In the past decade, we witnessed a big shift in a perception of websites in terms of design and composition. However, web creating process itself hasn’t changed that much. Unique web design is becoming less and less important with the rise of mobile devices usage for internet browsing. Loading speed is just a technical matter. One thing which is truly important, is the content, right?
So the big question is:
Why do you start building your website by choosing the layout template?
Shouldn’t you choose layout that fits your content rather than write content to fill in the chosen template?
Web designing process is upside down
To achieve great results, we need to rethink the whole web designing process.
How it works now:
1. Idea of a website
People come to a web design agency with an idea of a website. They roughly have in mind what the website will be about, how many fields in the menu they want. If they’re extra good, they can tell which text field will be longer and which will be shorter.
2. Design, layout, template
Web agency designs the layout. Sometimes they code it from scratch, some other time (for less demanding customers) they just choose the pre-coded template, pick the color combination and the font.
When website skeleton is all done, web owner starts filling in the content. Website’s design is more-less final and all that’s left to do is to add texts. No sooner then at this moment, web owner realizes that it’s harder than expected.
WordPress theme or drag & drop web builder?
I already explained in a separate article why I think using theme or drag & drop web builder is a bad idea. Here I mention 2 main issues:
- It’s too easy to mess up the final result. There’s so many options and such a great flexibility that there’s no guarantee your website’s gonna look good. It all depends on your sense for design and level of technical skills.
- The sequence of actions that you take is the same. You start by choosing the theme or desired layout. Following by spending hours installing and configuring it until you like what you see on your screen. Only after this you start thinking about the content.
Putting things right side up
As the content is the most important part of your website, you should come to a web agency with the text file saying:
“Here’s what I want to say to my web visitors. Make it look good.”
Now we’re coming back to my first article on medium, that begun with statement: “…web designers should design, web developers should code and web owners should keep the content fresh.”
Don’t get fooled by mobile design!
The fact that the web design isn’t that unique anymore (especially on the small screen of your mobile device) doesn’t mean that your site should look junky.
Your website should be created by a professional designer who will make it look good, and a professional developer who will ensure it works properly.
Website of the future? Functional, transparent & fast
In order to achieve a fully functional, transparent and fast website, the entire technical solution behind it must be designed to embrace the future technologies. It also includes several advanced technical insight, I won’t bore you with right now (like content separated from template, structured data, personalization, customization, targeting…).
This is no longer a role for ordinary web owners.
They shouldn’t be required to waste their time with the technical part of the deal. They have much more important things to do, e.g. updating content.
Functional means working well. It includes security, elaboration of technical details, but also close interconnection with the advanced technologies. Simply said: you open a website, it works and it looks great, no matter what your browsing device is.
Transparent means easy to read through. The content is arranged in a simple, natural way. The information are easily found, the entire layout is intuitive.
Fast means with a high loading speed. The entire website must evocate agile impression. Wherever you click, it instantly opens.
Aprox. 100 new websites are created every minute. Internet is an ocean full of websites. As it’s an ocean, some websites are floating at the top and some others are falling deeper and deeper to the bottom. A lot of websites will have to radically improve to avoid drowning. All surviving websites will have to be functional, transparent and fast.
That’s right. Content must be fresh. No one wants to read yesterday’s newspaper. Of course, there are information which are static. Once you fill them all up, don’t let your website get covered in dust.
Remember: Whatever you post to your website, it’ll be there.
It’ll get indexed by search engines and your web visitors will easily find it. Unlike your posts on social networks which can get lost in the overcrowded news feeds.
Easy as pie: posting updates to your website
Adding company news to the website should be easy. Ideally, easier than creating a Facebook post. It definitely shouldn’t take more than few clicks.
If you’re a photographer, you should be able to add your best shot real time, while you’re still out & about with your camera. Alongside with a comment.
Your website is your own space and you should feel comfy in it.
Forget about the distance between you and the hosting server of your website. The web admin environment should feel like home to you, not like a maze.
Writing content to fill up the empty web design template makes no sense. Especially now, when content is a center of the entire internet galaxy. Content on your website deserves the most attention. Everyone who wants to create a website should start by writing content. Not until after writing the core content you should start looking for a technical solution for your website and a template that will fit your content.
Have you ever felt this desperate feeling when you chose a template and couldn’t think of enough content to fill it up? Or do you think writing content is easy, it’s the technical part of your website that’s giving you a headache?