Last updated on September 10th, 2019
Small businesses do not usually have the budget to splurge on marketing and creating expensive visuals for brand promotion. So, they would prefer building a website design for their business on their own rather than hiring the services of a professional for the job. Today, when plenty of graphic design tutorials and logo makers are available free, to learn the art of designing a website is not a daunting task anymore for business owners.
Small business owners are usually short on budget, especially when it comes to website building. They don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on creating a professional website.
Even though, websites are immensely important in this day and age due to the ever increasing number of the Internet users. No matter whether they’re looking for a business or want to research about a company that they drive past every day, it still costs a lot of money to get a website. That is unless those small business owners have mastered the art of website design and managed to do it themselves.
Sometimes, hiring a web design professional is outside of your budget.
Here Are Some Of The Ways To Get One Such Website
01. Practice Makes Perfect
No doubt, you’ve heard the adage “practice makes perfect.” This is certainly true here. When it comes to website design, you — a small business owner — need to keep practicing.
The more you experiment with designs, options, adding headings and footers, etc., the better you will be. Before you know it, your website will look like state-of-the-art, while still being something that you did yourself.
On top of this, if you’re worried about experimenting with your live site and possibly making it look strange to anyone who would come across it, then you can always make a clone of your website and make the changes to it. This way, once you have it looking the way that you want it to, you can put it all on your live site.
In fact, once your skills are advanced enough, you’ll be able to do this with ease.
02. Take A Course
There are plenty of free website design online courses available. You just need to know where to look for them. Do a quick search on “website design courses” or head straight to HubSpot.
This website offers many free courses, out of which many are as simple as watching a video and completing a quick exercise. While there’s nothing quite like experimentation to learn how to do things, you’ll pick up some tips that will make all of this easier. And all that you needed to do was spend some time on learning.
Of course, if you’re very serious about learning web design, you can skip the free courses and pay to take a series of them. Your local college may have plenty of web design courses to choose from, and you won’t need to spend a lot of money on them.
Plus, if you tell the admissions office that you just want to take a few courses, they more than likely won’t make you go through the entire enrollment process. Since you aren’t seeking a degree, you should be able to pay for those in-person web design courses and then move on once you’re done.
It never hurts to learn new skills.
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03. Logically Plan Out Your Site
Website design is, despite its name, more about the navigation than the design.
This means that your website needs to be organized in a manner that makes sense. Spend some time sketching out your site map. Which pages will be nested underneath other pages? How many calls-to-action do you have on the site? (We’ll explain this in a minute.) How will people get around your site to find the information that they need? All such questions must be precisely answered even if you’re designing your social media page.
Sure, you can make the site pretty and impress people with its looks, but if it isn’t easy to navigate, then no one will spend any time wandering around it. You need to make all of that necessary information as accessible as possible. Otherwise, you’ll have created your website and spent all that time designing it for nothing.
If you aren’t sure how to plan your site out, then go to some of your competitor’s websites. How have they arranged things?
In addition to this, you can look at your website from the eyes of a visitor. If you’re first going to the site, what would you want to see? Where would that information be located? Answering these questions will help you a good deal.
Alternatively, you can even try out some of the UX examining tools that help improve your website design.
04. Learn The Terminology
This goes back to the education part of things, although you won’t need to take a web design course to pick up on the related terminology. There are some terms that a professional graphic designer uses and you should need to know, such as a call-to-action, which is what prompts the viewer to do something on your site, such as contact you for more information.
Other terms include things like a focal point, which is where the eye focuses first on the page. Responsiveness refers to whether or not your site is optimized for smaller screens, such as smartphones.
Many web platforms (such as WordPress) will automatically do this for you, but you do need to ensure that your site is set up in this manner.
Content is another big one. Everything that you put on the page, from the text to the photographs, is a part of the content. Speaking of which, you need to have good content.
05. Focus On Content, Not The Design
While you do want your web page design to look beautiful, you need to focus more on its content than its design. If you have good content, then most people will forgive your site for having an outdated design. (With that said, a balance between the two is the best.)
As long as you’re able to convey what your business does in words that are easy to follow and include some excellent non-stock photographs, your content will impress people. Sure, there are some websites out there that have outdated designs, but if you look at their content, it is solid enough to work.
When search engines crawl your site, they look for your content anyway, so you might focus on creating path-breaking content as well, instead of on the overall design, at least till your skills are improved.
06. Treat Every Page As If It’s A Landing Page
While learning your web design technology, you more than likely came across the concept of a landing page. These are pages that are designed to be, well, landed on, hence their names. When someone goes to them, they expect to see a lot of pertinent information, including calls-to-action and other details.
Although some sites have landing pages that just aren’t connected to any other ones, these pages can also be nested into a menu. You need to treat every single page on your website as if it’s a landing page. What does this mean?
Well, every page needs to have a call-to-action and plenty of information on it, even if it’s a nested page. Make sure that every page has your company’s logo design prominently placed at the top. The viewers will see the logo first that ensures that they are on the right page.
It’s too easy to create subpages that lack these crucial pieces of design. Why does this matter so much? Search engines aren’t always logical. In some cases, they’ll direct the user to a subpage, instead of the main homepage.If your subpages aren’t properly built out, then they’ll turn away the users who go straight to them.
07. Use WordPress As Your Hosting Platform
WordPress used to be known as a blogging platform. A lot has changed since those early days.
WordPress makes it easy to be your own webmaster. Although other sites are just as easy to use, including Wix, WordPress seems to be the master of this domain. Whether you host your site through them, or through other web hosting providing companies that support WordPress, updating it will be equally easy, and you’ll be able to take all of those tricks that you learned when taking web courses and turn them into reality.
Plus, adding new pages, developing a blog, and more is as easy as clicking a button. This is great for small business owners who don’t have a lot of time to spare when balancing, updating their websites and running their businesses.
As you can see, there are several things that small business owners can do to master the art of website design. Once you’ve learned how to use your hosting platform (hopefully it’s WordPress), and are able to update your content to include crucial information, then everything will go much more smoothly.
You might even see the amount of your business go up exponentially since customers near you will be happy to hire a company with such a useful website. This is the entire point of having one; right? You want to increase your visibility and business.
Small business owners can create their website design on their own by practicing the art a little by taking a course and learning the terminology. They should treat every site page as a landing page and choose the right hosting platform to run the site successfully.