The Importance of good website design
Your Website is your online identity and it must present the services you offer in the most informative, positive, interesting and professional way. The internet and digital media are continually expanding in scope and importance and becoming ever more essential business tools.
Website design, techniques and standards have evolved considerably over the last decade. A website built ten years ago was probably little more than a ‘page for page’ online copy of a printed brochure. Now, with websites being responsible for over 80% of most bookings and business, with their increasing ability to interact with customers, and with the huge popularity of interactive ‘social media’ such as twitter and facebook, that old approach is clearly overdue for a ‘rethink’.
Website visitors are also getting more sophisticated and more demanding. Many websites lose over 50% of their visitors within a few seconds of their homepage being opened. There is little point in paying for links and good search engine listings to bring in lots of visitors to your site if many are immediately put off by poor design.
What should a well designed website be?
• Attractive and memorable
• Easy to Navigate (User Friendly)
• Interesting and informative presenting relevant Information, easy to find and digest
• Compliant with current and developing web standards
• Accessible to as many people as possible through as many media as possible.
• Flexible and able to develop to meet changing requirements.
CSS – Cascading Style Sheets
As web standards have developed and grown over the last decade, they have moved away from table based web designs in which each page contained its own layout and formatting instructions, towards using separate ‘style sheets’ which define the way that each page looks, leaving the webpage containing only the important information. It is becoming vital that your website is built with valid HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Having a CSS based web design reduces clutter, giving you smaller file sizes and making your website faster to load. This also has benefits with search engines which give priority to faster loading and less cluttered websites as it makes your content more accessible to them.
The implementation of web standards brings better accessibility and design so websites can be viewed by as many people as possible whatever ‘platform’ (e.g. mobile phone, laptop etc.) they use. Visitors now also use a variety of web browsers, only 50% now use Internet Explorer, down from 97%. Standards compliant websites also are more accessible to people using certain devices such as speech synthesizers and Braille devices.
The move toward better web standards will eventually make table based websites obsolete, new platforms and browsers no longer displaying your pages as originally intended and older websites being marginalised by search engines.
Developing your website
Because of the importance of standards based good website design we have expanded our design team and are now able to create fully compliant CSS websites. If you want to avoid being left behind by better designed websites, contact us today.
You can call us 01691 623126 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Finally, we hope you appreciate now why good web design is vital. But equally important are Search Engine Optimisation to get good relevant rankings, understanding the potential of promotion through the Social Media and the use of email mailing lists and newsletters, such as this one! We will cover all of these topics in future newsletters.