Posted on May 27, 2020

How to Design a Website in 2021: 5 Ways to Modernize Your Site

Having a modern, informative website is an important part of running a successful business. An outdated website can scare away customers, but an up-to-date site indicates that you’re ready to serve them.

Fortunately, great coding skills and an abundance of time are not required to design a website your customers will love. 

To create a website that will stand the test of time, incorporate these five elements:

Let’s dive into the basics of good website design.

1. Design a Website With Lots of Whitespaces

One telltale sign of a dated site is visual clutter. 

You need to embrace whitespace if you want to design a modern website. Whitespace refers to the blank space between elements — text, graphics, and images.

Until recently, it was common to cram as much information as possible on your website. The intent is to hold a visitor’s attention, but it actually has the opposite effect. 

The information overload can overwhelm website visitors, leaving them unable to focus on any one thing.

Contemporary website design uses whitespace to create visual breathing room. This less-is-more approach makes it easier to find the most important elements on a page, like a call to action, branding, or key images. 

If you want to design a website that is not only visually appealing but effective, use plenty of whitespaces. 

2. Put Customers at the Forefront of Your Website

When you design a website for your business, it’s natural to think about your business’ needs first and foremost. So you build a site that positions your company as the best in the industry, and focuses on content that highlights what it’s capable of. 

However, a good website design considers how easy it is for customers to use your site. UX design principles put the website visitor’s experience first. 

It’s important to put yourself into the customer’s shoes while you’re designing your site. Imagine what they might want to see, and how they will naturally interact with each page. Is there anything that may be unclear or frustrating about the experience for someone who’s not as familiar with your brand as you are? 

Once your site is up, further incorporating your clients’ needs is simple — just ask them. Email customers a survey that asks for their impressions of your website. Encourage participation by offering a discount or freebie in exchange for their input.

Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can also implement basic analytics functionality on your website to learn more about how visitors are using your website.

After you’ve analyzed your data and survey results, use this feedback to improve your website design. When your website is easier to use, you should see an increase in sales, leads, and time spent on your site.

3. Make Your Website Responsive 

According to Statista, half of all web traffic is viewed on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If your website isn’t optimized for smaller screens, you could be losing half your customers.

Modern websites need to be responsive. Responsive web design automatically formats websites for different sized screens: desktop, tablet, and mobile. 

If you have a responsive website, the customer won’t have to zoom in to see text or graphics when they’re viewing it on their phone or tablet. Each page’s font sizes, images, and menus should automatically adjust for optimal viewing.

4. Use Strong Visual Elements

Multimedia elements are the mark of a good website design. Photos and videos can efficiently convey what words take too long to express. 

The next time you design a website, incorporate these visual elements to make your site stylish and effective:

Hero Image

A hero image is the largest image featured on a web page. While hero images are typically located on a website’s home page, they can be used on other pages too. Hero images grab the customer’s attention, and help them relate to what you’re offering. 

In this example, the hero image lets customers imagine themselves on a stunning vacation, paddling through crystal clear waters.  A strong hero image creates an emotional connection between your business and your potential clients.

Website Videos

According to a 2020 study from Wyzowl, 85% of businesses use video as part of their marketing efforts, up from only 61% in 2016. The vast majority (92%) of marketers using videos say it’s an important part of their strategy. 

Add video elements to your website to keep up with the competition and the times. Use video to tell the story of your company, explain your services, and share customer testimonials.

5. Show Off Your Brand

Strong branding is another hallmark of good website design in 2020. Branding helps businesses build a lasting emotional connection with customers. 

When you design a website, use your brand’s visual identity (logos, fonts, colors) throughout to add consistency. 

The above example incorporates the logo for Rolls Royce in multiple ways — you’ll notice a throughline with the color and font choices. 

Quality branding speaks to your company’s professionalism. It will also reinforce the positive associations your client has with your business. 

Final Thoughts: Elements of Good Website Design in 2020

Having an up-to-date website will help your business stand out from the competition. Embracing minimalistic, responsive, customer-centric design with strong visual elements ensures your website will be relevant for a long time to come. 

Fortunately, you can design a spectacular website focused on all of these elements without learning how to code. Check out iPage’s website builder to build a website that will help your business succeed.