Running a website requires some difficult decisions. In a virtual world where choice is abundant, the obstacles and challenges are also increased dramatically. In this case, we will be looking at a very common scenario webmasters face in addition to the hard choices that need to be made. This article will address the comparison between a pretty website and a workable website graphic design. Which one is more important and how does it affect the possibilities of evolving?
According to Wikipedia, graphic design is a manner of visual communication in addition to being a problem solving tool through tactical use of space, images and everything else that goes with it. A graphical designer is usually responsible for creating an atmosphere and establishes a unique brand, but depending on the purpose of the website, a designer can also keep things simple. Despite the fact that there are many more possibilities within graphical design when compared to traditional printing media, website graphic design also faces its share of limitations.
Keep in mind that a website doesn’t require paper and ink, but it does require several other elements. For example, Google goes through every bit of information from a site before displaying it on a search result page. The length of time people spend on the pages, the content, images and several other elements all play a part in where the site is going to end up in terms of ranking. But this is also where the limits of graphical design are reached. Once is a site is overwhelmed with graphical design aspects it is obviously going to slow down the loading speed, which ultimately leads to a very high bounce rate. For those who aren’t aware of how a bounce rate really works, just imagine a million people visiting a page or site, but they don’t even wait for the page to load completely before they return to the search engine. In other words, visitors don’t stay along enough. The loading time for a website has to be quick, otherwise it’s going to result in a high bounce rate scenario.
Now consider sites like Craigslist and Wikipedia. There is absolutely nothing fancy about the design and some people might even regard it as ugly website graphic design. However, these “ugly” sites are among the most popular in the world. Why? Because they utilize a workable web design that takes only seconds to load and makes the overall user experience very easy. You can even take a look at www.dmoz.org if you want, the same principles apply there. For sites like these it’s much more important to provide users with enriching content while using minimal graphical design tricks. Less is definitely more in cases like this. They enjoy high rankings and a lot of time spent by visitors.
When I talk about creating a website I like to refer to it as building with Lego blocks. If done correctly from the start then the only limitations you are going to encounter will be a lack of imagination. The correct platform is a crucial step towards building a solid website and I discuss this in more detail with my article entitled: Affordable Web Design and Best Web Platform. The platform has to be able to sustain every future step that is taken or changes that are made.
One of the most important places to start building is through content. Posting 10 articles on your website today might not attract the attention you are looking for, but making regular posts over time will slowly build into a solid traffic source. You need to regard the process as long-term, because this is exactly what is happening. Given enough time and work there is no question that it will turn into a front-line sales tool that will never let you down.
I’m not saying that you should avoid a creatively designed website, but I do recommend taking into consideration the purpose of the site. If it’s business orientated and you want people to subscribe, buy products or stay for long periods of time then it will only be in your best interest to keep it simple. This is a proven tactic, as can be seen by the above mentioned examples, that really speaks to making a choice between a pretty website with no visitors or a workable website graphic design that receives thousands of views.