7 ways to take your website from DIY to designer
Have you ever wondered what makes a website look truly professional? Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes one website stand out from the rest, because it’s usually a combination of beautiful design with a strategic & functional structure.
However, a lot of great websites have several things in common--from the use of white space down to the design details!
Below I’m sharing some of my top design secrets that you can use to make your own website more beautiful, professional and functional!
Step 1 is to ensure that you’re using a custom domain for your website. This means paying to register a domain, rather than using the free domain that comes with your website host.
You can also use this custom domain to set up your totally professional e-mail (such as hello@michellekirschcreative) rather than using your gmail or yahoo email account. Win! ;)
2. STRATEGIC DESIGN
One of the most common signs of a DIY design is the lack of a concrete strategy. For a truly effective website, you need to figure out how your website can help you reach your business goals.
There’s a lot that can fit into this category, such as SEO strategy, sales funnels, user experience, content strategy and more….
But, you can get started with strategic design by mapping out your business goals and determining how your website content can support those goals. I’ve outlined my content strategy process here!
3. COHESIVE BRANDING
Step 3 is to nail down your brand style and stick to it throughout your website. This can include your brand visuals, your brand voice and even the photography style you use.
If you need some help with branding, check out these posts:
4. WHITE SPACE
Lack of white space is another tell-tale sign of a DIY website! (If you’re not sure what white space is, check out my post on brand design terminology!)
Don’t be afraid to give all of your content and design elements room to breathe! White space enhances the overall experience of your website by improving readability, evoking a sense of calm and directing your readers to the most important content.
5. CLEAR CONTENT
Along the same lines as white space, clear and concise content is also a must for a professional website!
In order to achieve that clean, calm feeling on your website, you need to pare down your content to just the essentials.
Use headings, subheadings, bullet points and small paragraphs to make your content easy to scan and read.
Your content should be concise, while still giving your readers the information they need.
6. MOBILE RESPONSIVE
Step 6 is probably a given these days, since most web templates are mobile responsive, but it’s still worth double-checking that your site looks good and functions well on phones and tablets.
With so many users scrolling your website on their phones, it’s super important to make sure the mobile experience is just as good as the desktop version!
Choosing a good mobile responsive template right from the start will make things a lot easier for you! (This is one of the reasons why I love Squarespace! All templates are automatically mobile responsive.)
7. DESIGN DETAILS
Finally, the last step in taking your website from DIY to designer is to add some custom details to your site. The details are often what makes a website memorable!
Try sprinkling in a few custom design elements throughout your site. It doesn’t have to be a lot (less is more!) but it will go a long way in making your website look thoughtfully pulled together!
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful!
Of course, if you’d like help pulling together a beautiful website for your business, I’m happy to help! Check out how we can work together here!