Does My Website Look Good?

A lot of people like to shop for clothes in groups.  It’s not that clothes-shopping is a two-person job.  It’s that they want a second opinion.  They go into the fitting room, put on the items they grabbed, walk out, and ask:

Does this look good?

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Photo credit: Mark Roberts

Either that or they ask “does this make me look fat?”, in which case, the answer is always no.

But the point is, second opinions are often important.  When it comes to examining our own things, whether it’s what you’re wearing or something you’ve written or how you’re going to handle a confrontation, we can’t really view it from an impartial, external perspective.

And the same is true for your website.

In the eyes of your customer, how your website looks says a lot about your business.  If it’s broken and dated and difficult to use, they will apply those same traits to your company.  And while you might think your website is perfectly fine, you’re not the person your website is trying to reach.

Which means you need to find someone and ask them “does my website look good?”

But not just anyone.  You wouldn’t ask someone who dresses poorly what they think of your shirt, and therefore, you shouldn’t ask someone who barely knows how to Google something whether or not your website is good.

You should ask professionals. Like us.

Does Your Website Look Good?

It’s hard for us to give a full opinion without directly looking at it, but we’ve put together a checklist that can apply to most websites that should give a general idea of the condition of your current site.

Is it broken?

We’ll start with the most important item.  Because it doesn’t matter if your website is professionally designed or not, if it’s broken, it’s ugly by default.

A broken website can be many things, and none of these things are good.  Are there pictures missing?  Does text go outside of boxes and content areas?  Do links and buttons not work?

First and foremost, you should make sure your website works on a basic level.

Is it cohesive?

The next item is a little broad, but important: cohesion.  Ultimately, it’s a question of branding.  Are consistent colors used throughout your website?  Do the fonts match up?  Does your logo match the style of the website?

When you take a bird’s eye view of your site design, does it look like it was made intentionally?  Or does it look like a construction paper collage assembled by a first grader?

Is it legible?

Sometimes, people get carried away with fonts.  This was a particularly big issue in late 90’s websites where multicolored text on dark backgrounds and strange, illegible cursive fonts reigned supreme.  And while the internet has grown up since then, we still run into websites where it’s a struggle to read what’s actually on the site.

So ask yourself, truthfully, can you easily read the content on your site?

Is it responsive?

A responsive website is one that adapts to the size of the screen it’s being viewed on, such as a smartphone or tablet.  Your website might look okay on a desktop computer or even a laptop, but how does it look on a mobile device?

Can you still read the text?  Are the buttons and tabs and menu items easy to press with your finger?

Does it have pictures?  Are they good ones?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there’s a lot of negative things to be said about a website that has bad photography.  Pictures on websites are very important, and most are starting to understand this.  After all, the internet has become the photo album of our lives.

But when it comes to your website, not just any picture will do.

We recommend your website has large, in focus, unique photos that represent you.  We live in an age where professional grade cameras (and even photography services) are incredibly affordable.  Honestly, top-level smartphones can take some pretty great pictures.

If you simply don’t have much to be photographed, there are amazing stock-images out there too.

Simply put, there’s no excuse to have no pictures, tiny pictures, blurry pictures, or generic stock photos filled with people awkwardly smiling and high-fiving.

high five

Seriously, why do photos like this exist?

Does the Navigation and Flow of Information Make Sense?

Let’s pretend you’re coming to your website for the first time.  You don’t know where anything is, and you’re looking a specific piece of information.  Maybe it’s the hours of operation or a specific list of services.  Starting at the homepage, would you be able to find that info?  How many clicks would it take to get you there?

Even if your website “looks good”, if it’s a struggle to find basic/important info on your site, your site is not good.

How Old is Your Website?

Much like fashion, good website design changes over time.  What looked great in 2005 looks dated and tacky now.  Truthfully, if your website is older than 5 years, it could probably use a facelift.  Even if it’s 3 or 4 years old, there’s a chance it’s out of style.

So, How are We Looking?

Do you think your website might be lacking in the looks department?  The good news is, we can fix that.  Head over to our contact page and send us some more info.  We can make sure your business gets back in style.

What do you think makes a website look out of style?  

Written by Timothy Snyder
on November 2, 2015