Web Design Guidelines

What makes a good website? Follow these guides and you’re half-way there.

What makes good web design?

What makes a website a great website?

Websites are no longer a ‘new fad’. The first website was built in 1991 and since then hundreds of millions of websites have come and gone with thousands more designed and built every week.

With all these websites, you would think there would be some standards involved in web design and that the quality of websites being built would be getting better and better. But, no. Whether it is the increase in the number of people building websites themselves, or simply low prices encouraging businesses to settle for poor quality websites (buy cheap, buy twice), there are far too many bad websites that are unleashed upon the internet week after week.

All website designs are judged the same

I ‘doff my cap’ to those brave enough to have a go at building their website themselves. In a similar fashion, I like (expect) a round of applause from the Mrs when attempting some DIY at home. However, that doesn’t mean that the result will be quality workmanship, especially when compared to that of a professional tradesperson – or web designer.

There is no caveat that people adhere to when looking at a website. Your customers will not think, ‘Ah, well, they built it themselves,’ when comparing it to one of your competitor sites. Your website and that of your competitor will be judged on a level playing field.

Website visitors won’t care if you built the site yourself and did an awesome job *considering you’re not a web developer’. Equally, they couldn’t give a monkey’s if your competitor spent ten grand on theirs. They will only care about what you can do for them and how you plan to do it.

There are always cool new trends in the world of web design, and snazzy features that a layperson couldn’t possibly be expected to know how to incorporate into their site. However, there are a set of timeless guidelines that it’s wise to follow if you’re planning to build your website yourself. These principles form the basic framework of all good websites.

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What makes good web design?

What is the purpose of your website?

Welcome to my website!… Zzzzz. No-one cares about your welcome message! Instead of leading with this, jump straight to how your business can you help to solve your visitor’s problem. Clearly identifying the issues of your audience and offering a solution in a clear, concise voice is a much better tactic.

Make sure the purpose of your website is defined early on and the solutions you are providing are easy to find and use.  Consider your audience and create the content that will be usefull to them and will provide the value needed to keep them around.

How do people look around your website?

Navigation should be a simple thing right? Website navigation goes wrong when there is no clear architecture in place. A website that is put together piecemeal, without any thought to the navigation structure is sure to go wrong, and probably sooner rather than later.

Every piece of content on your website should be accessible within three clicks. The internal link structure and top level navigation (known as burger menus due to their three horizontal lines) need to be well thought out, simple and logical to use on both desktop and mobile. Any questions or problems with the content that come from bad navigation will only push your visitors into the clutches of your competitors.

Why is my website not appearing on Google?
What makes good web design?

How to make people stick around your website?

There is an acronym in marketing called E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authority, Trust. These are basically the areas that Google uses to rank your website. They are also the factors that will make people stay on your website, read your content, and come back for more.

Create content that demonstrates your expertise. Prove you’re an authority on your subject. And demonstrate that your business has the trust of the community. You can do the latter using backlinks from good websites, TrustPilot reviews, Google My Business links and reviews. Check out this post for some great ideas on how to create compelling content that people are interested in.

Check these boxes and you will be on the right track not only for better Google rankings, but lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates from an engaged audience.

Technical web design problems?

Whilst the word ‘technical’ might bring a few groans, the solutions aren’t really that technical. Creating a great user experience is paramount to each site visit and that can’t be done if technical issues such as a slow load time or non-responsive mobile design ruin the experience of your site visitors.

Stats show that 40% of people abandon a website if it takes over three seconds to load, and every additional second spent loading can result in a 7% conversion drop.

If you are selling your products or services online, how much could you be losing with a slow loading website?

Make sure your website looks great on mobile and loads quickly. If your website is slow and you need professional help, get in touch!


I may need help with my web design…

That isn’t a problem. We encourage you to get a little advice from professional web designers, even if you’re planning to build your site yourself.

The steps above will go a long way to improving your website, but this list of tips is far from being exhaustive. There is so much more that we could write and explain about how to design a great website. However, if the information above makes you think, ‘I might just give them a quick call,’ then please do!

We will be more than happy to assist, initially proving ourselves to you by offering you a FREE website analysis worth £100. This analysis will detail areas of your site that can be improved in order to get more website visitors and get them to stick around.

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To get started, all you need to do is get in touch! Send us a message through the contact form, letting us know what you’re trying to achieve and we will get back to you with details of how we can help.