Your site needs to look good

21 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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I've heard many times that you don't need too much time focusing on how your site looks. I've always thought this was bad advice, but utterly know it to be true now in 2014 compared to 3-4 years ago.

People know what a nice website looks like today. If your site doesn't look good, you will lose visitors' trust.

Last month I changed the theme on a fairly new Amazon site, and saw this change in monthly stats:
  • Pages/session: 1.4 to 1.9
  • Avg visit: 1:00 to 1:55
  • Bounce rate: 80% to 70%
A premium theme, or good skills at customizing a free theme, is worth it.
#good #site
  • Profile picture of the author Dechardia1991
    Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post

    I've heard many times that you don't need too much time focusing on how your site looks. I've always thought this was bad advice, but utterly know it to be true now in 2014 compared to 3-4 years ago.

    People know what a nice website looks like today. If your site doesn't look good, you will lose visitors' trust.

    Last month I changed the theme on a fairly new Amazon site, and saw this change in monthly stats:
    • Pages/session: 1.4 to 1.9
    • Avg visit: 1:00 to 1:55
    • Bounce rate: 80% to 70%
    A premium theme, or good skills at customizing a free theme, is worth it.
    I completely agree, People won't spend time on a ugly unorganized website. I wouldn't. Making a decent looking website makes it easy to navigate and understand.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    With it being so easy now to build awesome websites, there is no excuse for mediocrity.
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  • Profile picture of the author recash668
    A few years ago , if your website is only for get triffic form Google or add adsense to get more hits ,you may pay more attention to where to insert the AD. but today , if you want your website have customers , you need make your website look good and trust .
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  • Profile picture of the author affiliatez
    To reduce the bounce rate, Its best to add multi media to your page, infographic, video, series of case study,...
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    • Profile picture of the author spearce000
      Originally Posted by affiliatez View Post

      To reduce the bounce rate, Its best to add multi media to your page, infographic, video, series of case study,...
      Absolutely. Never judge a book by its cover? Sadly people do all the time. The same goes for websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyberzolo
    Didn't know site design was all that important.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by cyberzolo View Post

      Didn't know site design was all that important.
      It isn't. For most people, most of the time.

      It's one of the things that marketers love to invest attention, time, money, effort and energy into, and that customers aren't nearly so interested in. It's far less income-related than people typically imagine.

      As long as a site's clean, simple, easy-to-read, easy-to-navigate, non-flashy and non-hypey, and doesn't make you look "just like any other marketer", and scream "I want to sell things to you" at the visitors, the opt-in and what you offer people in exchange for their email address are actually the income-determining part. The other trivia, like small changes in bounce-rates, pages per session and visit-times are fine to measure, too, but once you start relating things to long-term income, it really gives you a very different perspective on "website design" and how very low it tends to be in the natural order of "things that really matter" to your business, and your ability to earn a living.

      By the way, discussions about "site design" belong here: Website Design

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Design isn't nearly as important as the content you use. Even just the base WordPress themes that come with the install are fine. Focus on creating great content that's gonna engage your audience before you worry about how your site looks. You can edit that later.

    As long as your website is easy to read and navigate,design isn't as important as some people make it out to be.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
    Not sure who would have told you not to focus on the site's look. I would consider a good looking site to be default, such as something everyone must have. That doesn't replace the need for good content and marketing as well as a good product/service to promote. It's just one of the things you need. If you have everything in place, then it should equal content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sagar Mehta
    The primary reason people say "design doesn't matter" is because it's one of those things that people (especially newbies) spend too much doing without actually getting a demonstrable return or impact on the income.

    Sure, the site should be easy to read and all like Alexa already said above, but beyond that, it's simply a matter of "Get that damn website up and running" instead of trying to make it perfect.

    Of course, having a cleaner design is definitely increases on-page time, bounce rates etc though it may not lead to more income still.

    Sagar
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  • Profile picture of the author pienisieni
    In my opinion looks is an added bonus, what really matters is usability. And the two don't always go hand in hand. There are plenty of websites that pull up a fancy WP theme and end up with an awful user experience.

    Also it still amazes me, how some people can pull off great business with horrible looking websites, just because they are dead simple. For some people added looks could be a trust factor, in some niches there are still plenty of people that simply don't care

    Not just looks.
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  • Profile picture of the author NK
    The most important point to keep in mind that is that it's "good enough". You can always spend more time to make it look and perform even better, but you would need to consider whether the time, money and effort put into this is worth it.

    Whether or not it's worth it is not just a question about profitability. It could also be about branding, or even just for self satisfaction.
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    • Profile picture of the author pienisieni
      Originally Posted by NK View Post

      The most important point to keep in mind that is that it's "good enough". You can always spend more time to make it look and perform even better, but you would need to consider whether the time, money and effort put into this is worth it.
      Good point. Back in the days web design was like a ladder design, once you finished it stayed that way Now it's the circle model, where you always keep on gradually improving. Hopefully!
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  • Profile picture of the author Member8200
    Design is one thing to consider, but not the most important. i would say it's just an added asset.
    The most important thing to consider in my opinion is the accessibility and responsiveness of the website. Increasing the level of accessibility can give visitors more options to visit the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
    Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post


    People know what a nice website looks like today. If your site doesn't look good, you will lose visitors' trust.
    I'd say it's, "If your site doesn't look trustworthy, you will lose visitors' trust."

    Some of the sites I find the most trustworthy are simple static HTML sites that look like they haven't changed much since the 1990s. They are written by people who are passionate and knowledgeable about their subject matter and who have been churning out content regularly for over a decade. Their writing and the expertise you sense about them is enough to instill trust.

    Any jackass can put up a "professional looking" premium Wordpress theme to decorate their crappy articles they purchased for $2/each, but it doesn't on its own build trust among anyone but the dumb or the foolish.
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    :)

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    • Profile picture of the author EvergreenHero
      I was stuck on this issue before as well. Spend time on making a nice site or focus on actually selling? I think I spent way too long trying to make my site look good, and it ended up looking kinda sucky anyways. Trying to make your site look good = waste of time.

      After a few more Months than I'm willing to admit, I came to the realization that I suck at making websites. Luckily I got someone on fiverr to make my site in a few days - my site ended up looking awesome and I got to focus on selling.

      I use this seller all the time to make my ebook websites:
      https://www.fiverr.com/sasha_garcia/...te-like-a-boss

      Pretty professional and she gets things done the way I want. I ended up using fiverr for building all my site stuff and graphics - super fast and really cheap
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Does your site need to look good? Sure it does. At the expense of other things? Well, that becomes another issue.

        All in all most wordpress themes that you find today, are not laid out the best, nor are the "Stock" color selections all that wonderful. I understand wanting to change a theme and make it yours. But, there is really a science behind color and layout and the overall design of a page. If you do not have even a basic grasp of these concepts, unless you are Joe Average, your personal choices will probably send you away from a norm and more into a Like it or hate it design.

        The OP mentions that they changed the theme and got better page views per visitor and a lower bounce rate. Chances are better than good if we ( I ) was to look at the 2 designs ( before and after ) it could probably be pointed out as to why there were increases. I would venture to say without looking that the themes that more than likely the navigation was a bit clearer and OR the new theme was designed around a standard page layout pattern.

        For those of you not familiar with the concepts here is a well written article on the 3 basic Design Layouts Not only do they explain the "Z" "F" and "Zig Zag" layouts they also note how one can effectively disrupt these patterns. ( Before I get blasted with "That's old stuff man" or what ever.. yes these patterns are "Dated" but again I am just showing the basics. To understand more advanced layouts such as grid etc, you should at least understand the basics. )

        To get an even deeper understanding of layout and design you might want to look at this PDF: Learning Layouts for Single-Page Graphic Designs This one in particular is real scholastic white paper stuff. A good read if you are really interested in the concepts.

        When ever I personally am asked "What is the most important thing to focus on in web design?" I always have and always will answer this with 1 word. NAVIGATION. The age old saying "Form Follows Function" A person coming onto your site on any page should be able to get to any piece of content with in 3 clicks. If you have a e-commerce site.. A customer should be able to land on your home page and be able to select the item they are looking for in 3 CLICKS.

        The ONLY way that you can accomplish this, is thru very precise and clearly laid out navigation. And again before any calls out BS... try it for yourself. Goto any major E-commerce site and try it. For those of you that do not want to bother.. well look at it this way. I want to find a pair of black shorts. 'Home Page' I then click 'Mens' I then click 'Shorts' I then sort by color ( click ) and there are the shorts I want.

        Even easier... Search Type in "mens black shorts" click search, and in theory the shorts of my dreams should be there. ( that's only 1 click by the way )

        This brings up an interesting side topic, SEARCH. Wordpress and Woocommerce search basically sucks. If you are serious about your site performing at its best you really need to consider a aftermarket premium plugin. I personally use SearchWP. Thru my personal research I found it to be the most effect best performing search plugin on the market, and I tried all of them. It doesn't hurt at all that the support staff is on top of it either.

        Now getting back to Navigation. I am going to share a flaw that 99.9% of everyone that is reading this will and does make in their overall page design.

        We all understand that Content is the base to getting more page views and fewer bouncers. As an example I build a site about meat. I write an article about beef, the next day about lamb, and the next about pork etc. All of these articles would of course be within the context of the overall site theme HOWEVER, if you are using pagenation linking the adjoining articles the individual context is lost, and you simply have non related content.

        Someone that is coming to my site to read an article about "Beef" is more likely to click on another article about beef, than they are an article about pork. IF additional "Beef" options are not readily available at the end of the article, you more than likely will create a bounce visitor. If content is king.... learning how to place content within context of itself is God.

        A little trick that I do when writing content. I don't write A ( one ) article on a subject I write 4 to 6. I then place them into the site at the same time. I place the last article in first, and the first article in last. If you happen to have a "Recent Posts" section somewhere on your page you will then notice that the new content falls in order Article #1 #2 #3 #4 etc. I then go thru each article and place links to the next article as well as a link to the first article.

        If someone lands on article #3 in a series, on the bottom there will be a link to article 4 as well as article 1. Kind of like a micro Silo structure. I have actually coined the term "hay bail" of content when doing this. There is SEO benefits to this practice, and there is user end ease of use advantages in this as well. What is good for your visitors, will always be good for you.

        Anyways I have probably rambled on enough...

        Hope that Helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author pcgun007
    I also think site's design can change traffic..
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  • Profile picture of the author JakeM1
    Well said, and even more importantly for design based websites!

    Another thing is to ensure that a website works well on tablets, phones etc. I've seen some great looking websites which work flawlessly on a desktop, but keep crashing my iPad.

    Another I saw recently was completely unresponsive on an iPhone, you couldn't press a single button or page on the site and the owner didn't have a clue it was happening!

    It's so easy now to go into a phone/computer shop and test out your website, so it's worth making sure everything always works as it should do!
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  • Profile picture of the author pinkwhale
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    Hi,yes its very important that your website is looking good for this purpose you can add special effects and images,vedios etc.
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