8 Basic Design Tips for New Websites

addthis-designstrategiesThinking about designing a new website, or even redesigning a site you already have? Here are some basic design strategies to keep in mind for higher engagement and usability.

1. Keep it Simple

Whether you’re thinking about your home page, navigation, or content, keep it simple. Don’t make it hard to your visitors to find what they’re looking for. If you want visitors to press a button or fill out a form, don’t make them scroll to find it. Make it easy to find, and use your site’s navigation.

If you have a particular goal in mind, you can even invite visitors to do something, right when they arrive at your site. Now that’s simple!

2. Keep it Concise

Shorter content is easier to read, and will get your point across more quickly. See?

3. Header Hierarchy

Be sure to use a consistent hierarchy of headers. In HTML, these look like H1, H2, H3, and so forth. These headers convey the structure of your content, helping readers understand how your content is organized. Think about this structure when choosing font sizes and weights, so that an H3 doesn’t look more visually prominent than its parent H2.

4. White Space is Your Friend

Provide some room between lines of text and set up borders on the sides of your pages to keep content from becoming too wide and hard to read. Allow some space around pictures. These strategies allow visitors’ eyes to visually organize and scan your content more easily.

5. Speaking of Colors . . .

Use restraint—your visitors will thank you. Pick a primary color that will provide the foundation of your design, then pick a contrasting accent color for important buttons and other interface elements. Use tools like Adobe Color to explore different combinations of colors that look great together.

6. Make it Easy to Stay

Sometimes visitors arrive at your home page, but often search results or other links bring them to some other page in your site. Be sure to provide links in your content, and offer content recommendations to suggest other pages to read next. This invites visitors to stay longer and view more of what your site has to offer.

7. Make it Easy to Share

While content recommendations keep your current visitors around longer, sharing will invite new visitors to come to your site. Think about how sharing tools fit into your new design. They can float on the side your pages (remember those borders you created?) or can appear within your content, at the beginning or end of an article. Check out these best practices for more suggestions.

8. Make it Easy to Follow

Don’t forget to invite visitors to follow you on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. This helps bring visitors back, and is a great way to know who your most loyal audience is—which, as our data shows, is very valuable.

There are many resources available online to help you with your new design. Visit sites you enjoy, think about how their designs help you use them more easily, and experiment with those ideas on your own site.

We’d love to hear how your design turned out, and how you used AddThis tools with your new creation. Good luck!

  • Awesome and really helpful tips for website design. Some of the points mentioned are just common sense still forgotten by most of the designers. Good to refresh the basics.

  • D Vos

    Great tips, thanks!

  • tinkerbell

    Thanks for setting out the basics so clearly. Really useful. Quick question is there a simple way to find the best wordpress template I.e. one that offers the ease of white space etc?

  • Jim Lane

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Jim Lane

    My pleasure, glad you enjoyed them.

  • Jim Lane

    There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all best solution. Picking the right template – choosing any design for that matter – needs to begin with your content. Do your posts have a lot of text? Or are they shorter with big pictures? Multiple pictures? Most templates have demos so you can see what they can do – look for one that would show off your content well, is easy to read and navigate, uses color tastefully, and looks great on mobile devices. Thanks for replying!

  • Really needed tips for the beginners and the professional website builders…hope this will help all of us who knows many things but implements a little on the works

  • provision

    good job (y)

  • We hope this blog post gave you some ideas to get started!

  • Jack Marco

    Yeah!! Anyone can use this tips for creating a new website for a business.

    Sounds like something better yaar!!!

    jack
    bizbilla b2b portal

  • I have been developing media for the web since its inception but it’s always good to hear about the basics… well done!

  • Glad to hear, David! Thanks for stopping by!

  • pandayspanday

    Good to keep in view when planning to project a website. Simple,concise, appealing, reader-friendly, invite for future meets.

  • Julia Watson

    Hi

    I like it. Thank you…Awesome and really helpful tips for website design.

  • skyebooks.blogspot.com

    Thanks you very much.

  • Great! We’re glad you found them useful.

  • realtorgal

    Who do you know who offers a website like what you describe?

  • raja

    Thanks for Valuable post

  • Muhammad Shomail Haider

    Nice piece of informaton

  • Thanks!

  • Does anyone know what the best spot for social like addthis is in a design? Our experience is a clean design with color focus on the action buttons works for the best. Only thing we can’t tackle is how to get the best focus on sharing.

  • Hi Bert, we’ve got some great resources and tools for social sharing as well! Here’s a blog post of ours on how to increase sharing on your website. http://www.addthis.com/blog/2014/03/24/5-proven-ways-to-boost-sharing-on-your-site/#.VVn6qdNVikp. You can also find our social plugins for websites here: http://www.addthis.com/get/social.

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  • what a great article, het to know about some important concept about website developer. Whatever be the plaform wordpress Joomla web developer this blog is helpful for everyone.

  • I professional web design service provider so i personally telling you that if you want some improvement on business lead than you have to make responsive design website. Which is accessible to all gadgets like mobile, tablets etc.

  • Yes, making sure your site is responsive is certainly important!

  • Now a days,A New Trends,Tips,Ideas tend to run over from year to year.Here some of Newest Ideas and Tips of Web Design,1.Choose best Card layouts,2.Attractive Navigation burger menu,3.Material Design,4.Responsive Design.