6 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Website Layout
First impressions are everything in the online world. If you make an excellent first impression with your website, you’re more likely to attract customers or readers. Building a website from scratch is hard work, but fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that. Instead, you can select a template from a website builder. The website layout will already be created, so you need to populate it.
How do you know which website layout to choose when looking through templates, and what should you do to customize it? Follow some tips so you can sift through the website templates and choose the best one. Then customize the template to get the best results.
6 Tips for Choosing the Best Template for Your Website
1. Consider the Type of Website You’re Building
When you search through website templates, you’ll notice that they are divided into categories. The categories tend to be divided into the purpose of the website (such as blog, online store, professional portfolio) to even specific industries (such as healthcare, nonprofit, lifestyle, and more). Knowing what type of website you want to build is the first step to choosing your website layout.
For instance, if you’re running an e-commerce website, you’ll need to begin by looking at online store templates. Then narrow it down based on the type of e-commerce business you run.
What if you’re a photographer? You’ll want to highlight your photography, so you’ll select a photography template. You can even find templates for blogging websites and so much more.
Choosing the right category is the first step. You also need to ensure the template has the right features for your needs. Some features are included in the template, while others can be easily added through drag-and-drop customization. For example, ecommerce templates tend to come with pages for showcasing your products as well as checkout features already built in.
2. Choose the Right Header
When you browse through website templates, you’ll notice that most have headers at the top. Website headers help you convey your message as soon as people land on the site.
A static header image that doesn’t contain content is the right choice for hotels, restaurants, and portfolios. Also, if you have a website that relies mainly on visuals, such as a photography website, this would be a good option for you.
Many website builders offer templates that include slideshow headers with content. If you have a robust e-commerce site, this is an excellent choice since it allows you to highlight different products.
You can also select a video background header. The video streams when people visit your website. This is a wise choice for small businesses that want to tell a story to people as soon as they land on the site.
When you create a website, you can also choose a static header image that includes content that you can edit. This type of header works for all industries, including e-commerce websites and blogs. Your header can consist of a headline, supporting paragraphs, and call-to-action along with an image. That includes everything you need for your site.
3. Use Clear and Specific Labels on the Navigation Menu
The information on your website needs to be simple to find. To accomplish that, you need to ditch generic navigation menus that use marketing terms like “Products,” “Features,” and “Solutions.” Include specific labels for your navigation menu on your website layout. Specific labels have been shown to improve user experience and search engine optimization. When you use a website builder, it’s easy to change the labels on the navigation menu.
4. Add High-quality Visuals
Eighty-one percent of people skim instead of reading the content they see online. That includes the content on websites. You can grab their attention by including high-quality images as part of your website layout. If you run an e-commerce website, images will help you make sales. Even if you aren’t pushing products, though, images will allow you to grab people’s attention.
Most website builders have databases of images you can choose from. For example, Wix lets you select images from Bigstock, a top stock photo company. When you use a website builder, it’s easy to add the photos you need to entice readers.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Use White Space
When you browse through website templates, you’ll notice that lots of them use white space. White space is the empty area around videos, photos, or text. White space is a design element used to break up the content to make the website easier to read. If your website design is packed with visual features and text, visitors will become overwhelmed. Consider website templates that use white space well so you can increase your site’s readability.
Also, many website builders make it easy to add white space to your site. For example, Squarespace allows you to add spacer blocks to your site. These blocks break up the visual elements so your readers can quickly move from one section to the next.
6. Keep it Simple
This goes hand in hand with utilizing white space. Your website layout needs to be simple, so you don’t overwhelm users. If you have a simple website, people are more likely to take your desired action. This is true, whether you are building an e-commerce site or using a blog template.
This comes down to the phenomenon called the Paradox of Choice. When people have lots of choices, they become anxious and are less likely to make a decision. However, when people aren’t presented with as many options, they are more likely to follow through and make a selection. From reading your latest blog post to picking up a product or hiring your company, you’re more likely to get what you want if you keep this in mind when you create a website.
What does this mean regarding your website? Choose a website layout with a simple navigation menu and don’t overload the pages. Each page should have a single goal instead of multiple goals.
Create the Perfect Website Layout
Your website layout can go a long way to help you secure readers for your blog or new customers for your online or offline store or service. Begin by looking through website templates. You will find a wealth of templates when you use a website builder. Once you find the right template, you’ll be ready to create a website. Use each of these tips to ensure your website layout enhances the experience for your visitors. Then you can connect with your site’s visitors and encourage them to take action.
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