We may be biased, but website design is one of our most favorite subjects to talk about—and we know we’re not the only ones.
Whenever anyone thinks about creating a new website, the first thing they think about is always the website’s design.
And rightfully so, because it’s also the first thing that website viewers notice when they first come into contact with your brand online.
We’ve spent Part 4 (SEO) and Part 5 (Copywriting) of our Website Health Series sharing our best content tips with you. Why? Because those two elements of website creation technically should come before design when you’re approaching your project strategically. Now it’s time to talk about the fun part:
Making sure everything looks beautiful and performs well.
In this post, we’re sharing why great website design is so important, giving you our best tips for choosing a website design that works for you, and which common website design mistakes to avoid if you’re DIYing your site’s design. You ready?!
Website design matters because first impressions matter.
When a new person lands on your website for the first time, they’re inevitably going to make assumptions about you and your brand, based on very little information.
Whatever the aesthetic of your website is will greatly impact their opinion of you, before they even take a moment to read what your copy says, learn what you have to offer, or get to know you as a person behind the brand.
It’s no secret that website viewers are impatient—and we can’t blame ‘em. There are SO many websites available for people to browse, that if yours doesn’t immediately capture their attention, they won’t even think twice about moving on to the next one.
And it’s your website design’s job to make a good enough first impression that compels your reader to stop, scroll, and stay a while.
Now, of course, ALL of the elements of your website come together as a team to influence your readers’ decision to stay—your design, your copy, your images, your branding—but it’s the design piece that, more often than not, they’ll notice FIRST.
Your website design has a significant impact on the perception a user has of your brand, holding the power to attract your ideal clients, increase your engagement, and lead to more conversions, sales, and connections.
And poor website design? Well, that has the power to turn off visitors, decrease your engagement, and lead to lost opportunities.
The way we see it, you’ve got 3 options:
No matter which option you choose, you’ll need to consider a few key elements of what makes a design work for YOU (and resonate with your audience).
→ Does it visually represent who you are as a brand?
→ Does it have the capabilities you need in order to communicate all of the necessary information you want to share with your readers?
→ Is it aesthetically pleasing, compelling, and scroll-stopping?
→ Does it allow you enough space to show off your copy? What about your images? Your testimonials?
→ Is it easy for your users to effortlessly navigate, without having questions about where to find certain info or how to take the next step? (More on this coming in our next post in this series!)
→ Does it have a clear structure, created to intuitively lead your website visitors on a strategic journey from interest to inquiry?
→ Is it compatible with SEO settings?
→ And please let it be mobile-ready!
Once you’ve made sure your design ticks all of the above boxes, you’re free to customize, tweak, and adjust it to your heart’s content—as long as you’re conscious of ensuring the design will resonate with your audience.
While of course, the beauty of design is that what’s considered good is often subjective, you still need to consider strategy.
There are some elements of website design that all sites should have because they’re a) what users are expecting, b) what search engines are prioritizing, and c) what makes up your website’s recipe for success.
These website design non-negotiables are:
✅ Mobile responsiveness.
✅ Visual appeal, to keep readers engaged throughout their entire visit.
✅ Fast page load speeds.
✅ Clear calls to action.
✅ User-friendly navigation.
✅ Enough white space, to help readers avoid overwhelm.
✅ The combination of headings, subheadings, small paragraphs, and varying sections to create a visual hierarchy.
✅ Easy-to-read fonts, paired appropriately.
✅ Accessible to everyone.
The website builder you choose is the most important decision you make in terms of creating your website because it determines the design capabilities. Your website builder can make or break you when it comes to standing out in a sea of websites.
Here’s what our designers & design partners say to look for in a website-building platform: 👇
Christina, owner and lead designer at The Buffalo Collective, says that “Showit is hands down the most versatile, customizable, and user-friendly platform for creative entrepreneurs” because, with other website builders, you don’t have as much wiggle room for making changes to your page structures and layouts.
Full autonomy is KEY according to Christina, because “if you don’t have full control over the functionality and appearance of your site, as well as the ability to update it however you want, whenever you want, you could be missing out on some serious leads and revenue.”
Showit's Creative Director, Ary, says that “it’s helpful to have access to a website builder that allows me to see the vision through with little to no mistakes. To be able to get the functionality we strive for with zero code or back-end know-how is a game changer. It’s a whole new ballgame when using Showit.”
Kat, Showit's Art Director, believes that “never having to sacrifice anything in layout, spacing, or typography choices or having any coding barriers to what’s envisioned for the design” is so essential.
“I want my branding and designs to be cohesive across all mediums and platforms,” she says, “and as a designer, the ability to have a website builder that you can do anything in is so crucial.”
The most important thing that earns a website’s design the ultimate trophy is embodying the perfect marriage between form and function.
Long-time Showit Design Partner, Jen from Tonic Site Shop always says that “people are drawn to beautiful things.” People are drawn to beautiful things; that’s why your website design matters so much for making the initial first encounter count.
But people are also drawn to experiences that feel effortless and easy for them, which is where function comes into play.
Your website could exist in its most beautiful form, but if it doesn’t function in the way that it should, you’ll miss out on a world of opportunity due to confusion, frustration, and lack of action on your audience’s part.
A well-designed website can enhance your brand image and credibility, while a poorly designed website can detract from it.
A website that looks subpar (or outdated, or unprofessional, or messy, or irrelevant to the message your brand is trying to convey…you get the idea) can give the impression that your business is not trustworthy or competent.
The design of your website can play a significant role in shaping how customers perceive your brand—and a significant role in whether or not they choose to take action while on your site—making it essential to invest in a high-quality website design, whether that means spending time on a DIY, purchasing a template, or hiring a website designer to create a custom website design for you.
Point of the story? Website design is a critical aspect of creating a successful website.
…which is why, in our next post in Showit’s Website Health Series, we’re telling you all about why UX matters, and 6 ways you can improve your user experience to encourage your readers to take action. See you there!
Hi! I'm Jihae Watson! I was born in Seoul, grew up in Toronto, Ontario and now live in Gilbert, Arizona. I love all three cities so very much as I have plenty of family, and favorite restaurants in all three locations.
I am married to a stud named Chris, and we have four fantastic kids. Together we love being a foster family, and we presently have the sweetest little foster babe.
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