The Web Design Best Practice Checklist

Have you recently been wasting a lot of time searching for a list of the best practices for web design? Your search is over, because you’ve found the right article with all the best tips for your web design success so that you can start creating results that work for you, your site and ultimately your business.

Building a website is important these days, and whether you’re a professional who’s made loads before or this is your first business site, it’s still important that you don’t lose track of some of the best practices. That’s what this checklist is for. It’ll help you understand exactly what to do when building a great web page, so you can avoid the mistakes many designers still make.

The design of your web page is super important, and can have a massive impact on both how your site looks but also how it feels. It doesn’t just need to look good, it needs to work well when your users visit it. It needs to give them the best user experience possible. That’s something many website designers forget about. They simply think about style over substance, rather than how a site is actually going to WORK for its visitors. The user experience is hugely important so that you can really get the sales or leads your site and business need to be a success.

So if you want to know how to create a website that generates more leads, this is the checklist for you. It all comes down to layout, design, and a number of other factors. Let’s have a look at them:

Keep your audience in mind at all times

Far too many web designers simply come up with something that looks good and hope for the best. Or they use tricks and gimmicks without thinking about their audience. This is a mistake. Your audience should always be the priority when designing web pages. What works for one sort of user will not work for everyone, so you need to keep them in mind at all times. Remember your target audience all the time when coming up with design ideas, because what works for one type of audience will not work for all of them.

That means you need to know how you’re designing a page for and what they’re looking for. Only then will you be able to come up with a site that works for them. Drilling down on the user experience and every step your visitors will take will in turn help you come up with a page layout and design that works just for them. Ultimately, one that drives more sales for your business.

Older users won’t be looking for the same sort of website as younger ones. In fact, some of the newer trends and techniques might confuse them if they’re not tech-savvy. You don’t want confused website visitors. They normally click away, losing you a sale. That’s why you need to think about what you’re users really want through every step of the design process. To do that, you need to think about who they really are. Getting your audience wrong can have a big impact on how successful your website is. That has a big impact on your business overall.

Keep images compressed

Images are important for your website, but you don’t want to go overboard. Too many images can slow your site down a lot. This is bad news. Especially for those browsing on mobile—which more and more people are these days.

So you need to make sure your images are compressed, preferably in JPEG format. Make sure they’re optimised for mobile so that you can maximise sales. You don’t want to ignore that part of the market these days.

Aside from making sure the images you use on your site are the right size, try and make them unique as well. A lot of different websites tend to use the same or similar free stock images, but users might have seen these before. Take your own if you can, or at least pay for slightly better ones.

Make the right content choices

Again, you need to think about who’s visiting your site rather than simply what you like. Your content should be working for you rather than against you. A good mix of video, text and other types of content is normally the right idea. But what mix comes down to what you’re really trying to achieve and who you’re buying for.

Make sure you optimise for different browsers as well as devices. Test alternatives and see what works best, Don’t ignore mobile users as these are  a big part of the market these days.

Use the right calls to action

Calls to Action, or CTAs, are hugely important. You need to spend a lot of time and effort coming up with the right offers and the right CTAs. Don’t bury or hide your CTAs, people should know exactly what you want them to do and everything should be pointing in the direction of your CTA. After all, that’s where you try and get people to spend money or sign up for something, so it’s the most important part of your site.

Even though CTAs should always feature prominently, make sure you don’t spam people with it or bombard them. Keep CTAs clear and above the fold, but don’t ram them down people’s throats. Try exit pop-ups with time-sensitive offers, but avoid entry pop-ups. They tend to be a no-no these days.

Keep consistent

Consistency is always important. Some web designers create pages that simply don’t blend in with each other. Make sure you have the same themes throughout that really work for your brand, so people don’t get confused.

Keep your buyers in mind

This goes back to our earlier point. But in case you’ve forgotten it, you should always be thinking about who you’re designing for throughout the process. Create buyer personas to help you with this. Ultimately, come up with a site that works for your visitors and the people who’ll be using it. That’s how you maximise leads and sales.

Author

Jamie FitzHenry is the founder of Grizzly, a Web Design Agency based in Bristol, the UK that specialises in helping businesses enhance their online presence.

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