Staying within your website's design

If there’s one thing that annoys me as a web developer, it’s seeing website owners, editors and authors who think they are web designers and create pages that, well, let’s just say they don’t look good. Don’t do that. Your website is designed the way it is for a reason. So use it as intended.…

Hey there and welcome to website tip Friday.

So today we’re going to move away from accessibility for a little bit and talk more about design and your website. And more specifically, things you should be thinking about as a website owner, editor and/or author.

During my time as a developer, I’ve seen things that website owners and editors have done with their websites, and some of it’s not really good.

And one of the most frustrating things that I’ve seen are people thinking they are web designers when they’re really not. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been on webpages where every line of text is a different color. Or there’s random bold text everywhere. Or just all of the content looks super disjointed.

Really, the list is endless.

So I’m here to tell you to not do this. Please. The web designer that you paid for worked really hard to figure out what color combinations, what layouts, what all of that worked the best for your business and is going to help your business grow.

You paid them to do this. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Instead, stay within your website’s design. Use the different heading levels correctly. Use buttons to direct users to take an action. Use images scarcely and don’t allow them to overtake a page, unless it’s a page that needs to be photo heavy. If you’re even be slightly overwhelmed by what might be going on on the page, then scale it back.

This especially goes for WordPress users using the new block editor. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Make sure that the colors you are using are within your website’s color scheme. And don’t overload the user with too many images, cover images and all of those different types of blocks.

To sort of paraphrase one of my favorite Pixar movies, if everything is bold, nothing is bold. Sometimes simpler is better. And if you do want to do something that’s more outside of your website’s design, go out and get a designer. They’ll probably end up with something way better than you could ever dream up.

Your website is designed the way it is for a reason. So use it as intended.

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