- Professional website design can improve your business’s credibility is by showcasing your company’s expertise and professionalism.
- A user-first approach can help build trust and credibility with your customers when you show that your business is committed to providing a positive user experience.
- A custom website design can help your business stand out from the crowd to earn its own identity and feeling of trustworthiness.
Web design can be very complex topic for small business owners who are not in the web development industry. To a degree, most people know a stunning web page design when they see it, but they may not be able to tell you exactly what causes it to stand apart from other websites.
This guide explain what professional web design is and will give you a 9-Point Checklist of the individual parts and what they mean.
If you are starting a complete redesign, or are already in the middle of an ongoing website redesign project, be sure to understand and check for these things in the website designs submitted by the design company you’re working with.
What Is Professional Web Design?
Professional web design can be technically defined as the design and development of websites that are created, and in many cases, maintained by professional web designers and developers in the future to be sure they work as intended. A high-level breakdown of this includes:
- Project Planning
- Layout Creation
- Aesthetic Design
- Technical Aspects (custom coding)
- Planning For Ongoing Maintenance Of The Site
All of these are done considering the needs and goals of the website owner, as well as the ideal customer for your business. A professional design should be aesthetically appealing, user-friendly, and effective at conveying the desired message or achieving the ideal business outcome of the website.
Why Professional Web Design Is Important
A professional website design is essential for your business if you want to establish your brand presence online.
Your website is often what will initiate the process of developing credibility and trust in your business with new and existing customers. A professional design goes beyond just being visually pleasing, and can be critical for the success of your overall digital marketing strategy, particularly when carefully chosen phycological web design tricks are used to improve your websites conversion rate.
Web design is often just thought of as how your website looks, but it’s also how easy it is to use and the experience people have while engaging with your business online. It’s not enough for a well-designed website to just look visually appealing but also must function smoothly and provide an exceptionally good user experience.
Providing your potential customers with what they are looking to find or need to know as easily as possible will leave them with a positive impression of your business.
How A Professional Design Demonstrates Your Values
One of the key ways that professional website design can improve your business’s credibility is by showcasing your company’s expertise and professionalism through its visual communication and attention to detail.
A thoughtfully created, custom website design can help demonstrate your business’s values, mission, and unique selling points in a clear and engaging way. When your website is easy to use, and visually engaging it will help establish your business as a trusted and reliable source of information, products, or services within your industry.
If building trust and credibility around your business are important to you and for your business, then you will need to seek out custom website design services from web designers that have a history of producing winning web page design projects.
What Is Custom Web Design?
It is not uncommon for some web designers to use the same template over and over again when creating websites for their clients. It’s true that some of those templates may very well produce a neat and clean layout for their clients, but they certainly won’t produce a unique website that reflects positively on your business.
Over time, a lot of websites built from templates will end up looking and functioning the exact same way because the web design is not customized for each client beyond some small, surface-level visual changes. The overuse of templates is common from certain CMS platforms, but particularly WordPress. Hiring a professional WordPress site designer who will create a customer-centric website is highly recommended to avoid this issue from the start.
In order for your business to stand out enough from the crowd to earn its own identity and feeling of trustworthiness, it needs to have a unique website, and that’s where custom website designs come in.
Custom web design services are normally carried out by multiple designers collaborating on a single project to produce a website that both looks and functions in a unique way that reflects the brand behind it.
When multiple designers work together on your project, they are able to be more detailed with their attention to not just the appearance of your website, but how it helps your customers engage with your brand to produce a positive user experience.
A custom web design process will involve not just custom web design, but also custom web development for the features that control how your site runs as well.
The Nine Elements Of A Professionally Designed Website
Here are the nine things web design projects need to feel professional and positively impact a customer’s perception of your business.
- A User-Experience First Web Approach To Design
- A Custom Design And Layout Just For Your Business
- Great Logo Design
- Responsive Design That Works On Mobile Devices
- Uses Images From Your Business Or Of Its Products
- The Web Page Designs Are Created For Your Specific Target Audience
- It’s Built On A Content Management System
- Plays Well With Search Engines
- It’s Fast Loading
Here’s what all of those mean.
1. A ‘User-Experience First’ Approach To Web Design
When your website is easy to navigate and use it will encourage your visitors to stay longer, browse more pages, and ultimately, engage more with your business.
It can help build trust and credibility with your customers when you show that your business is committed to providing a positive user experience and put it at the front of your website design efforts.
2. A Custom Web Design
As you’ve learned, there’s a big difference between having a template website that looks like 30,000 other businesses and a custom design that is completely unique to your business and its values.
More experienced designers will tend to gravitate toward custom website designs, so if your website design partner is suggesting a template it may be a caution sign that they aren’t right for the job.
3. Great Logo Design
Your logo design may be the very first thing new customers see when they arrive at your website. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
If you need help with your current logo design, your web designer may also offer some graphic design services, so don’t be surprised if they ask if you would be interested in a logo design refresh with the overall website design as well.
4. Responsive Design That Works On Mobile Devices
It’s uncommon for a website design project to not include mobile-friendly design when talking about a modern website that should work on mobile devices.
It is a fundamental part of most website development services. If the web developers don’t mention it and you have a dedicated account manager that you are working with, you will want to confirm with them or the project manager that it is being considered.
5. Uses Your Own Images
In order for your business to build trust and increase its credibility, it should be able to use images from its own products, services, and employees in its web design.
Websites that overuse, or exclusively use, stock art simply do not convey the same sense of trust and connection with their web design. A little stock art is fine, but overuse can interfere with your ability to build relationships with your customers online.
6. The Web Page Designs Are Created For Your Specific Target Audience
Keep in mind that at the end of the day, you’re not running a website design contest (not that there is anything wrong with web design contests). The website design ideas your design company puts in front of you must be based on your customer’s needs and how to best serve them.
As a modern business, your website design is a key element of your overall digital marketing strategy. The designs created must show an understanding of who your target audience is, and how they will engage with each web page and your overall web design.
7. It’s Built On A Content Management System
Content management systems (or CMS for short) allow you to easily update content, add new content, or remove old content from your website. This is particularly important for an eCommerce site, where you will have products to add, or orders to fulfill.
Higher-priced packages for website design services almost always include a content management system by default for any modern website design and project managers will normally let you know that ahead of time.
8. Plays Well With Major Search Engines
Ultimately, the suggested website design ideas you’re shown might be wonderful, but if search engines can’t see them and your website won’t appear in search rankings, they need to be re-evaluated.
9. It’s Fast Loading
Your customers expect a website that loads quickly. If your website takes a long time to load, and particularly as people move from one page to another, it will negatively impact how your business is perceived no matter how cool or innovative your web design is.
In addition to your customer’s expectations, search engines use page speed as a ranking factor. A truly professional website design will prioritize performance from the start, helping increase your potential visibility to new customers.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Services Are Included In Web Design?
Depending on the designer, it may start with a free consultation. From there it will move into the primary web design process where the layout and look of your website is created. Depending on the company your working with, two or three versions of a web design would be shown to you and once one is approved, a front-end developer will take that design and turn it into a usable site.
If you are hosting your website with your designer, the migration from the staging environment (where they built your website) into what is known as the production environment (where the public can see and start using your new website) is often included as well.
How Much Should A Professionally Designed Website Cost?
For very simple websites, it may only cost a few thousand dollars. It will depend on the project, the time involved, and how complex the needs of the website are. As the websites grow in size and complexity, the cost to design and develop it will often scale proportionately with the size of the project.
Is Logo Design Included In Web Design Services?
That depends. Having a great logo is essential to the overall success of a website design. Logo creation can be a complete specialty of its own so many high-end designers will consider custom logo design to be a separate service. Other companies may work the cost of a logo design into the overall redesign package.
Is There Such A Thing As Quality Assurance In Web Design?
In most cases, a high-level designer owns a project and accepts responsibility for ensuring it is executed correctly. Once they present some initial options to you, and you pick the winning design, it’s out of the designer’s hands and over to the front-end developer to then build the site.
Is Web Design For An Online Store Different Than Other Forms Of Website Design?
eCommerce web design is a little different than when dealing with websites that don’t offer products for sale. On top of all of the regular pages that would have to be created normally, additional web design tasks have to be carried out for product pages, category pages, the shopping cart and checkout pages as well.
What Software Or Tools Do Professional Web Designers Use?
A web design project will normally begin with wireframe creation. A prototyping application like Figma or Adobe XD is often used to create the initial design wireframe.
During the design handover stage, the client reviews and approves the final website design. The website will then be custom coded and created in a CMS such as WordPress, Umbraco, Sitefinity, Drupal, among others.
Do Professional Web Designers Use Wix?
It is very uncommon for a professional designer to use Wix, Squarespace, Webflow, or other SAAS solutions. Typically, a professional designer will create a final web design that needs more flexibility and versatility than a platform like Wix is able to offer.
Do Professional Web Designers Use WordPress?
Yes, many developers use WordPress websites to build their final web design. In fact, some designers work exclusively with WordPress, teaming up with WordPress developers to code, not just the website design, but any custom functionality the client needs for the site as well.
Can Graphic Designers Do Web Design?
Once graphic designers adjust to understanding that their designs have to be able to move with the various sizes of the devices people are viewing the website with, they can often assist with the initial portion of web design. They will still need to depend on a front-end developer to code and execute their web design, turning it into a website people will be able to use.
Is A Web Design Contest A Good Place To Find A Website Designer?
No, typically design contests are not a good place to hire someone.
Web design contests typically feature student designers who are just starting their careers and looking to make a name for themselves as a winning designer. While they are capable of creating a website design for the design contest, and possibly even winning that website design contest, they may not yet have found a developer partner to help them then turn that web design into a usable product.
Where Can You Find Professional Web Designers
It goes without saying that since you are here already, you’ve found one. Outside of us, networking and asking other business owners for a referral may help. If that doesn’t help, you can always turn to Google to find one.
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Revisit A Section
- What Is Professional Web Design?
- Why Professional Web Design Is Important
- How A Professional Design Demonstrates Your Values
- What Is Custom Web Design?
- The Nine Elements Of A Professionally Designed Website
- 1. A ‘User-Experience First’ Approach To Web Design
- 2. A Custom Web Design
- 3. Great Logo Design
- 4. Responsive Design That Works On Mobile Devices
- 5. Uses Your Own Images
- 6. The Web Page Designs Are Created For Your Specific Target Audience
- 7. It’s Built On A Content Management System
- 8. Plays Well With Major Search Engines
- 9. It’s Fast Loading
- Ready To Get Started On Your Website Design Project Today?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What Services Are Included In Web Design?
- How Much Should A Professionally Designed Website Cost?
- Is Logo Design Included In Web Design Services?
- Is There Such A Thing As Quality Assurance In Web Design?
- Is Web Design For An Online Store Different Than Other Forms Of Website Design?
- What Software Or Tools Do Professional Web Designers Use?
- Do Professional Web Designers Use Wix?
- Do Professional Web Designers Use WordPress?
- Can Graphic Designers Do Web Design?
- Is A Web Design Contest A Good Place To Find A Website Designer?
- Where Can You Find Professional Web Designers
- Ready To Hire A Professional?