Your site’s overall appearance is important. If your layout, color, fonts, and images make your site bleed, then people won’t either bother reading your content. The fact is, some people will leave your site instantly after landing on it.
So, your site design is a key element to your website’s success. A pre-built theme gives you a headstart towards creating an aesthetically appealing website, but still, there are a couple of things that have to be done to ensure that you create an effective design.
What is the homepage?
A homepage is default or, or the front page of a website or browser. It is the first page that your visitors will see if they want to load a URL.
If you want to capture the attention of users, you need to come up with an attractive yet functional homepage with every single element integrated into it.
Homepages act as your company’s virtual door and are accountable for driving in most of the users.
Ideally, it gives users all the necessary information about your business, so that they could explore other pages on your site. Despite its influence, many still struggle on how to optimize it properly.
Is a well-designed homepage important?
If you’re planning to start a website or redesign your site, you may wonder how a website design is important. How does it impact your business as well as your audience? We’ll explore a few reasons why a well-designed homepage is important:
- Good first impression. When people visit your site, you’re already giving them the first impression of your business. They’ll immediately judge your site in a matter of seconds. That’s why, in those first few seconds, you need to make a positive impact on your audience. You need to come up with a solid first impression.
- Improved user experience. Users visit your site with a specific purpose in mind. It could be to read your blog posts, find out if you’re selling a particular type of product or service, or check out your latest product line. No matter what their purpose is, you need to redirect customers to the right page. The design of your homepage should be able to facilitate this transition when you give your site intuitive navigation and a clear sense of how your website flows.
- Conversion-driven. You want those site visitors to convert into paying customers. However, they won’t be converting if you don’t give them the right incentive or opportunity. Maybe you want to build your email list, but people can’t find your sign-up form, then your database will remain empty.
- Brand awareness. To make your brand stay in your customer’s minds for a long time, your brand messaging and image should come through on every single page on your site. This is especially true when it comes to your homepage’s overall design because it acts as a getaway to your entire site.
Homepage Design Tips for creating an Engaging Homepage
We’ve compiled a dozen tips on how to create an aesthetically appealing, dynamic, and functional homepage for your WordPress site:
#1. Professional looking logo
Does your logo represent your business? Does it have that visual appeal to express your business’ identity? A company logo usually acts as the face of your company and serves as the graphical representation of your business.
The fonts, images, and colors your using to come up with a logo provides you with the essential information that allows users to connect with your brand and identify with it.
Your logo will determine how quickly a user can connect with your brand. Use high-quality images, prominently locate it on your website, along with a link found in your homepage that is used by visitors to navigate easily.
#2. Readable font
In terms of design, fonts can be a huge deal. There’s a reason why most designers don’t stick with just a single font when designing websites and just call it a day.
Back in the old days, you could only pick a limited number of fonts when choosing a web design, but thankfully, those days are now over. You’re no longer limited to finding the perfect font tailored for your site.
Go for a readable font that will not take your reader’s attention away from the content itself. Choosing the right font and font pairings is a design decision that requires careful thought and planning.
When you carefully pick fonts that reflect your brand’s personality, your site will look more believable.
#3. Appropriate color scheme
Does your website have memorable color tones? You have the chance to invite people into a world of color once they click your website and be directed to your homepage.
A great color scheme will set the tone and will create expectations. Go by these two rules:
- Pick a limited color palette: Use at least two primary colors aside from the usual black and gray text. You can also use these colors consistently throughout every single page of your site.
- Pick an accent color: If you consistently pick two primary colors, you can draw attention with an accent color that stands out to the eye. You can use that accent color to draw the reader’s attention to a special offer, a button that you like users to click on, or other important announcements.
#4. Website speed
The speed of your website is important because if it’s too slow, it can cause your visitors to leave your site, never to return. Some brands make the mistake of adding various plug-ins, elements, and images which deliberately slows down the loading speed of your site.
If you want to avoid that from happening, here are a couple of important points to consider:
- For your WordPress site, pick a good host.
- Integrate a Content Delivery Network (CDN.)
- Utilize an effective cache plug-in.
- Optimize your site images to make them load faster.
- Optimize your homepage by reducing the posts per page, taking off any unnecessary widgets, inactive plug-ins, and keeping a homepage that has minimal content.
- Avoid video hosting on your website.
- Control the total amount of revisions that are stored in your site.
Improving the speed of your website is vital to make visitors stay on your site longer. So, consider these tips to ensure that your WordPress site loads fast.
#5. Responsive design
Responsive design is the ability to adjust to every user’s screen size, platform, and orientation. In a highly mobile world, users expect apps and websites to be displayed and function flawlessly across various devices.
Providing a seamless experience needs a lot of testing and fixing, and there’s absolutely no excuse to slack off.
Fortunately, implementing a responsive design doesn’t have to be a daunting task as developers these days have it much easier as compared to a couple of years ago. Check out how your business can take advantage of mobile marketing.
Make sure that you get this right, and not sabotaging your design for a large part of your audience.
#6. White space
Don’t optimize for efficiency and leave out aesthetics. Ideally, you want users to be visually drawn to the most important information and sections on your website. Using whitespace efficiently is one of the most elegant and time-tested ways to do this.
Whitespace helps highlight the information on your site, improving one’s reading comprehension, and making the overall design look a lot sleeker.
Add it to your current design arsenal, and your website will instantly look more polished.
#7. Usable forms
The last thing anyone wants is to fill out forms. Whether it’s online and offline, it will always be a chore. But these are non-negotiable when it comes to web design.
A lot of designers and brands tend to shy away on the technical side of implementing forms, but it should be trivial as compared to the other issues that you’re facing daily.
Forms are a way for users to interact in your site, whether its recovering lost passwords, registrations, submissions, contact pages, and the long list goes on.
So, make the effort to make your forms highly intuitive and usable, user-friendly, and stylishly presented to raise the overall profile design of your pages.
#8. High-quality images
Images have the power to make or break the appearance of your site. A poor image choice is one of the most common problems new websites encounter. So, if you’re planning to use images, don’t pick cheap-looking ones as these will reflect poorly on you.
High-quality images are going to cost you a few bucks. So, if you have a limited budget to invest in quality photography, there are free photo resources online where you can find great, free imagery.
When your site contains too much clutter, then the focus of the entire content is lost. Adopt the mindset that less is more.
Try to avoid:
- Excessive advertising
- Pop-ups like newsletter forms
- Unexpected animations
- Too many social media buttons
- Autoplaying video or music
- Other annoying distractions
While advertising is important to create a more profitable site, filling every sidebar or post with AdSense isn’t going to make you a lot of money.
Placing ads wisely, only if your site is generating a lot of traffic to warrant the usage of these ads. If you’re starting, then your focus should be on the content that you out, instead.
There’s also no such thing as an overnight success. If there’s anything that distracts you from the viewer, then it’s bad. If you don’t need anything, then don’t use it.
#10. Simple navigation design
When designing the homepage of your WordPress site, it’s important to strike a perfect balance between your website’s design and usability. Placing too many elements on your site would leave your visitors feeling overwhelmed.
Adding only the important elements and making your layout look neat and tidy will leave a good impression on your business.
#11. Implement CTAs
The goal of designing a great homepage is to persuade users to dig deep into your site, as well as to move further to know who you really are.
Placing one or two CTAs above the fold while guide users on what to do the moment they land on your homepage. Your CTAs should be placed prominently as well so that they’re easily accessible for users.
Moreover, ensure that these CTAs are visually appealing, by using a color that compliments the color scheme of your homepage. Examples of these CTAs can be, “Sign Up,” “Request a Form,” “Make an Appointment,” and so on.
#12. Optimized 404 pages
Every site breaks down eventually, even for just a limited period of time. While that’s expected, some users would often take this as a sign that your site cannot be trusted.
So, why not go your way and make the effort to come up with a unique error page that assures them?
Anything looks nicer than a default server error message.
An error page that’s well-designed will reassure web visitors, showing them that everything is under control and your site will come back anytime soon.
#13. Format your words in attractive, readable sentences
Don’t spill a bunch of words on your page and leave them lying there. Instead, organize them into paragraphs, subheads, and bulleted lists.
Make the first paragraphs in your homepage enticing enough, keeping it short. Don’t use long paragraphs and try to break up your texts, so that you’re not presenting users with large blocks of non-stop copy.
Finally, give your visitors an easy way to get into your content, and they’ll stay there long enough to actually read it.
So, there you have it. Following these tips will give you a stronger brand in the long run, and garner more interest in your site. With a better WordPress homepage, you’ll be able to create a user-friendly and more welcoming environment for people to get useful information at any time.
Moreover, your homepage’s layout can make or break your site’s entire appearance. So, leave no stone unturned when it comes to making your homepage stand out with the following tips we’ve mentioned above.
Note: This guide on Homepage Design Tips was contributed by Kenneth Sytian. If you have an interesting guide to contribute, then check our Guest Blogging Guidelines.
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For more WordPress Guides,
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- The World of WordPress – 10 Popular Web Design Trends
- Starting your First WordPress site – What you need to know?
- Designing a WordPress site – What you need to know before getting started?