5 Pillars of Great Website Design
Web design has changed drastically in the last decade. In the early days of the internet, websites were single pages that were clunky, filled with text, and weren’t appealing at all. The internet has advanced at an exponential rate since then. Websites today are fully responsive, interactive, and filled with multimedia. The goals of web design have also changed at a higher level – you create a site to bring in new customers, keep them entertained, and to persuade them to become conversions.
For a company in Toronto, one of the most challenging parts of going “digital” is to have a beautifully designed site. You’re competing against some of the most fast-paced, technologically advanced businesses in the country. You website design must match your competition and beat it in every way possible if you want the upper edge in the race to success.
Any web design company in Toronto worth their salt will tell you the same thing: good web design isn’t just about making it pretty. There’s a lot more that goes into developing a website than making it look pretty.
Pillar #1: Planning
Websites aren’t simple anymore. They’re massive entities with pages, elements, animations, effects, and more. You can’t start creating a website without planning it out first. Planning begins with a consultation. Your company is unique in many ways. Showing that uniqueness off to the public is how you convince potential customers to choose you over your competition.
A consultation with a professional web design company in Toronto allows you to identify what it is about your business that makes you different. The designers use this in the next phase of planning: the wireframe.
A wireframe is the skeleton of a website. You don’t use wireframes unless you’re getting a custom website created, which is always a great idea. It visualizes the actual site, placing text and other elements in proposed locations. When the wireframe is completed, you can work with your designer to figure out what needs to change until you’re satisfied.
Good planning also identifies the content that your new site will have, the different transitions and animations, special requirements, and more.
Pillar #2: Clean Coding
On the outside, websites are beautiful. They’re all powered by code. Today, we use HTML5 to create custom websites. It’s the current standard of the internet. The bigger a website is, the more complex the code is on the back-end.
As more code gets added to the back-end of your new website, developers must stick to best practices. Clean code keeps your website running error-free. It also means fixes to issues can be done quickly and without starting an avalanche of other issues.
Clean code also helps your ranking on Google.
Pillar #3: Search Engine Optimization
Having a website isn’t enough if it doesn’t get noticed by your target market. You won’t see leads and conversions unless you optimize your site for search engines. In Toronto, SEO is a competitive field because of how commercial the region is. Contracting a good SEO company in Toronto is crucial to getting your new site noticed.
Contrary to popular opinion, SEO isn’t just about keywords in your content. Google’s algorithms have changed and become far smarter than they used to be. SEO has to begin at the code level. Everything matters: the time your pages take to load on browsers, the mobile-friendly design of your site, the quality of your content, and the quality of links from other websites that bring users to your own.
Pillar #4: Responsive Design
In 2016, the average number of users on mobile devices surpassed those on desktop computers for the first time. Everything is mobile today. Your users are probably using their phones to get to your site more often than they are using desktop computers and browsers. You have to make your website design adapt to this change.
Responsive design is when a website is developed to adapt to the size of the screen on which it is viewed. If your users check your site out on a desktop screen, for example, they’ll see your website in one way. If they were to visit it on a phone, the elements would automatically arrange themselves for the best user experience for that screen size.
Without responsive design, you’re going to experience a very high bounce rate. No one has time for a difficult site anymore. They’ll leave your site before your great content and unique business goals have time to attract and appeal to them. Responsive web design is a must in Toronto.
Pillar #5: Great Content
Content is king. It’s a principle drilled into writers and designers time and time again. If your content isn’t good, you can look forward to an abysmal conversion rate. Your gorgeous website is nothing without informative, readable, accessible content to flesh it out.
Great web design companies in Toronto hire teams of skilled professional writers and designers to do just this. They write copy geared to your target market, designed to flow easily, read well, and stick to best practices today.
Now that you know the 5 pillars of great web design, you know what to look for in a web design company in Toronto that knows what it is doing and does it well. Look for effective planning, clean coding practices, great content teams, a promise of responsive design, and search engine optimization from the ground up. Look for other things too – professionalism, integrity, and cost are all critical components that are signs of a contractor you can trust with your brand and your money.