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Website Design Tips
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You have decided to put your business online…but where to start? You have already taken the first step toward creating a beautiful website by signing up for a Vistaprint website subscription. Many people think of website design as something difficult and complicated that can only be done by an expert. However, by following the simple steps below, you can get yourself online in under an hour with a website that you can be proud of.
1. Customise Your Home Page
The Home Page is probably the most important page on your website. Since it's the first page your customers or visitors will see, you need to make a lasting impression. On this page, you should communicate who you are and why you have a website. Vistaprint will provide you with some example text to help get you started, based on the industry you selected when you signed up. Please note that this text is written in short and concise sentences. You want to make sure that your message is clearly communicated and not lost in many long paragraphs. One of the most important aspects of the text on your home page is the “Call to Action.” A “Call to Action” is the text that tells your visitors what you want them to do next. Do you want them to call and schedule a consultation, visit your store, or just browse the other pages in your website? Make this command prominent by changing its color or increasing the font size.

Also consider uploading an image onto your Home Page. A colorful image will help to captivate your visitors and they will be more likely to continue browsing your site. Move the image around on the page and notice that the text will move to accommodate the placement of your image. A critical element of website design is ensuring that your images, text, and other extras don’t overlap. Vistaprint takes the guesswork out of website design by preventing this from ever happening on your page. Once you have a simple Home Page that clearly communicates your website’s purpose and goals, move on to an About Us page.

2. Customise Your About Us Page
The About Us page of your website should be used to reveal a little more about yourself or your business. You should consider any additional details that might be important to your customers. Vistaprint gets you started by suggesting a few key pieces of information - your address and hours of operation. If you are in one of our upgrade packages, you will also find a MapQuest™ map on your About Us page. This will be pre-configured with the address that you have on record with Vistaprint, but you can change it at any time in the Site Builder. Having a map on your About Us page creates a very professional feel for your website and makes your small business look big!

If you do not operate out of a physical location, think about other things that your customers would find interesting about your business. Perhaps you have an exciting company background that you could share or more details regarding the services you offer. Whatever you decide to write, remember to keep the text in short paragraphs. Try to divide your text into sections that you can mark with headers in a larger font or using bold text. You’ll find that the top row of the font color selector in the Site Builder features a suggested colour scheme. These are colors that Vistaprint website designers recommend for compatibility with your design. You can certainly use all the colours in the selector, but try the ones recommended by the experts first. Once you've completed a basic About Us Page, move on to a Contact Us page.

3. Customise Your Contact Us Page
You are getting very close to having a 3-page site fully customised for your business. The last element that all websites should have is a Contact Us page. Vistaprint has designed a Contact Us page that includes a form, which allows you to collect your customers’ information while they visit you online. For more information about how to use forms, read our article Collect and Manage Your Contacts.

Because Vistaprint has already created a form for you, very little work is required to customize this page. Consider adding a title above your form that describes what you would like customers to provide you with and why. For example, you could write: “Please complete the form below to be added to our mailing list. You will receive special deals and coupons once a month.” Make sure to emphasise how your visitors will benefit from filling out the form to encourage their participation.

You should also include the best way to contact you directly on this page. Make your phone number or email address prominent on the page, perhaps with different font styles. Make sure to keep this page simple though, as you don’t want your customers to get distracted by other content and forget to fill out your form.

Final Thoughts
You have just created a professional looking 3-page website in no time at all. This will serve as a foundation that you can add to over time. You can visit the Vistaprint Site Builder at any time to update your website with new information. If you have our Standard or Professional packages, you can add more pages to build up your online presence. You will find page templates that will give you ideas and get you started with layouts and text.

As you continue to develop your website, keep in mind that the best design advice you can take is to keep things simple. On each page, think about what you are trying to communicate and say it in as few words as possible. Make sure that your “Call to Action” isn’t lost among clutter. And, make your pages visually appealing by adding images, maps, and forms. Most importantly, keep your website current and updated with fresh content so your visitors have a reason to keep coming back.

If you need help learning how to use the Site Builder, visit our Site Builder Help Guide.