Did you know that there are currently more than 1.1 billion websites active on the internet?
Most people don’t put much thought into creating a website, but if you plan on using your website for business and marketing, you’ll need to put in a little bit of extra effort. This is because if you don’t make your website stand out from the competition, how can you expect anyone to discover your site in the first place, let alone pay for any of your products or services?
Website design is one of the most important factors you need to consider when creating a website for the first time. You might think that web design is superficial in website creation, but it actually is much more significant than you might expect. This is because the right web design can create the right first impression.
After all, if a potential customer doesn’t like the look of your site, they will likely click off right away without a second thought. So, where should you start when it comes to web design?
Below, we dive deep into what web design encompasses. So read on!
Web Design: A Primer
You’re likely asking yourself the question, “Why is web design important?” The first thing you need to know is that bad web design can hurt your brand’s reputation. How might this be, you might ask?
Think back to some websites you’ve seen before. You’ve undoubtedly stumbled across a website that hasn’t been updated since 2010. Immediately, you can see that the website is outdated, bland, and hard to navigate.
With such an old website layout and design, how can you trust that a website like that is reputable? The website owner obviously doesn’t care about the quality of the website’s appearance, so, by the same logic, the owner may not care about the products or services provided either. Even if the website offers excellent services, you wouldn’t know that, and you likely wouldn’t bother to find out because you’re instantly turned off from the brand by the way the website looks.
This can happen with more modern websites as well. You’d be surprised at how much the wrong color choice or wrong web format can make a website completely unappealing. This is because humans are very visually-driven creatures.
If we don’t see something we like, we start looking elsewhere as soon as possible. So, the first challenge of bringing customers to your website is making sure they get a good first impression; otherwise, you’ve lost them before you could get them in the first place. A mistake that many people make with web design is that they try to do it themselves.
This usually creates an amateur product that everyone can tell is very amateurish. Even though it will cost you, it’s always best to hire a professional web designer to design your website. Professionals have the tools and skills to produce a great website.
Why Is Web Design Important?
The importance of web design goes far beyond a customer’s first impression. For example, once you lure a customer in with good web design, your website still needs to be functional. Functionality is also a part of web design.
Many problems can arise when it comes to web design and functionality. Often, the issues come from sacrificing functionality for a website’s aesthetic design. For example, a client might want their website to be highly minimalistic.
The minimalistic design turns out to be very attractive to any customer who clicks on the website. However, the design is so minimalistic that it’s hard for the customer to find where they should click to learn more about the products or services offered on that website.
If it’s too hard for the customer to navigate the website, they will get frustrated and will most likely click away to find a simpler site. This is a mistake that you should avoid at all costs.
This problem can also happen if too much is going on with your website. If there are too many colors and options to click on, it can easily confuse your customers, which is not what you want at all. Besides navigation, good web design is also important because it ties in with search engine optimization or SEO.
SEO and web design go hand-in-hand, and both are very important to the success of your website. SEO allows search engines like Google to find your site and lets searchers see it, too. Unfortunately, some forms of web design do not allow SEO, which is a mistake.
Without SEO, it will be hard for anyone to find your services online, even when they specifically search for your website. Fortunately, web design professionals can avoid this for you.
What’s the Difference Between a Web Designer and a Developer?
Now, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the difference between web designer and developer?” While they may sound similar, they are not the same, and they are both responsible for very separate duties. For example, a web designer is responsible for the website’s appearance.
This goes beyond choosing a color scheme. A web designer needs to design the website’s layout and ensure that it is functional. A web designer is also responsible for ensuring that the website’s usability is well-designed.
As mentioned before, a website, even a beautifully designed website, is not going to be much of a success if your customer can’t use it. The role of a web designer can be pretty daunting since he will need to keep up to date with all the latest trends in web design. This is because making sure a website looks modern is very important for the first impression.
A web designer is also responsible for choosing the right fonts, colors, shapes, sizes, and layouts in general for websites. Often, a web designer will create a style guide to ensure that only a particular style is followed when creating a given website.
But what about web developers? How do they differ from web designers? The big difference between the two is that web developers have nothing to do with the website’s artistry but rather the website’s programming and core structure.
Without a web developer, the website would not exist in the first place. A web developer may build a server for the website to run on, and a developer is responsible for weeding out any bugs. A web developer may also conduct ongoing maintenance to ensure that new bugs do not appear in the website and disrupt its functionality.
What Are the Benefits of Professional Web Design?
Even though we have already explored some of the benefits of professional web design, we have still not fully answered the question, “What are the benefits of web design?” One of the benefits we have not yet seen is how good web design can build trust with your audience and potential customers. But how can this be, you might ask?
As we’ve seen before, if your website doesn’t look good, people tend to click away and find another website instead. This is not necessarily because your website is hard to look at (although this might be true in some cases). Instead, people tend to click away from poorly designed websites because even amateurs can tell that such a website is likely not very reputable.
If the website owner doesn’t care about his website’s appearance, how can he care about the quality of his products? Besides being attractive, a website needs to prove its trustworthiness to potential customers. This can be accomplished by finding a professional web designer who can make a website look modern and comfortable.
If potential customers feel comfortable when exploring and looking at your website, they will be far less likely to click away and more likely to take a look at your website’s products. The more professional your website looks, the better.
This doesn’t mean your website needs to be designed coldly and corporately. On the contrary, your website can still be very professional while boasting fun colors and casual language. As long as your website doesn’t appear too casual, sloppy, or amateurish, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Some sound advice is that your web design should match your niche. For example, a fun and colorful web design wouldn’t really fit an accounting firm.
What Are the Best CMSs for Designing a Website?
The next important question we need to explore is, “What are the best CMSs for designing a website?” The first thing you need to know is that CMS stands for “content management system.” A content management system is easy-to-use software that ensures even those with little technical knowledge can manage a website.
The purpose of a CMS is to allow you to modify your website’s content without needing to know extensive and complex computer coding. Because of this, content management systems are essential for anyone interested in creating or modifying a website in any way.
These systems make creating and designing websites very convenient. With a CMS, you won’t need to worry about building and coding your own system to support essential functions on your website, such as creating different pages. There are a lot of content management systems on the market.
They are all unique, and each has its benefits. Because there are plenty of options, if you don’t like one CMS, you can always try another and see if it fits your preferences better. For example, one of the most popular content management systems is WordPress.
WordPress is very diverse, and you can do almost anything with it. There’s an option to use WordPress for free, but you will need to pay a monthly fee to use all of its website options. However, the price isn’t bad compared to other content management systems.
Shopify is another very popular CMS. As with WordPress, there are near endless possibilities for creating and designing a website with Shopify. Other systems you can explore and try out include CMS Hub, Magnolia, and Contentstack.
How to Choose a Layout for Web Design
Next, we come to the critical subject of choosing a layout for web design. Selecting a suitable layout for your website is just as important as the other subjects we have covered so far. When it comes to choosing the layout for your website, you’ll need to think about what kind of website you want for your business and how you want the look of your website to represent that business.
You’ll also need to consult with your web designer to learn more about on-trend layout designs. Even if you really like a specific layout, it won’t do your website any good if it’s out of date. This does not mean that you should pick a layout that you don’t like just because it’s popular.
Fortunately, plenty of web layouts have a long lifespan, and likely won’t go out of fashion any time soon. You might want to stay away from specific website layouts that are too trendy since they’ll likely have a short lifespan, and you’ll have to get your website redesigned within a short period. Usually, the layout designs that last the longest are somewhat simplistic.
This is not to say that they’re boring, but they tend to be minimalistic enough to stay in style as trends come and go throughout the years. Of course, you can choose a trendy layout design if you want, but don’t expect it to stay in style for a long time.
Remember, one of the most important things you need to consider beyond a layout’s aesthetics is its functionality. No matter how attractive your site’s layout is, if your customers can’t use it, they won’t like it.
How to Choose a Color Pallet for Web Design
Unsurprisingly, choosing a color pallet for web design is one of the most visual parts of designing a website. Colors can stimulate the brain in different ways, and because of that, you should avoid overusing colors and underusing colors. Your web designer will be able to help you decide which color palate might best suit your website.
For example, a monochrome pallet could work well if you want your website to be sleek and modern. However, too many drab shades could make your website look dull if it’s not done correctly. You also don’t want to have a lot of dark colors if you’re trying to market something more upbeat, like party decorations.
On the other hand, dark and monochrome shades may work better for more serious websites such as law firms. But what about very colorful websites? There are very well-designed websites that are very colorful, but you have to be careful to make sure that your website is not overly colorful.
For example, if your website has a lot of clashing and bright colors like lime green and bright orange, it can be pretty hard to look at. Instead, if you want a colorful website, try for more toned-down versions of colors rather than neon. This will make your website much easier to look at, and it can still be colorful.
Usually, you don’t want to have more than three different colors on your website. Three colors are ideal because it provides just enough color to catch your customers’ attention. It’s not too overwhelming, but it’s not too dull either.
Consult with your web designer to find the best tones for your website. With the right colors, your website is sure to leave a remarkable impression.
What Does a Web Designer Do?
While we have explored a bit of what a web designer does, we have yet to thoroughly consider the question, “What does a web designer do?” We have seen how you can consult with web designers to find suitable website layouts, color pallets, and designs in general, but web designers are capable of much more than that.
Web designers play a big part in putting videos, pictures, graphics, and more into your website. Without professional web design, these graphics and videos could easily have a pretty lousy look to them, especially if they’re not formatted or colored correctly. Web designers can also help you develop some creative ideas for your website.
This is especially helpful if you’re not entirely sure what you want your website to look like. If your website isn’t eye-catching and engaging for your potential customers, no one will want to explore your website. For example, web designers can suggest layout choices, creative graphics, or page structures that get you the clicks you need.
Remember that web designers are not responsible for your website’s coding since this is a job for a web developer. However, they can still test various parts of your website regarding its physical appearance, so when your customers see the website for the first time, everything should work as it’s supposed to. Web designers can make sure your website is accessible from computers, mobile phones, and tablets, which is crucial if you care about reaching a large audience.
A web designer may also improve your site’s speed. Site speed is essential. After all, most people won’t wait for a site to load when many other faster sites are around. After website quality, you’ll need to take your finances into account.
How Much Does Professional Web Design Cost?
After all that we’ve explored so far, a significant question remains: How much does web design cost? Of course, as with any service, the more you pay, the more you get (or at least, it usually goes that way). Also, the more you pay, the higher the quality product you receive.
You’ll need to keep this in mind and be sure to balance the cost of web design with the quality of your website. Of course, if you want a straightforward website with a limited layout and few graphics, you probably won’t need to pay very much for web design services. However, if you want an incredibly complex website full of videos, graphics, transitions, and more, you’ll need to have a much bigger budget.
You’ll also need to consider if you need someone to build your website from the ground up or if you already have a foundation to work with. If you need someone to create your website’s structure, this will cost a lot more than web design alone. This shouldn’t be a problem if you already use a content management system.
More often than not, web design can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The bigger your website will be, the more you should expect to pay. You might find these numbers startling and wonder why you shouldn’t design your website on your own.
You could design your website, and it would save you money, but the result will never be as good as a professional’s—no matter how dedicated you are. This is because the professionals have more skill, but they have the right tools and software to create a great website design. They can take some stress off of your shoulders too.
How Long Does It Take To Build a New Website?
Now that we have the concept of cost out of the way, we’ll next need to consider the question, “How long does it take to build a new website?” If you need to have your website built from scratch, the process might take some time, and it’s important not to rush. This is especially true if you need an extensive website.
On the other hand, if your website is going to be small and straightforward, the process shouldn’t take as long. The amount of time it takes will also depend on the experience of the web designer or developer that you used. Obviously, the more experienced person you choose, the better the result.
Another thing that will determine the length of time is the website’s functionality. These days, most successful websites have pretty advanced functionality and can include plenty of graphics and unique quirks in website layout and engagement. You can opt for a simpler website if you need a website fast, but you’ll be sacrificing a lot of liveliness and user engagement.
When you hire a professional web designer or developer, the process to create a website should usually not take any longer than four months. Sometimes, a designer or developer can create a website in as little as two months. You can, of course, try to create your website on your own with specific tools online.
However, more likely than not, creating a website yourself might take as long as a professional, if not longer. It’s like to take you even longer if you don’t know much about website creation. More than that, the result is likely not to be as high quality as it might be when you hire a professional instead, so keep that in mind.
How to Choose a Web Design Agency
By now, you should see the benefits of hiring a professional web designer. However, how to choose a web design agency can be pretty tricky if you don’t know what to look for. Of course, you don’t want to blindly choose an agency that you’ve never heard of before. Selecting an agency at random to design your website is one of the worst things you can do.
When doing this, you could quickly end up paying a lot of money for a website that you don’t even like. If you’re really unlucky, you could even be scammed out of your money. So, what should you look for when choosing the right web design agency for you?
The first thing you need to do is search online for reviews of different web design companies. By weeding through good and bad reviews of companies, you can see what makes those companies good or bad choices for your future website. For example, if a company has a lot of bad reviews and a lot of unhappy customers, you should know not to choose that company for your website.
On the other hand, if you find a company with plenty of shining reviews and delighted customers, there’s a good chance that the company is doing something right. The more reviews a company has, the better because you’ll be able to judge better the work it puts out. Also, more reviews often mean that the company has been around longer and has more experience.
Beyond the reviews, you should browse the agency’s website too. You’ll be able to gauge the website’s design, services, and what the agency has to offer. As you weigh all of these factors, you’ll be able to choose the right agency for you and your future website.
More on Choosing a Web Design Agency
What people tend to forget about when choosing a web design agency is that they have to keep their budget in mind. We have discussed the cost of web design services before, but you won’t know how much exactly a certain agency might charge unless you find out for yourself. Sometimes, you can find prices on the company’s site.
However, more often than, not you won’t be able to find a price for the services offered. What you can do instead is try calling or emailing the agency and they might give you a quote.
You should also keep in mind the style that the agency might specialize in. Some web design agencies do great at designing minimalistic websites but are not too skilled at more detailed and complex websites. Most agencies are pretty well-rounded and won’t have any trouble accommodating the style you want, but you should keep this in mind.
When Is the Best Time to Hire a Web Design Agency?
If you’ve made it this far into the article already, you undoubtedly require web design services, but when should you take the plunge and hire an agency? First, you’ll need to consider the state of your business and how much you think it will benefit from having a great website. If your business is already doing fine without a website, you might not be in any rush to get a new website.
On the other hand, if your business isn’t doing well, it might be time to prioritize an attractive, functional website. You’re limited to a physical store without a website to market your business with. Because of this, you can only get so far in selling your brand.
When you have a website, you have the opportunity to have millions of people find your business through your website. If you don’t have a physical store, opening a website is the only choice to promote your business. More than that, no matter the state of your business, having a website is always a good idea.
When wondering when to hire a web design agency, you should also consider how long it might take you to find the right agency. This process can take much longer than you might expect, depending on how you want your website to look and function. Because of this, it’s better to start looking to hire a web design agency sooner than later, especially if you think your business needs a great website right away.
This is important to consider because, as mentioned before, the creation and design of the website itself can take several months before it’s up and ready for customers to see.
Everything You Need to Know When Hiring a Website Design Agency
By the end of this article, you should know everything about website design for your business. From understanding the difference between website designers and developers to learning how to choose the right color pallet for your website, there are many things you need to consider when it comes to your website’s design.
If you’re interested in hiring a web design company, don’t hesitate to contact us here.