What Is Web Design? How Art and Technology Intersect Online

design on the computer screen

Imagine this. You’re scrolling the web and click on an interesting article on Facebook. It takes you to a horribly designed website. So you think to yourself, what is web design and how does it work?

Clearly, the owner of that website doesn’t know much about web design. Otherwise, you may have actually read the article.

That’s exactly why web design is so important. If you don’t invest time in designing a user-friendly website, your site won’t get much traffic. Which essentially means it’s doomed. Here’s how to avoid that fate.

What Is Web Design?

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Web design is the process that creates the look of a particular website. It can also affect other things surrounding that website like the ease of use.

The difference between good and bad web design is huge. After all, a website gives you an impression of a person or company. Good web design can keep visitors coming back while a poorly designed website will have visitors hitting the back button.

There are also different types of web design, some of which involve more technical tools like computer codes. But you don’t need to know how to code to design a website.

Get the look

Before you head to your computer to design a website, you should have a rough idea of how you want it to look. You can sketch your ideas on paper, or you can make a list of the features you want to include.

Think about it. What is web design without some sort of plan?

Once you’re ready to start designing, then you can sit down at the computer. There are tons of different programs and websites that can help you design a website. You can also work with a web designer if you need or want professional help.

You’ll want to choose a couple of colors and fonts to use as well as any other visual elements. You can add pictures, videos, and written content to a website. All of this is part of your overall web design.

To code or not to code

Once you start designing a website, you might wonder if you need to write any code. While coding can definitely help you get the exact look you want, it’s not necessary.

That’s because web developers tend to deal with the code. Web designers focus on how a website looks to the visitor.

But what is web design without code?

Even if you never write any code yourself, your website will still use code. If you use a website or program to design a website, the program will write the proper code based on your design.

Code is the backbone of the website, but it isn’t part of a website’s design.

The Best Dressed Website

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We mentioned that the look of your website plays a massive role in getting visitors to come back to your site. But getting there can be daunting. What is web design that makes a good website?

Good web design is like any other type of good design. The only difference is that web design lives on the internet instead of as a physical thing.

There are a few things you need to remember when designing a polished website.


This may sound obvious, but your website should be professional. Even if your website is for personal reasons, you never know who may run across it.

You need to make sure that you put your best foot forward on your website. Choose pleasing colors and fonts, and make sure the layout is clean and easy to follow.

A professional website doesn’t have to show you as a working professional, but it should give others a positive impression of who you are.

Avoid using foul language when possible, and think carefully about your design choices. If you really want a professional website, a web designer can be a great investment.

Easy to use

Aside from poor aesthetics, there’s nothing worse than a website that isn’t intuitive or simple to use. Everything on your website should be super clear.

Don’t make people scroll to the bottom just to find your about page. Avoid filling your website with ads just because you want to make some extra cash.

Of course, some ads and navigation systems might be necessary. But don’t clutter your site with excess things.

If you want people to subscribe to a newsletter or follow your social media, make those things easy to do. However, you should also make it easy for people to click out of a subscription box. Don’t let it cover the entire screen.

And please, don’t use a popup window that asks for someone’s email right when they land on your page.

Attracts visitors

This sort of goes off the point about being professional, but it warrants its own section. Whether your website is a personal blog or a business site, make sure it attracts the right visitors.

Using the right colors and fonts can help with this. For example, a law firm website probably won’t use bright pinks or purples. But those are great colors
for a beauty blog.

Of course, you want to attract more visitors as time goes on. But you want to make sure you attract the right visitors.

Keep them coming

Once you get someone to your website, the job is half done. You have to keep them on your website and keep them coming back.

That’s another reason why the visual design of your website is so important. What is web design without an audience?

You want to make sure your design is neat enough that people will want to come back. Like we mentioned, make your website easy to use, and be sure to avoid overly annoying popups.

Google is watching

Another reason to focus on good web design is that Google does, too. Of course, you can share your website as much as possible. But you won’t be able to reach as wide of an audience without the help of search results.

Google and other search engines use algorithms that track tons of things about your website. That can include how many people visit your site, how long they stay, and more.

How does that relate to your website? Well, if Google sees people constantly backing out of your website, it will wonder what is wrong.

What is web design to Google? To help your website show up in more search results, you want to use something called search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO involves a lot of what we’ve talked about. You want your site to look good, be easy to use, and attract people. Why? Because Google is always watching.

Web Design Today

What is web design today? Even though the internet is relatively young, a lot has changed since web design was first a thing.

Today, web design involves much more than writing an intro and hitting publish.

On the go

The rise of the smartphone means that more people are using the internet on the go and on smaller screens. Any web designer knows that mobile web design is just as important as that of a desktop.

Even if your desktop site is gorgeous and easy to use, it may not always translate to a touchscreen phone.

So make sure that you always think about how your website looks on a mobile phone. After all, you don’t want to lose a visitor who can’t use your website.

It’s up to web designers and website owners to stay on top of their mobile design.

Tons of tools

Luckily, there are tons of resources and tools out there to help you design your dream website. There are some programs and sites like Wix and SquareSpace that allow you to easily customize your own website. You don’t have to touch the code.

If you want to get a bit more hands-on, you can start with a book or two on web design. On the other hand, if you want to avoid designing completely, you can hire a professional web designer. Where can you find one? The internet, of course!

Don’t stop changing

Design trends come and go in all types of design but especially web design. As you start and manage your own website, you have to stay up to date on trends. Just think of mobile design. It wasn’t as huge a decade ago but now look at it.

While you can’t predict design trends of the future, you can look at current trends and adjust your website to match the changes.

Crack the Code

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What is web design? Web design is the thing that makes a website look a certain way. Web design affects anything visual.

Well-designed websites look professional, are easy to use, and keep visitors coming back for more. Lastly, these websites follow SEO practices that make it easier for a website to rank near the beginning of search results.

Like other types of design, there are professional web designers that design websites for a living.

However, anyone can design a website these days. There are tons of websites, programs, books, and other resources that can teach you how to create your own site.

You can design a website with just a few clicks. It really is that easy.

What is web design? It’s an essential part of starting and maintaining a website. It can be the difference between success and failure.

Featured Image Source: Pexels

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