You’re ready to have a website built and want it to be beautiful, as well as functional. But what should be included in the design to create an effective website? What details need to be included, even if you have a low budget?
We’ve put together some information to help you determine which design elements are the most important for your site. The goal is to ensure that the web designer you hire includes these elements, so you’ll receive maximum return on your investment, and have a site that works for you.
Make Sure Not to Miss These Elements in a Web Design Project
1). SEO: Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is something many people, even some web designers, want to avoid. However, there are best practices that need to be addressed on your site when it comes to search engine optimisation. The aim is to make your site SEO friendly and help you rank higher in search engines, such as Google.
To accomplish this, you’ll want to make sure the designer you’re hired understands SEO and does thorough keyword research. This information should be used to optimize your content. You’ll want to make sure the web designer follows best practices (and is familiar with these).
Best practices may include the use of alt tags to all images, embedding a Google map, etc.
A web designer who’s promising cheaper rates may fail to optimise your site for SEO as a way to keep their prices lower. However, this only hurts your site—it will not rank well in search results.
Make sure your web designer follows good security practices. If you’re using WordPress, it’s already a secure platform. However, this platform is also a prime target for hackers just because its popularity.
We cover some of these elements in the article including SSL certificate, backups, etc. Be sure that your website designer also includes CMS updates (which include WordPress updates). These updates often include security patches aimed at minimising the risk of a hacker attack.
There are free plugins available that can be used to keep your site more secure. It’s important to make sure your designer follows through and includes high security measure to keep the site safe.
3). Load Speed
Load speed is imperative to your site visitors. If the page loads too slowly, site visitors will quickly become frustrated and leave. You lose sales and ranking in the search engines as a result.
There are many tools you can use online to test your site’s speed.
It’s important to ensure that your web designer uses such methods as compressing images and configuring the cache, etc. to increase your site’s load speed.
4). SSL Certificate
These days cyber attacks are a real threat—not only for the large business websites, but for every website on the web. The use of an SSL certificate increases the security of website data. If a website has an SSL certificate, site users may see something like a lock icon or the word “Secure” in the upper left of the browser window.
SSL is one of the best practices your web designer needs to follow, as it increases security on the site and carries many other benefits. For one, site visitors will trust a site that uses an SSL certificate. It also helps to improve your site’s ranking in the search engines.
5). Mobile Responsive Design
The days are gone when a business needed to be two or more versions of their website to accommodate site visitors’ devices. These days, sites are all built to be responsive. A responsive site is one that can easily resize and move elements to fit any device’s screen size and shape.
Your site needs to look good on any device. So, it’s imperative that your designer checks your site to make sure it works on all types and sizes of devices. The reason—if your site doesn’t scale well, it can cause the site to look unprofessional and possibly unusable.
One more note—responsive design also helps you rank in the search engines.
Another huge area your web designer needs to be aware of is GDPR compliance. As a website owner, you are responsible for the way your site collects and manages data.
It’s not enough to include a cookie notice on your site. Now you have to be compliant and your web designers needs to know how to implement these rules and make your site compliant.
Analytics are imperative to understanding your website’s traffic, how people are using the site, how many visitors are coming, etc. Without this information, the site is useless to your business. With no data, you’ll also lose business.
All your digital marketing efforts need to be implemented using the knowledge gained from site analytics. Make sure your web designer includes these essential measurements:
- Number of visits (sessions)
- Percentage of new sessions
- Bounce rate
- Conversion goals
- Site content
- Landing pages
- Exit pages
What happens if your site goes down or suffers a security breach such as ransomware? Think about how that could affect your business. Getting a site up and running again can be challenging, especially if a hacker has infused your site with malicious code.
This is where having a great backup system comes into play. For example, if your site’s taken down by ransomware, you don’t have to worry about paying that exorbitantly high ransom to gain access to the site. Instead, having a backup system in place will have your site up and running in no time. You remove the hacker from the equation.
Your web designer should build this into your site, and have it set to backup file regularly, and also the database. There are many free solutions available to make this a painless process.
Even if you don’t have a big budget to create a website, search for a web designer who will include these eight essential elements in your website design. You deserve to have the best site possible, one that’s secure, and is offers an excellent user experience.