Your homepage helps site visitors get to different areas of the site, and it can also serve as a conversion funnel. Because most people come to you through your homepage, this is where design matters most.
A homepage can take on many different forms, but while designing it’s important to remember the purpose of the homepage as the main navigation and point of interest for site visitors. Make it clear what the business is and offer the unique value proposition (UVP) upfront. Establish the site’s hierarchy and navigation structure on the homepage. Utilize your brand’s color palette, logo and images highly relevant to the business. The homepage sets the tone for the business’ image, so it should tell a story about who you are through images and words.
A magazine website features articles, photos and videos that are informational and educational. In the last twenty years, the magazine industry has changed from a print-only platform to largely digital format. The magazine website type works well for informational websites, particularly publications from universities and organizations.
As you think about creating a magazine site, start by building a basic framework. Users should see a similar layout no matter what day they land on your homepage, and each article must have a similar layout and navigation. Keep in mind how responsive the overall design is to different screen sizes to make sure your content is easily readable both on desktops and smartphones.
An e-commerce website is an online shopping destination where users can purchase products or services from your company.
A robust e-commerce web page makes it easy to browse products, filter by categories, highlight special sales and make purchases.
An easy way to get started is through a full-solution, e-commerce platform like Shopify or Squarespace. Your team can easily update online inventory and list new products. Plus, because the system is interconnected, sales, logistics and marketing are all kept apprised on what’s working well. On the design front, e-commerce platforms offer several templates that match the needs of nearly any business type.
A blog features regularly updated articles, photos and videos. Blogs started with more casual, personal content compared to magazines. But since then, the lines have blurred, and now it’s extremely common for major brands and businesses to have their own blog. Adding expert content improves the overall credibility of a company or an individual. Blogs also provide material for social media posts and email campaigns.
However, a blog can also become cumbersome for smaller companies. Make sure you have a team and strategy in place to keep content fresh before you consider launching one. It’s actually better not to have a blog and instead offer a few videos or guides, than to have a hopelessly outdated blog.
A portfolio website allows creative professionals a place for showcasing their best work. This is perfect for artists, writers, designers, filmmakers, furniture builders—you name it.
As you build a portfolio, there’s no need to add every single project you’ve ever worked on. Instead, focus on creating categories of items and highlighting the best work from each category. A portfolio website is a bit more creative by nature, so this is the place to try unique layouts and add in interesting features.
A landing page is a specific page type created for a marketing campaign that drives visitors to take a specific action.
The content on a landing page should be limited and point toward the call-to-action (CTA) you’d like the user to take. Allow plenty of white space around your CTA and save elements not related to the purpose of that campaign for other pages.
Social media websites
There are approximately 4.5 billion people on social media with dozens of different platforms available. No matter who your target audience is, you’ll probably find them on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat or LinkedIn. Although you can’t redesign the platforms themselves, you do have some control over the look of your page, and you can create content that drives social media shares.
Go for a consistent look across all your social media pages and web pages, so users instantly know your brand is behind the page. Use the same logo and color choices. Choose a specific voice and personality that shines across all content.
When creating content, focus on things that have a high potential of being shared on social media, such as entertaining videos, infographics, memes, in-depth reports and free offers. Find more tips on how to make your social media pages work for your business here.
Directory and contact pages
A directory or contact page is a place where users can connect with you or others.
This type of website works well when you want to list a repository of businesses or people within an organization. For example, a local restaurant directory features eateries in the area with menus, price ranges, phone numbers and reviews.
The nature of an organization creates an opportunity for a directory website. For example, an association of local dentists in a city might list each member, their area of expertise and their contact information. Keep this design option in your back pocket for clients.
Choose the right website type for your audience
Good design is much more than simply an appealing look, it also drives user engagement and is highly targeted to the needs of the audience viewing the site. Paying attention to what other companies have done with their website design can quickly identify which format works best for each project as well as those which won’t. Knowing what others have accomplished with different page types gives you a strong feel for the kind of website that will work best for you.