Websites have changed a lot in the last few years. The rise of tablets and smart phones has driven a completely new style of design to satisfy today's mobile viewing demand. If you're considering a website redesign you have a lot to think about.
If you're searching around for some great examples before beginning your own redesign a firm understanding of what you're looking for will help you explain to your web design company what styles and layouts you find attractive. My advice is to browse the web well beyond their individual online portfolio, you shouldn't be choosing your only from their pool of past builds to find inspiration for your new website.
Websites have gone through a significant revolution over the last 15 years, triggered in the early 2000's by the rise of the smartphone.
Websites need to serve a more diverse and mobile audience than they ever have before, having to format correct on so many different devices and screen sizes. Google's pending update to account for responsive web design makes the challenge even more timely and relevant as we move into 2015.
Websites also need to look sharp and professional, a graphical representation of your business and your services. They need to be effective in communicating with your visitors, with a voice that speaks to each one of your buyer personas appropriately as prospects move through the buying cycle. If you're not sure about the difference between good and bad web design, we wrote a great article on that.
Most importantly, your website needs to convert traffic into leads. Gathering people's contact information and interests is imperative if you want to drive bottom line results for your business. Qualified sales leads for B2B companies should be the goal, and online sales should be the end conversion you drive towards with a good ecommerce website. Understanding and planning for each of these elements need to be at the forefront of your priorities. To help you get inspired for your own project we're going to review a few great website examples and what makes them stand out from the rest.
Website Design Example Criteria
You must be able to understand what a company does within 5 seconds of landing
The site must be responsive and render correctly on different viewing devices
The design has to be world-class, attractive, sharp, and clean
The site must be easy for visitors to find what they're looking for with clear calls to action
1st Example: Eventus Solutions Group
As you can see from the initial view of their home page Eventus Solutions Group make's it clear about what they do and who they serve. Helping people understand your business offering withing 5 seconds of landing on your site is a good test, does your site accomplish that? The site is also completely responsive to different viewing formats, and the design is sharp and clean.
All said, the most effective part of the Eventus site is their secondary navigation elements just below the banner. The three green boxes are a great method of directing visitors to the key areas of their business, allowing different types of needs to be met efficiently for different roles within their target clients. When a call center in need visits their website they can easily find the information they're looking for, whether it's the CEO, CIO, or Operations Manager.
2nd Example: Ecolane
This site is a great example of today's modern viewing experience. The site scrolls vertically, revealing each section of the desired user experience in sequence. Ecolane's site features a powerful set of hero statements that clearly states what's in it for their visitors. The page features a great video and large, crisp graphics to illustrae complicated software solutions with bold content.
The page also offers multiple conversion points and resources to their visitors with download-able guides and case studies, recent news and event highlights, etc.
The site is clean, responsive, and layed out well to establish themselves as a credible and resourceful online business storefront.
3rd Example: The Chopping Block
Here's a very unique example of a powerful consumer-focused website. The Chopping Block serves the Chicago area with local cooking classes, events, etc. They rely on their website to serve as a one-stop-shop for all of their instructional resources, online instructional videos, chef bios, and more.
The home page features an authentic background with clean, visual tiles to organize a large number of resources and information. The tiles resize and organize very well on phones and tablets, ensuring an outstanding viewing experience for their mobile audience that makes up nearly one half of their traffic.
If you have a lot of content and pages to organize you might want to consider reengineering your website in similar fashion.
4th Example: Microsoft Corporation
Just because you don't have the same budget the largest companies in the world have doesn't mean you can't take some tips from their multi-million dollar efforts.
What's most noteworthy about their homepage is that it doesn't have a bunch of expensive tools and widgets like you might expect. The site is clean, visually appealing, and they do a great job of organizing so much information. Check out their page footer, this is one of the hottest new trends in web design.
Can You Have A Website As Attractive & Effective As These Examples?
With the proper planning and execution, of course you can. You can build a great website, and you shouldn't have to spend a truckload of money to get it either. If you like these small business website design examples you might want to begin planning for your site by listing out the critical functions you need your site to serve. I suggest performing a detailed exercize to develop buyer personas with targeted messaging. It's a great document to provide a designer, the better a vendor understands who you're trying to speak to the more aligned their efforts will be.
As you continue your research for the right web partner realize there are hundreds of agencies out there with the right skills and portfolio necessary to design your website the way you want it to look and react. Make sure you use a firm that builds in modern technology so your site will function as good as it looks though.