How to Design a Website: A Step-by-Step Guide from Idea to Launch

How to Design a Website: A Step-by-Step Guide from Idea to Launch

Web design can have a significant influence on the performance and popularity of a website. If your site is visually appealing and functions smoothly, visitors are more likely to explore your content and return.

Unfortunately, many website owners feel like hiring professional web designers is the only way to create a website of high quality. Although a good option, it can be pricey to design a website this way. 

Luckily there are other ways to get a well-designed website without spending thousands of dollars – one of them is doing the job yourself.

This article will show you how to design a website without needing any technical skills or knowledge.

Why Is Web Design Important?

Web design is essential because it can set people’s first impression about a personal brand or business. Web users decide whether to engage with a site in less than 0.05 seconds, mainly by evaluating its looks. 

Moreover, web design also contributes around 75% to a visitor’s judgment regarding the credibility of a person or a business. Thus, if a website appears poorly-made, people may consider it a scam. 

On top of that, web design can have a significant impact on a customer’s buying journey.

Toptal reports 88% of online shoppers won’t make repeat purchases if they had a poor user experience. Furthermore, mobile visitors are five times more likely to leave a website if it doesn’t look or function properly on their devices.

Web design also plays a significant role in brand recognition. Maintaining visual consistency across all marketing channels can make it easier for the target audience to identify your business’s identity.

Finally, website design matters for SEO. If visitors find your site difficult to navigate, search engines will likely perceive it the same way. As such, the bots may have a hard time crawling the content for indexing and ranking purposes. 

How to Design a Website in 10 Steps

This section will show the step-by-step guide on how to design a website. 

1. Define the Purpose of Your Website

Before we get started, it’s important to define why you want to create a website in the first place. Doing so ensures that every design decision made will align with the site’s end goals. 

For example, if you own an online store, the site design should facilitate the customers’ buying journey, from discovering the items to completing their purchases. 

On the other hand, those who want to launch an online portfolio will want a web design that complements their work.

If you need help defining the purpose of your website, here are some guiding questions: 

  • Who is the site’s target audience?
  • What are the goals of your business’s content strategy? Is it to educate about a subject, sell products, or entertain visitors? 
  • What series of actions should website visitors take upon opening the site? It can be browsing through the products, buying an item, reading the content, or signing up for a newsletter.
  • What kind of voice and tone do you want to use to communicate with visitors?

These notes will come in handy as you build your website, so be sure to keep them in mind. 

2. Research for Web Design Inspiration

This step involves looking for web design examples to help you visualize how your future site should look like. 

There are many places to look for inspiration. Awwwards is an excellent starting point as it contains various award-winning web designs. Use the filtering options to tailor the search results to your needs.

 Screenshot showing award winning websites

Additionally, it’s good to look at competitor websites. It can provide some ideas on what visitors expect in a business site such as your own. If you don’t know who your competitors are, sites like SimilarWeb can help to discover them.

Lastly, consider checking out the latest web design trends. Incorporating the newest style elements can ensure that the site looks modern and up-to-date. That said, keep in mind to only apply these features when they make sense to your personal brand or business. 

3. Choose the Right Website Platform

Now is the time to create a website. To get started, choose a platform to build your site with. Ideally, you want to use software that suits your skill set, budget, and purpose.  

One popular website platform is WordPress, a content management system (CMS). It’s great for creating various websites – from digital resumes and online directories to large eCommerce stores. Its robust blogging tools also make it a go-to choice for content creators.

Using WordPress requires purchasing a web hosting service to make the site available to the public. For a personal or small business website, a shared hosting service should suffice. 

At Hostinger, our shared hosting plans cost from $0.99/month to $3.99/month. All subscriptions include a 99.9% uptime guarantee, a free SSL certificate, and regular backups to keep the files safe. 

Screenshot showing Hostinger pricing plans

Should you need help with the setup, our 24/7 customer support team will be ready to assist you via live chat. 

Here are the primary benefits of using WordPress:

  • User-friendly. WordPress’s menu-driven interface is easy to use for users of any skill level, from novices to website developers. 
  • Highly versatile. WordPress’s extensive collection of plugins allows adding custom functionality on top of the core software. That way, you can create various types of websites in a few clicks. 
  • Scalable. Since users have control over their web hosting, they can choose to upgrade their plan when they need more resources to support their WordPress site. 
  • Affordable. With exception to hosting, WordPress is free of charge – and so are many of its plugins and themes. 

Before using WordPress, it’s good to learn some basic HTML and CSS coding skills first, especially if you want to take your website design to the next level. 

Additionally, make sure to familiarize yourself with hosting maintenance. That way, your WordPress site will always have the most effective security and deliver the best performance. 

For a much more beginner-friendly option, we recommend checking out a website builder like Zyro. Unlike a CMS, this software comes with a visual, drag-and-drop interface that allows making edits right on the web page. 

Screenshot showing Zyro website builder

Below are several advantages of using Zyro Website Builder:

  • Managed cloud hosting. This website creator will take care of the back-end setup and maintenance for its clients. 
  • Free AI tools. These features can help you brainstorm your personal brand or business’s visual identity, ranging from the business name to the logo and the slogan. The AI Content Generator is also great for creating web copy templates. 
  • Built-in SEO tools. Unlike WordPress, there’s no need to install an extension to optimize your website for search engines. Zyro Website Builder comes equipped with features to edit the image alt text, change the page’s URL, and insert metadata for search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • All-in-one online store features. Order tracking, inventory management, discount application, and multiple online payment options are available to Zyro eCommerce and eCommerce plus users. Plus, the website creator doesn’t charge any commission fees. 

Zyro Website Builder’s plans range between $1.99/month and $13.99/month. All subscriptions come with a free SSL certificate, ads removal, stock photos via Unsplash, and a custom favicon for branding your website. 

Besides Zyro, other popular website builders on the market include Squarespace, Weebly, and Webflow. 

After picking a website creator, make sure to secure a domain name, which is the URL visitors insert on their browser to open a site – such as example.com.

What domain name you choose depends on the website’s purpose. Typically, people use their personal or business name as the domain. 

However, these names are likely to be taken, especially if they include commonly used words. In that case, consider using a domain name generator to assist you.

Don’t forget to choose the appropriate domain name extension. The general practice is to go with the .com TLD, which is common for commercial websites. The price starts from $8.99/year.

There are also domain name extensions made for specific types of websites. For instance, .tech is excellent for tech-related businesses or projects. 

4. Select a Website Theme That Aligns With Your Purpose

Having chosen a website platform and a domain name, the next step when learning how to design a website is to pick a theme or a template. 

It’s a file containing a pre-made layout and visual elements, organized and created by a web designer. Its purpose is to assist non-technical users in building a website without having to start from scratch. 

The places to find site themes depend on the website platform you’re using. For instance, WordPress users can download thousands of them for free in the official directory

Screenshot showing WordPress themes directory

While these themes are excellent for those on a budget, some may come with limited functionality. That’s why many people look for premium options from third-party websites like TemplateMonster

The price for one theme usually starts from $40/license upwards to hundreds of dollars. 

Since there are thousands of WordPress themes on the market, it’s good to be strategic with your selection. Below are some aspects to consider when finding a website theme:

  • Feature set. It’s best to pick a theme with functions that are suitable for your website’s purpose. For instance, those who own an online store may want to use a theme with a pre-made shop page, as well as layouts for the bestsellers and discounted products. 
  • Customization options. Check the font, color, and layout choices provided by the theme. Some developers may also include multiple pre-made pages and icon packs. 
  • Responsiveness. See if the website theme can adjust to desktop, tablet, and mobile screen sizes. 
  • SEO. Theme developers may claim their product has clean and lightweight HTML code, which is great for performance and SEO. One way to see if it’s true is by checking the file with a markup validation service
  • Extension compatibility. Use a theme that works well with the WordPress plugins you plan to use to avoid potentially breaking the website.
  • Browser compatibility. The theme should look good and function properly across all major browsers, such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. 
  • Ratings and reviews. They can indicate whether the theme works properly and what issues previous customers have experienced with it.
  • Last update. Preferably, the developer team should update the product every six months. Using an outdated version can make your website vulnerable to security issues.
  • Customer support. See what channels the developer offers to provide help with the theme. Many offer user guides, documentation, or email support. 

As for website builders like Zyro or Squarespace, the templates usually come provided for free in a dedicated library.

Screenshot showing free template library

All the templates in Zyro Website Builder’s collection have a modern and responsive design from the get-go. They come in various industry categories, ranging from eCommerce and photography to basic landing pages. 

What’s more, there are pre-made sections that are easily replaceable with your own content. For instance, the business template Devine has a page ready for listing all the offered services. 

Screenshot showing pre made section on Devine

The benefit of using a website builder is it has a team of web designers that curate and take care of the templates. As such, there’s a high chance that all the web designs will be regularly updated and functional. 

Once you have installed a website theme, move on to the next step – customizing the design. 

5. Customize the Web Design

It’s time to start designing your website. Look at the answers from the first step, as they will help you set up the site’s visual identity. 

For those using WordPress as their platform, open the Theme Customizer by going to Dashboard -> Appearance -> Customize

Screenshot showing how to customise web design

Keep in mind that the customizability of your website depends on the theme. 

For instance, WordPress’s own Twenty Twenty-One allows editing the background color and image, but there are no built-in settings to change the font. However, it’s possible to insert custom CSS code to do this.

Screenshot showing how to customize web design using Additional CSS classes

On the other hand, it’s possible to change the colors, font family, button forms, and layout with Astra’s premium theme. 

Screenshot showing how you can Customise Astra theme

Those using Zyro Website Builder can go to Dashboard -> Edit Website. This will give you access to the drag-and-drop editor, where you can modify the design styles and add new site elements from the sidebar. 

Screenshot showing how to modify design styles using Zyro drag and drop editor

To begin the customization, we will focus on the color scheme first. Let’s start with choosing the dominant color, which is the one that represents your personal or business identity best. 

A great way to pick a dominant color is by referring to color psychology, a study of what different colors mean and what kind of impression they leave on the viewer. 

Below is a brief explanation of what all the major colors convey:

  • Red. Represents love, appetite, or power. Famous brands using this color include Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Target. 
  • Orange. A symbol of friendliness or caution. Amazon uses this color in its logo. 
  • Yellow. Relates to clarity and youth. Also commonly used to grab attention. The energy company Shell features this color prominently on its branding. 
  • Green. Often associated with health, money, and nature. Spotify, Starbucks, and Whole Foods are some well-known brands employing this color. 
  • Blue. Symbolizes security and trust. It’s also a popular choice among tech brands, such as Facebook and Microsoft. 
  • Purple. Demonstrates royalty, wisdom, and beauty. You may find this color in candy brands like Cadbury and Milka. 

After picking a dominant color, pick several additional colors to complement it. 

There isn’t an exact limit to how many secondary colors should be used. However, it’s best to feature between two to three so that the dominant one remains prominent. 

Additionally, it’s good to incorporate a neutral color for the background and text elements to maintain readability. 

Ritual’s website is an excellent example of a good color scheme.

Screenshot showing Ritual's website, which is an example of an effectively used color scheme

It only uses three colors, with the yellow featured heavily as the brand’s signature. The white background works to break up the visual content, while the dark blue is for texts and buttons. The combination results in an attention-grabbing yet pleasant design. 

Those who want to design a website colorfully can follow the steps of Moonshot Snacks. The site aims to represent the brand’s different-colored packaging in its background. However, the content remains easy to read due to its use of black text.

Screenshot showing Moonshot snacks colorful website

If you need help with crafting a suitable color scheme for the website, use tools like Coolors or Paletton.

Let’s move on to the typeface or the style of text for the web content.  Similar to the color palette, it’s best to choose a font that represents your brand. 

According to Canva, there are three major types of fonts: 

  • Serif. Well-known examples include Times New Roman and Cambria. These fonts have decorative ends on the strokes. Since they usually symbolize authority and formality, they’re more popular among financial, government, or law agencies. 
  • Sans serif. Helvetica and Arial are famous representatives of this type of font. The strokes have an even width and no ends. Tech and startup brands typically use them as these fonts usually convey modernism.
  • Script. These fonts have a handwritten and cursive style. They generally symbolize creativity or elegance. As such, they’re more widely-used among fashion, food, or beverage businesses. 

It’s common for web designers to combine two to three typefaces in a single website. One is usually for the headlines – the large text content that communicates the brand’s key messages. Meanwhile, the rest is for the body paragraphs, captions, or additional information.

The Great Jones’ site is an excellent example of such a practice. It uses Cooper Black for the logo and headlines, while Hope Sans is reserved for subheadlines, links, and quotes. 

Example of Great Jones home page, which uses two typefaces

If you want to use one type of font while maintaining some visual interest, make sure to vary the sizes and styles. To illustrate how this works, let’s take a look at Slack’s website. 

Screenshot showing Slack's website

Although the site only uses Helvetica, the design is eye-catching and readable while making the headlines significantly larger than the subheadlines. It also uses all uppercase letters on the calls-to-action button to make them stand out. 

Once you have customized the color scheme and fonts, continue to the next section. 

6. Set Up the Essential Pages

Generally, a site contains the following web pages: 

  • Homepage.
  • About page.
  • Contact page.
  • Blog page.
  • Product or service page.

To create a web page on WordPress, go to Pages -> Add New on the admin panel. Here’s what the interface looks like if you use the Gutenberg editor:

Screenshot showing Gutenberg editor

Feel free to add new blocks to populate the content of your pages.

For Zyro Website Builder users, click on the Pages and navigation icon near the top left corner. You can edit an existing page or add a new one by choosing a pre-made or blank layout.

Screenshot showing how to set up Essential pages on Zyro builder

Let’s explore what each web page should look and feel like: 

Homepage

A homepage is typically the first page a user lands on, so it has to communicate what the website is about and what it aims to do. It should also create a positive first impression so that the visitor would feel inclined to explore the rest of the site.

One good practice for designing the homepage is to focus on the unique selling proposition (USP) or a message that communicates what makes your business unique. This tip is handy for new companies or emerging brands in a competitive market. 

Try featuring a large headline on top of the page, along with a call-to-action button to capture visitors’ immediate attention. Elise Dopson’s web page design is an excellent demonstration of this practice.

Screenshot showing example of home page with a featured heading

Those who own an online store can display a hero shot – a picture or video that demonstrates the uses and benefits of your products or services. Adding such imagery on the homepage can entice the audience to explore the website and discover more about what it offers.

The home gym company Mirror does this by using a full-width video banner on their homepage. Placing this element above the fold ensures that it catches visitors’ eyes from the start.

Example of a home page with above the fold video

About Page 

The about page provides more in-depth information about the person or business behind the site. It’s an excellent place to tell your story, communicate your values, and establish a deeper connection with the audience. 

Screenshot showing About page example

This About page of Bite Toothpaste, for example, features the business’s USP, the founder’s photo, and an introduction video. 

Below you can find further explanations about the brand’s vision and mission statement, using statistics and imagery of their product’s ingredients. There are also scroll-triggered animations to keep the content presentation engaging. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to include some social proof on the About page to cement your credibility. Online business coach Kate Bagoy does this by displaying client testimonials and logos of brands she has worked with.

Screenshot showing social proof examples on about page

Contact Page 

This page shows visitors how to reach out to you. It usually includes the business’s phone number, email address, social media handles, and an interactive map featuring the company’s location.

To take the Contact page to the next level, consider adding a contact form. This element allows the visitor to submit an inquiry without having to leave the site. 

Depending on your preferences, the form can record every query submission on the website platform’s database or send them to your business email address. 

Here are some tips on creating a contact page:

  • Add a FAQ section. This tip is helpful if you receive multiple questions about the same topic. 
  • Only include the most necessary form fields. You can choose to only enable the first name, email address, and text area for the inquiry. Adding more fields can make it more time-consuming for people to fill. 
  • Provide topic options. Doing so can make it easy to organize the query submissions.
  • Include concise instructions below the form field label. That way, the user understands how to fill in the information correctly.

If you need a good contact page reference, check out Yummy Gum’s website. It features a project inquiry contact form with fields for the budget, timeframe, and product type. That way, the site owner can quickly determine whether to accept or reject the client from the start.

Screenshot showing Yummy Gum's contact page

Another great example is Zendesk. The page provides two contact options, with descriptions to help visitors know which method is appropriate for their situation.

Example showing Zendesk contact page

Clicking on the Contact Sales button will provide the form to talk with a representative about purchasing the product. Meanwhile, the other button will lead to the help center, which is more beneficial for existing customers.

Blog Page

This page only applies to content creators or businesses that use blogging as a content marketing strategy. 

Typically, a blog page consists of snippets of the blog posts in reverse chronological order on the left side. On the right, there may be a sidebar containing the blogger’s profile and some call-to-action buttons.

Cookie and Kate’s website is a good example of this structure:

Screenshot showing Cookie and Kate's blog page

The blog post itself has a similar layout, with the article displayed on the right and a sidebar with other information on the left. 

Longer posts may feature a table of contents instead to make navigation easier for the reader, like in this example from My Wife Quit Her Job:

Example of a featured table of contents

Today, many blog websites like The Blonde Abroad use a grid or gallery layout that presents the article snippets in clickable cards.

Screenshot showing blog pages presented on a grid

This format may be more useful for blogs with hundreds of posts in their collection. That way, readers can preview multiple articles at once to decide which one suits their interest instead of scrolling through each post one by one. 

Product or Service Page

This web page is necessary for those who run an eCommerce or business site. There are two types of pages in this category:

  • The catalog page. Typically used by businesses that sell multiple products or services. It displays the list of items you offer. 
  • The single product or service page. It shows every individual item in more detail. 

What these pages should look like depends on the products and services you’re offering, so it’s best to look at your competition for ideas. 

That said, here are some general tips you can follow:

  • If there are multiple items, include a filtering and sorting system. That way, the user can search for their desired products or services much quicker.  
  • Feature multiple pictures or videos for a demonstration. According to eMarketer, customers want between six to eight product images to decide whether an item is worth purchasing. 
  • Write a compelling product or service description. Make sure to mention how it can solve your target audience’s pain points to make the copy more persuasive. 
  • Display some social proof. Not only is that great for boosting credibility, it can set buyers’ expectations correctly about the item or service. 

If you need references for Product pages, BHLDN is an excellent website to look at.

The Catalog page has a comprehensive filtering and sorting system to narrow down the items by style, occasion, price, color, and size. All the product pages also come with a review section containing user-generated content to instill trust in potential buyers. 

Example of a catalog page

For service businesses, take a look at Ester’s website. The individual Service page includes real-life work, making them appear more trustworthy. Additionally, there is an estimated project workflow to help potential clients visualize what to expect when working with the agency. 

Screenshot showing Ester's service page

7. Optimize the User Experience

The next step when learning how to design a website is optimizing the user experience and making the site easy to use for visitors. Here are some important elements to consider:

Navigation 

A simple navigation system encourages visitors to explore all of your website’s content. That way, they can find what they are looking for easier, potentially improving your site’s conversion rate. 

One method to ensure easy navigation is to use the flat site structure when you create your website – every page should be reachable within one to two clicks. As a result, the user doesn’t have to open too many pages before reaching their desired destination.

The second method is to use an appropriate menu design. For instance, content-heavy websites may benefit more from using a mega menu, which can display an extensive list of navigation options. 

Here’s an example from ASOS:

Screenshot showing Asos website, which uses a mega menu

Meanwhile, websites with minimal content usually opt for the horizontal bar. Unlike a mega menu, the horizontal bar displays only the most relevant navigation options. The rest of the pages’ links will be available on the footer.

Damn Good Beauty’s website is an excellent demonstration of this:

Screenshot showing Damn Good Beauty's page

Finally, consider adding a search bar so that visitors can find their desired content faster. 

Pinch of Yum has a great search bar to use as a reference. It takes up the screen’s entire width, offering more space to display the search results visually. There is also a filtering system to narrow down the answers. 

Screenshot showing search bar used on Pinch of Yum

Visual Hierarchy

In web design, visual hierarchy is the strategic arrangement of the page’s elements. Its purpose is to guide the visitor’s eyes to the essential information so that they’re able to understand the offer better and take your desired action.

One way to incorporate visual hierarchy into a website design is by picking a layout based on a user reading pattern. 

A popular example is the Z-shape format. This layout follows web users’ tendency to scan content from the top left to the top right of the page, then continue in a diagonal direction to the elements below it. 

In many cases, this format simply alternates the text and image placements in a zig-zag pattern, like in this example from Trello’s site:

Screenshot showing Trello website, which is an example of a zigzag layout

This layout design is great for organizing long copy, making it much more readable. Plus, many website designs use this kind of layout to feature multiple CTAs without overwhelming the user.

Make sure to leave some whitespace in between the page elements. That way, it’s easier for readers to identify which content to focus on. Otherwise, the website design can feel cluttered, which can result in a poor visitor experience. 

Page Speed

Speed is a crucial part of a user experience. Various reports have revealed that a slow website loading time can result in higher bounce rates, lower click-throughs, and smaller chances for ranking on search results pages. 

The size of web design elements can have a significant impact on the site’s loading time. For instance, if a picture is larger than 1MB, the speed is likely to suffer. Google recommends that every website page is no larger than 500KB

From a web design standpoint, here’s how you can improve the page loading speed:

  • Optimize the media files. Use compression tools to reduce the file size. For images, make sure to use the lossless method to prevent losing any image quality. 
  • Create a minimal design. In other words, only feature the most necessary elements for the website. 
  • If you have access to the website files, minify them. Remove any unnecessary lines, whitespace, and characters with no functionality as they add weight to the code. WordPress users can do this manually or use a plugin.

Accessibility

Research shows that when a website is inaccessible, 71% of disabled individuals will leave it. The US alone has over 61 million people with disabilities, so failing to cater to this demographic can significantly impact your web traffic.

Not to mention, inaccessible websites are more prone to lawsuits, which can be bad for business.

To make a website more accessible, be sure to read the WCAG first. These are the standards that determine whether a site is easy to use by all individuals. 

Here are some ways to improve website accessibility:

  • Include alt text for images. Besides being great for SEO, they’re also helpful for applications that translate web content into speech or braille for visually-impaired individuals.
  • Keep keyboard accessibility in mind. Some disabilities make it difficult to use the mouse or trackpad for navigation. Make sure every interactive element on the website is usable with the Tab key, such as links, call-to-action buttons, and forms.
  • Use readable and meaningful URLs. Another good SEO practice that improves accessibility. Ensure the link and its anchor text provide enough information about the web page. 
  • Use an accessibility remediation tool. Such tools can provide all of the functions needed for a website to be more usable by those with disabilities. The fashion brand Zara uses a service by EqualWeb, as illustrated below:
Screenshot showing accessibility remediation tool

8. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

With half of all internet traffic originating from smartphone devices, mobile-friendliness has become all the more important. Ignoring this aspect in the website design can cost you a sizable portion of potential visitors. 

Not to mention, Google considers mobile-friendliness as an essential factor to rank on their SERPs.

If your website theme is responsive, you’re on the right track. Below are some additional ways to make the web design more mobile-friendly: 

  • Use a hamburger menu for smartphone and tablet viewing. This menu bar saves more screen space by hiding all the links under a three-lined button, usually accessible on the top left of the page. 
  • Make the CTAs touch-friendly. The button size should be large enough for finger tapping. Also, there should be significant space between one button and another to prevent user errors. 
  • Optimize for scrolling. Use features like a sticky navigation bar, adding a back-to-top button, or incorporating scroll-triggered effects. 

9. Test Your Website and Launch It

Before launching the website, check for any design-related issues that can affect the site’s usability or viewing experience. 

An easy way to do this is by asking family members, friends, or colleagues for their feedback. Set up a recorded video meeting, then have them share their screen as they go through the website and comment on its looks and functions.

Alternatively, conduct A/B testing. It’s a usability testing method where the designer creates two versions of one website and assigns them to different user groups. By the end of the research, they can compare the two variants to see which one performs better. 

This technique can provide more data-driven insights into what works and what doesn’t on the website. That said, make sure to test one design element at a time so that it’s easier to pinpoint which aspect is affecting the outcome. 

Using a heatmap is also a good idea. This tool can analyze any website and determine which sections or elements users will focus on the most. It can help optimize the web content placement to maximize conversions. 

After gathering the results and making some adjustments, feel free to publish your website. 

10. Track and Tweak Your Site As You Go

The last step when learning how to design a website is to keep track of the site’s performance and make tweaks when necessary. Doing so can make sure that the website functions properly and has maximized its capabilities.

Google Analytics is an excellent tool for this. It can provide various website performance metrics like:

  • Pageviews. It shows how many pages a user checks out after landing on the website. 
  • Average session duration. This metric shows how many minutes a person spends on a website after visiting it for the first time. Generally, a good number to aim for is between two and three minutes. 
  • Conversion rates. The percentage of website visitors who perform your desired action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for an email newsletter. 
  • Bounce rates. The share of users who leave a site without taking any action. The benchmark for an online store is 20%-45%, while on a non-eCommerce website, it’s 35%-60% of the visitors.
  • Traffic sources. People may visit a site via search engines, social media, email, online ads, or referring websites. Knowing this can help figure out which marketing channels are most effective for your business. 
  • Audience demographics. It can reveal the website visitors’ gender, age, and interests. Such information can help craft a more targeted marketing strategy.
Screenshot showing Google Analytics homepage

Google Analytics is free of charge and only requires a Google account to get started. WordPress users can add the tracking ID manually to the functions.php file or use a plugin to connect the tool to their website. 

Some website builders like Zyro include Google Analytics integration. That way, the user doesn’t have to deal with the website’s code to enable the software.

What Makes an Effective Website Design?

A website design is effective when it ensures the site is achieving its purpose. For example, if you have a blog, the web design should work to make the content delivery and the reading experience more enjoyable for its readers.

However, every website requires different elements to make its design more effective. Here is the roundup of the features all websites should have: 

  • User-friendliness. All of the features and elements should be accessible and easy to use. 
  • Organized structure. The organization of the pages needs to be logical to ease the user in locating the correct information. 
  • Readability. The fonts, colors, and layout should make the content pleasant for scanning. 
  • Aesthetic consistency. All the web pages should employ the same design elements to maintain visual harmony, brand identity, and ease of use. 
  • Speed optimization. Every design feature must have a function that benefits the user and the website’s purpose. There cannot be any redundancies that can otherwise impact the loading time. 

What Tools Can You Use to Improve Your Website Design?

Now that you know how to design a website, let’s discuss some additional tools that can take the site to the next level:

  • Icon or illustration packs. They’re great for making any website more visually appealing. DrawKit has several free selections for various industry categories. Many affordable artists are also available on design marketplaces, like Fiverr or Upwork
  • Stock photos. Go for the photos that feature human faces, as they can build trust when appropriately used. Unsplash is an excellent place to look for such images for free. Make sure to pick only high-quality pictures to maintain credibility. 
  • Page builder plugin. This kind of tool is for WordPress users who want to incorporate the experience of using a drag-and-drop website builder on the CMS. A well-known example is Elementor.
  • Logo maker. Consider this tool if you don’t have branding for your business yet and aren’t looking to hire a designer. It can generate a professional-looking logo in minutes. 
  • Canva. This freemium design software is excellent for making banners for websites and featured images for blog posts. It’s also great for last-minute photo editing and social media marketing content. 

How to Design a Website: A Summary

While website design can seem like a daunting task, it is by no means impossible. With the right knowledge and tools, you can create a beautiful site without hiring a professional web designer. 

To recap, here are the steps on how to design a website:

  1. Define the purpose of your website.
  2. Look for web design inspiration to visualize how the result looks like.
  3. Choose a website platform that suits your skillset, budget, and site’s purpose.
  4. Select a theme that aligns with the site’s purpose.
  5. Customize the color scheme and font according to your branding.
  6. Set up the essential pages: the homepage, about page, contact page, blog page, and products or services page.
  7. Optimize the website’s navigation system, visual hierarchy, page speed, and accessibility.
  8. Make the web design mobile-friendly.
  9. Test your website using usability testing tools and launch it.
  10. Monitor your website and make tweaks as you go.

While all websites are different, a good site design usually focuses on user-friendliness, organized structure, readability, aesthetic consistency, and speed optimization. Be sure to keep these characteristics in mind when you design your website. 

Author
The author

Maisha Rachmat

Maisha is a web hosting expert and content writer at Hostinger. A believer in the power of the internet and technology, she aims to help others navigate their way through the world of tech. She spends her free time reading and cooking.