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Web Design Checklist

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Websites are becoming the norm in the modern age. Nearly everyone has one, and so it’s essential that you get yours right.

Does your website have the essential elements to succeed?

Building a website is the obvious first step towards setting up an online business or designing your very own business card online.

This is one of the most important aspects as the failure or success of the business depends on it. However, designing and developing a website is not a simple task. It involves a complicated process that is time-consuming.

Dealing with the clients, designing templates, programming, coding, and testing – there is a lot that you need to keep track of. To make sure everything gets done efficiently and within the deadline, you need to use checklists.

A web design checklist can come in handy and can streamline the design and development phase. The checklist should cover multiple crucial areas such as content, accessibility, usability, standards etc. By having this list at your disposal, you can make sure that the designers and developers do not overlook any crucial aspects.

Not sure which elements are essential for your web design checklist?

Here are a few you should think about:

Domain

A domain name is often the first thing you need when starting a website. It is your digital address that people will use to get connected to your website.

A premium domain will not only protect your brand and make you look more professional, it also improves search engine rankings, generate traffic and it is a virtual asset which tends to increase in value over time.

Logo Design

Your business logo design is the icon that symbolically represents your company. It is the identifying emblem that people will recognise first and foremost that stands proud as a statement of your website, your online presence and your company.

Investing in the services of a reputable logo design company is the first step towards identifying your brand and finding the perfect business logo design to convey your message to the online world of business.

Business Email Address

Business email is a quick and quality means to communicate with clients, potential customers, suppliers, staff, your bank manager and industries the world over.

When you receive an email, one of the first things you look at is the email extension (i.e. @gmail, @yahoo.com, @outlook.com, etc.). These are most likely the email services that the sender is using and usually it’s a free email service.

However, if you are trying to incite business, it would be wise to use an email service that allows you to create a custom email domain. Usually, you can set up your domain for your email when you create or if you have an existing website, set up your email. Using a custom email domain helps make your business look significantly more professional.

You also want your business to stand out and be easy to find in a vast ocean of emails. A great example is our info@vindictadigital.co.uk email. If a client wants to quickly find the emails that we send out, all they have to do is search, “vindictadigital.co.uk” and they can find us effortlessly.

Metadata and Titles

The page title is not only a crucial element for effective SEO, but it is also important in making the website user-friendly. It allows the users to know what is on the page at just the first glance. Each page on the website must have a unique title, and it should also relate to the content displayed on that particular page.

While some believe keywords and meta descriptions are no longer important for SEO for the major search engines such as Google, expert marketers know better than to ignore these elements. Each page on the website should have a clear and concise meta description ( see photo below )

When Google displays the website in search results, the users will read the title and description, then decide whether or not it is worth visiting that website. The description needs to be eye-catching and informative enough to grab the attention of the user in a short amount of time.

Proofread

Proofreading the content on each page is an absolute must. After you have checked the content, have somebody else look over it – or use a spelling/grammar checker. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors do not bode well for a website.

But it’s more than just mistakes, it’s also about writing clearly for your audience. Avoid trying to sound too technical and long-winded, the best practice is to write so that your content is easily understood. Make sure the content has small paragraphs, clear headings and bullet points of important information. This way it will also be easy to scan through the page’s content.

Sitemap

You also need to add a sitemap.xml file to the root directory. This will, allow the major search engines to index your website easily. This file will direct the web crawlers to all the different pages on your website. You can use XML-Sitemaps website to automatically create a sitemap.xml file. Once the file is created, you can upload it to the root directory, for example: “www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml”. On the other hand, if you are using WordPress, you would need to install the Google XML Sitemaps plug-in. This will automatically update the sitemap when new posts are added. You would also need to add your sitemap and website to the Google Search Console (previously known as Webmaster Tools). This will let Google know that your website has a sitemap. In turn, Google will provide useful statistics on when and how your website was indexed last.

Cross-browser & Functionality checks

If you think the website looks ready and pixel perfect, check again!

Usability is the single most important part of web design. If the sites you design aren’t user-friendly if they don’t work as expected, and if they confuse visitors, there’s really no point in even designing them—they won’t get used.

When testing websites in IE, you may spot broken images and various other design flaws. It is crucial for the website to run smoothly across all browsers. It may not be flawless in all the different browsers, but it should at least function properly without a hitch.

At Vindicta Digital, we make sure to design only those sites which will work flawlessly on every platform. With the mobile generation always in our minds when we build your website. It’s important that each section you have as a company is designed to be responsive to both the desktop and the mobile because you never know who will access your site and when. 

Before making the site live, make sure you check all the features thoroughly. If there’s a contact form on the website, test it yourself and see whether it shows the desired features.

You should also ask users from your target market in order to get comprehensive feedback. It is important to look at the website from a user’s perspective and not just from the designer or developer’s perspective.

More common features that you need to cross-check include search functions, the contact form, any log-in areas and shopping baskets if applicable to your website.

And as mentioned earlier, you must test all the features on different browsers, platforms and devices.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Checklist

Search engines use a page’s structural markup as a guide to rank the relative importance of its content. It’s important to include keywords and key phrases within your web pages – especially your homepage – and to place them within certain markup elements. Providing content that is relevant to your target audience will, naturally, help your search engine rankings, especially if you intentionally make strategic use of appropriate keywords and keyphrases.

Last Words

Good web design and development cements your company’s credibility as an industry leader through a professional look and good user experience. The better the user experience, interactivity and visual design of your website, the more credible and legitimate your company appears to your site’s visitors and potential clients/customers/collaborators.

If you want to receive some help with your Website Design and SEO contact us by clicking the image below.

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