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4 Basics of Web Design

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Designing a website that looks great does not mean it is great. Making a site aesthetically pleasing is easy, making it compelling is the problematic part. Here we are going to outline a checklist of five things you need to do to ensure your website is fit for the job, so let’s not waste any time!

4 Fundamentals of Web Design

1. Make Your Website Responsive

Smartphones have had an incredible impact on how we use the web over the last ten years or so, and less and less of us are taking to our desktops or laptops in order to access the internet. By 2020 it has been estimated there will be just under 3 billion smartphone users throughout the world, increasing from just over 2 billion in 2016.

For your website to be effective, it has to work for people regardless of whether they are browsing on their computer at work, their phone on the train home and their tablet while sitting on their sofa. Designing a responsive website means it will work on every screen, regardless of size, ensuring it is ‘friendly’ for anyone who visits.

According to Google, 67% of web users are more inclined to make a purchase from a site which is mobile friendly, so having a responsive website means you can secure a conversion from anyone who pays you a visit.

2. Have an Effective Call to Action

Web traffic is valuable, but it is not everything. You can do all the advertising you want, carry out all of the SEO you can, and have your website linked on as many others as humanly possible, but if none of these visitors are being converted, then it is all for nothing.

Having a strong call to action can make the difference between getting what you want from a potential customer and letting them slip through your fingers. To make sure your call to action secures the result you want, consider (at the very least!) these four factors:

  • Include your details, such as your phone number or e-mail, prominently within the call to action.
  • Use time-sensitive language such as “buy now” or “call today” to conjure a sense of urgency within the reader.
  • Highlight your call to action in some way either by design or something as simple as putting the text in bold.
  • Consider offering something free and non-committal that is hard to turn down, such as “sign up for your free trial” or “book a free consultation”.

These are four very simple and easy to follow tips, but there are countless other more elaborate tactics you could employ.

3. Don’t Create a Maze

Ease of use is perhaps the most fundamental part of any website. Never let form take over function – always make it as easy as possible for the visitor to get where they want to go on your site.

Having a complicated and overly-designed website might look impressive, but at the end of the day, you are just going to end up frustrating your visitor until they decide to leave. The attention span of web users is not very high, and they are likely not particularly invested in your company, so don’t put obstacles in their way!

Don’t Create a Maze

Have a clear and logical menu and always guide users towards wherever you want them to end up. If you want them to buy a product, make the purchase button prominent. If you wish to acquire their details, make the details form clear, simple, and difficult to avoid.

4. Use Quality Images

Images are the first thing that your visitors’ eyes will be guided to when they find your website, so they have to be good! Make sure you use positive and pleasant images that reflect what you are trying to sell.

For example, if you are selling burglar alarms, it probably is not a good idea to have pictures of a ransacked house. This is because showing your product theoretically failing likely will not have a positive effect. However, if you have a picture of a family sitting comfortably in their home looking happy and cheery, this is likely to have a better conversion rate.

Remember, you are trying to sell the end result; what you can offer. Remember: good marketing should be about the benefits, not the features!

For more information on how the proper use of images can benefit your website, check out our blog on how to properly optimise pictures for the web here.


Building an effective website takes effort and skill, but these are arguably the four most important factors that you have to consider if you are going to have a good chance of achieving conversions from visits.

At Soapbox, we prioritise quantifiable practical results and a fantastic return on investment. If you would like a hand setting up a website for your business or organisation, give us a call now on 0141 429 1356 and let’s have a chat.

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