You’re not a web designer, you can’t afford a web designer, and you need a website for your business. Not just any website: it needs to look professional, function perfectly and be easy to maintain. In short, it needs to rock.
Is this something you can do yourself?
In short, yes.
I believe you can create your own website, and with a few tips, you can make it rock. Read on to find out how.
Make Good Design Decisions from Day One
First, pick a platform that will allow you to get under the hood of your site and change the way it looks.
Once you can get in and control how your site looks, you can use these web design tips to make it look great:
Choose a limited palette of colors, and use them consistently throughout your site.
I recommend starting with just two main colors. Read more about how to find your two main colors here.
If you’re using a white page, don’t include that in your color count. And if you’re using text that’s dark grey or black, don’t include that, either.
Once you’ve established your two main colors in your site header, your link colors, your headlines and other static areas of your site, select one accent color to complement your two main colors.
This accent color should be different from your other colors. It should be brighter, more intense, and from a different part of the color wheel than your two main colors.
Use this accent color sparingly to draw attention to important areas of your site like buttons, opt-in forms or ads.
Use custom fonts to give your site a unique style.
Ignoring the standard web fonts and making the extra effort to use custom fonts on your site is one of the fastest ways to make it stand out from the other sites on the web.
And custom fonts can be free: just check out the Google Font API to see all your options.
Of course, you need to understand how to choose a good font. If you’re not sure, learn about the types of fonts and how to combine them here.
Keep it Simple to Keep Them Engaged
The best website design tends to be simple. Why? Because if someone is searching for information or resources, they’re going to spend more time on a site that’s easy to navigate, simple to use, and a snap to understand.
Sites tend to get more cluttered over time, so commit to keeping yours simple and stick to it. This will mean making some difficult decisions about what you allow onto your home page, and which promotions are worthy of your sidebar.
Those tough decisions will be worth it if it means visitors spend more time on your site.
Add Content That Draws People to Your Site
Keeping your website updated with new pages or blog posts makes Google very, very happy.
Google likes sites that update often. It ranks them higher in its search engine, which means more people will find your site and recommend it to others.
Find an angle that’s uniquely yours. Share resources, information and tips that help your ideal customer meet her challenges. And keep adding good, solid, reliable information to your site.
Read this page on content marketing at Copyblogger for more information about how to make content marketing work on your website.
Make Your Web Page Content Easy to Read
With a little extra care and attention to formatting, you can make your pages look inviting.
Taking the time to break up your paragraphs so they’re no longer than three sentences will help. So will adding subheads throughout your page. These act as “signposts” to guide your reader through your information.
Adding bulleted lists makes your information easy to skim and understand.
And taking the time to add great images to go with your words will make the difference between a mediocre page and one that stands out.