How To Design a Website

How To Design a Website
Article by Maria MartinMaria Martin
Last Updated: August 12, 2023

In this article, we’ll unravel the secrets of designing a captivating website that not only captures your visitors’ attention but also converts them into loyal customers.

Whether you're a seasoned designer or just dipping your toes into the world of web development, our comprehensive guide will equip you with the essential knowledge and practical tips to create a site that leaves a good lasting impression.

How To Design a Website in Nine Steps

Without further ado, let’s dive into the nine essential steps every web designer has to go through when creating an eye-catching and functional web design.

Step #1: Define the Purpose and Goal of Your Website

Before anything else, you should define the purpose and goal of your website. Consider the various types of websites available based on what you’re using them for.

Why is web design important for you? Are you looking to sell products online, or do you just want to showcase your portfolio? ECommerce, blogs, event websites, photography websites, fitness websites, and restaurant websites each serve unique purposes.

When it comes to business and eCommerce sites, remember that 28% of business is conducted online. Think about this figure when planning the website design for your business.

Step #2: Search for Web Design Inspirations

This next step in learning how to design a website helps you envision how your future website should look and feel. By exploring various web design examples, you can gain valuable insights into effective design practices, including branding, visual hierarchy, and more.

A great starting point for finding inspiration is Awwwards, a platform that showcases award-winning web designs. Use the filtering options to narrow down the search results to your specific needs, whether it's for eCommerce, portfolio, or other types of websites.

Remember, searching for web design inspiration is not about copying designs but rather gathering ideas, insights, and web design best practices to put towards your own creation. By blending inspiration with your own creativity, you can design a website that stands out while meeting the expectations of your visitors.

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Step #3: Know the Latest Trends

Staying up-to-date with the latest trends is an essential step in the web design process to ensure your website looks modern and relevant. Just as fashion trends come and go, website trends evolve over time, and it's crucial to keep your finger on the pulse of the ever-changing design landscape.

Knowing the latest trends will also help you come up with a wireframe for your web design that will help you achieve the purpose and goals you set for your website.

Some common web design trends for 2023 include:

  • Text-only
  • Pastel colors
  • Ultra-minimalism
  • White space
  • Virtual reality
  • Intelligent content loading
  • Micro-animations

However, keep in mind that one of the most important web design best practices is prioritizing a design that aligns with your brand identity and resonates with your target audience. By finding the perfect balance, your website will exude both contemporary aesthetics and a strong brand presence.

Step #4: Select the Right Website Platform

This is an important step in how to design a website, as it sets the foundation for building and managing your site effectively. When choosing a platform, it's important to consider the following factors:

  • Functionality: Evaluate the platform's functionality to determine if they align with your website goals. Consider the requirements for your website, such as eCommerce capabilities, blogging functionality, content management system (CMS) features, or integration with third-party services.
  • Ease of Use: Assess the platform's user-friendliness, especially if you have limited technical knowledge or prefer a simple and intuitive interface. Look for drag-and-drop editors, pre-designed templates, and visual customization options that make the design process more accessible.
  • Mobile-Friendliness: One of the reasons why web design is important is accessibility. That said, it’s important to choose a platform that prioritizes mobile responsiveness.
  • Support: Consider the availability of customer support, documentation, tutorials, and an active user community. Adequate support and resources can assist you in troubleshooting issues, learning the platform's features, and finding solutions to challenges.
  • Cost: Evaluate the cost of the platform, including any subscription fees, transaction fees, hosting costs, and additional expenses for premium features or themes. Compare pricing plans and ensure they fit within your budget while providing the necessary features and scalability.
  • Security: Consider the platform's security measures, such as data encryption, regular updates, and backups.

Step #5: Pick and Customize a Website Theme

After choosing a website platform and picking out the best web design tools, the next step is to select and customize a website theme or template. A theme is a pre-designed layout created by a web designer, aimed at assisting non-technical users in building a website without starting from scratch.

The availability of themes depends on the website platform you are using. Platforms like WordPress offer thousands of themes for free in their official directory. While these themes are budget-friendly, some may have limited functionality.

Step #6: Set Up the Essential Pages

This step in how to design a website ensures that your website provides the necessary information and functionality for visitors. While every business is unique, there are several traditional pages that visitors expect to see when they navigate a multi-page website.

The following pages are considered must-haves for most websites:

  • Homepage: Studies show that it only takes around 3 seconds for consumers to build a lasting impression on your site. That’s why your homepage, being the first thing that visitors see, should be clean, organized, and eye-catching. It should clearly convey who you are and what you do and serve as a starting point for visitors to explore further.
  • About Us page: Use this page to tell your brand's story and share your values, methods, and other information that defines your business. Include a picture of yourself or your team members to add a personal touch and foster a connection with potential clients.
  • Contact page: Another one of many web design best practices is to provide essential contact information, such as phone number, address, email, and social media accounts. Consider adding a live chat widget for immediate responses or a contact form for visitors to send messages directly through your site.
  • Product or Service page: This page is where visitors learn about what you offer and make purchasing decisions. Include high-quality product photography, precise and engaging descriptions, and transparent information about conditions like shipping, returns, or cancellations.

Step #7: Optimize for User-Friendliness

Optimizing your website for user-friendliness is a critical step in the web design process. Here are some key aspects to focus on:

  • Navigation: A simple and intuitive navigation system is essential for guiding visitors through your website's content. Implement a flat site structure, use appropriate menu designs, and add a search bar to help users find specific content quickly.
  • Visual Hierarchy: Incorporate visual hierarchy to guide visitors' attention and help them understand your offerings. Choose a layout that aligns with the average user’s reading patterns and use whitespace to create a clean and uncluttered design.
  • Page Speed: A survey shows that the average web page loads in about 2.5 seconds on a desktop. Optimize your website's loading speed for a smooth browsing experience. To do this, you may compress media files, minify website files, and more.
  • Accessibility: This is one reason why web design is important. Ensure your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Add alt text to images for screen readers and assistive technologies. Prioritize keyboard accessibility to allow easy navigation. Consider using accessibility remediation tools to enhance usability for individuals with disabilities.

Step #8: Make It Mobile-Friendly

Considering that 60% of the world’s internet traffic comes from mobile devices, neglecting mobile optimization can result in missed opportunities and lower search engine rankings. Here are some ways you can ensure that your website is mobile-friendly:

  • Use a hamburger menu: This menu style saves valuable screen space by hiding navigation links behind a three-lined button, typically located in the top left corner of the page.
  • Create touch-friendly CTAs: Make sure your call to action (CTA) buttons are large enough to be easily tapped with a finger. Adequate spacing between buttons helps prevent accidental taps and improves user experience.
  • Optimize for scrolling: Mobile users are accustomed to scrolling vertically, so optimize your design to accommodate smooth scrolling.

By implementing these mobile-friendly design practices, you enhance usability, reduce friction, and provide a positive experience for mobile users. Remember, prioritizing mobile optimization not only caters to the needs of your audience but also aligns with search engine ranking criteria, ultimately benefiting your website's visibility and success.

Step #9: Test and Launch Your Website

The final step in the web design process is to thoroughly test your website and prepare for its launch to identify and address any design-related issues that may affect the user experience. You can test your website by gathering feedback, conducting A/B testing, using heatmaps, and making adjustments.

However, remember that launching your website is just the beginning. It's essential to monitor its performance and make continuous improvements based on user feedback and analytics.

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Six Web Design Best Practices

Web design is an important element to create a successful online presence. It goes beyond aesthetics and encompasses various best practices that contribute to a positive user experience, engagement, and effective communication.

  1. Maintain consistent branding elements, such as colors, fonts, logos, and imagery throughout your website to create a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.
  2. Create clear and compelling CTAs to guide visitors toward taking specific actions on your website.
  3. An intuitive navigation system ensures that visitors can easily find the information they are looking for on your website.
  4. Create a clean and minimal design to enhance visual appeal and improve usability.
  5. Prioritize mobile optimization to ensure that your website adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes.
  6. Effective storytelling can captivate your audience, evoke emotions, and leave a memorable impression.

By implementing these web design best practices, you can create a visually pleasing website that also provides a seamless user experience, solidifies your branding efforts, and helps you attain your business goals.

Six Best Web Design Tools

There are a handful of tools that a web designer needs — from collaboration and website building to marketing and graphic design. Having the right tools in your arsenal will help you build a website that’s functional, visually appealing, and user-friendly. Here are some of the best web design tools worth checking out.


Adobe, a relatively new contender in the web design software market, has quickly become a popular choice for graphic and web designers. With its web design mockup and prototyping tool, designers can ideate and collaborate on various projects.


Wix is a versatile web design tool that empowers developers to design, manage, and expand their online presence according to their specific needs. With Wix, you have three options for website building: Wix Editor, Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), and Velo by Wix.


Figma is an all-in-one design platform that revolutionizes the collaborative web design process, enabling teams to deliver products faster. Figma's forward-thinking approach positions it as a tool built for the future of web design.


WordPress is renowned for powering nearly half of the internet. It has cemented its reputation as the go-to web design software solution. It excels as the best free blog design software for beginners. you can hire Wordpress web designer to help bring your ideas to life


Canva is an exceptional web design tool that provides web designers with an extensive range of graphic categories and professionally designed templates, making it suitable even for beginners. With just a few clicks, users can effortlessly create, customize, and share their designs.


Designmodo is an all-in-one web design software solution that empowers users to create websites and newsletters with ease. This tool is particularly suited for those seeking assistance in crafting static web pages, drag-and-drop websites, or email templates.

How Much Does It Cost To Design a Website?

There are many options available when designing a website, each with its own associated costs. The cheapest option is doing the design process yourself, with costs ranging from approximately $100 to $3,000 or even higher, depending on the complexity and features desired. This is a good option if you know how to design a website.

For those seeking a simple custom website design from a professional agency, the cost typically falls between $15,000 and $30,000. This price point reflects the expertise and specialized services provided by a web design agency as well as the level of customization required to meet your specific needs.

When it comes to larger and more intricate websites, the cost increases accordingly. These complex projects often demand advanced functionalities, extensive customization, and a considerable amount of time and resources from the development team. Consequently, the price for such websites can range from $40,000 to $75,000 or even higher.


In conclusion, designing a website involves a strategic and creative process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a visually appealing and functional website that effectively communicates your brand and engages your target audience.

Just remember that designing a website is an ongoing process, and staying up-to-date with design trends and technological advancements will help you create a website that stands out and delivers an exceptional user experience.

How To Design a Website FAQs

1. Can you create a website with no experience?

Creating a website with no prior experience is possible due to user-friendly website builders and tutorials. Platforms like WordPress and Wix offer intuitive interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality, which enables beginners to build functional websites. You can also learn basic web design principles and use common web design tools.

2. What are some website design trends?

Some current website design trends include minimalism with ample white space, bold and vibrant colors, responsive and mobile-friendly layouts, asymmetrical designs, creative typography, and immersive scrolling effects. Basically, when learning how to design a website, you should aim for user-centric designs that provide immersive experiences.

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