Lee Odden

Your Site Design Reflects Your Company

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy

Paint SpotsOne of my pet peeves is ugly websites. Now I know that not everyone has the time to put into a new site, but it’s worth the time and effort. Online visitors first impressions of your company is your site. If they like it, they’ll continue to look around the site but there are plenty of alternatives if they don’t like it. Lack of design may make the user feel there is also a lack of security, product quality and/or customer service.

One of the big things right now is that Web 2.0 look. Now I don’t know if you can really target a look and feel to Web 2.0 necessarily, but is the characteristics that make up some of the biggest Web 2.0 companies websites that are making up this look and feel.

What do you need for a Web 2.0ish site? Simplicity, color, larger fonts, nice icons or graphics and a beta logo never hurt.

Actually, WebDesignFromScratch.com has a great Web 2.0 how-to design style guide. Granted it won’t do the work for you, but it’ll point you in the right direction. Sometimes, incorporating a few items on the list can go a long ways and a whole site re-design isn’t always necessary.

Need a quick fix for you blog? Check out the Theme Viewer for WordPress or themes for your blog platform. Using the default theme is definitely a don’t do. Actually, any mass distributed theme is only a starting point. Customizing the look and feel for your site is a must in order to make you stand out.

Another thing to keep in mind is don’t sacrifice the search engine friendly aspect of your site for design. To many images or Flash can drop your visitors though the floor. There is no reason your design can’t be both stunning and search engine friendly.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Some sites can do just fine being a bit out of date. A good sales guy can sell no matter what. But it’s getting those visitors that just happen to come via a search engine that you want keep interested. Their first impression is your site design and you want to make sure it’s a good one.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Thanks, and well said – I’ve noticed too, that while people are making it easier to get online, some skills are required to come up with a site that is impressive both aesthetically and in terms of marketing and content.

    The web 2.0 how to guide was also a great link. Thanks!

  2. With countless sites, it seems harder and harder to find a general site format that is easy to follow. Sites like mysapce and craiglsist, while very simple, keep the viewers following a generic look and it makes for first time user to become adaptable right from the start. perhaps that leads to the overall success?

  3. It’s an ongoing struggle to educate clients just how important aesthetics are.

    All too often they think they’re just as capable of creating a great composition just because they own a copy of Photoshop and their brother’s friend’s teenage son showed them how to make a starburst.

  4. Judy – MySpace is one of the sites causing the design discussion to have issues. In my opinion, MySpaces pages are ugly and I don’t understand why people like them. Yet they are successful so others think that design is not an issue. Really, since MySpace is big enough and have proven themselves, they can be as ugly as they want to be and won’t fail. Craigslist is also an interesting one. They’ve designed for speed and the ability to take in a lot of data at once.. Since they built a successful business model, no one cares that they don’t have a design. People just want the info and fast. So their reputation has made design un-necessary. Also a sites success can be measured on how easy it is to use, that doesn’t mean it has to be plain jane though. 🙂

    David – Your comment about Photoshop is right on target. I’ve seen it so many times and you don’t want to put them down, but encouraging them isn’t a great idea either.