Over time I realized that there are many things that I see over and over again that make the websites look, well, a tiny bit unprofessional. Many websites simply don’t look like the high-quality and professional page that you would like to represent you and your brand.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you need an expensive designer and there’s nothing bad about a website that you built yourself.
But sometimes you just need to change a few little things and that can make a big difference. Since having a presentable website is important for any yoga teacher, here are my best tips to making your website look more professional.
#1 Keep it simple
Animations, background images, things flying in from left and right, multi-colored buttons, drop shadows and parallax effects – please be very careful when using any of these effects.
Yes, they can be fun, but if not done tastefully and sparingly, they can also overwhelm your visitors and even look a bit tacky.
It’s a bit like putting on too much make-up 🙂
My #1 rule is to keep it simple! Focus on the content and keep everything else clean and orderly. So, no background images and no animated buttons! I’d actually say no to all animations, unless you’re a designer and know what you’re doing.
The clear message will always win. A complex website layout might actually make your visitors feel uncomfortable, and like they’re watching a commercial.
#2 Choose colors wisely
A well thought out color palette can go a long way to enhance the experience of your website visitors.
Complementary colors create balance and harmony. Using contrasting colors for the text and background will make reading easier on the eye.
But the biggest difference to your website layout will be made by adding enough white space.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? White space is the empty space on your website. It’s also called negative space.
In web design terms, it’s the space between graphics, columns, images, text, margins and other elements.
Even though we call it white space, it doesn’t mean the actual space must be white. The blank space may be filled with any color as long as it is free of any elements like text or images.
You should use it generously, there really is no need to cramp all your information super close together. This will affect your website design and the experience of your users immensely.
#3 Write text that’s easy to read
Fact: people don’t read online (unless they want to know some nitty-gritty details). Instead they scan the content.
That’s why you should write scannable content, that’s easy to read and digest.
To do that use headlines that say exactly what to expect, use sub headlines and bullet points or small paragraphs.
Don’t forget to look at your text color. The most easily read combination is black text on a white background, but many other color combinations are acceptable if the contrast is good.
Finally, use a font size that’s easy to read. The ideal font size for reading easily online is at least 16pixel.
#4 Use good quality images
Choosing the right images for your website plays a big role in representing you and your brand and also in connecting to your target audience.
If you don’t have high quality professional photos on hand, you can consider purchasing stock photos to lift the look of your website (but use them sparingly).
I sometimes use stock images in background images, for example behind a quote. I would never, and I mean never, use them in the header. You really have to be careful here, because people recognize stock images almost always immediately.
Don’t over-use images, and make sure they add meaning or context to your written content.
#5 Clean up your navigation menu
People love familiar things. That’s why most modern websites have navigation menus which are situated at the top.
This is so common today that your website visitors will instinctively look for the menu buttons at the top. If you decide to use a different style you will make it more difficult for them.
Keeping the navigation buttons simple and at the top makes your information easily accessible which is what you want to achieve.
A mistake I see quite often is that people put anything and everything in their main menu. The problem with this is that when you have more than 6 or 7 topics in your navigation menu, it becomes difficult to see what’s in it with one glance. People have to stop and actually read each menu item.
Your goal is to make it easy it is for people to take action and move around your website, so keep your menu simple and use subpages if you want to add more content to your website.
Here you go! These are my most important tips to make your website look more professional.