A lot of people don’t actually know the difference between a poor website design, an average website design, and an amazing website design (besides the price.)

At a minimum, a good website design should:

• Set the right brand tone immediately
• Funnel users to the content they want or need the most
• Look attractive to your target audience
• Have the right content in the right places
• Use calls-to-action in the right spots (CTA’s)
• Be intuitive to use
• Employ good Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Be easy to update

Poor Website Design

A poor website design fails on most of the things mentioned above. Most people who have a poor website design don’t realize that they do. In fact, they are hard to convince otherwise. Things like getting the right content on the site, adding CTAs, and improving SEO are pretty easy to do.

Average Website Design

Average sites are common. They are usually the result of limited budgets and a lack of understanding that they could be so much better. Average sites cast a wide net to deliver content and generate leads and inquiries. But they often don’t have the right brand tone because “branding” was never part of the website design process. Messaging often fails on an average site because time was never spent determining who the message was actually going to and what they needed to hear. Calls-to-action, if used, are hit or miss. There might not have actually been much of a process, but more of a quick build. Average sites are often built off of pre-designed templates by freelancers with limited skill sets, agencies that don’t have a website design focus, or sometimes the business owners themselves.

Amazing Website Design

A website design should start with the customer. In order to maximize conversions (customers, sales, engagement) you need to determine who you’re marketing to, what they need, and what will compel them the most. Brand (re)discovery should happen at the start of any major marketing effort like a website design. The brand, messaging, and goal setting process should drive the solution. Every piece of the website will be goal-oriented — from the colors to the calls-to-action. The design will first wow your audience, and then be incredibly easy to use and understand. Little details will say that you care — about your product, and your customers. It will exude quality. Design principles such as selective use of color and fonts, line spacing, logo treatment, white space, and readability are all considered during the design phase. If you are not a designer, you may not see the difference. That’s ok. That’s why you hire a designer.

Making changes to the site will be equally easy and intuitive. An amazing website design shop will take care of all the little things that you don’t know about like social media integration, SEO, proper commenting in the code for future updates, setting you up on a reliable hosting platform, using current and secure plug-ins and tools, and page load optimization.

All of this leads to a custom solution for your business. If you choose to start with a template, you’re starting backwards.

A word on budget

There’s budgeting, and there’s making an investment. your budget should not be based on what you paid for your last website design, what someone else paid for their website design, or (god forbid) some number that just popped into your head. Your budget or investment should be commensurate with the return you could get from your website over the next year or two. A start-up company with no revenue plan should not spend a lot for their website. An established business may want to ask what the cost would be if their website didn’t set the right brand tone or sell their products or services really well.

An amazing website design definitely takes extra time to plan and create. When a company is ready to improve their brand image, improve conversion rates, and grow their business, they are probably ready for an amazing website design.