What first impression will your content pages make...
Are they up to the task of making a good first impression? Traditionally, the home page of a web site benefits from the the heaviest application of design and style. The content pages on the other hand, usually follow a simpler layout with a much lighter application of design. That makes sense, as content pages do the heavy work of conveying information.
However, it may be time to rethink the degree of design applied to web site content pages. Content pages may need a more refined application of web design. Why? Consider this:
Most visitors will never see your home page...
It is increasingly rare for search engine traffic to land on your home page. In fact, most web site visitors from a search result in Google are sent straight to a content page on your site. More than half of your visitors may never see your home page. That raises an important question: What first impression will the design of your content pages make on visitors? Is it polished and inviting? Are they up to the task of making a good first impression?
Content Page Web Design That Stands On Its Own
These are questions I considered when developing content page web design for my freelance web design clients. My content pages bring far more viewers from search engines than my home page. Therefore, they had to be smart, stylish and capable of making a good first impression.
The image above shows a sample content page web design. It contains the essential text, but it also has a stylish design that is both balanced and tasteful. The page is attractive and engaging without feeling cluttered or confusing. And, it makes just as good a first impression as the home page. In fact, no matter what page a visitor lands on, the presentation will be just as polished and appealing. Every page of the website works hard to convey both good content, and, a great first impression.
Content Page Web Design Tips
Here a few key tips that will improve the design and presentation of your website content pages. These tips are simple and easy to implement in WordPress and other popular Content Management Systems (CMS).
1. A Little Color Goes A Long Way
When you design a header for your content pages, choose a color palette that is most likely to compliment the majority of photos and graphics used in your posts and articles. Choose images with a simple color palette. This creates a more refined visual presentation. All elements of your content page are more likely to compliment each other visually. In the content page web design for a day spa shown below, the colors in the header graphic compliments the majority of photos used in the content and articles that appear below it.
2. Look To Magazines For Design Inspiration
This has been one of my favorite strategies for creating appealing content web pages. Why? The truth is there is more good design seen in magazine layouts than in web design. Magazine design is more mature and has a deeper range of great designers than web design. Magazines are one of the most important sources of inspiration for my work. You will often find that layouts, color application, and the creative use of typography can be 'borrowed' from magazine design.
The content page web design shown above was inspired by magazine layouts. It feels like a two page spread from a travel magazine. This layout is responsive and degrades gracefully into a 1 column layout for smartphones and tablets.
3. White Space Is One of Your Best Design Elements
Clutter is the enemy of good content page web design. It tires the eye, confuses the reader and looks bad. Good use of white space encourages the viewer to read the content. After all, that's why its there! Fight clutter by using generous and well proportioned amounts of white space in your content pages.
Good content page design is one way we use web design to solve problems for our clients. We can help your business to make a stylish and effective first impression as well! I invite you to visit our web design portfolio for more examples of stylish small business solutions. Feel free to contact me to discuss your web design needs. -Don Peterson