Things to Remember When Building Your Next Website

Use a dark gray color for paragraph text instead of solid black. It’s easier on the eyes.

Resist the urge to fill all of the empty space. Give your words and pictures some room to breathe.

Put most of your paragraph text on light colored backgrounds. It’s harder for people to read a lot of text on darker colored backgrounds.

Put the main call to action button in the top right corner and help it stand out with a unique color and size that brings attention to it.

That’s where people are being trained to look for that main action.

One action per page.

Make it easy for people to know what action you want them to take on each page.

Getting someone to take the main call-to-action on your site (buy my product, donate to my cause) is like trying to get someone to say yes to a marriage proposal.

It may not happen the first time you meet them, so give them a few secondary actions they can take to get to know you better. (Email list, blog posts, podcast, etc.)

Choose one font for headings and maybe another one for text.

Pick a few colors on your site that make it easy for people to recognize your brand and find the call-to-action when they’re ready to take that step.

Avoid big blocks of text.

Make it easy for people to skim your content with headlines and bolded text.

Remember to put a favicon on your site. (It’s the little picture that shows up in the browser tab area.)

Use an email address with your domain name at the end. It makes it look like you know what you’re doing.

Update the copyright year at the bottom of your site so people feel like you’re still around and won’t forget about them if they start doing business with you.

Slideshows aren’t cool anymore. People have been trained to scroll.

Putting every important action “above the fold” doesn’t matter anymore. People have been trained to scroll.

Use animations to either bring attention to an area or provide small moments of unexpected delight.

AIDA is a proven content structure for getting people to take action. (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)

Words first. Design second.

Remember to design for the user and whatever device they’ll be using most.

Any large photos or videos you put on the page will have to be downloaded by every visitor. Only use what helps people take action.

Review your meta tags and sitemap so Google knows what you want to show people in their search results.

Make sure you have the right images in place for when your page is shared on social media.

Install the Google Analytics code early so you can keep track of how many visitors come to your site.

People care more about themselves. Talk about them and what they get out of taking action with you.

Websites are never perfect and never done. Get your site in front of users quickly and then iterate from there.

Google doesn’t index the words inside a picture. If it’s important for search results, type it out on the page.

Give images a filename and alt text that describe what’s going on inside the picture. It helps Google figure out what your page is about.

Avoid putting Under Construction on your site. It’s better to have Coming Soon with a form to join a mailing list.

Social media is good for driving traffic to your site and then your site is good for getting people to your mailing list. That’s where you really want them.