Are you looking for website inspiration for your new business website? Imagine that your goal in life is to become a professional runner. First, you would probably scope out your competition by determining who the best runners are, how they train, and what shoes they wear. Borrowing ideas from the best athletes in your field might help you to become a better runner yourself.
The same principle applies to website design and management. No matter what type of business website you want to create, there are likely other businesses in your industry that have already made it to the top — and their websites can serve as inspiration when you’re creating your own.
1. Identify sources of inspiration
Has another site owner already accomplished what you’re trying to do? Chances are, you already have a few names in mind — but don’t stop there. Make a list of at least five exceptional people or companies in your industry. These will serve as reference points for inspiration as you begin to plan your website.
2. Be yourself
A well-known brand’s website is going to be different from the websites of a new company or small business. While you want to draw inspiration from the big names, don’t pretend to be something you’re not by mimicking a huge company. Instead, personalize and humanize your website even more than a successful company or brand that you idolize would.
It’s also important to understand that your website can and should evolve as your business changes. What your website looks like one year from today doesn’t have to be the same as what it looks like on the first day it goes live.
3. Analyze the logic of your “hero” websites
Why was a new section of text added to a homepage? Why is that “Buy Now” button red?
Everything that you see on the websites that inspire you is the result of a slew of important decisions. Analyze the content of the sites that inspire you, and ask yourself whether you should follow the same logic on your website. Your content might look and sound different, but it can still borrow the same logical flow from another site.
4. Give your audience what they want, and fast
All great websites have something in common: they don’t make information difficult to find. Make sure you do the same by easily presenting the key information that site visitors are coming to your website to find. Site visitors shouldn’t have to click 12 different buttons in order to find your store hours. The most important information and answers to frequently asked questions should appear on the homepage, or another obvious spot on your site.
5. Try (and measure) new things
Another element that great websites have in common is their constant tweaking and improvement.
Does adding a prominent FAQ page reduce customer service calls? Does adding more product pictures increase sales? There’s no way of knowing until you try these things yourself, but you should have a plan in place for measuring your site results using statistics so that you can make good, data-based decisions.
6. Be perfect where it matters
Yes, perfect is the enemy of “good,” but really great business websites rarely contain grammar errors, typos, and unusable interfaces. Take some time to make sure these basics are absolutely perfect so that your website makes a great first impression.
7. Know what’s new
When you’re getting website inspiration from top websites, you’ll probably encounter new trends in web design and technology. The internet is filled with articles promoting the latest website design trends, like this one from 99designs. Some of these features might be prohibitively difficult and too expensive for you to implement, but some might be within your scope.
Just because something is new doesn’t mean it works or that you have to try it. The most important thing is to make sure you have the basics covered and are providing your site visitors with the information they need in a professional, stylish, and accessible format.
Now, go forth and find your website inspiration! In a few years, maybe your website will serve as a source of inspiration for newcomers.
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