In this day and age, it is necessary for every freelancer to have a professional and elegant website. It is crucial to create your digital footprint so your potential customers know where to find you online.
A well-developed website is just what you need.
Thanks to the availability of various web-design platforms and resources, you don’t really need to spend a fortune on a fancy designer/developer.
Yes, you read that right!
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Keep reading on the importance of web design elements and how you can create a functional website with no coding knowledge at all.
Be clear on the goal of your site & your KPI’s
Before going ahead with the initial plans to launch a website, it is important to answer this question:
What is your website going to do for you?
- Will it be an online store?
- Will you collect email addresses?
- Will it be a place for potential clients to learn more about what you have to offer?
The goal and purpose of your site will depend on the type of business you run, how you interact with customers and what you want your customers to do on your site.
From there, you will be able to decide on what will be the most important pages and what kind of content you’ll need.
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Your measurement of success is known as KPIs or “Key Performance Indicators.” – an important pre-requisite before laying out plans for a project.
KPIs are simply a set of standards in place that measure business activity on your website. Your KPI will differ depending on your goal.
For example, if you are primarily a brick and mortar business, you will want to ensure your contact information is featured and you will want to track how many people contact you from the site.
So a KPI could be – ‘How many calls or emails you receive from the website’.
If you are a service-based online business, then you might have the goal of collecting leads through email addresses. So your KPI could be – ‘How many people sign up to receive email updates from you’.
Understanding what you want your website to do is a key piece to creating your perfect website.
Successful web-design elements
There are a few key elements that will create a successful website design.
The first is usability.
You want your site to have easy navigation and it must not overwhelm your visitors.
Have a menu or navigation bar on your homepage so your visitors know how to get about the site. Be sure to include the important pages on your navigation bar such as your contact page, about page or products and services page.
This is when you need to think back on step one and remember what the goals of your site are and create the content around those goals.
If you are thinking about design elements and you don’t have extensive graphic design or coding knowledge – the best advice is to just keep it simple and consistent.
Keep a consistent theme with your website so every page looks and feels similar to users. That might mean a similar layout and similar set of fonts and colors.
Just be sure that your users can read and find their way around the site. So if your background is white, don’t use a bright yellow for your font color.
If you want to use photos, videos or graphics, ensure they are good quality and yet load quickly on a website. You can loose visitors if your website’s response time is slow – probably because you uploaded large sized images all over.
The key takeaways on successful website design elements therefore are:
- Usability – Easy navigation
- Design – Simplicity and consistency are key
- Speed – Keep load times low
Why you don’t need coding knowledge
It is so easy to build a website without coding knowledge today.
By watching a few web design/development tutorials on YouTube and taking advantage of the many tools at your disposal, you can have a solid looking website up and running in no time.
Whether you go with a website builder such as Site Builder or Wix or decide to choose a content management system like WordPress or Joomla – your barrier to entry is now much less than it was 15, 10, or even 5 years ago.
If you have a clear goal, understand the key design elements, and use a tool/platform/content management system, you won’t really need to learn coding or employ anyone to code out a site for you.
Most of these tools have user-friendly interfaces with drag and drop features so you can have a crack at creating a website yourself.
Let me turn flip the question on you now. Have you used any site builders before? Or have you ever had a challenging time with a content management system like WordPress?
How was your experience in building up a site with this method compared to using a more hands-on coding method?
I am curious to know!
Further reading on web design and development
Read more here:
- How to convince your clients they need a responsive web site
- Which fonts convert best in web design & are you using them?
- If you’re “stuck” in print, here’s the easiest way to start getting web design clients
- How to win more web design clients with SEO & marketing services
- Confession: I’m a web designer. I outsourced my HTML. Here’s what I learned.
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