In today’s technologically driven world, there is little reason for a business to not have a well-constructed website. Simply having a website is a step in the right direction, but outdated websites will not impress modern visitors and a poorly designed website may even drive customers away. When competing for digital traffic, your website is up against industry titans and one-person companies. Consider your business’s website your chance to make a first impression and win over a customer. There is no doubt that a well-designed website that makes full use of APIs (Application Program Interfaces) and other advantageous software will see better results than competitors who fail to meet modern website standards. Thankfully, building a quality website no longer requires an in-depth knowledge of HTML and crafting an exemplary business website is easier than ever. With some tips, tricks, and helpful software,  you can develop a website your business will be proud of.

The Basics

There are a few basics of website creation that your website must cover before you can introduce more advanced features. Your business website should have a unique domain name so your website is less likely to be confused with a similar domain. Use a personalized business email address when you register your unique domain name so your website is linked to an email connected to your company instead of an employee’s personal account.

You can use a website builder like Wix, WordPress, or SquareSpace and utilize pre-built templates to easily construct a website while using your unique domain name. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with building a custom website, these templates can be a lifesaver. SquareSpace has hundreds of templates to choose from, which ensures you will find a structure to suit your vision. Templates can be customized, tweaked, and updated at any time, so your website always reflects current information and trends. Website builders also handle many technical aspects of website construction and maintenance, leaving you free to tackle content and design without worrying about the site crashing.

Clear and Easy to Use

The overall goal of your website design should be to eliminate as many barriers as possible between a visitor becoming a paying customer. Try to look at your website as a first-time visitor and use those observations to guide your design decisions.

It can be tempting to load your website with visual designs and fancy animations, but when overdone, these elements can be distracting and confusing. When a visitor lands on your website for the first time you want them to instantly know the name of your company and what your company does. Air on the side of simplicity to best convey essential information and leave visual flair at a modest level.

Prioritize critical information by using contrasting backgrounds to highlight important text. If you are listing specs for a technical product, use a simple font, clear formatting, and a high contrast background so a customer can easily find the specifications they are looking for. Do not rely solely on text descriptions for products, most visitors will expect images or a video demonstration of your products. Images are a fine complement to text descriptions, but video is how many customers prefer to learn about products. If you decide to add video content, also add subtitles to accommodate visitors who are hard of hearing or in a place where they cannot play audio.

Third-Party Services and Features

You can customize your website to your heart’s content, but building everything yourself entails a lot of unnecessary work. Whether you have built your website personally or used a template, you can easily bring additional services or features to your website with APIs. APIs are everywhere and exist to let one program work with a separate program to bring new abilities. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most other social media platforms offer an API that lets visitors easily ‘like’ or cross-post content on your website to their social media pages. Ecommerce APIs aim to make online sales easier for all parties. SquareSpace’s commerce APIs let store digital owners update their inventory counts, order fulfillment information, and mark specific products as limited stock just to name a few features.

Optimization

It does not matter how beautifully designed your website is if it does not run properly. No visitor will wait for a website to cooperate, they expect a functioning website from the beginning. You cannot skimp on optimization and performance. To shorten page load times, try lazy loading where only the information currently being viewed is loaded and the rest of the page loads when a visitor scrolls down. Fix broken links and remedy 404 pages to make the browsing experience even better for your customers.

Optimization also includes ensuring your website performs correctly across different platforms. If your site runs perfectly on desktop, but not mobile, you have a problem. Desktop is no longer the way most people browse and mobile has taken the top spot. Make mobile optimization a priority to ensure visitors on mobile don’t have a technically compromised experience.

A business website is an essential tool that when combined with helpful software and APIs becomes even more powerful. Invest time in crafting the perfect website for your business by following the tips and tricks above.