Updated: Mar 23
In my many years of being a web designer, I've see allll kinds of websites. From awesome ones to ones that really, really suck. There's a certain amount of ignorance that goes behind bad websites. Maybe the person built it themselves and they don't really know any better - maybe they thought, "I know that I need a website, but anything will do, as long as I'm online, right?" Well, maybe their site was created back in 2000-whatever when that was pretty true. The web of the '90's was still relevant. People weren't as concerned about site aesthetics or UX (user experience) back then, so as long as you had a web presence and a URL, you were good to go.
If you didn't already know, that's no longer true. Yes, it is important to have a presence on the web, but your user experience, flow, and aesthetic are more important than ever these days - especially if you sell anything online (products, of course, but services, too). A poorly designed or clunky site comes across as unprofessional and outdated and it's an easy fix, so why would you not want a better site??? A well-designed website, whether you do it yourself or you hire a professional web designer, makes you look refined and polished (and professional), retains your visitors longer, and incentivizes them to take you seriously and buy whatever you're selling - or just stick around and follow you, if that's what you want them to do!
I'm about to drop some knowledge bombs, and I hope they help you with your web design needs 😄
Here's how to have an awesome homepage design:
Flow. Your homepage must have a nice flow, that's the only thing that's going to keep your visitors interested and scrolling. Here are some things you should consider about your homepage design flow: -Does your site have clear and functional navigation (whether it's on the header or somewhere else)? - Are your photos enticing? Is your design interesting to look at? - Do you have a lead-in and/or smooth transition from one section to the next? -Do you have a call to action? -Is your contact information easy to find?
Too many words. I see this mistake A LOT. People have a homepage that's got maybe one picture and one clickable element, but it has, like, 5 paragraphs of text - long, wordy, boring text. Having an abundance of information is good for people who want to know about you, but it doesn't belong on your homepage. The stats are something like: the average site visitor spends about 3 minutes on your site before they click away, and you only have about 15 seconds to hook them. So wasting that valuable time on nothing but words is going to drive a lot of your traffic away!
Small or generic photos. I get it, we don't all have high-quality, professional pictures of ourselves, or our services or whatnot. But please, whatever you do, do not throw away your pictures! Websites are a VISUAL medium, so the visuals you have on yours are vital! If you don't have professional photos (well, first of all, go get some - but that's a whole 'nother topic), there are plenty of free stock photo sites where you can download and use royalty-free images that will wow your visitors. My favorite is Unsplash, but there's also Pixabay, Dreamstime, and Pexels, just to name a few. And you must choose photos that relate to you, your product or service, or your brand, or it isn't serving you. If you like flowers, great, but you shouldn't just have a picture of flowers just because, especially if your service is something like life coaching. Your pictures should evoke something in your visitors that gets them to relate to you and what you offer. Please make sure your photos are at least 1000-dpi. Nothing looks more unprofessional than blurry, pixelated photos.
Navigation. Make sure that anything your visitors want from you is easy for them to find. Have some friends or family go through your site under different scenarios and make sure it's easy for them to, say, book an appointment. The last thing you want is for a potential customer to need something from you (like sending a message, requesting a quote, pricing information, etc.), get frustrated, and leave because they can't find it. Having the link in more than one place helps. Make it easy for them.
Well, those are my two cents, anyway! Hope it helps! Please feel free to comment or message me if you have any questions about homepage flow, or beautiful web design in general. I'm here to help!
Wondering how your homepage design stacks up? Book a free 30-minute gameplan call with me!