The Principals of Good Web Design

Effective web design is not just about how pretty your site looks but by how easy it is to use.  Poorly designed websites will not do your business any favors, if your users can’t find the information they are looking for they are gone.  In today’s world you have less than 3 seconds to impress them or they will head over to a competitor.  Here are some of the principals of good web design.  It will not only make your site look good it will be easy to use, and engaging.

PURPOSE

Your website should be designed for your visitors, are they there to find a recipe, information, to be entertained or to buy something.  Your site and every page on it needs to have a purpose that is immediately evident.

COMMUNICATION

People have shorter attention spans than you probably realize, so get your message across clearly in easy to digest chunks.  Organize your information with short paragraphs broken up with lists and subheadings.  Cut the fluff out and make the site easy to understand at a glance.

NAVIGATION

Make it extremely easy for people to find what they are looking for and take action.  There is an unwritten “three click” rule, that means it shouldn’t take more than 3 clicks to find anything on your website.

FONTS

Stick to 2 maybe 3 fonts, san serif fonts are easier on the eyes and make the size big enough for everyone to be able to read clearly.  A website filled with fine print and a mixture of fonts is too hard to focus on.

COLORS

There is a whole science behind color choices that are meant to invoke certain feelings, using contrasting colors make the site look balanced.  Keep the really vibrant and eye catching colors for your calls to action and use them sparingly.  White space is your friend, it gives you a modern and uncluttered look.

MEDIA

Using images effectively can help you connect with your audience, if you don’t have your own high quality pictures and video to use there are plenty of places to purchase them.  Videos and infographics are far more effective at reaching your audience than a solid wall of text, no matter how well written it might be.

LOAD TIME

It is 2016 and there is no reason anyone should be looking at a spinning hourglass waiting for a page to load.  There are things that you can do to speed up your load time, optimize the images, fixing the code or using a content delivery network.  Slow load time is not only bad for the user but it can affect your rankings in Google.  Here is a video showing you how to improve your website speed.

MOBILE RESPONSIVE

At this point in time this should be a given.  If your website isn’t mobile friendly you need to address that now.  Not only has Google stated that they would penalize the sites that aren’t mobile friendly, there are now two separate indexes for mobile and desktop browsing.  Don’t ignore 60% of potential visitors over something as easy to fix as mobile design.

Creating websites that both look good and are fully functional isn’t that difficult as long as you keep the principals of good web design in mind.

 

Why Developers Choose WordPress

Since its launch more than a decade age WordPress has become the platform that web developers turn to when building client sites. While it may have started out as a blogging platform it is hands down the best content management system on the web. So it begs the question why do so many developers opt for the WordPress platform.

Why Developers Choose WordPress

1. Easy to use

It is a browser based platform so you can log into your site and make changes from anywhere, there are millions of plugins available to add function and features to your site. It is one of the simplest pieces of software to use with an easy to use interface and adding content takes no time at all.

2. Search Engines love it

The crawlers that search engines use to index sites find WordPress very easy to crawl. The backend code is clean and it allows for comprehensive search engine optimization. It has built in tags, descriptions and titles for everything to ensure targeted SEO.

3. Complete control of your site

You can update, alter, change your site as often as you want and as many times as you want. Once the developer builds the site for you, you can make the updates without having to rely on the developer.

4. No HTML and no FTP

WordPress is a self contained platform you can access from any browser, no more uploading files, no ftp software. You can create posts and pages easily without having to learn HTML.

5. Millions of themes to choose from

WordPress has a library of millions of themes to choose from, you can make any type of site you want with virtually any feature. It is an open source platform so developers are constantly coming up with new tools to use. The site is completely customizable and the sky really is the limit.

6. Improve functionality with plugins

Plugins allow you to do things like add Facebook feeds to your site, image galleries, calendars, subscription forms and a lot of them are free to use.

7. Scalability

WordPress is incredibly scalable, while you may not need tens of thousands of pages and posts built for your site, rest assured that WordPress can handle it, in fact it is so reliable that the Chicago Sun Times online edition is built using the WordPress platform. There are huge eCommerce sites with thousands of products that are built using WordPress, so rest assured that whatever your business needs are, WordPress can handle it.

These are just some of the reasons why developers choose WordPress, if you are having your site build by a developer and they aren’t using WordPress, you need to ask why.