5 things I’ve learnt in 5 years of designing websites

16, Jan, 2023 | Education, Inspiration

luxury website design

By Izzy Hosking

Founder & Lead designer at Belle Creative

With an empowered outlook (and a belief that every brand founder is capable of unbridled success) and generous intention, Izzy is a master at turning your big ideas into an effective, harmonious and luxury website design.

Let me tell you, I did not start my web design career charging 3-4k per website. In fact, I didn’t charge anything at all for the first year, this time was spent building (average) websites for friends and family and experimenting with different tools and plug ins.

Website development takes years to master and even after 5 years I’m still learning every day. However, there are 5 points I learnt along the journey that once I understood, I could start offering a much higher value service for clients and greatly improve their return on investment.

Images are probably the most important factor of creating a successful website

It’s very rare for someone to sit and read every piece of text on your website, but people can’t help but look at imagery. So make sure your imagery is high quality and shows off what you do well.

Are you a personal brand? Make sure you invest in a brand shoot if you can! People love people and putting a face to your personal brand will help your audience connect with you on a much more personal level.

You have got to tell your audience what to do (literally)

What do you want your audience to do after landing on each page? Do you want them to get in touch with you? Learn more
about you or visit your shop in person? Whatever it is, tell them!
Using CA’s (Calls to Action) will help people interact with and stay on your site for longer, never expect your visitors to only use the navigation buttons in your menu!

Your website is nothing if your target audience don’t see it

One thing I learnt early on in my web design career is that SEO will be your best friend if you do it well. You website might be a work of art and have all the features in the world but if no one sees it how is it going to help your business?
I’ve done a few posts about SEO over on my Instagram and how to do it well in the past so make sure you scroll back and read them!

Make sure your website is secure (I learnt this one the hard way)

In the early days of my web design career, I had no idea about security – I log in to the back end of client websites using a
strong password that no one could ever possibly guess. Wrong! My clients website got hacked and as a result I had to pay over £200 out out my own pocket for someone to get it back (for reference, at this point I was only charging £150.00 for websites)

Lesson learnt, and I now always install a free SSL Certificate to clients websites (if you haven’t already, I suggest you do too!)

Branding comes first, website comes second

The quality of your branding can really affect the outcome of your web design project. I always recommend working with a brand designer before getting started on your website, especially if you’re planning to rebrand within the next year or so. One better is working with someone who offers both branding and website design (like us!) if you’re looking for the ultimate business glow up as they will be able to put together all of your brand elements much more seamlessly than using separate designers.

The biggest lesson of all was really learning about the complexity of web design and how having your website be a piece of art is only scratching the surface.

We really need to think about the user journey and the end goal – just expecting your user to just do what you want them to will never work.

There are countless tips and tricks that will make your website ‘better’, I for one am constantly tweaking and updating mine.

If you’re looking for an experienced web designer who won’t JUST hand you over a piece of art, but will also take into account your audience and their journey as they navigate through the site then let’s start the conversation!

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