How to Design a Website
So, you’ve finally decided that your business needs a website and you have a good idea of what you want it to look like. But how exactly do you go from the ideas in your head to a fully built website?
Before you can have a fully functioning website, you’ll have to go through the design process first. The whole design process involves taking all those ideas in your head and building a prototype version. You might not have all the skills yourself to actually make the website so you’ll be relying on other people to follow your plans and make the ideas come to life.
The design process is a crucial step for any good website and can’t be skipped. Your ideas might sound good in your head but are they practical and realistic? The design process helps you eliminate the bad ideas, expand the good ideas and develop new ideas.
A lot of your original ideas can change during the design process, but it’s usually for the best. After all, the best websites get rid of any unnecessary features to gives users the best viewing experience. Here’s how you can turn your good ideas into a brilliant fully functioning website.
Put Your Ideas on Paper
Now you’re probably already overflowing with ideas about your website, so the first thing to do is to write them down. The last thing you want to do is forget a great idea.
These ideas can be things like themes for your website, navigation ideas; you think your visitors will love. Not every single one of your ideas has to be used so don’t be afraid of writing down too many; you’ll pick the best ones later.
Look for Inspiration
Now you have all your ideas written down; it’s time to go hunting for more.
You might have a good idea of what you want your website to include, but the chances are you haven’t thought of a layout yet. A layout, or style is a fundamental element of web design and can easily turn a bad website into a good one.
Before we get to sketching out the layout, it’s important to have a look at other sites and explore some ideas. If you’re looking for layout examples, then we suggest visiting the following websites:
These websites all offer galleries of great web design and are great places to get inspiration.
Another good idea is to Google other businesses that are in your industry and to check out their website. Be careful when taking ideas, though, it’s best only to take a few from each website. If you take too many, then you might as well just copy the whole website.
The last thing you want to do is just go and copy someone else’s websites. You should make your website unique and make it your own. If everyone copied each other’s website, then there would be 1 website with a billion variations, how boring!
Sketch a Layout
Now you’ve found a layout you like you can start sketching it out on paper (or the computer). Using your inspiration from the other websites, you should be able to create a full website layout. You should also have a good idea of where you want certain features to be such as the navigation bar, contact information, and general user interface.
Out of the whole design process, this step will probably take the longest. You might even find yourself revisiting this step again and again. The whole point of this step is to make sure everything you want from your website is included and at the same time still provides an excellent customer experience.
You’ll soon realise it’s not possible to get every feature you want on your website without affecting your visitors in some way. A large picture of your staff might sound good but how does it actually look on paper and how does it affect the loading time of your website?
Choose Your Fonts
Now you’ve got the layout and features sorted it’s time to turn to the font. The font of your website is very important as it must be readable yet match the website’s theme. The big debate at the moment is which font style is better, sans or serif?
Serif fonts like Times New Roman have small decorative flourishes on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. This can give them a more unique and fancy feel to them compared to Sans fonts which don’t have them and are considered more “plain.”
Personally, we would suggest using a Sans font, but you’ll have to try it on your website and see what it’s like. That’s what this process is all about!
If you need some inspiration on fonts as well, then be sure to check out these websites:
Once your design is finished and you’ve got the layout sketched out along with the font and features, it’s time to get feedback. The best way to get feedback is to show it to the people around you first. Family and friends are the best place to start as they will give you immediate feedback, but they’re not always the most honest. If they don’t like something, then most of the time they’ll just tell you they love it anyway.
That’s why it’s important to show it to as many people as possible before you give it the green light. Another good way to get feedback is to post your design on online forums and websites. Other users can then post feedback on your design, but be warned they’re not likely to sugar coat anything.
If everyone hates your website, then don’t feel bad. Luckily you found out while the website is still in the design process. This is a good thing as it means there is something you can do about it. Imagine getting your website fully made and paying thousands of pounds just for everyone to tell you they don’t like it.
Remember, although feedback can be good you will always have the final say. After all, it is your business!
Now your design is complete and everyone loves it; there’s only one thing left to do. Get it built into a functioning website!
Now it’s unlikely you have all the skills to turn your design into a website. The good news is there are other people out there that can take your design and make it come to life.
The first person you’ll need is a proper designer who can take your sketches and layouts and make a digital mockup. This basically means turning your paper sketches and layouts into a full sized digital layout. Once that part is done you’ll need a programmer to add functionality to your website.
These coders or developers as they are called in the industry will take the mock up design and make it come to life. Both designers and coders can be found online through several freelancing websites. It’s always best to check out their previous work and portfolio to make sure they can get the job done to a high standard.
If you’re looking for a reputable web designer and coder to complete your website, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here at Purplebox Digital we’ve helped hundreds of clients turn their website ideas into beautiful fully functioning websites. If you already have a design or plan for your website, then we’d be delighted to help produce the final product.
Simply contact us below with your ideas to see how we can help.