8 tips for nicer websites

8 Tips for Better Websites for small businesses[ 3 min read ]

Design is how it works by Steve JobsYour website’s homepage is the one you should spend time designing – it’s the place where first impressions of you and your brand are made.

Here are 8 handy tips to help you get it right.



  1. Keep it clean

    The homepage is the place that should communicate clearly what your product or service is about. Keep clutter and fancy effects to a minimum but use a stand-out image or a catchy slogan to get the message across.

  2. Keep it concise

    Unless you’ve got a modern one page scrolling site, keep your content on the homepage to a minimum – it should grab users attention with little scrolling. Most homepages work best when there isn’t an essay to read – people just want to know what your business is all about, how they can engage with you and what’s new.

  3. Keep it useable

    The customer should be able to find how to navigate to where they want to go, quickly.
    This means ensuring your navigation menu is easy to find and that there aren’t too many options to chose from. If you have main features or services, try making feature images to link to these sections of your website.

  4. Keep features above the fold

    The ‘fold’ is anything that will appear on an average sized screen without the need for scrolling down. Keep your latest products/services or most important features on the top half of the page as these will be seen first and need to have the most impact.

  5. Keep it current

    Make sure the information isn’t outdated and regular changes to your website will aid your search engine ranking.
    Check your content regularly to make sure it’s still valid and check links/images are still working.
    It’s also worth making sure your ‘look’ isn’t outdated – if it looks like an old site people may just click off, and you have a twitter feed or a facebook feed – make sure there’s new content on there!

  6. Keep it branded

    Your homepage should reflect your business brand and it’s ethos. If your brand is quite corporate, you don’t want it to be all fluffy and pink and likewise, if you’re a personable holistic therapist, a sterile dull website might give a different message to potential customers.

  7. Keep it visual

    Websites excel most when they have different media content. Whilst playing random music is now an outdated concept, relevant embedded video and audio can be really useful – it will keep visitors on your site for longer whilst they watch/listen and search engines use this ‘bounce rate’ time to help rank your website.
    If you don’t fancy video or audio make sure you at least have strong imagery – ensure that is of good quality and relevant.

  8. Keep testimonials

    Customer reviews and testimonials can strengthen your brand and help you increase sales. Display positive reviews where you can to show you are trustworthy but do make sure they are real!

Suzi Smart Bear

I'm Suzi - the owner of The Smart Bear.

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