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Home Sweet HomepageTips that will make your website pop

by Shaunda Wickham | November 20, 2019

In this digital world, having an attractive and welcoming website is just as important as having an inviting brick and mortar location. Typically, a potential consumer will want to check out your online presence before giving your business a try. Therefore, you want to create a space that is appealing, informative and sets the tone for what you are all about.

Understandably, web design is not high on your list of priorities when starting your business. Unless your business is web design, chances are you do not know the difference between CSS and HTML and there isn’t much room in the budget to outsource your web design needs.

Luckily for you, in this day in age, there are numerous sites out there that are very user-friendly for beginners and have a variety of templates to choose from that make it easy to modify and fill in your business’ specific information. Wix, Squarespace and WordPress are just a few examples of user-friendly web hosts that are great for beginners.

Once you start building, there are a few things you must keep in mind to make your website appealing and, most importantly, engaging.

Mobile Friendly

According to Statista, nearly 50 percent of web traffic generates from a mobile device. It is imperative to have a mobile-friendly website. Many of the web-building platforms out there, including the ones mentioned in this article, have features that ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Some even allow you to specifically edit your mobile web presence to include only the information you want those mobile users to see.

How can they reach you?

Contact information should always be on the top of the page, ideally near the navigation bar. This should include your business’ phone number and social media buttons. Your physical address could hang out in the footer, but those two forms of contact should remain at the top. You don’t want potential customers having to search for that information.

Photos

Many of the web hosting platforms mentioned provide a vast array of stock images, but don’t take the bait. Photos on your website should be professional, but not necessarily stock. Remember, your website is an extension of your business. It needs to accurately display what you offer.

If you do not have in-house resources to take these photos, find a local photographer to come in for about an hour. Sure, it’s an extra expense, but it is worth it. Make sure to include photos of smiling faces.

Web-safe Fonts

Though it may be easy to get sucked into the idea of being creative and standing out, doing so by way of font, is not the way. It is important to note that because Apple and PC have different operating systems, not everyone will have access to the same fonts. This means that though Confetti Stream may appear on your computer screen, unless your website visitor has installed that same font on his computer, that funky font will not appear the way you want on the screen. The operating system will choose the font it deems similar, which could make your whole layout look unprofessional. If you want to get creative using a font, say for your logo or page headers, create it as an image so that it will appear consistently, no matter who is looking. Otherwise, stick with web-safe fonts like Times, Verdana, Roboto, Courier and Georgia to name a few. No Comic Sans!

All the Pretty Colors

When choosing your website’s color scheme, you’re doing a lot more than making it appealing – you’re developing your brand. By this point in the process, hopefully, you have your branded colors already in place. If not, this should be one of your first steps before building your website. Picking brand colors is more than just choosing your favorite color. There is a whole psychology behind it.

Determining your brand’s color(s) is the catalyst for your website’s theme. Ideally, your website’s color scheme should consist of no more than five colors. There are resources out there that will help you determine colors that complement your brand. A favorite is Adobe Color. This site allows you to plug in a starting color and then will help you identify supporting colors based on an analogous, monochromatic, triad or complementary color scheme.

Sure there is a science to creating an appealing website, but these days you don’t have to be a professional web builder in order to make your business’ website stand out. Keep these five tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to building an appealing and welcoming website.

Editor’s Note: While there are many websites that help you build your online presence, it is important to note that should you decide to use one of them (like some of those mentioned above) you do not necessarily own the content. This is important should that particular platform go out of business. Be sure you understand the terms and conditions before deciding where to host your website.

Shaunda Wickham is a marketing specialist with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida.