Creating a website is necessary for a business in this modern-day age. A website, however, shouldn’t be just a simple, bland page about your products and services. What should it contain? If you’re in the dark about what to include, here’s a website design checklist that you must follow.
This website design checklist identifies the key components that a website should have. The ten must-have features spell the difference between having a website that will bring results to your business versus a website that doesn’t drive any.
The design is only one part of the website design process. When you design and build a website, there is much more to include than merely choosing which swatch of color or layout best fits your business. Everything from the front to the back-end side of website design is essential in producing an effective website for your business. In this website design checklist, we’ll guide you through building a website that will bring the most impact to your business, drive conversions, and increase profits.
Let’s take a closer look at these ten ultimate website design checklists you should be ticking off during the design and development process.
1. Domain Registration and Reliable Hosting
Firstly, you must have a domain that reflects your business name and is easy for potential visitors to type in their browsers. The domain name must have the proper extension, such as choosing a “.com” for a business. Organizations will carry the “.org” domain extension. Those operating in a specific country or location should also have an appropriate geographic domain extension. You could even insert keywords in your domain as long as it’s relevant to your business and its purpose.
Another concern is the hosting. You need a hosting platform that secures your website and provides robust support to host the content. Check metrics such as bandwidth capacity, value for the hosting fees, and available technical support. By looking into these metrics, you can decide which hosting company fits the bill and is reliable enough to host your website.
Some services already include both domain and hosting, so you don’t need to choose separately. It’s a typical option from service providers like GoDaddy or WordPress. Other businesses may opt for a separate domain provider and another company for their hosting. Both options work well, and it will depend on your business requirement for your website.
2. Logo and Brand Identity
As a business, you must have a unique and easily recognizable logo. The logo you create should reflect your brand and doesn’t look similar to your competitors. Place the logo prominently on your website for visitors to identify your business.
Aside from the logo, your business will need a color palette that reflects and identifies your brand. The colors of a website affect how you convince people to buy – over 92% of people indicate this factor. These dominant colors should be present and used cohesively on your website. Typically, one dominant color and either one or two secondary colors will bring identity to your brand. Use these colors consistently across all the pages on your website.
The logo and colors provide a visual impact to website visitors. It has to be appealing, does not have contrasting colors, and has a shade or tint that best reflects how you want customers to perceive your business. Remember, there’s a stark difference between physical colors and colors that you see on your screens. Thus, the colors have to be appropriate for web use.
3. Custom Design
It’s tempting to select from pre-made templates to produce a website fast. However, the website must have a design customized to your brand as 73% of businesses invest in custom design to compete. Cookie-cutter templates only make your website look the same as other businesses. Templates don’t differentiate your website from other websites using the same layout.
A custom design is a crucial website design checklist to make your business stand out from the competition, making it enticing for users to visit. You can decide what sections to include on the website. While it’s true that you can modify website templates, they do not have the ultimate design freedom as a customized one. You have the free hand to design how you want the website to appear and modify them as needed.
Additionally, a custom website design adds online credibility to your business. You’re establishing an online presence with your website. So you must invest in a custom design according to your business or brand.
4. Informative Content
People don’t just go to your website to browse images and graphics. They’re there to read and learn about your offer. Load up your website with content about what you offer. Make it easy-to-read and with sufficient details about your business.
Include content such as your business profile, service details, contact information, blog articles, and other relevant information. When you have informative content on your website, it will be easier for visitors and potential clients to understand your business.
Think about what information visitors and potential customers will be asking on your website. Do they need to know your unique selling proposition? Service advantage? Or the rationale behind your pricing? Place them inside your website to make potential leads decide to do business with you.
5. Responsive Layout and UX
A website has to be responsive across different devices for both desktop and mobile. People nowadays have access to various devices at once. They may be accessing your website on their desktop computer or a quick browse using their mobile phones.
The design has to be user-friendly as well. Especially in eCommerce, as 6 out of 10 online shoppers cite website usability as a crucial factor when shopping online. Make it easy for visitors to scroll over your website and switch from one page to another. Most businesses focus only on how their website appears and less on how they function.
While you want an enticing website that pops out of the screen, you also have to think about how users will interact across the various sections of the website. Are the links accessible? Do users find it easy to find the information they’re looking for on the website? Incorporate a user-centric design that provides a smooth website experience for visitors and potential customers.
6. Identify Sections
Another crucial part of a website design checklist is planning and wireframing what content and sections should go into every inch of your website space. Regardless of the design format you choose, a website must have all the necessary parts such as an above-the-fold, a footer, call-to-action, and many other sections that will be useful for your business. You can also opt to include elements specific to your business – such as FAQ, lead generation form, testimonials from clients, or other content.
Identifying these sections enables you to think clearly about what exact content, images, or graphics you will present to the website visitors. Once you know what segments go to your website and the specific content it needs to have, make the sections uniform across every page. They have to appear consistent and cohesive to avoid confusing the users about which sections they’re clicking on your website.
As a whole, when coming up with a design, maximize every inch of your website, leaving important areas accessible for visitors. Make each website portion count and create an impact.
7. Plugins and Additional Tools
Add functionality to your website by having plugins and other tools to encourage engagement from website visitors. Especially for a WordPress CMS, these plugins can make a website more interactive. You may need a payment plugin, for instance, to process payments right within your website. Or a plugin to block spam and other malicious content. Find out what functionality you need for your business website – there are many plugins and tools available for them.
Plugins transform your website from a mere static page containing blocks of texts and carefully arranged images to a more interactive website. When visitors land on your website, they can do more than just read about your business.
These tools can even assist in the various operations of your business. You can have them place orders, browse pages dynamically, or input personal information for lead generation. Plugins and tools essentially make your website an extension of your business operation and are not just limited to a marketing tool.
8. Search Engine Optimization
Now, you may have already designed and built a website. However, you also need the website to be visible in search engines like Google. How will potential customers know about your business if the website won’t appear when they search? Remember that 68% of online interactions start with a search engine.
For this reason, your website needs to be optimized for search engines in every aspect – be it on-page to the off-page activity of building links. On-page is about optimizing the content inside your website, while off-page deals with gathering links going to your website.
This practice is called SEO or search engine optimization, which requires thorough checking of your content to include relevant keywords and sourcing relevant, authority links pointing to your website. These optimization activities are essential to make your website indexed and accessible in search engines. When people can easily search your website, you increase the number of potential leads and even drive a larger market share in your respective business sector.
9. Website Tracking
A website can tell a lot of different data points about your online visibility that you can apply for your business. Thus, website tracking is also an important part. Website tracking software, like Google Analytics, reveals the performance of your website. You can learn about your website from the amount or source of traffic, bounce rate, audience demographics, geographic location, and even conversions. These are crucial information to help you market your business, identifying any areas for improvement based on the data that you see.
Designing a website also includes incorporating proper tracking methods. The website monitoring can be via Google Analytics, implemented via Google Tag Manager. There are also other forms of website tracking, such as UTM trackers, to determine the exact referring traffic. If you plan on having paid campaigns from Google or Facebook Ads, it will require another set of website tracking parameters.
In building a website, always remember that assessing the performance is key to making fruitful business decisions. When you measure the amount of traffic, conversions, and other relevant data, you get a better picture of what you need to be doing with your business in terms of marketing activities.
10. Security and Backup
Cyber attacks put your website at risk, primarily if you process orders and inquiries within your website. You can’t risk losing your website data and access from harmful attacks. Also, consumers will not trust a website that does not implement security measures to protect the personal information they’re sharing. You need to secure your website and have a robust backup system.
A security measure can be having an SSL as an added layer of protection for your domain. If you have a WordPress website, plugins secure your website. You can use them to counter malicious attacks and hackers attempting to access your website.
Another is a periodic backup for your website content. Backing up the website protects your data and the customer’s information against total loss in case of unforeseen events such as data center failures or hacking. All of these are vital to keeping your website up and running, ready for potential customers to visit and learn about your business.
A website isn’t just a one-dimensional online marketing presentation about your business. A website serves various purposes for a business. You can present details about your services, process orders, and other functions that will be useful for your operation. That is why it needs to have all these website design checklists as each element addresses a crucial need for your business.
Ticking off every essential part of this website design checklist means looking for a reliable website design and marketing firm. You have to choose an agency or company that knows how important it is to build a website containing all the necessary parts and components.
Tampa-based website and marketing agency VSF Marketing considers how a website will bring value to a business.
The all-inclusive digital marketing solutions firm knows that a website needs to follow a complete website design checklist to have considerable gains. There is more to designing a website than a simple block of codes – they represent your business, and you will use them to serve your customers. So choose to work with a website design agency that thoroughly understands what it takes to have a website that will be valuable for your business.