10 Most Important Web Design Tips to Remember

After the better part of a decade building websites with everything from ‘Yahoo! Geocities’ to ‘Dreamweaver’ and ‘Notepad’, there are a few key points that I’ve found to be true about every website you build no matter whom or what it is targeted to. Expert web design tips from an experienced web developer.

Ten most important things to remember when building any website

1. Websites are here to help you.

There should be 1 primary function that your website does or provides incredibly well. Everything else is ancillary and should support the primary objective.

2. Find the primary income source or primary message and make it ridiculously obvious

This is overlooked so often and it might be the most important point of all. You should be able to describe your website or business in one sentence. That single sentence should remain consistent across every platform you broadcast on, in addition to how you refer to your business to friends, colleagues, family and everyone you speak to.

This single sentence should clearly identify what you do the best. Whatever creates your primary income stream.  “It is [this type of company/website], it does [this] and [that] incredibly well.”

3. Simplify everything you say and focus only on the key points

Focus forces you to only say what matters. A concise and clear website will improve the user experience. Which will often be the best guide for decision making. Will this decision improve the user experience?   

4. User experience is paramount

If it doesn’t work for the person browsing the website, it works for nobody. Constantly browse your website as if you were a customer. See how it feels and how easy it is to navigate from one area to the next. Take notes and adjust accordingly.

5. Websites are built around content, not the other way around

Write the content before you build the website. Identify your primary goals and message and design around the content. A website that is designed first will change how you choose to send your message. You’ll write and create to fit areas your website already highlights, as opposed to focusing on the message, which matters the most.

6. It’s all in the details

Simple as this, every detail makes a difference and improves the experience. Your attention to detail will pay off, lack of it can be catastrophic. Something as simple as a misspelled word, misplaced punctuation or a dead link will quickly make a user assume that because you don’t care about detail on your website, you won’t in your business.

7. Photos are not an option

Every website needs them. Find a way to get them involved, it adds a third dimension and makes the experience friendlier.

8. Flexibility is Essential

Build a website that is easy to change, modify and edit so you can grow with it.  A flexible WordPress theme is my personal choice, it allows you to create and add powerful components on the fly. Don’t invest a bunch of time and money into something that costs a fortune to change or update. Updating is crucial to a website with longevity.

9. Quality Matters

Build a website that is worth visiting.  In order for a website to grow it needs quality, unique, original content consistently over time. Each bit of value you add to your website creates an opportunity for continuous dividends so long as you continue to do whatever you do, very well.

You can’t fake quality. Each day we get better and better at spotting the junk.

10. The Future

If you’re building a new website, always make sure that its components are durable and can last the test of time. Build a website for tomorrow, not today. Build great, lasting content. Label pages and sections clearly. Involve only the essentials at first, then grow into new or extended features once the business or traffic justifies it.

By Brett Napoli

Founder, Developer & CEO at Ambition Insight. Web consultant, WordPress expert, web developer, graphic designer, entrepreneur, music festival enthusiast.