This post is written by Jessica Freeman of Jess Creatives.

We’re a few months into the new year, and it’s time to make sure your website is up to par for 2018! If you’re looking at yourself and thinking ‘Hell, it’s 2018 and I STILL don’t have a website’, it may finally be time for you to have a look at some unlimited web hosting providers to make sure that, come 2019, you’re not still lagging behind everyone else in the internet world. I’m not one to jump on trends easily, if ever, but these trends I’m talking about today are actually things that have been happening for several months. I’ll also be sharing why these new website trend changes matter to your business!

Simple Navigation

First on the list is a simple navigation menu. Less is more, and this is especially true when it comes to the navigation on your website. These links should you send people to the most important pages on your website, not a majority of the pages on your website. With too many links in your menu, it can be overwhelming and confusing for your audience.

The first thing you should do is take “Home” out of the menu. 99% of the time, there is nothing “exclusive” on the home page, because the Home page basically acts as a welcome mat. There’s no need to clutter the menu with this link. (Not to mention, on almost every website, a user can click on the logo to navigate to the home page.)

Utilize your navigation menu to send people to the most important information. Think about what actions you want people to take on your website, and then arrange your navigation accordingly. For example, if you have a big event coming up, that may need to be listed in the main navigation. If you don’t have any events coming up, there’s no need to keep the Events tab listed in the navigation.

Mobile-Friendly

It’s 2018, and you’re doing your business a huge disservice if your site is not mobile-friendly. This starts with the site as a whole – it needs to be responsive and fit the content to the screen. That’s what most people think about when they hear about websites being mobile-friendly. But, we need to take it a step further and think about how the actual design elements of your website look and act on mobile.

For example, if you have buttons on your website (as most people do), these should be easy to click on from a mobile phone. You may look at your site on a desktop and think that it’s easy to navigate, but you cannot forget how it looks on mobile. This is especially important if you are sending people to your website from Instagram.

Because mobile design is important, you need to be using a platform like WordPress or Squarespace that is mobile-friendly, and lets you customize certain design elements for mobile versus desktop. These are the two best, reputable website platforms for business owners who are taking their online presence seriously and getting industry experts from SMAR7 Apps involved to get there online shop off the ground.

Asymmetric layouts

Again, I’m not one to jump head-first into every new design trend. But, this is one style that can be easily implemented into your existing website. Instead of constraining your website to a strict “box” layout, change it up with more dynamic layouts. This should be approached with caution: You don’t want to confuse the viewer, and you don’t to do overdo it with the asymmetric layouts.

You can implement these more engaging designs by creating small sections of overlapping images and text, or by having certain elements off-centered. Part of what makes asymmetric layouts work so well is the rule of thirds: Don’t place items in the dead center, or on the very edge.

If your website is on Squarespace, it would be easy to utilize the image card block. They have several options––poster, card, overlap, collage, stack and inline––which will give you some asymmetrical elements within your website. If your website is on WordPress, it’s easier to create some asymmetrical design elements with a page builder like Divi or Beaver Builder. If you want to take this asymmetrical look to your Instagram graphics, Canva is a great free design resource!

With that in mind…

What changes do you need to make to your business’ website? Research shows that 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site! If your website is not optimized, that means potentially HALF of your website visitors are leaving and won’t be referring you to their friends.

Lucky for you, the remedy to this situation is right in front of you! Christina and I have teamed up to give you a website and Instagram bundle. We know the importance of having both a great website and Instagram presence for your business. If you feel like your online presence is lacking, be sure to check out the bundle

Jessica Freeman is an award-winning graphic and web designer, and video consultant, helping service-based entrepreneurs create a brand that shines through every level of their business. Outside of designing, she also loves producing for her YouTube channel. Jess lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Aaron. Follow her on YouTube and Instagram.

From strategic planning to in-person training+ workshops, I’m here to lead you to a more profitable & sustainable business! Learn how we can work together by clicking the button below!

About The Social Butterfly Gal: I’m Christina, a social media strategist, speaker, mentor helping female creative entrepreneurs transform their online presence with savvy digital strategies. In between the sips of coffee, social media notifications and writing, you will find me living up to my brand name; being a social butterfly; attending various networking and local events around San Antonio, TX.