large Images
Many design experts suggest implementing larger images both in the overall design and as part of a landing page. If you look at some of the websites of the largest companies, you’ll see that this is a concept used over and over.
For example, Apple uses large images of their products, such as the iPhone or the iPad, to entice readers to click for additional information.
Even if you don’t have a background in design, you can implement a few of these elements to create a more professional-looking website. The main thing to keep in mind is the reaction visitors have when they land on your page. If your bounce rate is high, then it’s time to adjust some of your design elements and do additional A/B testing.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.