Change is a constant force in nature and a natural law of the universe. The world of web design is no different. 

As tech evolves and the impossible becomes "possible," the standard of what constitutes "good" web design evolves.

Giving your website a refresh to match with modern standards is not a matter of preference, but rather, a must-have (if you hope to keep up with competitors and meet consumers' expectations).

Just think about your favorite restaurant - there's a really good chance its interior looked a whole lot different in the year 2011, and an almost certainty it looked extremely different in 2001. Times change and consumers' expectations evolve - it's no different online.

Today we’re going to look at a few different design qualities all modern websites should have. Look through these and ask yourself if your website has these or if it falls a little short.

A Modern Design

Today's consumers' interact with apps like Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix all-the-time, almost 24/7. Consumers' are trained to expect, and demand, a simple, intuitive design interface that makes navigation easy.

If your website is out-of-touch, hard to navigate, and out-of-date, consumers will notice and look elsewhere.
Web users (especially millennials and younger) are savvy and quick to recognize and harshly critique dated online presences. 

Mobile Optimized

Many users regularly or exclusively use smart phones to get online. This means your website must be mobile-friendly and responsive.

What’s more, Google heavily favors websites that are mobile web optimized in its search rankings and penalizes websites that aren’t.  

A Simple, Clutter-Free Interface

Less is more in 2021. 

Minimalistic designs showcase information where users can find it - delivering a far better user experience than cluttered interfaces with distracting elements.

This means it may be time to consider retiring those shadows, reflections, 3D renderings and other elements that defined websites of yesteryear.

Websites shouldn’t complicate things and leave your visitors thinking if they should contact your business at all. 

Rapid Loading Time

This one's simple enough - long load times are a bad thing. You don't like it, your site visitors don't like it, and search engines don’t like it either (Google penalizes slow-loading sites).

A lot of load time issues are due to dated site design principles baked into old websites. 

In  a world where instant-gratification is everywhere, a slow website is an instant turnoff.

Leveraging Hostway for a New Website

We live in a world where a website is the first impression most customers have of a business. Whether it's fair or not, first impressions matter.

Fear not if you're feeling that your website may need a refresh. We're here to help.

Hostway now offers Website Design Services. With this service, you can now get a professional, modern, and elegant website for your business - all created for you.

Visit our Website Design Services page and schedule a free consultation with us to see if our design service makes sense for you.

A Web Revolution - Site Design Trends in 2021

The basics never grow old. Things like Levi’s Jeans, a classic watch, or a leather jacket - you can always count on them to fit right into the times.

The same can't be said for website design. When it comes to online, new tools, technologies, and customer expectations are constantly transforming what constitutes "good design."

As we look forward to the rest of 2021, we fully expect this definition to evolve as new technologies and best practices emerge.

An Immersive Web 

First, let’s talk about web users. We're at a moment in time where the user experience is defined by an amazing set of circumstances.

These factors indicate we're suddenly at an era of immersive web experiences - we must build with this destiny in mind.

Look for these trends to drive web design in 2021.

2021 Web Design Trends to Expect

Mobile First 

The days of sitting at a computer, wandering around the web, and discovering things are coming to an end.

Most people are reaching for their phones first. Looking at the phone is the first thing many people do each morning, the first thing students do when they leave class, and the first thing employees do when they arrive at work. People are on their phones all day and night long.

In addition, billions of searches each day occur on mobile devices and in result, major search engines are now ranking sites with mobile experiences higher than those that do not. 

Minimal Design

The increase in mobile traffic impacts users' attention spans.

This means, websites need to deliver their call-to-actions fast (whether that be to sign-up, make a purchase, subscribe, find out more, or to book an appointment).

There's no better way to get your point across fast than with a simple, clean, minimalistic design.

More Story-Telling

Driving customers to take action on your page is a challenge. While, yes, a minimal design helps, there has to be room for authenticity, story-telling, and the communication of valuable, unique selling points. 

Achieving this, while keeping users' attention, is a challenge, and can be supplemented with engaging story-telling devices like short videos, social media posts, and animations.

The Need for Speed

Website speed is more important than ever.

You don’t want visitors to leave because they were forced to wait too long. Having fast web hosting is important, but site design is a huge piece. Great web design allows for pages to render and stabilize quickly, smooth page loading, and rapid response time to user interactions.

One-Page Designs

It may not be for everyone, but for some industries, the one-page design is becoming more and more in-vogue. Essentially it places all of the traditional structured pages, like "Contact," "About," and "Services," and so forth, on one page, in a concise, intuitive, user-driven experience.

In many cases, this type of design creates is more engaging and more mobile friendly. 

Take It and Run - Web Design with Hostway

Design trends evolve over time, but this latest wave of technology is a significant leap that should drive you toward getting a new site. One of the most flexible and easiest ways to do this is for us to do it for you! 

Hostway's Website Design Service can create a custom WordPress-based site geared toward your needs, integrating all of the above best practices described above.

If you're interest in the service, just reach out to us by completing the form on the Website Design page. We'll get in touch with you and talk through if this service can be a fit for you.

The internet is a rapidly evolving place, where yesterday’s websites can quickly become yesterday’s news. Even the most dependable and trusted websites refresh their look from time to time, including major news publishers, e-commerce sites, and just about every industry in need of presenting a competitive, current message.

If you’re in a position where you have a website and it’s time for a refresh - or if you’re looking to make your first ever website – you’ve probably heard of WordPress.

Today, we’re going to detail why you should make WordPress your choice website platform.

While yes – popular platforms like Squarespace and Wix provide robust page building experiences, we’ll be detailing just how much of an advantage WordPress has over these services and why it’s considered the most flexible and powerful system on the web today.

WordPress is Powerful

Evolving from its roots as a blogging platform, WordPress has transformed over the years to an infinitely configurable Content Management System (CMS) that can deliver both a simple web page, or a feature-rich website.

Today, WordPress can handle e-commerce, invoicing, image and video galleries, online reservations, and more, through its vast network of APIs and connectivity, essentially serving as a portal for anything.

Many of the drag-and-drop platforms out there, like Squarespace and Wix, do not have the significant blogging capabilities WordPress offers.

Moreover, WordPress is based on open-source software driven by a collection of contributors and dedicated experts. Whatever your website needs, if it hasn’t already been created, rest assured someone in the community is already working on it.

The best part of choosing WordPress is that once you begin your site, you can update and enhance it exactly how you need over time, due to its limitless flexibility and standing as an industry standard.

WordPress is Easy and SEO Friendly

WordPress is built with simplicity in mind – meaning anyone can operate it behind the scenes.

In most cases, the look, feel, and functionality of a website is just a few plugins or configurations away, with behind-the-scenes maintenance tools that are easy and simple to configure.

Nobody wants things to be more complicated than they should be - WordPress was designed with that philosophy in mind.

WordPress is especially known for its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) capabilities. Essentially, SEO functionalities are baked into the platform - every time a post or page is made, valuable SEO tags and metadata is automatically generated, helping websites index in major search engines for key search terms.

A Time to Choose

We believe there’s no better choice in the industry today than a WordPress-based website.

If you’re interested in joining the WordPress wave, our professional WordPress website designers are waiting in the wings to create for you a modern, responsive, and professional WordPress website.

Learn more about our Website Design Services and how we can make your website vision into a reality.

Your website is an opportunity to connect to the public, potential partners, prospective clients, and essentially the entire world.

This is a place where you want to tell your story and engage with individuals in a way that leads them to a desired result, whether that be a call,  purchase, consultation, or a download.

Your website answers the "this is who we are, this is what we do, and this is what I want you to do" questions.

It's your story.

Words are powerful, but when it comes to websites, design is a significant component. A busy, cluttered site can send out a mixed message or bury a message altogether.

A clear, purposeful site does a better job, but there is a limit. A site that goes too far with simplicity and white space can create an underwhelming message or lose visitors' focus. 

There's obviously a lot to think about. Let’s take a look at some of the most critical web design components and what they have to say to a visitor. 

1) Load performance – When a user visits a website, you have precious little time to engage with them - nobody likes to wait around. Load-oriented design means that components are designed to load quickly, paying respect to size, positioning, and technical composition. 

2) White space – It is difficult to avoid the impulse to fill space. However, white space on a page enables the page, through design, to guide the visitor to what is most important on your page. It might be a capture dialog, it might be a product, it might be a phone number - whatever it is that you want to highlight can only benefit from a proper amount of room around it. 

3) Line space and padding – Reading should be easy and without proper spacing, users can easily get lost in crowded spaces. With padding, attention is paid to the proximity between text and other elements of the page - page components should flow together, without conflict or distractions.

4) Mobile experience – Mobile design is a must-have. Every day, all day, visitors surf and engage on their phones - they demand websites to look good on mobile. Responsive page design allows for a variety of device sizes to present pages in an optimized design style.

5) Symmetry – Symmetry of page components is pleasing to the eye and keeps readers engaged with your message and brand. 

6) Colors – Getting the fundamentals of color consistency, contrast, and color selection correct make all the difference you need to stand out and appeal to visitors.

7) Design components – Use and don’t overuse design components. Text boxes, graphical cues, radio buttons, and many components can help create your business story effectively. It’s easy to get carried away however, meaning it’s possible to clutter up pages with too many components. 

Note that regardless of what platform your site is running on – custom code, WordPress, and beyond, you're going to need to do some design planning. Anything short of that, or off the shelf, can result in an ineffective effort, loss of SEO, and most significantly, a lost opportunity to evoke the message you want to share with visitors. 

It’s a competitive online world and you need a professional, attractive design that is developed through a proper, purpose-driven design process.

The finished result of a great design process should look unforced, is easy to navigate, performs well, and shares the message you want to share effectively. 

At Hostway, we’ll design for your business a brand new modern, professional, beautiful, and responsive website with all the features you need to attract and convert visitors into customers.

Interested? Learn more about our Website Design Services

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