Since the days when the first web pages grew over public access to the Internet, design has evolved. For one thing, it takes a lot more strategy to succeed today thanks to the tremendous competition. As a result, you need to pay more attention to website design best practices.
Web pages are no longer just pieces of product, service or brand information. They need to offer engagement and be part of your customer experience.
Here are 17 web design standards and best practices for 2018. And some of them may continue for years to come.
1. Action Blog
Blogging is a way to engage an audience while highlighting your brand. It’s a way to offer the visitor something for free, which is often influential in creating a metaphor if the content solves a problem or answers a question.
According to WordPress.com, blogs receive more than 20 billion page views every month on the brand network. And that doesn’t include other blogging platforms on the Internet.
It’s such an effective way to promote a brand that most companies offer this style of detailed and relevant content these days. It’s about engaging the reader and providing something of a quality to remember.
For example, you are currently reading one.
2. Keep Branding a Priority
Most website developers will include a company logo somewhere in the design that stays put. This makes it visible from almost every page. However, branding goes beyond simply making the logo visible.
The company name, imagery and even the content itself need to be forms of branding. Of course you don’t want it to seem too rewarding. But it is still important that your visitors keep your business in mind through the website.
Think of it as offering visitors a story behind your business and what it represents. Then carry that emotion through the website and its design.
3. Don’t Pack too much in One Appearance
There is such a thing as too much design. Images are effective in gaining attention, but can also cause confusion if the web page seems too busy. That is, you want to use “white space.”
However, this does not mean that you need to dive into a minimalist approach. In fact, white space does not mean that the area between content and images needs to be “white.” Some of the best website design and development practices include using various colors and even background images.
The point is you don’t want your web page distracted by appearing cluttered. This includes content, banners, images and tools that you may want to have on your pages.
4. Easy Decision Making Guide
Offering too many options to visitors has the potential to slow down the decision-making process or even confuse insecure consumers. This increases the odds of a customer abandoning a cart.
Most shoppers want a simpler, quick and easy process. This is especially true as people want fast transactions from smartphones. After all, mobile commerce contributed to more than $ 30 billion in sales in 2017 in the United States.
This includes properly categorizing content. Category optimization makes it easier for guests to find exactly what they are looking for by limiting options in each segment. It is important to understand this especially if you want to start a blog.
5. Landing Pages optimization
Landing pages are an important part of making adjustments online. However, not everyone uses the best web design practices when creating them. In fact, many landing pages from paid systems like AdWords are poorly structured and often lose customers.
One of the best methods for developing a landing page for paid ads is to keep it simple. He doesn’t need to focus on SEO, because that’s the purpose of the ad in the first place. All you might really need is a short presentation and a call to action.
In contrast, landing pages for SEO are slightly different. You need the engagement factor and content to rank in search engines.
6. Consider Adding Bread Cookies
Many developers operate a breadcrumb system on their sites. Here is a short series of links that show how the content of the web page is structured. This includes categories within eCommerce as well as blogs.
Bread cookies help users find their way back to previous sections of the site. Instead of hitting the back button or otherwise getting lost in content, a visitor can click on the link and return to a specific starting point.
Remember, you want to keep the site fast and easy for breadcrumbs to help with that.
7. Keep Image Size Low
Image size plays a vital role in the performance of any website. Of all the elements you can add, photos are often the most time-consuming to upload. This is why it is important to keep image sizes as low as possible.
Any website aims to load within three seconds. This is because most people will abandon a website if it does not. Unfortunately, the average speed across various industries is 8.66 seconds.
What does this mean to you? It means that keeping your site faster than eight seconds makes it faster than average. It also means that there is a much smaller chance of losing a customer than your average competitor.
8. Use Color to Attract the Eye
Backgrounds and images are not the only things you should color when designing your website. Using contrasting text is a way to highlight specific information you want visitors to know right away.
For example, let’s say you use a dark gray background on your website and use white text. What would happen if you turned a call to action or an important link to a color like orange, green or bright blue? It attracts the eyes more quickly and engages the visitor.
This is partly why many people use bold when formatting text. It differentiates the content from the rest by making it more prominent.
9. Animation of Some Areas of the Site
Animation is an attractive aspect of many website designs. This is especially true if the animations are interactive for the user. Think about how parallax designs feel more “live” when scrolling down the page.
Now I’m not saying that every element on the site should be animated. Otherwise, it will look like something ripped out of the early 2000s as the overuse of GIFs pages seems neat.
However, small animations and movements can keep the visitor interested in the content.
10. Understand the Power of Floating Elements
Floating elements of a website are those that remain regardless of whether the user scrolls down or clicks a link. Many refer to these things as, “sticky.” And what they offer is a way for visitors to maintain control during their entire experience.
For example, sticky social contacts remind consumers that they can share the content, product or service at any time during their visit. A floating navigation bar gives people a way to manage the site without scrolling up and down.
Many websites use things like floating videos relevant to content that a visitor reads. This gives an option to read more or just watch the video.
11. Incorporate More Video
Speaking of video, incorporating more of this into your website design is beneficial for engaging visitors. Time 55% of people who watch videos do it in their entirety, which is more than any other type of content.
Video content is such a powerful tool today that more marketers are implementing it in day-to-day practices. Time 89% of marketers conducting business-to-business interactions has to do with content marketing, a large part of which is through video engagement.
You can use videos to show how products are used, the impact of services or just to offer an entertaining way to share your brand.
12. Use Human Faces in Images
Human faces inspire emotion, connect with an audience and are often seen in a more positive light. Some of this is about the human connection with empathy and the registration of emotions. This is why happy, happy people mostly visualize business.
On Instagram, posts with human faces are preferred images as they are about 38% more likely to be “liked” and 32% more likely to receive comments. This means that being “real” is more valuable than something more artful.
This does not mean that you have to throw the art objects in the trash. However, understand how integrating real people can impact your audience.
13. Keep an eye on visitor interaction
Keeping a close eye on data is invaluable when designing a website for your target audience. However, it goes deeper than using Google Analytics reports to power your data collection. Visits are one thing, but how do people actually use your site?
Tools like heat maps are quite useful as they show you where people are clicking, scrolling and reading on your website. This is often done by tracking the movement of the mouse pointer, which is often an indication of eye movements as well.
They are among some of the best website marketing tools to help grow audience and improve sales. This information can help you restructure the design while ensuring that there are always important elements in the field of view.
14. Do not underestimate the Power of CMS
Content Management Systems, or CMS, are powerful tools to get a website up and running in as short a time as possible. The basic framework is already there, and all they need is content to get started.
Many developers not only use CMS applications because it cuts out a lot of design time. Systems like WordPress are also fully customizable and can become just about anything you want.
To put this into perspective, WordPress is used at more than 31% of all websites monitored on the Web. This is mainly due to how easy, flexible and designer friendly the system is.
15. Keep Leveraging Social Media
Social media is still an extremely important aspect of human interaction. And while content marketing is still the most effective marketing techniques, for 10% of marketers worldwide I prefer social media.
But it takes more than just a casual job to engage the audience. The purpose of social media is to interact – to be “social.” This means commenting, replying and sharing content that your followers may be interested in even if it’s not something you created.
The bottom line is that social media will probably never disappear, which means you need to take advantage of it today to stay competitive.
16. Develop with Safety in Mind
Never underestimate the value of security, even if you are developing a basic website for company information. Bots are constantly scouring the Internet for easy targets, and it doesn’t matter if your site receives a million or a hundred visits every month.
Securing your site today includes everything from using strong passwords to routinely scanning the file system for hacks and malware. All it takes is minimal exploitation and your website can start spamming people who don’t even know it exists.
And always keep a backup of your website. It will help recover in the event of a disaster whether it is a hacker or coding errors in design.
17. Offering Various Forms of Communication
Preferred communication is an easy way to retain visitors. Not everyone wants to make a phone call or send an email. For example, about 48% of users would prefer to use live chat than other forms of communication.
Make these types of communications easy to access and clearly visible. In fact, people often feel more comfortable buying from a company that is easy to contact. Fortunately, elements like chatbots are not that hard to add. And they can make a profound difference in sales and leads.
Making it a Visitor Value
When going over your website design best practice checklist, keep users in mind. It’s not about what you want to see on the site, but more about what they want to experience. Just because you think something is “cool” doesn’t mean your visitors will feel the same.
Pay attention to your data. Customers will help guide you to a more attractive design with a higher engagement rate.