SiteSwan 7 Tips for Designing Better-looking Websites for Your Clients
SiteSwan 7 Tips for Designing Better-looking Websites for Your Clients

7 Tips for Designing Better-looking Websites for Your Clients

Published on December 26, 2022

We all know that the look and feel of a website are important, but did you know that design can actually impact a site’s performance and trust? In fact, 94% of users in a recent study expressed that bad design led to mistrust in the websites they visited.

Those results are astounding. And while nobody sets out to design an “ugly” website on purpose, we sometimes struggle with designing websites that meet our client’s expectations (or even our own).

When you design great looking websites, you’re not just creating a site that’s attractive. You're also improving its performance and its value. This could all lead to a faster sale, a happier client, and more money in your pocket. Whether you're building a website for yourself or a potential client, here are 7 tips to help you design better-looking websites every time. 

1. Start with a template

Many web designers feel compelled to start from scratch. But there is no shame in taking a short-cut. Website templates or themes are a great way to design professional websites without reinventing the wheel. Take SiteSwan’s Themes for example; with over 200 different templates for just about any industry, you can be on the fast-track to designing websites that look great in a matter of seconds. Each theme can be customized with your client’s logo, colors and imagers so it’s easy to make them look unique with just a few changes.

2. Look for inspiration

While website themes and templates are super helpful, sometimes you’re working with a client that’s in a unique industry or that you can’t find a theme for. What do you do? A great idea is to look for inspiration. Researching other companies and websites in that industry can give you a good idea of what your client might be looking for. Even browsing sites like Pinterest and Dribble can help get your creative juices flowing.

3. Choose high-quality images

Nothing tarnishes a website’s design faster than poor quality imagery. Blurry or pixelated photos are hard on the eyes. And ametuer or DIY photos are often unprofessional, have bad lighting or taken at the wrong angle. A good image on a website can make all the difference. Like the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words” so it’s important to choose high quality images for your website projects. Don’t think you need to spend a fortune on stock photography either. You can find great looking images for free on sites like Pixabay and Unsplash

4. Pick colors wisely

Colors are an important element to a website’s design. Choose the wrong ones and you can make a good site look horrendous real quick. But which colors are the worst offenders? The problem normally isn’t a single color, it’s the combination of colors or how they're used that become hard on the eyes. For example, red, blue, green, purple, brown, turquoise are all great colors…by themselves. But use all them together at once, and you’ll end up with a website that will make you feel dizzy. How you use colors is equally important. For example, dark text on a dark background is difficult to read. Small red text can look like a warning or error message. A good rule of thumb is stick with a basic color scheme that matches the client’s logo. Oftentimes, when it comes to colors, less is more. 

5. Use easy to read fonts

Similar to colors, choosing fonts not only affects the design of a website, but it can impact your site visitor’s experience. You want to make sure that any fonts you choose are not only “on-brand”, but they are also clean and legible. When it comes to primary content, you generally want to stick with a basic serif or sans-serif font. Cursive or descriptive fonts tend to be more difficult to read. But that doesn’t mean your sites need to look bland or boring. Some popular website fonts include:
  • Arvo
  • Merriweather
  • Montserrat
  • Open Sans
  • Playfair Display
  • Poppins
  • Quicksand
  • Roboto
  • Yeseva One

6. Avoid distractions

Remember not too long ago when you would visit a website and see a traffic counter across the top of the site? Or be hit with some animated Flash upon entering a site? While Flash has become obsolete, you can still find older websites using it in their design. Unfortunately, it won’t even load on most browsers or devices. However, there are plenty of distractions that can interfere with a visitor’s experience on your website. Pop ups, animated gifs, videos that start automatically, and music playing in the background can all affect your website's design and performance. Even a chat widget can become distracting for site visitors. When applying these features to your websites, use them sparingly, and make sure that they don’t interfere with the core functionality of your website. The fewer distractions, the better. 

7. Add a personal touch

A great way to elevate your website designs, is to add a personal touch that resonates directly with your clients. It can be as simple as including their tagline on their site, adding a photo of their storefront or company vehicles, or incorporating an element from their logo to the design. These small personalizations can have a big impact, not only on the look and feel of the site, but on your client’s satisfaction. Small businesses owners are proud of their companies and love to showcase their success. Just be careful not to add anything that is irrelevant to their customers. For example, you may have a client that owns a plumbing business and the owner loves their cat. They might ask you to use a photo of their feline friend as the main image on the homepage. You need to think to yourself, is this the right image for the client’s target market? When someone is looking for a plumber, do they really want to see a picture of a cat? While it may be difficult to say “NO” to a client, it’s your responsibility to explain why that’s not a good idea, and how it can hurt their business (and your reputation as a designer).

Ready to design better-looking websites?

Website design is part art and part science. There is a formula to what works and what doesn’t. And while design itself is subjective, it’s best to stick to best practices. Applying these tips to your client’s website can help improve not only the appearance, but their overall performance. Good looking websites attract more visitors, keep them engaged and lead to more conversions. And after all, better-looking websites attract better-paying clients.

Looking for more ways to grow your web design business? Become a SiteSwan Website Reseller and gain access to our suite of tools, themes and resources designed to help you succeed.

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