5 Basic Rules for Web Design

If you give a business a website, they’re going to want to personalize it. Doing so ensures that it will convert the right visitors into clients.

This is a must, but there are some basic rules to keep in mind. Many people out there are racking their brains or trying to reinvent the wheel to make something highly unique. To be honest, the fact that this website is for your business is what already makes it unique enough. People don’t want all the flashing lights and wheels. They want information.

A website is part of your digital marketing strategy, and good marketing takes psychology into account. Instead of making what you want your website to be, make it what visitors want it to be. After all, it’s there for them. Here’s how you can do that.

1. Limit colors & fonts to 2-3 each.

This should really be more like 1-2 colors (and fonts) plus an optional accent. I don’t really count black and white as 2 separate colors. They’re neutrals, and they can be worked into virtually any color scheme.

Sticking to 2-3 colors & fonts keeps everything consistent, and that’s what visitors want to see. These elements are part of your brand identity, so deviating from that will make them question whether they are still on your site. Generally speaking, the human brain craves consistency.

I honestly like using just 2 fonts, or even one font but changing it up with font size or bolding. Again, this plays to consistency. When you have too many different things going on, it’s visually messy and that turns the human eye away. That’s the exact opposite of what you want your website to do.

2. Make things clear on your homepage.

Your homepage is usually the one with the most traffic, so you want to hook your reader’s attention. As human beings, we are visually stimulated, so I recommend you keep things simple. Have a high resolution image or graphic that relates to your business, and make sure the visitor can see your company name, a tagline or motto indicating what you do, and some sort of call to action.

Basically, before I scroll down on your website, I should have a clear picture of what type of business this is and how to proceed with a purchase or application.

3. Use high quality imagery

Whether this refers to a photo or a graphic, the quality should be good enough that people using large screens won’t see a distorted version. When sourcing these, there are 2 very easy specs to identify: pixel size and resolution. 

Dimensions: For background images spanning the width of the screen, I recommend 2000 pixels wide.
For everything else, 1000 pixels wide would do.

Resolution: keep the resolution to 72-92 dpi, and you’re golden.

It’s very easy to find this information, even if you only know how to use your mouse.
PC: right click on the image and select “Properties.” 
Mac: simply select the image, and the Information pane on the right will display. You may need to scroll down.

  • Dimensions = Size in pixels (Width x Height)
  • Resolution is straight-forward

The lovely folks over at Jimdo give a really good overview of this and some tips on how to optimize your images quickly and easily.

4. Limit the amount of menu items to 5-6

In the recurring theme of simplicity, providing too many options is the quickest way to lose a prospect. People want information quickly. Segmenting your content and organizing it in a clear way makes visitors more likely to view it and put it to good use.

5. Lastly, make sure your design considers those who are differently abled.

If you’ve hired a professional, they’ll do this on your behalf. If you’re a DIY person, you need to consider the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Written by Katie Meehan

Katie is the owner and founder of KTM Digital. She worked in the world of commercial real estate for several years but came to the realization that corporate life just wasn’t for her. As a young mother, she needed the flexibility that having her own business offers.

Katie has a love for tech, structure, and systems as well as all things creative. The perfect blend of that is web design & digital marketing. Katie enjoys telling the story as much as she enjoys making things attractive and functional. She is a big fan of meditation, baking sweet treats, and sipping some good bourbon on the rocks.

Book a complimentary discovery to chat more about how Katie can support you around digital marketing strategies or web design.


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