Picking a good website design is only getting harder due to “easy-to-make websites” or “no coding needed” templates. Many small business owners are attracted to the look of an “easy-to-build” demo site but don’t realize that their company’s content doesn’t fit into the design of that demo.
The short answer is yes, a website has to look good to be successful. The real question lies in the definition of what is good-looking.
What does it mean for a website to look good?
Before you worry about what your website looks like, you should decide what its purpose will be. A website that is a brochure for a landmark in a city park is going to have a very different purpose, content, and design than a website selling $1,700 baskets of homemade soap. Like any marketing tool, putting your customer’s needs and interests first will help you in the long run.
Plan out what will be on your website.
Decide early what kinds of things you want on your website. Who is going to keep it maintained and updated? Easy maintenance is going to help you keep that website up-to-date and send a message to your customers that you are running your business well. WordPress sites with an easy-to-maintain template will ensure the stories, posts, news, events, or advice you put on your site will be fresh. If you are going to have a lot of pictures, plan ahead on where they will come from. A lot of demo websites look great because the photography is great. Be realistic about your content and what you’re going to put on your site.
How will you get traffic to your website?
If you fill your site with useful and relevant content, people are more likely to find you in a Google search. If your site uses easy-to-read typography, looks good on a phone and desktop, and has good images, your site will be more likely to gain return visitors and social media shares. Some popular website builders wrap your content up in shortcodes that confuse search engines. It might have been an easy-to-build web page, but when Bing or Google sees it, all they see is code. If they can’t see readable content, they won’t send customers to your site.
Don’t Give In to the Easy-to-Build Website Trick!
A very popular trend is to buy a website that is “easy to build with no coding needed!” That would be great if all you needed to do with a website was build it. If Toyota sold Camrys or architects sold homes with the slogan “it was so easy to put together,” you wouldn’t want to drive in it or live in it. Code on a website isn’t bad unless it makes it hard to update your site. Regular updates to content like addresses and phone numbers should be very easy to do. When Lieberman Technologies develops a WordPress website for a customer, such edits are part of the template. Making changes is as easy as filling in a form. When viewed from the backside, website design really is more complicated than you think. Still, that complex design is what makes it easy to use.
A good website is like a baseball bat. Sure, a broom handle is easy to use, but you probably wouldn’t be very successful at hitting baseballs with it. It’s worth paying someone to make a Louisville Slugger if you want to hit the ball out of the park. You want your site to be built with quality, clean code. Clean code means that your can perform well in real-life tests. Google reports that if a page takes more than 4 seconds to load, visitors will hit the back button and move along. If nobody is visiting your site, it doesn’t matter how easy it was to build.
Resist the temptation to buy one of those “easy to build” websites. It’s worth the investment to have someone build a site that performs well and allows you to easily update your content. If your website isn’t performing as well as it should, contact Lieberman Technologies. Our website development team can build a website for your business that is both good-looking and easy to use.