The most important thing to remember is that your website needs to be easy to use and navigate. For example, visitors should find it easy to make a booking, find contact details and view a gallery. When designing your website, here's a few things to remember:
- Try and make it intuitive - what makes sense for a user? In what order are they likely to navigate your website?
- Essential information - what information do they need to know (e.g. fees, location, availability)? Make sure this information is easily accessible/identifiable and not hidden away.
- Is it up-to-date? Technology moves quickly and whilst it's not always necessary to have the very latest features on your website, users do have expectations and may look elsewhere if they find your website is to slow compared to your competitors.
You want to make sure that your website is consistent with your business's brand. Colours, text style and images will all evoke different reactions and feelings in people and it's important to be aware of this. You should also carefully consider the effect of your company logo and what image it conveys (e.g. fun, action-packed, peaceful, luxurious, authentic).
One of the best ways to ensure your navigation and branding are consistent and make sense - keep it simple! Too much information, too many features and conflicting themes/imagery is confusing and a surefire way to push potential guests/customers elsewhere. When it comes to keeping things simple, here's a couple questions to think about:
- Is it clear to a visitor what you do?
- Is it clear where you are?
- Is it clear how a visitor goes about booking?
- Is the philosophy/ethos of your business evident?
Remember, websites don't always have to be expensive but they should always make sense and be user-friendly. Websites can ultimately be a very powerful tool in encouraging people to pick your business over your competitors!