Are you considering a company website? If you found yourself in this article because you don’t know where to start, then, you’re on the right track. Setting up a website is overwhelming, especially if you’re not tech-savvy or a coding guru.
The next mountain you have to climb is web design. It serves as your brand’s online window to attract potential customers. Also, it’s a main problem you should focus on. One might think that proper investment for web design for a first website is not really needed.
However, first impressions are everything, especially in our fast-paced generation. Remember, it only takes .05 seconds to create an excellent first impression, according to a Taylor and Francis Online study. That’s faster than a snap!
Furthermore, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with poor web design. In short, increasing engagement always comes down to one common denominator—good website design. Now, no need to get overwhelmed. Let’s approach this step by step. Here are important small business website design tips for you to consider.
Before You Start Creating Your First Website
Before proceeding to the actual small business website design tips. Here are essential things to consider to help you with the design building process.
Set a ‘Clear’ Goal
First, we have to consider your purpose. Each small business website has a different target to achieve. You need to establish your goals before even attempting to create a website. We don’t want to waste time, effort, and budget while aimlessly wandering. If you plan for a “general” approach, then prepare to lose your site to the endless depths of the internet. Let’s consider the following:
- Does your site aim to increase brand awareness?
- Do you want your site to serve as a portal for buying products?
- Perhaps, you want to have a broader set of audiences?
- Will it serve as a portfolio of your works?
Look Up Inspirations
Another thing to consider is to look up inspirations for your website design. It’s also best to check out your competition to see how you’ll outshine them. In addition, you might want to consider creating a dedicated folder to compile your inspirations. If you have already polished your branding assets, then searching for inspiration will be a breeze. Here are a few things to consider:
- How do you want your clients to “feel” from your website? For example, this website designed by Penji triggers the customer’s hunger by surrounding its products with red. Take note that red increases the appetite.
- What kind of visual image do you want to portray? For example, these websites designed by Penji sport a cartoonish look versus another design that aims for a futuristic image.
Small Business Website Design Tips 101
Now, let’s dive into the small business website design tips. Here’s a guide for your first website:
Choose the Right Hosting Platform
The good news, with this generation’s advanced technology, you don’t have to be a tech genius to build your website. However, you still need to search for the right platform for your brand. Here is a checklist of a good platform.
- Good Tech Support
- Comes with a Good E-Commerce Platform
- Smooth User Interface
- Convenient Integration
- Mobile Friendly
Obtain On-Point Domain Name
Designing a good website extends to its domain name. What’s the use of an aesthetically and visually pleasing website if your domain name is not appropriate.
- It’s best to own your domain name.
- Keep it short but memorable.
- Choose an appropriate domain extension. Try to make it a .com, unless other extensions are suitable for your business, such as .org, .edu, etc.
- Don’t add numbers or hyphens.
- It’s important to ensure that your domain name does not limit future growth. For example, don’t put the term “shoes” on your domain name if you plan to expand your business later.
- Choose a unique yet SEO (search engine optimization) friendly name.
This is where your branding assets come in handy. Your site needs to reflect your brand, but first, you need to have the following:
- Branding Color Scheme
- Assigned Typeface or Typography
- Custom Icons
Furthermore, having existing branding assets will let you take further advantage of premade website templates. Just place your branding assets onto a premade layout.
Aim For A Smooth Visual Flow
According to HubSpot, 38% of people will stop engaging with a site if it has an unappealing design. Make sure your website conforms to the following:
- Promote a clutter-free design.
- Minimalist is key. Don’t have the urge to fill in every blank space on your website.
- Embrace blank spaces.
- Branding consistency is a must.
- Use an excellent typeface for your brand but still ensure readability.
- Add some spice using custom images. Using stock photos might seem generic and bland. Rise above the competition and hire someone to custom make your infographics, icons, and cover images.
- Adding video elements is a plus. In relation, studies show that videos generate 55% of internet traffic.
- Make sure it’s easy to navigate your site. It’s best to ensure its accessibility and inclusivity.
- Assign page hierarchy. For example, including a home page, about us page, and contact page. You also might want to consider dedicating a page for product offers closely followed by subpages.
Another good small business website design tip— add a depth of flavor. It’s excellent to deliver good quality design. However, we also need to think of a way to connect to customers on a personal level. A study from HavasGroup reveals that 77% of consumers buy from brands they relate to or share the same values. Here’s what we can do to achieve that:
- It’s best to show a “face” for the brand. Remember that consumers won’t relate to a faceless brand.
- State the purpose of your business clearly. It’s essential to add a mission and vision page.
- Emphasize how and what your brand can do for your customers.
- Remember to set up accessible contact information.
- Don’t forget to include your customer’s feedback.
Create Quality Content
- Let your products be the main star.
- Plan creative ways on how to portray your services.
- Consider ways on how to play with your color schemes.
It’s important to showcase what your brand has to offer. See the following examples of how the above-mentioned checklist is applied.
Small Business Website Design Tips: Hiring A Designer
Sure, our small business website design tips must be overwhelming for a non-designer. If you want to deliver a great quality web design, then the best option is to hire a professional. This will solidify your web authority on the internet and help your brand stand out from the rest of your competitions.
Professional Website VS Owner’s Learning Experience
We all agree that adding “web design” to our skillset is satisfying. However, if you plan to DIY your brand’s website. Then, I suggest that you rethink the idea. A professional’s touch always has a different end result. However, according to Website Expert Builder, hiring a freelance web designer could end up with a cost between $5,000 to $10,000.
Typically, a freelancer charges $75 per hour. Let’s not forget the added cost for additional revisions. If you’re tight on budget, it’s best to subscribe to a graphic design platform with a fixed rate. At Penji, we offer UNLIMITED graphic design at a flat monthly rate. Yes, that includes web design.
Sample and References
Before hiring a web designer, you must know what you want. It’s a common mistake for clients to not be involved in the design process. However, it’s best to take the wheel. Provide samples and design references on how you want the web design to look like. Trust me, this saves you time and avoids future revisions.
Also, this will guide the designer on the correct design path you want them to take. If you’re lost in terms of the visual aspects, a great design outcome results from good communication between both parties. Just describe to your designer what you want and let their creative brain interpret it.
Hire a Designer Who’s Works Appeal To You
It’s best to choose a designer with an appealing design style. Here is a checklist for you to consider:
- Will this designer interpret my brand as I want to?
- Is this designer flexible with their style?
- Does this designer have a credible existing portfolio?
Why is Penji One of Your Best Web Designer Options?
Let’s be honest, searching the vast internet for the best web designer choice for your brand is time-consuming. Another factor to consider is the differing rates. It’s best to choose a graphic design platform with a proven track record.
At Penji, we offer web design along with our other design services. Forget worrying about finding the perfect designer to match your brand. Penji’s system will match you with a designer that we think is best suited for your brand. No need to worry about incurring fees for revisions. We offer the right monthly plans to match your design needs.
The most popular plan in Penji is our Team Plan that includes the following UNLIMITED features:
- Graphic Design
- Website and App Design
- Custom Illustration
After signing up with Penji, the perfect web design for your first website is only four steps away. All the small business website design tips in this article will be realized with our design team’s help. No hassle, no hidden fees, only the best results. Are you still considering your options? Schedule a demo with Penji to help you come to a conclusion.