Why having a good website is important?
Did you know that 29.7% of American business happens online? 71% of small businesses have their websites, and 81% of shoppers choose to research a company online before committing to a purchase. All those eye-opening findings by Zippia give you a good perspective on why building an online presence can pay dividends.
A good website can be a key ingredient of a formula that leads to business success. It allows you to reach prospective clients and nurture relationships with existing ones. It also allows you to showcase your products and services and reach customers anywhere, not just in your local soundings.
If your business model relies on offering a service, a good website will help establish credibility and trust. Customers are more likely to trust and do business with a company that has a well-designed, professional website with references to past work.
Lastly, a great website makes your company more likely to be discovered by new customers as it serves as a valuable marketing tool. Following SEO best practices, customers can find your business online through search engines. You can use your website to promote your products and services, share news and updates, and interact with customers through forms, live chat, and social media integration.
Part 1: Plan for the long run
1 Define your website’s scope and goals
Before digging deep into designing and building your site, you must define the strategy behind it. Define your site scope and goal that will determine the final outlook of your site.
Creating a site with great user experience and high-speed functionality is not enough to generate new leads. Your site must reason with your target audience and help them reach their objectives and goals.
Before starting to design your site, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the primary purpose of your site?
- What will you communicate on your site?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their pains, and how can you help them.
2 Do your research
Once you understand the strategy behind your website, you can start with the building process. First, understand your competition and industry best practices. What are they doing good, and where is the room for improvement? Pay attention to the UI/UX as well as their copy. Those are all crucial elements that will keep your visitors engaged and make them stay on your site longer.
A common practice among web designers is to create mood boards. You can use it to draft a general idea about a specific design style you want to incorporate into your site. Great places to find web design inspiration are also Dribble and Made in Webflow.
3 Write copy
Once you have a general idea of the page style, we suggest you write a copy for your page. Good copy dictates the communication style, heading hierarchy, and brand identity. Award-winning agency Roger West finds that when a copy comes before design, there is usually a smaller margin of error.
Creating a compelling copy will help you connect with your audience and build long-lasting relationships. Copy does not only entertain the audience and compel them to take action. It also serves as a powerful marketing tool to strengthen your brand identity.
When you finish the copy, you can play with different wireframes to find the one that fits your brand message. You can use tools like Figma or Sketch to iterate your design fast and without any extra development cost.
4 Build a unique brand identity
As we break down in one of our blogs, your brand identity is the personality of your business and the message its shares. It helps you define who you are and establish a unique presence in the market. A well-defined brand identity will also help create a strong emotional connection with your customers.
Overall, a consistent and strong brand identity helps answer:
- What is your mission?
- What do you believe and stand for?
- What do you represent?
It includes elements such as the logo, color palette, design aesthetic, and typeface.
The logo is a visual symbol and often the most recognizable part of a brand. Its role is to consistently represent the company across all touchpoints and create a cohesive brand experience for customers.
The color palette should blend cohesively with your logo and enhance your brand identity. The colors in your color scheme play an important role in expressing your brand's attributes and values. Red creates the feeling of passion and danger. Blue shows stability, and green gives you an impression of being healthy and organic.
The next element is the typeface or also known as typography. Whether you are more elegant, modern, or even sophisticated, picking the correct typeface will help you convey that impression. A good practice is to pick two main typefaces to use consistently throughout your branding. One for all text you want them to stand out. Another for general text in your content body.
Last but not least is the brand language or communication style. It includes everything from the language used in marketing materials and social media to the language used on a website. Creating familiar and consistent brand language will help your audience empathize and connect with your brand. The language you will use will be a reflection of your brand identity.
5 Design the final wireframe
One last step before finally moving to Webflow is to create your site wireframe. A wireframe is a visual representation of the structure and layout of a website. Its role is to map out design elements during the planning stage of website design.
Creating a wireframe will help combine the pre-approved copy with the design, set features, and website functionality. The next important aspect of using wireframes is improving communication among different stakeholders. Low-fidelity prototypes help you communicate website structure, identify and solve potential issues, and test ideas quickly.
In summary, there are several equally important reasons why it is important to create a wireframe before designing your first site in Webflow:
- Plan the content, features, and website functionality.
- Improve the workload efficiency.
- Communicate ideas and feedback among stakeholders.
- Find potential issues and improvements before the final design.
- Plan the scope of the project.
Part 2: Design your first site in Webflow
6 Set up Webflow Account
Coming to this article means there is a high chance you are looking for the right tool to design a website by yourself. Webflow can be a great tool for this! Especially if you have no prior coding experience. This no-code tool allows you to build responsive websites without writing a single line of code.
To set up your Webflow account, navigate to Webflow.com and pick one of their many existing plans.
In the end, pricing is one of the main factors when deciding between two web-building tools. Webflow allows you to introduce yourself to the platform by enabling you to design your first Webflow site for free. A free plan already allows you most of the platform features and free hosting on the webflow.io domain.
To deploy your site on a custom domain and access more functionality, pick between different site and eCommerce plans you can find here.
7 Start building your page
If you have created a wireframe as we suggested, now is the time to convert it to Webflow. If you have built a wireframe with tools like Figma or Sketch, you replicate those elements in Webflow without writing code. You can see an in-depth tutorial from Flux Academy to learn how to convert Figma to Webflow in a few easy steps.
There are a few different ways how to design your first Webflow site.
You can start from scratch and use Webflow as a blank canvas. Webflow enables you to work visually, using a drag-and-drop tool. When designing your page visually, Webflow writes an underlying code for you. This results in a high-performing website with a clean and semantic underlying code.
Use a pre-made template to kickstart your design process and save time. Using a professionally made template can also boost your creativity and inspire you to tweak the template in a way that fits your brand. Follow this link to browse 60 beautifully designed, ready-to-use Webflow templates.
8 Gather user feedback
Before going live and promoting your site through different marketing funnels, make sure everything runs smoothly. Don't publish your site as soon as you build it, but first interact in gathering user feedback.
User testing is a crucial step in the development process and helps identify and address any issues or problems that users may experience when interacting with your website.
When gathering user feedback, you should engage with a diverse group of participants to ensure all perspectives users experience a great web experience.
9 Press Publish
Once you are happy with your page, it is time to click publish! Webflow already offers to host within the platform, so there is no need to pay extra fees for a third-party hosting provider. Set up your custom domain to boost your brand identity and build authority. You can find your custom domain through GoDaddy or Google domains directly in Webflow or through another third-party service.
10 Scale and manage your page
Once your page is up and running the work is far from done. It is one thing to build a site that is pretty. Creating and maintaining a page that ranks high in Google is another thing. If you want the perspective leads to find you, you will need to improve nonstop. Curating content, gathering backlinks, and building new landing pages are just a few steps of many to boost your search visibility.
Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your web traffic and understand where your audience. Using website analytics tools helps you understand the page activity and investigate opportunities to attract new visitors. Page speed is another important aspect that will determine your page traffic. Many findings show that page speed highly correlates with the bounce rate. Slow load time increases bounce rate which negatively affects SEO. To avoid this poor web performance you will constantly have to measure website performance with tools like PageSpeed Insights and GSC.
In the modern world, having a company website is a norm rather than an exception. Often used as the first touch point between the company and prospective clients, a website serves as a crucial element of a successful business.
No-code tools like Webflow have made building websites more accessible than ever before. Using the drag-and-drop builder, you can build your page from scratch without needing to write any code.
Whether you are building your site in Webflow or coding it from scratch, the basic steps are the same. With this guide, you can bring your page to life while following the best web design practices.
To sum up, let's recall every step you should take to design your first Webflow page:
- Define your website scope and goals.
- Do the research.
- Write copy.
- Build unique brand identity.
- Create your site's wireframe.
- Set up a Webflow account.
- Building your page.
- Gather user feedback.
- Publish page.
- Scale your page.