Simplicity is the best rule
We believe the best design is simple design. With simplicity comes sophistication.
Whilst most WordPress themes these days come with lots of complex layout options, sliders, animations and gallery options, it is unlikely that you will need to use all of them on your homepage. These themes are designed to include these varied options so to have the flexibility for any web designer to re-purpose the theme to "fit" the company it is being built for.
You can make use of these design functions however, just ensure they support your goal. Complicated design can hinder usability and make it hard to find things within your site. A good looking site is a useless site if your visitors can not find their way around. Thus in defining a great website we encourage beautiful simplicity. A website with a clear purpose and well designed navigation and visual appeal. Your site can still look good without compromising usability and simplicity.
Here are four great looking yet simple website designs that we love:
Responsive is Not Optional Anymore
With the increasing use of mobile devices on the internet it is now paramount that your website is designed to be displayed correctly on those devices. Not only will you lose visitors who leave your site after finding it hard to zoom and navigate from a handheld device, but you could also compromise your rankings in Google with bad bounce back to SERP metrics. Designing your site so that it "responds" to the different sizes of the varied mobile and tablet devices, means your visitors have a seamless experience across these platforms and are able to navigate correctly, without continually having to pinch to zoom in order to read your text.
A lot of websites are now exceeding 50% of their traffic from mobile, with this figure only set to increase. Google is paying attention to this trend and are now providing webmasters and more recently, business owners with the tools to evaluate their “mobile readiness”. You can enter your website URL into: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
You can quickly gauge whether a site is responsive by resizing your browser window on a desktop computer. As the smaller window size is detected the elements on the page will resize and or re-shuffle to accommodate the best viewing performance for that screen size. The Google tool above however provides the best results on mobile responsiveness. The test will show red flags for sites that are not mobile friendly and warning flags for items that are not well adjusted for mobile.
Responsiveness is important because it; “Prevents you from creating a device specific mobile version” and “…offer[s] better readability and usability on smaller screens such as smart phones”.
For more explanation on mobile responsiveness see Google’s fundamentals here: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/design-and-ui/responsive/
For more information on how we create our designs see our web design posts page.