Turn it up to 11! Check out a more recent post for 11 new Web Design Tips.
Designing a website is like designing a home. If you don’t have a plan everything will be harder than it should be. If you mess up the foundation you will have to live with it for the life of your home.
The key to designing a home is knowing what the owners want. The same is true for designing a website. If you know what you want your website to do, and you stick to that plan through the design of your site, you can stay on track. If you forget your plan and design a site that tries to do something else, you will regret it.
Knowing the reason you are building a site is the key and if you are reading this blog your reason should be clear. You want your site to make money. As simple as that seems most web designers seem to forget that almost immediately as they begin the design and construction of a website. Too many entrepreneurs come to me and ask why their site isn’t making money despite the beautiful colors and rare fonts they used. Their websites are a work of art. Doesn’t that mean it’s a good website and a good website should be successful?
Your website has to have one goal. If that goal is to show everyone how creative you are then great! If that goal is to show everyone who said you could not build a website that they were wrong then fine. If you want to show off how clever you have become are writing code or how well you understand color theory or how cute your grandchildren are then by all means build yourself a website. But don’t expect it to make money.
If the purpose of your site is to make money then stay on track. Does that picture of the Tuscan countryside make you money? Maybe it does. Maybe for your clients and in your industry a pretty picture is what you need to make customers want to buy your product. But if you can’t look at every part of your website and ask the question “Does this make me money?” and answer honestly and answer in the affirmative then you have forgotten your website’s purpose and your website will not be successful.
If your website is an e-commerce website then here are a few pieces of advice to keep you on the path to success.
- That oh-so-perfect shade of blue you spent two months looking for does not make you any money. Most visitors want a decent website that works and is easy to use. Do you remember what color the carpet was a the last store you were in?
- That header you spent weeks working on in Photoshop might have pretty colors and a clever logo hidden into it but unless it has the information it should have it does not make you any money. A header is the only part of your website that is ALWAYS there and always the same. It is where most visitors are looking when they decide if your site is right for them. (I will be posting on headers and what they need to include soon)
- Unique elegant and creative fonts are not making you any money in fact they are probably costing you money. Unless every potential customer you seek has that font installed in his or her browser you may as well be speaking another language. Too many websites try to use a unique font to make themselves unique but when I view it through a smart phone or on a different browser you make yourself unique in that you are the broken website with nice pictures.
- Remember that each page has its own job to do. Figure out why you have a Home page and why you have an About Us page and make sure that every part of those pages stand up to the Does-this-make-me-money test.
Your website is there to make money. Remember that and don’t waste any more of your valuable time than you must getting your site to look good.Your time should be spent making sure your site works well and optimizing it around your keywords.
This isn’t cheerleading, a working site makes more money than a pretty site every time.