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How To Design A Website – Forbes Advisor

by Lottar

While you can customize your website to fit your unique needs or suit your style, there are specific actions that anyone looking to design a website should take. Follow closely to find out how to design a website, from defining your website’s purpose to choosing a website design platform, designing the architecture, filling in the necessary content and launching your website .

1. Define the purpose of the website

To design a website that delivers expected results, you need to define what you want from it. Consider why you’re designing the website—who your audience is and what you’re targeting. Are you trying to get downloads, sales, bookings, appointments, engagements or even a bigger audience?
It is crucial that you know the purpose of the intended website crystal clear. Knowing this will help you adopt the right content strategy and guide you through choosing the right platform, theme and page architecture.

2. Choose your platform

Once you’ve figured out why you’re building a website, you can look into website builders. These do-it-yourself (DIY) tools will help you make a website yourself, even when you don’t know a line of code. And there are those designed for specific purposes, such as e-commerce, blogs and portfolios.

Website builders include customizable templates to add your texts and images, and many also take care of domain registration and hosting. But you will have to use the drag and drop interface to design each website page yourself. So choose one that suits the purpose of your website.

3. Collect your branding elements

Elements are details like colors, fonts and images that bring your website together. So, in designing your website, consider your brand’s identity.

Starting with the color scheme, work with a primary color and one or two complementary colors. Then choose a text style that matches your brand. For example, serif symbolizes formality and authority, sans serif, modernism and writing, creativity.

Also add images to grab the users attention, but make sure they are relevant and of high quality so that they can make the right impression on users.

4. Choose a template or theme

Next, choose a theme or template, which is the layout of your site—the way images, text, and buttons appear on your site. Themes are pre-designed layouts to help you design your site, even as a beginner.

Most platforms come with a range of templates divided into categories, and each category has built-in features relevant to a specific industry. So an example of choosing one that is most relevant to your site.

Note that if you choose to build your website with WordPress, you will need to get web hosting from a third-party hosting provider, such as Bluehost or Hostinger, and install WordPress. With it, you will be able to access your WordPress admin dashboard, install a theme, and import demo content for premium themes.

5. Map your site

To make the design easier, visualize the pages that will appear on your site and how they will link to each other. For example, knowing how many pages will be on your website, their content and the general layout means you’ll have a guide to work with when you start designing each part.

6. Design each site element

With your template or theme and sitemap, the next step is to start designing each site element, such as your menu (or site navigation), header and footer, search bar, and any additional elements you want. website to have. Using elements like the following will structure your website, making it easy to navigate.

  • Menu: This element displays the items that appear on your website. Make sure it’s accessible on every page and only displays a few items—you don’t want to crowd visitors’ screens.
  • Header and Footer: These elements improve user engagement. The header should include features like the navigation menu and your logo, which you want visitors to find quickly. A footer should offer more information, such as contact information and terms of service.
  • Search bar: Use a magnifying glass or a box, but place it in a prominent part of each page. The top left or top right corner is often best.

7. Customize your web pages

Your content depends on your site’s purpose, so you can tailor it to suit you. However, each website must have the following web pages.

  • Homepage: Every visitor lands here, so it’s a good place to summarize your website. Include your logo, business name, what readers should expect from you, and a navigation menu that makes it easy to navigate your site. Make sure this page is organized and eye-catching.
  • Product or service page: This page should tell visitors what you have to offer and allow them to make a purchase. For an e-commerce site, create a page for catalog display and another to show each item in detail.
  • About Page: This page should introduce you to visitors, tell your story, communicate your values ​​and highlight what makes you different from other brands.
  • Blog page: If you plan to use blogging as a content marketing strategy, you should create this page, which will display snippets of published blog posts. Users can then click on one that interests them.
  • Contact page: Let website visitors know how to reach you. This can be via phone calls, emails or social media platforms. You can also include your physical address, a live chat widget, and a contact form.

Other pages you can add:

  • Custom 404 Page: When visitors go to a page that doesn’t exist on your site, you should redirect them to a page that displays a “404 error”. You can further customize yours to include your logo, a link to your home page, or a light-hearted message—“Congratulations! You found our error page!”
  • Frequently Asked Questions Page: This page is dedicated to answering common questions that may be on the minds of visitors. This way, website visitors don’t have to reach out to you.
  • Credentials: Here is your opportunity to blow your trumpet. Include reviews from past clients that testify to how you’ve helped them. Also, showcase trusted brands that have given you awards or written about you.

8. Test and launch your website

Before your site goes live, test load time, content readability, switching and mobile response, contact form and any other element that can affect user experience. Have family members and colleagues give their feedback on your website’s design. If there are no problems, go ahead and publish your website.

Also, keep updating your website based on its performance, trends and current business operations.

9. Optimize your content

After designing and launching your website, plan to optimize your website for a smooth user experience. Here’s what you can do.

  • Mobile Responsiveness: Most website templates are now mobile responsive – reformatting your content to fit different screen sizes. However, to be on the safe side, consider activating a mobile app. You can test your website on browsers like Safari or even Google Chrome on iPhones and Android phones.
  • Internet connection: Internal links allow users and search engine tools to see you as an authority in your industry. They also keep people on your site, so use hyperlinks to direct users to other relevant web pages.
  • Media Optimization: Work on your media files to prevent low ranking, higher bounce rates, lower click-throughs and longer load times. Make sure that they are not too large and that you do not have too many photos or videos on each page. Also, feature only relevant images and videos.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO involves adjusting content such as images and texts to increase the number of people on your website. Examples of such optimization actions are adding alt texts to images and using readable URLs.

Best tools to design a website

To design and customize texts, shapes, colors and images needed to design the sections and pages of your website, you will need certain applications and tools. With these tools, you can make the best designs without starting from scratch.

  • Website Builders: You need a website builder, like Squarespace or Wix, with the features needed to design the website you love.
  • Design Tools: A design tool like Canva is good for graphic design and photo editing. Expert Marketplaces: Marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork host several expert website designers who can help you with design tasks.
  • Logo Makers: This tool is necessary if you have yet to design your business logo and want to do so along with your website design process. Examples are Logo Maker and Adobe Express logo maker.
  • Photo Apps: Use photo apps like Stockphoto.com and Unsplash to find visually appealing images to match your texts.

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