The Necessary Elements of Web Design
If you’re trying to build a website, it can get really confusing really fast. A whole lot of time can be wasted on stuff that’s not important. So here’s a solid checklist of all necessary elements for a successful website.
The thing about having a consistent style throughout your site is that it only makes your work easier. If your brand has colors and fonts already (and they’re good), use them. Start with one page (I like to use the About page) and organize it in a way that looks good to you. Standard elements include a title, separator line, image, and body text. After you have the page the way you like it, replicate it on all your other pages.
As I stated earlier, I like starting off with the About page because it’s all about you! This should be the easiest page for you to create, so spend some time experimenting on this one to really figure out how you want the site to look. And make sure that any information about employees is succinct and to the point.
This is where you’re selling, so you need to show your visitors why they have to buy from you. Clearly list what you offer and why you’re different from everyone else. Pro tip: break up your services with testimonials to prevent the reader from just skimming.
A blog is a great way to keep users returning to your site and generating new traffic. With blog design, all you need is a main image for the blog post (how it will display depends on the platform you use) and a sidebar with your most popular posts, tags/categories, and an about box.
This page can vary greatly depending on the type of business and number of employees with public contact info. But at its most basic, you have a short paragraph inviting them to contact you and a contact form. That’s it!
You may have noticed I left the home page for last (almost). That’s because the home page should give a first-time user a taste of your site. The easiest way to design a homepage is to stack interesting snippets of these pages on top of each other. For example:
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Blog Posts
- Cornerstone Content (more on that below)
But you might be wondering by now, are the pages mentioned above the only ones we should have? How do I know if something is important enough to put it up on the title bar? This is what’s called “cornerstone page”, and here’s how to decide whether you should create one. Ask yourself what the people visiting your site care about most in relation to what you offer. Are you a coffee shop with a unique bean roasting process? Have a page highlighting it. You have two goals with cornerstone content. You want to keep them on your site for as long as possible, and you won't convince them they should buy from you because of the information you provide.
So, there we go. If you follow these steps, you’ll have a website that’s ready to convert visitors into customers.