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How to Design a Website

Modern website builders make it possible for anyone to create their own website. Hiring a developer or designer is no longer necessary to build your online presence.

However, knowing how to make a website is just the beginning. It’s also important to understand how to make one that’s both beautiful and functional.

The fact is, design plays a major role in the success of a website. An unattractive design could make nearly half of visitors to your website leave.

To non-designers, crafting a good-looking website might sound difficult. If you need help, read this article to find out how to design your own site, and why web design matters.

Step 1. Choose the right platform

Picking the right platform is essential when learning how to design a website. This choice will determine the limits of your end result.

Zyro is a website building platform that has everything covered. It’s completely free and highly intuitive — you don’t need any coding knowledge to get started.

Zyros free website landing page

Zyro has a selection of beautiful templates you can customize with its drag-and-drop editor. It also comes with a grid system, which ensures all page elements are perfectly aligned.

It also features AI-driven tools like AI Writer and AI Heatmap. These help establish your online branding, and improve your marketing. We’ll talk more about this later.

Whether you sign up for a free or paid plan, you’ll get all these features along with free reliable hosting. You can create your website in no time.

Join Zyro to get started. Once that’s done, let’s move on to the next step of learning how to design a website.

Step 2. Pick the right template

Using a website template makes your task much easier, since you don’t have to start from scratch.

Zyro has a choice of templates suited for many different purposes — from portfolios and resumes to business sites.

When picking your template, be sure that the design fits the goals of your website.

Using the right design is essential to make sure your website looks great, and has the right features for the type of website you create.

For instance, if you want to introduce a new product, try the Product Page. It features large photo blocks, letting you show off your merchandise with pride.

Products page example showing skincare bottle being pressed down onto a hand

Another stunning template is called Bakery. This one is perfect for any business that wants to look a bit playful.

Hey sugar! Website with blueberries being topped onto a cake

Preview each template to give you ideas on how they suit your own content.

Alternatively, we also provide a blank template if you want to have more freedom to start fresh.

When you have chosen a template, you’ll be redirected to the Zyro Editor. Continue to the next section to start designing.

Step 3. Customize your template

It’s time to get creative. Zyro’s Editor lets every part of your template to be customized, so take time to explore what you can do with the tool.

If you don’t know where to begin, try getting familiar with how the drag-and-drop builder works first.

Select an element and move it anywhere you want, or resize it. The grid system will ensure it stays in proportion.

Products page website design on Zyro

In case you need more content, click Add Elements on the top-left menu tab. Then drag one of the elements to your template.

Adding elements, like a map, on zyros website builder

Once you’re ready to start tinkering with the template some more, here are some things you can try:

Step 4. Edit and organize the texts

Let’s begin with the text elements. To customize them, select a text box and click Edit Text.

You’ll be able to customize the text emphasis, color, alignment, letter case, and so on.

Additionally, you can select a Heading or Paragraph style for your text. Each style has its own range of sizes to choose from.

how to design a website and edit header sizes on zyro,

When editing text, make use of ‘typographic hierarchy’. This simply means organizing and styling the text on a web page based on its importance.

The hierarchy gives you control over what visitors pay attention to first, and keeps your content readable.

Generally, a website’s text content is divided into:

  • Main heading — the most important part, that should instantly capture users’ attention. As a rule, it should be large and positioned on top.
  • Subheadings — important points that expand on the main heading. They need to be distinct enough and keep visitors engaged to explore your website.
  • Paragraphs — supporting details that elaborate on each subheading. The text should be brief, as most people would skim over tet on the page.

To illustrate how typographic hierarchy works, let’s take a look at the Pet Care template below.

Portman website saying, your happy dog is our priority

Here, the business tagline uses the XXL Heading style for the main heading. Readers can quickly understand what the business is about.

The subheadings in the template are in the XL Heading style. They are used to divide the page into sections and explain more about the business.

Meanwhile, most of the paragraphs are in the M Paragraph style. To make sure it’s readable on smaller devices, each paragraph has only three to four lines.

our services website example

Feel free to experiment with your website’s typographic hierarchy.

The key takeaway here is to use different styles for each type of content. This way, users have a comfortable reading experience and can look for the right information easily.

Step 5. Feature some images

Which pictures you use and where you place them can make the difference as to whether your website looks good. This will decide if it succeeds in attracting the audience.

One of the easiest ways to impress visitors is by using a hero image. This is a large full-width picture placed on top of your website.

This can create an immersive user experience, set the right mood for the page, and invite people to check out your website further. The Modern Art template illustrates this best:

featured image of red paint dripping down a mans face

A hero shot can also show how a product or service can benefit customers.

Take a look at the following example by Luxy Hair. Here, the hero shot shows how visitors can use their extensions to get thicker hair.

ad for longer and fuller hair with a photo of a girl with short hair and long hair

In Zyro’s Editor, there are two ways to display images: through an image element or the section’s background:

  • To change the image elements on your template. Select an image and click Edit Image -> Replace Image.
  • You can decide whether to use your own picture or choose one from Zyro’s free photo library.
  • To upload your own file, go to the Site Photos tab and drag a JPG, PNG, or SVG file to the Editor.
how to design a website on zyro and selecting and image to use

Make sure to use images that are high in quality yet with a small file size Large picture files can drop your site performance. Use image compression tools like Compressor.io to help you.

After the image is uploaded, it should immediately appear on the template.

If you want to use a photo from Zyro:

  • Go to the Free Photos tab.
  • Enter some keywords into the search bar. It will provide the most relevant results for you.
  • Once you’ve found the right image, press Select.
how to design a website on zyro and the choice of one of the free images

When using image elements, don’t forget to edit the alt text on the SEO tab of the Image settings.

The alt-text helps search engines recognize your picture, and tell visually-impaired people what it contains.

how to design a website on zyro with image settings

If you want to add an image as a background for a section:

  • Click Edit Section on the top-right corner of a section.
  • Go to the Image tab -> Add Image.
  • You may use your own picture or one from Zyro.

Step 6. Modify the colors

Colors are a key to any design. They communicate your visual identity, and influence how visitors feel when opening your website.

Generally, it’s best to pick one dominant color and a few secondary colors for your website’s color scheme.

The dominant color should be the one your brand primarily associated with. Secondary colors should enhance or complement the dominant color.

There is no definite rule for how many secondary colors to choose, but it’s better to only use two. Using too many colors can risk your website looking childish, and might distract the users’ attention.

Since every color has different meanings, you need to know which colors represent you best.

Consider what type of website you are making and what kind of impression you want to leave. Take advantage of color psychology to help you.

For instance, many tech brands like Intel and Facebook use blue as their dominant color. Their reasons might vary, but generally, blue represents reliability and credibility.

intel's website sign in page with shades of blue and blogs

Need help with finding the right color scheme? Use a color generator. Tools like Coolors provide ideas on what colors look good together.

After coming up with the right colors, map out where to use them. On Zyro, you can customize the colors of the font and background of each section.

To change a font’s colors, select a text element and click on the color icon. Adjust the settings until you find the right color.

If you use Coolors, you can copy and paste the color code onto the color adjustment tool.

how to design a website with zyro and font color choices

As for the background, click Edit Section on the top-right corner of a section and modify the settings on the Color tab.

how to design a website with zyro and selecting background colors

The dominant color should be used throughout your website, places that direct a lot of attention, like the above-the-fold section.

Since viewers spend most of their time on your above-the-fold content, having your dominant color here will help them to associate the color with your brand.

For instance, this Wellness template welcomes visitors with a beige background. This color is also used in some of the typefaces and visual elements to keep visual consistency.

Wellmess template on Zyro

As a result, visitors know that beige is the site’s signature color. The rest of the page uses white and black as secondary colors, which help the dominant color stand out more.

Step 7. Keep your template clutter-free

As you work on your template and content, remember to keep the layout simple and clean. Making your website clutter-free is important to help readability and navigation.

Only feature elements that highlight the focus of your website. Create room for some whitespace, so that elements do not sit too close together.

If you feel like the template is running out of space, click Add Section on the bottom of a section.

You can choose one of the premade blocks or an empty one to fill it with your own content.

Add a new section on Zyro website builder

Step 8. Optimize your design

Publishing a website before it’s optimized can damage your chances of success.

You need a tool to see whether the design is working as intended.

One Zyro feature you can use for this is the AI Heatmap, which predicts your visitors’ behavior on your website.

To use the Heatmap, upload a screenshot of your website to the tool. It will display the areas of your page that stand out the most to visitors.

The feature colors elements that get most of the attention in red and those with the least in blue. The closer the color is to red, the more noticeable it is to viewers.

how to design a website on Zyro with a heatmap for a bed and breakfast

Use the information provided by the Heatmap to improve your website. Experiment on different layouts and placements so that your website design converts visitors to customers.

As for optimizing your website for mobile users, Zyro has got you covered. All of our templates are responsive, so you don’t need to worry about adjusting the designs.

What’s more, with our built-in SEO tools, your website is guaranteed to rank high on mobile search.

If you want to preview how your website looks on mobile, just click the Smartphone icon on the top-right corner.

how to design a mobile website on zyro with a running photo

As you can see, designing websites with Zyro is an easy process. Our platform takes care of the technicalities, so you can focus on making your site look beautiful.

Step 9. Personalize your website

When creating a website, using elements of your personal or business brand should be a priority.

You can set yourself apart from your competitors, and show your credibility and expertise. This in turn can increase your reputation and bring you more customers.

Branding elements like a logo, slogan, and content should not be taken for granted.

If you’re starting a new business, coming up with a solid brand identity by yourself might be a challenge. Thankfully, Zyro has features to help you out.

You can use our free AI slogan generator to come up with a catchy tagline. Enter some keywords that describe your business and the tool provides ideas to choose from.

Once you’ve found a good slogan, modify it until it sounds perfect to your ears.

Consider taking advantage of our logo maker as well. You can create a logo by editing any of the images provide.

Just add your business name and the slogan you made earlier. You can preview how the logo will look in four different layout options.

how to design a website and logo on zyro

Once your slogan and logo are ready, don’t forget to place them on your website.

The slogan can be used as the main heading, while the logo can be featured on the header and footer.

Another tool you can use is the AI Writer, which you can find in the Zyro Editor. To access it, click the yellow icon below the Publish site button.

This feature assists you in coming up with unique, SEO-friendly content. All you need to do is choose an appropriate text topic, category, and type of content.

It generates some examples you can use. Once you’ve found content you like, copy and paste it to a text element and adjust the content to your needs.

Step 10. Publish

Before publishing your website, click Preview on the top-left corner to see how it looks first.

Make sure all the elements look good, the links and media work properly, and the most important content has been included.

don donnos website

Once it’s ready, click Publish site. You’ll be asked to come up with a name for your free Zyro domain or connect your own domain.

choosing a domain name on zyro

Note that you can only use a custom domain if you have upgraded to the Basic or Unleashed plan.

Don’t have a domain name yet? Use the domain name generator to help you. Press Continue when you’re done setting up the domain.

Once your website is published, click View Your Site to see it in action.

After publishing, remember to keep track of your website performance. If you’re a premium plan user, use the Google Analytics integration to do so.

The tool analyzes your traffic, website speed, conversion rates, and more.

With Analytics, you can identify and fix any issues on your website.

This might include using pictures incorrectly or placing buttons in the wrong places.

With Zyro, you can make edits to your website even if it’s already public. Just log in to your account and select View Your Sites below your avatar.

options to edit your different websites on zyro

Click Edit Site on the website you need to customize. Once you’ve made some changes, monitor your website to see whether the changes improve your performance.

Why pay attention to website design?

Websites are key to branding these days. Companies go to great lengths to make their sites look professional and leave a positive impression.

Most people know what they’re looking for when they visit a website. With the right design, users can navigate through your pages and search for the right information with ease.

A bad design, on the other hand, could make visitors leave feeling unsatisfied.

To demonstrate the importance of website design, take a look at Slack.

slack sign in page

Here, the website visuals look nice and clean. The font is readable, the buttons are prominent, and the navigation menu is clear.

As a result, people can explore the website easily and get to know the product better. On top of that, the color scheme and typeface are modern and stylish.

Another great example is Yelp. The website features a search bar on the homepage so people can look for the required service.

It also maintains some whitespace between the content components so that the page doesn’t feel cluttered.

yelps search page

More tips for a good website design

Creating the perfect design is a never-ending journey. Here are some more tips to help you learn how to design a website.

Tip 1. Follow the latest web design trends

Generally, trends show what users like at the moment. If your website caters to people’s tastes, you can bring customers to your brand more easily.

Need ideas on what trends to follow? Try displaying custom illustrations.

People use illustrations for their branding materials to show a one-of-a-kind aesthetic. Check out the following example by the restaurant Spicy NoSpicy.

Spicy no spicy restaurant page with asian style line drawing

Alternatively, consider using minimal website design, as shown in this portfolio by Andy Donohoe.

Andy Donohoe website with white background and two photos

Not only is it trendy, but it also helps with optimizing site performance since there are fewer elements to load.

Tip 2. Use a single-page design

As mobile users now make up more than half of the internet traffic, many websites today use only a single page that is optimized for long-scrolling.

This design is excellent for websites that do not have a huge amount of content — like resumes, event sites, or landing pages.

When created properly, single-page sites are powerful. Users focus on moving down through the sections to explore your content instead of navigating to other pages.

If you want to use a one-page design, be sure to come up with a strategy that prompts visitors to keep scrolling.

You’ll also need to organize your content logically so that the scrolling experience feels seamless.

A great example of this is Brittany Chiang’s online resume. Within a single page, the website provides everything an employer needs to know about the software engineer.

Bitdegree website with Brittany Chiang example

By organizing her website into sections, visitors can scroll through and read her resume with ease.

Tip 3. Include human elements

If possible, consider using images of people on your site.

Studies have shown that pictures of real people build trust with visitors, and increase conversion rates if done right.

You can try what Bench does with its website.

The homepage features pictures of employees and clients. This creates the sense that their service is reliable with social proof.

Bench website

How to design a website recap

It’s not enough to know how to build a website — you have to learn the tips and tricks to design one as well.

Effective website design leaves a more positive impression on your visitors, making sure they keep coming back.

Moreover, a well-designed site can ease users in navigating through your content and finding the right information.

When designing a website, you should:

  • Choose the right platform — a website builder like Zyro is the perfect place to make a beautiful website quickly and easily.
  • Pick a template — choose a template that suits your goals and looks appropriate for your website.
  • Customize it — play around with Zyro Editor to get familiar with the platform. Try to organize the texts, feature some images, modify the colors, keep the template clean, and optimize the design.
  • Personalize your website — use Zyro’s AI tools and logo maker for your branding efforts.
  • Publish it — preview your website before publishing. Once it’s released, track your website performance and edit it again if you need to.

We hope this article has provided you with the knowledge on how to design a website.

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