Today the visual part of a website is very important in the online virtual market. The better your website is represented, the more you can gain on the web. In my opinion, the main rule to follow is to stick to simplicity and logic. Simple and easily navigable websites have way more advantages over those websites stuffed with numerous video files, images and animations. Of course, they do look attractive but that’s only one side of a story. You can’t know how painful it could be for your users to wait for ages till the site loads. People are very impatient by their nature and therefore, the solutions should be suitable for both parts.
Custom web design is a great solution. A web designer can create a project exactly for your business company that would represent it in the most respectful way and at the same time would be clear and easily navigable. With a professional approach the site will reach equilibrium and bring traffic continuously.
Remember that a website should positively impress your visitors, therefore the whole presentation of business website is very important for the conversion rate. It is the first few seconds that normally decide whether a user is going to stay on your site or move to the next one. But don’t go mental with the graphic files. The graphics usually increase the loading time and the first seconds are wasted in expectation. Every little delay is very annoying and you should understand it.
In the nearest future Google and other major search engines will rank a certain website on a basis of its loading time. For that reason it’s essential to consider at least some of the factors that could improve your site rankings.
- Go for descriptive images and those ones that are smaller in size;
- Gif images don’t take as long as other formats to load;
- Don’t use large-scale tables;
- Make sure that the site is compatible with major web browsers;
- By eliminating white space on the site it’s possible reduce the loading time;
- Flash animations normally slow down the website;
- Adjust the height and the width of the images.
Being a business owner you should be interested in finding the ways to save money and still make your business profitable. The online presence for business is equally important as the office’s appearance and thus, it should reflect a professional image. A professionally designed website is usually recognized as mandatory props of a credible and trustworthy company.
A lot of business owners don’t entirely understand the difference between having a custom web design and using a website template. For exactly this reason, I’m going to view both alternatives and the costs involved.
Custom web design
Many people believe that it’s too expensive to have a custom web design. But let’s view the advantages of hiring a professional web designer over using ready-made templates first so that you can make a decision on the assumption of the provided evidence. The benefits of custom web design are:
- it’s got a unique design; website appearance is thoroughly thought over just for your business. You won’t ever find the identical website on the Internet;
- If you hand out your project to a professional web designer, he will be able to produce a search friendly website. Successful website visibility depends on the background coding. And this is a job of an expert;
- The website is going to meet your specific business requirements. What you need to do is to pre-plan the strategy, make a list of the features you’d like to have on a website, prioritize them and give your web designer an idea what to place on the site;
- Potential. You might not afford to have a big corporate website right now, but if that’s a plan for the future, a professional web designer will take it into consideration and use the most suitable technologies whilst building your website.
People tend to misinterpret the benefits of using free website templates. Let’s view some of the points from a different angle. What website templates definitely good for are:
- giving ideas on colours, layouts and features. Templates can become a good source of inspiration. You can’t have them copied for you, but at least you can give your web designer an idea what you’d like to have;
- if the budget is an obstacle to get your business up on the Internet, a website template is going to be an ideal solution.;
- website construction doesn’t take long time.
However, there are certain downfalls of using website templates as well:
- there will be hundreds of people using the same template;
- the customization process of website template will be limited to certain options and features;
- the templates are not build to be well-visible in the search engines and therefore you will have to hire seo experts to optimize the site.
There are millions of websites on the Internet and therefore, it’s quite difficult to keep a track of the latest trends and upgrades. Each existing website has got its own diverse functions due to the entire functionality, graphics, features and the content of a website. These days custom web designs have made the sites so interactive that a whole set of features has become absolutely a necessity.
The right navigation menu
Every single website is a collection of numerous web pages and sections that should ideally be accessible by website users. A customer should be able to get the requested information in the span of three clicks. Therefore, the navigation menu should be created as accurately as it’s only possible and with thoughts about the end-users. User-friendly websites have more followers and hence, potential customers.
Contact us page
It’s important for every business to place the contact information on the site. People trust those companies who they can contact and have a direct conversation. With a custom web design, the contact us page can look as smooth as you want. All the important contact information should be effectively presented on a site.
A visible title
The title of the site determines its identity. The pages with the titles are better understood by the customers. Every page should have a different title describing its purpose; by doing so you will make it so much easier for your customers to identify the services offered on the pages.
The right Mark-Up
There are various layout styles that are used in a custom web design, like headings, bold characters, tables, separations through margins, etc. These markups should be used for certain purposes where they are actually required.
The idea of not having a custom web design or a chance that your website is going to have the same look as somebody else’s website can be very frustrating and become a financially challenging task. Everyone craves for uniqueness and for this reason, they need their representative attributes to reflect it. That’s certainly very important for the majority of business owners. However, the problem that lies here is the cost of a custom web design. The price can be really high and simply out of reach for many people. Add to that the cost for a logo design and brand creation, and the expenses incredibly jump up.
Of course I can’t say that the price is not justified. A custom web design is a meticulous work that requires long hours, patience and professionalism. A web designer has to think over every little detail of a website and make sure that all the elements such as icons, shapes, colors work perfectly well with the brand and the concept of business industry. Such work is worth a lot of money without a shade of a doubt. But budget of business owners is not the same. This is where templates can save you money, energy and time.
There are thousands of beautifully and professionally designed web templates available on the Internet for sensible money just waiting to be purchased. All of them can be customized to meet your business needs and demands. These web templates are designed for all possible categories and you will definitely be able to find amazingly looking and relevant web design to the topic of your business website. Templates are like canvases which could be used to reflect any business concept with the right set of tools and design elements.
Let me draw an example. You may have a smoothly running website that needs a freshening-up with user-friendliness. At the same time you’d like your website to have a fabulous look but you don’t have a lot of money to spend on the site. In this case a design theme would become the ideal solution. You may worry about having a website identical to someone else’s website, but there’s no need. If you decide to customize your template, you shouldn’t worry about being not unique. Two artists can’t possibly produce the same piece of art out of two canvases. Besides, the content on the canvas is going to be unique anyway.
Why is a cheap template not good enough for the business? Let’s take a closer look at this statement.
Well, it’s quite understandable why small business owners find an idea to have a simple website quite attractive. The obvious reason is the financial difficulties that many business owners face when they establish their businesses. Hence, to have at least somewhat of a web presence can be problematic for some business owners. For them, simple and cheap websites would be the best solution.
And here lies the problem. Let’s see. If that’s a true statement and everything you need is a basic web presence to showcase your small business online, then you can definitely purchase a cheaper alternative. However, if you’re interested in gaining a good reputation and, possibly, expanding the business in the future, you should take into consideration the following information.
The visual impact
A vast variety of the design decisions can have an incredible impact on the visitors and even determine whether they will find the site credible or not. People are very judgmental and very often their opinion is based just on a website appearance. For this reason, the importance of business visual presentation shouldn’t be dismissed. Take care of all the details, website layout, design elements, images, fonts, styles, consistency etc.
The thing is; a good quality website with unique identity tremendously increases your chances to attract and retain new visitors on the site. In addition, your business gains a fair name.
The advantages of professional approach
Even you’ve got a certain experience in website coding, you should be looking for professional help if:
1) Web design and its usability are the subjects which are not interesting for you to learn and master.
2) Web standards and cross-browser compatibility are absolutely vague terms for you.
3) You don’t have much spare time to design a website yourself.
4) SEO doesn’t make a lot of sense to you.
The right professional help
The web industry has reached a high level of competitiveness by now. Under such conditions to find a real professional can become quite a challenging task. I’d like to suggest certain tips which may help you to make the right choice.
Skill. Research the projects of a professional before you know for definite you want to work with him. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more information you find out right at the start, the less disappointments you will come across in the future.
Communication. On establishing good communication with a web designer the chances to get the desired project incredibly rise up. Remember, designers are not computers and every little amendment should be said and done on time.
Critical approach. Use all your skills to ask as many objective questions as it’s only possible. Be critical. It’s not that simple to find the right designer who would be able to aptly meet your needs. You wouldn’t want to hand your life to an unprofessional doctor. Why would you want to risk your business reputation?