Customizing Your Website with Style Tweaks
Just like all the magazines, newspapers, brochures, and books on display at a newsstand, your website is a product vying for attention. In order for people to pick your site as the one they visit, it needs to catch their eye. Then, once they’re on your site, it needs to keep them there. Style is just as important as content in this regard. Having a unique, attractive site with a functional and appealing layout, intuitive navigation, and even the right color palette, will separate you from the competition and keep your visitors happy. This might sound daunting if you’re not experienced with website design, but a lot of changes can be made with a few simple style tweaks that will make a big difference.
Tip #1: Put your most important content above the fold
Newspapers put their headlines “above the fold” so they’re the first thing that catches a reader’s eye. Websites might not be the same medium, but what your visitors see upon the initial page load is critical. If they didn’t accidentally clicked through to your website in the first place, it might be the only thing they see. Your above the fold content has the potential to reduce your bounce rate by drawing in visitors you may have otherwise lost. Proper above the fold allocation will also keep the interest of visitors that intended to come to your site. When designing your website, make sure the content you place on top is the most attractive and eye-catching.
Tip #2: Ditch the generic theme, get customizing
Themes are a fantastic tool for website owners who don’t have the experience or budget for a completely custom design. Themes look attractive, are inexpensive and easy to install. However popular themes can be incredibly common. Customizing your website so that it is unique yet familiar is one of the best ways to stand out among your competitors. Most themes can be altered with style tweaks in the coding, changing everything from the color and font to layout and navigation.
Tip #3: Clean up your navigation
Busy, complicated designs can give users too many choices. When your site is cluttered, it can be difficult for users to understand how to navigate. Your website should have navigation that is intuitive and organized so that users can find what they are looking for in a logical manner. They should be able to follow a linear experience that has highly visible calls to action at appropriate points. Good design guides the visitor through your website and directs them where you want them to go.
If your site has several nested layers it’s also worth including breadcrumb navigation so users always know how to return to a different area.
Tip #4: Improve your typography
The majority of content on the web is text. If your website contains a heavy amount of text content, you could probably benefit from making improvements to your typography. Basic typography rules dictate using ample spacing between lines and choosing a font color that contrasts with the background. Your typography should also use indentation and punctuation to create a well defined hierarchy. This amplifys your text content by displaying to readers what is most important.
It is generally a good idea to keep typeface pairings simple. Typically a header font and body font are sufficient. Header fonts should be commanding, and body fonts should be readable. You should always use sans serif fonts online to improve readability.
Tip #5: Utilize the power of imagery
Images straddle the line between content and design. When customizing your website, it is important to make the distinction between content imagery and background imagery. Put content imagery front and center as an integral part of the experience. Background imagery should be powerful, emotion invoking images that supplement the experience rather than distract. In both cases, it is essential that images be well optimized for the web. The last thing you want is bloated images slowing page load times. Another thing to be mindful of is the overuse of stock imagery. Under ideal circumstances you wouldn’t have any at all, but this isn’t always possible. However, what you should keep in mind is that visitors tend to trust genuine images more.
With a few simple style changes you can completely reinvent your website. At TechTe.am we’re passionate about building great websites, and we want to help you improve your online presence. Choose a plan today and let us help you reach your goals.