It has been rightly said that if you are not online, then you are nowhere. Regardless of the kind of business that you do or the brand you are trying to establish, it is very vital to have a functioning website on the web.
What then is a Website?
A website is basically your online presence; which stands as a very reliable middle-man between your business and potential clients. It portrays what a business is all about, their vision and mission, the services they render, location(s), contact details, and many more.
Most often than not, a beautifully designed and well structured website would have done the talking and advertising before a prospect eventually decides to send a mail, go visiting, or put a call across to the business owners.
Let’s now talk about website designs and the different types.
Suffice it to say that website design or designing a website is both a science and an art. It involves the conversion of a visualized design (especially from the perspective of users) into palpable creativity and reality. All this can only be brought to bear with a certain level of artistic and technical skills.
The ultimate goal of every successful website design is to ensure that the visitor gets hooked on it and easily locates the information he came looking for. The design needs to be represented in such a way that the website is appealing, catchy, visually pleasing, and structurally functioning.
Apart from being able to satisfy the targeted audience, the design of a website must also be appealing to the search engines. It should be laid out in a way that will make it easy for search engine robots to crawl and understand what the site is all about. This is very important for the purpose of search results, rankings and search engine optimization (SEO.)
Indeed, it is not an easy task to satisfy both your targeted audience and the search engines seeing that they both have different requirements. It is however doable when a website designer understand the techniques of integrating these diverse requirements in a website design – making it accepted by humans as well as the search engines.
Types of Website Designs
Website designs are categorized into three different types. These include;
- Static Websites
- Dynamic or CMS Websites
- E-Commerce websites
Some of the questions that a good number of people out there ask are; which design is the best, which one should I opt for, can these designs be built on different platforms, etc? It should be noted that the aforementioned website designs are all good and each of them can be created on various platforms.
Furthermore, the design that anyone opts for would be largely dependent on the type of business they do as well as the requirement of the business owner(s.)
Just as the name suggests, a static website design is ideal when all you need are just a few web pages, and you don’t want the information to change over a long period of time. These types of websites are very easy to develop because they are built in CSS and HTML. They are also search engine friendly because they get indexed easily.
One major drawback of static websites is that they are manually updated. This makes it monotonous and time-consuming.
Dynamic or CMS website
Unlike static websites, dynamic or CMS website design can deliver dynamic function. Such websites are automatically updated based on certain criteria. They are difficult to build and mostly created on content management platforms like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress. It takes some good knowledge of SEO to get dynamic websites indexed by the search engines.
Joomla; this is a very popular CMS platform that is used by a large number of individuals and businesses all over the world. Loads of people can attest to the simplicity of the Joomla platform when it comes to creating a website.
Drupal; this is a free and open source content management platform. Drupal can be used to build any type of website.
WordPress; it has been described as the most convenient and easiest platform. With WordPress, you will get a very large pool of plugins that will ensure you have a website that stands out. WordPress is free, easy to use, and you don’t need HTML knowledge before you can edit information on the website.
If you run a digital business and the site involves the sale of physical products, you might want to consider an e-commerce website. Talking about e-commerce, there are loads of platforms that you can choose from. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Magneto is a free and SEO ready open source with diverse extensions. It is easy to use and always recommended for newbie’s who want to hit the ground running with their online business.
This is a free platform that allows business owners to sell a wide range of products within a number of categories.
Just like Magneto, OsCommerce is a popular platform that has loads of add-ons with which a website designer can use to make one’s site unique. These add-ons can easily do the trick without hassles. It is also simple to set up and work with.
Volusion is a hosted service that has a good collection of designs. Being a hosted service is however one of its demerits because it can go down anytime.
Aside the aforementioned e-commerce platforms, there are a few others that will ensure your website performs as required. They include; shopify zeuscart, virtuemart, and zencart.
In conclusion, it is important for a business owner to carry out some extensive research before arriving on the final decision of the website design to consider. The chosen design should be able to satisfy the requirements of the owner with ease.
If you are the care-free type who do not want to be disturbed once your website is up and running, then the static website is for you. On the other hand, if you have a vision of adding a blog to the site and will be updating it with new post regularly, the dynamic website will do you loads of good.
One of the worst things that any business can do is to copy and implement the website of another business as their own. This cycle, if repeated by other businesses, leads to a collection of poorly designed websites. Such sites do not meet or satisfy the fundamental requirement of visitor’s experience. Ultimately, they will have no relevance in SEO valuations, leading to very low traffic and poor website ranking in search engine rankings!