Don’t be fooled by looks alone! When viewing website designs it’s easy to be drawn to the sites that look slick and stylish – especially if moving from an older website.
However, appearance is just one part of the whole picture. Your website needs to perform if it is going to bring you customers.
While it’s undeniably important for your website to look great and reflect your overall branding, be wary about focusing too much on aesthetics at the cost of performance.
Watch out for:
- Fancy animations that can slow page load times. What is the point of beautiful and stylish effects if your visitors lose patience and leave before seeing them?
- Large file sizes, for example videos or code, which can also cause your website to lag. Your web development team should be able to advise you on how to keep bloat to a minimum and apply some tricks to ensure that items only load as they are needed.
- Innovative browsing options. While interactive videos, pictoral menus and horizontal sliding tabs can all add flair and make your website stand out from the crowd, they need to still be intuitive and inviting enough to encourage visitors to keep browsing to different areas of your site.
Functionality matters, and it matters a lot. It should be easy for your visitors to navigate to what they are looking for, and the site should guide them through any transactions or marketing funnels in an intuitive way.
Your website should be able to handle all of the business activities that you need it to. To that end, it is important that you are clear when communicating these needs to a web developer. Think carefully about the different purposes that your website will have.
If you are selling online, what shopping features do you want to include? Will your site connect with your stock management system for real-time inventory counts? Do you need to assign barcodes to your parts or products? Will you need additional security or encryption to keep customer information safe?
Perhaps you will need interactive elements on your site, such as allowing customers to design their own products or add a personalized message. Maybe you have complex product variations that customers will need to choose during their purchase such as size, colour or materials.
Don’t take it for granted that your web developer will automatically include the features that you need in your website. Be as specific and detailed as possible when explaining your needs to avoid any confusion, frustration and unforeseen costs.
Always remember that you know your business better than anyone else – including the web developer.
While they know websites, they don’t necessarily have a clear picture of what is best for your website unless you tell them. They will be able to design a website that can work for your business needs but it is very important that you communicate this to the web developers and go into details about the objectives and workings of your business.