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Questions to ask yourself before choosing a final website design

Questions to ask yourself before choosing a final website design

Understanding the importance of your website design for your business and branding

You have made the decision to build a new website. First and foremost, congratulations! Building a website for your business is the first of many steps to take to engage with your target market and wider audience.

Your website essentially will be the window for your business to the online world and it should represent your businesses’ mission, values, identity, and branding. Quality website designers will consider all of these aspects before pitching a design to you to showcase your business online. But how do you know if your design is right? How do you know that it accurately represents your business and will captivate your target audience? All valid and important questions that need to be considered before saying yes to the design.

You have 10 seconds to capture your audience

You have 10 seconds to capture your audience

First impressions matter, as the saying goes, and your website design is no exception. The first impression that your website gives the audience will determine how these potential customers will interact with the design. Is the design eye catching? Does it grab the attention of the user quickly? Is there something that the user can interact with straight away?

All of these represent valid considerations to make when deciding on a final website design. The most popular website designs are visually appealing to the user; the elements on the page grab your attention and encourage users to interact and engage with the website. If your website design is boring and dull, this can detract from your business image, and you may lose potential customers. When deciding on a final website design, take special consideration to what the user sees when the page first loads and how this visually represents you, whether it be through photos, videos, icons, text, or animations. You have about 10 seconds to impress, make each second count!

Colours, fonts, and your branding identity

Whether you are an established business or just starting out, visual branding represents how customers identify and relate to your business. It can be a simple as having an identifiable logo, colours, shapes, or fonts. Take businesses like Coca-Cola or Apple. By simply looking at their visual branding, namingly the font of the logo for Coca-Cola and the graphic of the apple with the bite out of it for Apple, customers immediately know the company they are dealing with and the reputation that the company holds. This concept applies to all businesses. You need to make your business branding recognisable. Your branding and identity should be consistent across all areas of your business including in marketing materials, social media, personal stationary and of course, your website. Your website design needs to capture the audiences’ attention by showcasing your business branding. This connection allows your customers to build trust and rapport with you and develop a lasting business relationship.

Website template vs freelance designing

Website template vs freelance designing

When building a website and completing your research, you may be interested to know that there are two types of ways to build a website: via a template or through freelance design. Both options are valid and offer positives and negatives for your business. But the question remains: which option should I choose?

Using a website template

Website templates are very common and popular amongst website builders. They are essentially a baseline design structure for a website that is premade by another company that specialises in website design. There are thousands of website templates available online for you to browse. The basic structure of the website design and layout is already predetermined, but you are able to customise the design to suit your business colours and branding. You can add your logo, edit fonts and colours but the basic layout will remain true to the template. Templates offer a quick and easy way to get your website online fast and without the financial outlay of hiring a website or graphic designer to construct a wire frame layout from scratch for you. It is important to remember with website templates that while there is some customisation available, the basics will remain consistent. In your search, you may not find a suitable template that meets all your business branding requirements, or displays your information in an eye catching and informative way.

Website templates are also widely available, which means that another business may end have having a website that, at its core, is the same as yours. While unlikely, due to the sheer amount of website template available, this has the potential to negatively impact your business if interpreted by your customers as copying. Utilising a website template is a very important design consideration when making the decision about how your website should look and feel.

Freelance designing

Freelance designing for a website means that you engage the services of a certified website or graphic designer to construct your website design from scratch. While designers will draw inspiration from websites that you like features of as well as your closest competitors, the website design itself will be unique and customised to your individual business and the information that you have available to display. Freelance designing means that you are able to capture your business identity through the layout of your customised website. Your website essentially is one of a kind and no other business will have the same design and layout as you.

With time and experience in design, also comes additional financial outlay. Freelance designing from scratch takes much longer to complete and can be significantly higher in cost. This is because you are paying to have someone bring your business to life online, rather than just prefilling a template. With higher risk and outlay, there is the potential for higher reward. Custom designed websites truly capture your business in a way that a simple template may not.

Should I choose a website template or go freelance?

We are not saying that utilising a website template is a bad thing, nor should it be discontinued. In fact, website templates offer great benefits to those needing a budget or efficient website design solution. It definitely should be considered before building and deciding on a final website design.

If you have the budget to allow for a uniquely designed website, it can be highly beneficial for your business. It accurately represents your business and can be customised to suit your individual needs. Obviously, you need to weigh up whether the costs involved are going to deliver you results.

Functionality and the user experience

Functionality and the user experience

One of the most important questions to be raised when choosing a website design is – does my website design have all the functionality requirements needed to accurately run my business? Website design is as much about how it looks as it is about how it functions. There is no point deciding on a razzle dazzle website design if your business can’t actively utilise and function with the design. If the design doesn’t allow you to achieve all the functions that your business needs, then it isn’t the right design for you. For example, if you are an online retailer and you need to showcase your sale products front and centre on the homepage and your website design doesn’t have the functionality to do this, then it poses significant disadvantage to you and potentially could result in lost sales for your business. Have a think about how your business operates, what are the priorities for your business and how your website design potentially showcases and functions with these in mind.

Website designs also need to consider the user and how they interact with the website. Take some time to do some market research about the type of customers your business has and how they interact. Do they use a mobile phone, tablet or computer to browse online? Are they in depth browsers or looking for information quickly? Do you receive the majority of your enquiries by phone or email? When deciding on a website design, consider the user experience and how your website will be viewed and interacted with. If the majority of your customers browse using mobile phones, then it makes sense to target your website to a mobile based audience. Similarly, depending on how enquiries are made, make sure your design features the prominent method of communication first, followed by others. Having a positive user experience for your website means that customers are more likely to interact online and this leads to more enquiries and more won sales. Win-win for everyone.

Choosing a quality website designer for your next website project

Ultimately, your website needs to be unique to you, no matter which design road you take. But we recommend that you consult the support of an experienced and well known website designer to help you through the process of building your business online. Jezweb is a Newcastle based family owned and operated website design company that has been serving the community for over 20 years. With thousands of customised website designs under their belt, they have the knowledge and experience to ensure that your next website showcases your business the way it should. Get in touch with the friendly team on 1300 024 766 or make an enquiry online today.