9 Steps on How to Design A Website in 2021: A Comprehensive Guide

 20 May, 2021

Introduction

So, you have launched your website recently, but something is not working right!?

You check analytics! You see people visiting your site… a lot of them are visiting more than before?

The new brand story looks fantastic, the website loading time is great too... 

Everything on the site seems to be working, too...

But why don’t you see conversions or probable leads?

Something still seems to be not clicking right?

I will tell you what you missed. Your website design! 

A website design is not only meant to attract your potential customers, but also it  needs to hold their attention long enough to help them understand your goals, values and explore your services and products. For small businesses or if you are just starting out, it becomes essential to have a well-designed, professional-looking website design as your business’s website design influences your customer experience, lead generation and ultimately, your bottom line.

So are you wondering how to build a great website design? Or what elements do you need in your business website design? We have got you covered, we will help you dealing with these questions:

  • Why is website design important? 
  • What are the must-have design elements in a good website?
  • Why should you hire a professional web designer?
  • How much does a website design or redesign cost in 2021?
  • What are the steps on how to design a website?

What’s All the Fuss About a Good Website Design: Importance of a Website Design

When it comes to a website design, you should always remember that online users “do judge a book by its cover.” Meaning, online users are spoiled with choices, when one search query can offer them multiple search results that fit their needs, they will naturally go for an option that is visually appealing to the eyes. Don’t believe me, check these stats on how websites are often faced with an extreme level of snap judgements that also impacts your brand credibility: 

1. It sets the first impression; because

  • Two out of three people prefer to browse through a beautifully designed website
  • 47% of users expect websites to load in less than 2 seconds
  • 75% of web users admit to making judgements about a company’s credibility based on their website design

2. It boosts your conversion rates and sales; because

  • 38% of people will stop visiting a website if its design is sloppy and unattractive
  • An increase in site speed from 8 to 2 seconds can boost your conversion rate by 74%
  • 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience

3. It builds trust with your audience; because

  • 57% of online users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile
  • Users take about 0.05 seconds to form their opinion about a website (after it loads)
  • 94% of people say web design is the reason they mistrust a website

4. Mobile-friendly website design= happy users; because

    • 61% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from mobile-friendly sites
    • 57% of internet users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website
    • 56.16% of all web traffic came through mobile in 2020

    Top 7 Elements of A Website Design For Greater Engagement

    A great website design is not just about colours, fonts or layouts but it is more than that. That is the reason it can be a tricky code to crack! But do not worry, we have collected some of the best website design elements that ensures you are designing world-class website design. These are: 

    1. User-friendly design

    Ensure your designs are easy to explore and navigate and your customers do not get lost in the pool of overflowing content. So implement user-friendly elements like site search option, form filling and Home page with clear website navigation.

    2. Engaging & Compelling Content

    There is a reason “content is king,” after all, 68% of people on the internet are interested in reading about brands that they use and support and 61% of customers' buying decisions are influenced by custom content. So optimize your continent marketing via elements like writing for targeted customers, creative interactive, easy to read content that offers value and is brand appropriated.

    3. High Quality Images or Videos

    If you want your customers or audience to actually interact with your website and not just skim through the web content and exit with no intention of coming back then focus on how your website looks to them. It is crucial that you make your website an aesthetically pleasing experience for your customers by using only high quality videos, images or other multimedia.

    4. Mobile Responsive Design

    We have said it enough times why your website design has to be mobile responsive and adaptive across all devices in this mobile-centric world. So keep your visitors engaged longer and longer with mobile-friendly website elements like minimizing text-blocking Ads or Pop-ups, faster speed, larger-fonts size or easily accessible social media links.

    5. SEO-Boosting Elements

    People use search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo to find brands, products or services they need most so if no one is able to find you online then what's the point of having a website? An optimized SEO ensures that you rank in search engine results. So, focus on improving your page loading speed, create content that adds value but go beyond simple texts, try outbound links, etc.

    6. Speed Optimization is Must

    Do you know 47% of online consumers expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds. So, every second afterward not only damages user experience but your website too. As your website speed defines your user experience, your SEO, and your conversion rate. To earn high traffic and avoid high bounce rate due to poor load time, implement elements like minimizing HTTP requests, Utilize CDNs and remove unused scripts/files, you can also compress images & use browser caches, among others.

    7. Persuasive Calls to Action

    Another step on how to design a website and a crucial one towards increasing user engagement which is by adding persuasive and logically placed calls-to-action buttons on your web page. A clear and prominently placed CTA helps your user know what to do next in relation to buying a product or service, and signing up for a newsletter, otherwise they might exit your site without taking any action. 

    Overwhelmed with the details? Need someone to talk to discuss how to design a website or information on web designing cost, eCommerce and digital marketing services. Ring Us, Now!

    How to Crack the Success Code: 9 Steps on How to Design a Website

    So now you know why your website’s design is an important part of your online presence and for your digital marketing. Now you must be wondering about the ways you can get a website design that impacts your audience and your business in the right manner. Here we are providing you with the amazing and easy step-by-step guide on how to design a website:

    1. Define Your Site’s Purpose & Strategy

    You should be aware about your goals behind designing a website. As every feature, layout, functionality or look will depend on what you want out of your website. In order to present your online business effectively and to reap the benefits of your online presence. Ask yourself questions like before you start steps on how to design a website:

    • Who do you think your audience/visitors are?
    • What do they gain by coming to your site?
    • Is it for branding purposes? 
    • Will it be a portfolio website? 
    • Is it for getting more subscribers to your mailing list?
    • Do you want to sell some products or services?

    2. Conduct a Market Competitive Analysis

    Knowing what is trending in the market, what’s not and what your competitors are doing helps you not only stay relevant while designing a website but also gives you an edge over your competitors online when you do things differently. So check out these questions before doing a market competitive analysis:

    • Is my online concept better than theirs?
    • What is the range of products and services they offer?
    • Are their products or services aimed at satisfying similar target markets?
    • How are they meeting the needs of the customers? Strength & Weakness?

    3. Choose Your Platform

    Google defines CMS (Content Management Systems) or website building platform as a “user-friendly platform for building websites and managing your own online content, instead of creating a website from scratch using HTML, PHP and other coding languages.” So which should be your choice? Ask yourself these questions as you work on how to design a website:

    • What do I want my CMS to do?
    • Does the CMS easily and seamlessly integrate marketing technologies?
    • Is the CMS user-friendly, SEO-friendly?
    • Is it easy to use or manage?
    • Is it cost-effective, scalable and secured?
    • How is it supportive?

    Other than these, your CMS choice also depends on your budget and business goals. Still, check out this graph to understand the market share of differents CMSs:

    To have a better understanding of these CMSs or which one is better, you can also check out this amazing read about WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal.

    4. Decide On Website or Brand Identity

    Brand identity is a collection of visual or text that help you portray a brand image that stands out in the minds of your users. If you can nail your brand identity then not only you can stand out from your competitors but also attract your audience, make your site memorable, and generate leads for yourself. So focus on these elements of a powerful, creative and consistent brand identity when designing a website:

    • Wordmark or Logo
    • Typography 
    • Style Consistency
    • Shape and Form
    • Theme Lines/Tag Lines
    • Colour Scheme
    • Other Visual Elements

    And target these questions before creating a brand identity:

    • What’s Your Story?
    • Who is Your Ideal Customer?
    • What Pain Points Do You Solve?
    • What Kind of Personality Do You Have?
    • Who is Your Competition? How are You Different?

    5. Find a Domain Name and Host

    Two things that are essential for you to get a new website online or when you are designing a website are:

    1. A domain name (a web address or url like yoursitename.com)

    Domain name is the address that your users type in the browser to visit your website or to search you online. So it is essential that your domain name is easy to type and easy to remember, other factors to keep in mind are:

    • Using keywords relevant to your industry and business
    • Avoid using numbers and hyphens
    • Keep it Short, Simple, and Predictable to enhance brand value
    • Choose a Domain Name You Can Actually Legally Own
    • Shop around to Find the Best Price & Register the one You want ASAP

    2. Website Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)

     This is simply a space on a server (owned by a web host) that lets you store the files or data that make your website accessible on the internet. You just need to worry about the price points and functionality in a website hosting but there are other components that you should consider while choosing a web hosting provider, these are:

    • First time purchase Vs Renewal cost
    • 24/7 Maintenance & Support 
    • Enabled with Backup/Security
    • Supports Scalability/Expansion 
    • Hosting restrictions or limitations

    6. Create Your Sitemap

    Once you are done with your domain name and website hosting, you need structured content both written & visual to be placed on your website. Generally a website has following pages:

    • Homepage
    • About page and/or contact page
    • Blog
    • Product directory
    • Individual product pages
    • Terms and conditions
    • Gallery
    • Landing pages/marketing pages for promotions
    • Calls to Action

    A sitemap lets search engines like Google know which pages and files are important in your site according to you, and also offers valuable information about these files like which data or file was recently updated or alternate language your website content can be seen, etc. This is an essential step to ensure your website looks organized and all the pages are positioned logically and intuitively for users’ easy navigation & exploration.

    7. Write & Optimize Your Website Copy

    You not only need to lay out and design the structure of the above mentioned pages but you also need to decide what content in each page will be shown. Rule is simple: Quality over Quantity. Ensure you are creating engaging, enticing and visually appealing content so that not only you capture your readers’ attention but also compel them to take action or start to work with you and your business. Follow these elements to make your website content gets the attention it deserves:

    • Know your audience
    • Focus on your buyer persona
    • Pick a relevant topic
    • Write short, simple sentences
    • Offer engaging content that adds value 
    • Optimize every aspect of your content 
    • Make text scannable, mobile-friendly
    • Incorporate multimedia
    • Content supported well by social media & email marketing

    8. Launch Your Website

    So you are done with all the scary steps of choosing a domain name, web hosting server, creating a sitemap, or the list of pages you want to publish? You either took the DIY route or went to professionals. We recommend you hire a website design & development company to design your website. There are many pros and cons to both ways but always remember your business idea or your online business is the result of months or years of blood and sweat so why would you let a few extra bucks clip the wings of your online business? Remember to cross check these items before launching your website online:

    • Is the content written or visual, animated error-free & displaying correctly?
    • Does the website look great on all web browsers & across all devices, screens?
    • Are all details and features functioning correctly and loading quickly across your site?
    • Are links to your social media profiles or other links placed properly?

    9. Analyze Your Site and Improve

    Launching your website successfully is not the last step on how to design a website but your real work starts from there if you want to design your website that do wonders for you. Website analytics is your magical spell. Because you would like to know how your website is performing, what aspect of it is working or what not. All this and more is made possible when you evaluate your site consistently as asic website metrics such as visits, bounce rate, referrers, and conversions to determine the outcome you want your website to accomplish. Here are some key terms you need to know about website performance:

    • Bounce Rates: Bounce rates show how many or what percentage of people left the website without visiting a second page.
    • Exit Rates: Exit rates will show you how many people or what percentage of people left the website via a particular page without taking any action.
    • Conversion: This is actually an action, response or activity of your visitor to a call to action fulfills that gives your business the desired outcome (i.e. filling a form, subscribing to a newsletter or purchasing a product)
    • Broken link: a broken hyperlink that no longer points to its original destination and is a true bane to a website’s performance and user’s experience.

    Done? Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a world class website.

    How Much It Costs to Design Your Website Or Redesign It in 2021?

    Generally speaking, website design prices can range anywhere from Free to $500, $1000, $5000, $20,000 or even $50,000 or maybe over $100,000 . Therefore the best solution for you will not just depend on price. Rather how you, your goals and your budget align together.

    But when you think about designing a website or when you already have a website but it is not working for you anymore, you think about redesigning it and wonder about the cost? Especially when you are a small business or a start-up, just starting out and faced with challenges like cost or limited technical skills. In that scenario, hiring a professional website design company may seem to be digging out a hole in your budget. But if you want to get a well-designed and professional looking website, we recommend you to go for the professionals rather than doing it yourself or hiring some freelancers. Remember: Quality over Quantity.

    Below are the estimated rates for hiring a freelance web designer:

    • Cost of hiring a freelance web designer: $20 to $80 per hour (again depending on the knowledge and experience of the person)
    • Cost of hiring a freelance website developer: $30 to $150 per hour (depending on the knowledge and experience of the person)

    • Cost of hiring a freelance content writer: $0.02 to $0.25 per word (depending on the knowledge and experience of the writer and the type of content you want)

    The typical cost of getting your website design by a web development company will be: 

    • Based on your website features, functionalities, size, and including the cost of developers, designers, and writers, the cost of service, the research cost.
    • Other factors like the cost of testing and changes, updates and maintenance cost, and most likely the cost of domain and hosting for the website also counts in. 
    •  The cost of hiring a web development agency will be in the range of $1000 to $50,000+.

    If you want to know everything about what is the cost of designing or developing a website, we suggest this insightful reading to know the intricacies of budgeting a good website development and designing process.

    Conclusion

    Learning how to design a website or even redesigning your old one or your redundant website can be a herculean task and we hope with this detailed guide, we have eased that process. In this blog, we have also shared some key elements of an amazing website design and how using them you can turn a dull design into a delightful browsing experience in no time

    But don’t stop here. Yes, you have designed a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing website design but there’s always room for improvement, don’t you agree? We are living in an online world that is constantly evolving or adapting so why shouldn’t your website design be fresh and up-to-date. Our final thoughts on How to design a website that takes your online business to the next level? 

    Stay savvy and always keep an eye on the market and your competitors to see what’s new brewing there. Learn it and implement whatever you have learned to be on the top above of your competitors and don't shy away from changes, be flexible.

    Oh, and of course, if you ever get stuck or some steps seem too overwhelming, drop us a comment below– we’ll try to help you with the best of our knowledge.

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    Louis AndersonWeb Development Denver, COZane BrownPaxton HarrisAidan Johnson Recent comment authors
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    Aidan Johnson
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    Aidan Johnson

    I have an older business website that is not mobile responsive. Is it possible to make it responsive or need a new website.

    Paxton Harris
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    Paxton Harris

    The way you explained designing a website made me feel I can design my own website. Thanks!

    Zane Brown
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    Zane Brown

    After going through this blog I thought creating a website is not a big deal now. I can follow all these steps but still I feel the requirement of quality content and for that I need to hire a content writer.

    Web Development Denver, CO
    Guest
    Web Development Denver, CO

    Very interesting and thanks for sharing such a good blog. Your article is so convincing that I never stop myself from saying something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.

    Louis Anderson
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    Louis Anderson

    I purchased hosting from Godaddy , going with its yearly plan. What if I forget to extend it after the year’s completion.

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