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Unlocking Growth: Steve Ice's SEO and Branding Wisdom on DesignRush

For "Brand Marketing Strategy Guide (2023)" by DesignRush, Steve Ice from Binary Glyph Media contributes insights on combining data-driven analysis with authentic storytelling to captivate audiences and enhance brand engagement. This comprehensive guide explores various aspects of brand marketing, offering actionable strategies to create a compelling narrative for your brand. Explore more on DesignRush.

In "Affordable SEO Services for Small Business," also featured on DesignRush, Steve Ice shares his expertise on the crucial role of local SEO for small businesses. He advises on strategies such as detailed keyword research and optimization for mobile users, highlighting the importance of local engagement and visibility on platforms like Google My Business. Learn more about optimizing your SEO strategy on DesignRush.

website design 101
Website Design 101: Basic Principles for a Great Website

Quality website design is essential for any business or organization that wants to succeed online. A website provides a digital storefront for your business and can help you reach a wider audience, generate leads, and build your brand's reputation. However, designing and developing a website can be complex and time-consuming, so many businesses hire professional website designers and developers to help them achieve their online goals.

This article will provide insights and answer common website design and development questions. While we will use specific examples to illustrate our points, our information and insights can be applied to businesses and organizations of all types and locations.

So whether you're based in Toledo, Ohio, or anywhere else, this article will provide the guidance and knowledge you need to build a successful business website.

Website Design Fundamentals

Website design is the process of planning, creating, and arranging visual elements, such as layout, typography, color, and imagery, to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional website.

Website design aims to create an engaging and user-friendly website that effectively communicates a business's message and objectives to its target audience.

Website Design Principles

Website design is built upon several fundamental principles that help designers create an effective website. These principles include layout, typography, color, and imagery.

  1. Layout: A website's layout refers to how visual elements are arranged on a page. A well-designed layout can help users quickly navigate a website and find the information they seek. The layout should be simple and uncluttered, with a clear information hierarchy.
  2. Typography: Typography refers to selecting and arranging typefaces on a website. The right font can convey a sense of style and tone and improve readability and overall user experience.
  3. Color: Color is a powerful design tool that evokes emotions and creates a strong visual impact. A well-chosen color palette can establish a business's brand identity and convey a sense of professionalism.
  4. Imagery: Images and graphics are an important part of website design. They can help break up the text, add visual interest, and compellingly communicate a business's message. High-quality imagery can also establish a business's brand identity and convey a sense of professionalism.

These web design tips are just the basis for creating a great website.

User Experience and Usability

Good website design is not just about creating a visually appealing website. It also involves creating a website that is easy to use and provides a positive user experience.

Users should be able to navigate the website quickly, find the information they need, and complete the desired action, whether purchasing or filling out a contact form.

Statistics show that good website design can significantly impact business performance. A study by Adobe found that nearly 40% of people will only engage with a website if the content or layout is attractive, and 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.

Examples of Successful Websites

While there are countless successful websites, we'll highlight a few demonstrating the power of good design and development.


Airbnb is an online marketplace for arranging or offering lodges, primarily homestays or tourism experiences.

The website has a clean, easy-to-use design focusing on beautiful photos of the available properties. It also incorporates user-generated content, including ratings and reviews from previous guests, to help build trust with potential renters.

The site's seamless booking and payment process is made possible by its development team's use of modern web technologies.


Slack is a messaging platform for teams that aims to simplify communication and collaboration.

The website has a simple yet visually appealing design consistent with the platform's user interface. Its development team has focused on creating a fast, responsive experience to handle the volume of messages and notifications that teams generate.

The result is a website that effectively showcases the platform's benefits and encourages users to sign up.


Apple's website is an excellent example of how design and development can work together to create a seamless user experience.

The site has a sleek, minimalist design that showcases the company's products and services clearly and concisely.

Its development team has used cutting-edge technologies to make the site fast and responsive, incorporating features like animations and parallax scrolling to create a visually engaging experience.

By examining the design and development of these successful websites, we can gain insights into what works well and how to apply those website marketing principles to our projects.

Website Development

The process involves two key components when building a website: website design and development.

Website development is turning a website design into a functioning website, including both the front-end (what users see and interact with) and back-end (the code that makes the website work) development.

Website development involves various technical skills, including coding, programming, and software development.

A web developer is responsible for building and maintaining the technical infrastructure of a website, which includes writing and testing code, troubleshooting technical issues, and ensuring that the website functions properly.

Front-end development involves creating the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design.

This includes designing and implementing website layout, typography, color scheme, and imagery and ensuring that the website is responsive and can be accessed on various devices.

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the primary programming languages used in front-end development.

Back-end development is part of the process that takes care of the website's server side.

This includes setting up the server, writing code connecting the front to the back end, creating databases, and building custom applications.

Common back-end programming languages include PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Web developers use a variety of tools and software to aid in the website development process.

These include text editors such as Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code, version control systems like Git, and content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Joomla.

The role of a web developer is crucial in ensuring a website is functioning correctly and providing the best possible user experience.

They are responsible for creating and maintaining a website's technical infrastructure and troubleshooting issues.

According to a report by Glassdoor, the average salary for a web developer in the United States is around $76,000 annually. However, this can vary depending on experience, location, and industry.

The Relationship Between Design and Development

In the world of website creation, there are two main phases: design and development.

Design involves creating a website's visual elements and user experience, while development involves coding and programming that brings the design to life.

While the two phases are distinct, they are also deeply interconnected.

A website's design and development must work harmoniously to produce an effective website.

The design sets the foundation for the website's structure, and the development brings that structure to life.

Designers and developers must collaborate to ensure the website looks and functions as intended.

The importance of collaboration and communication between designers and developers cannot be overstated.

When these two teams work in silos, the result can be a disjointed and ineffective website.

Designers and developers must work together throughout the entire process, from initial planning to final launch, to ensure that the website meets the needs of both the client and the end user.

According to a survey conducted by Adobe, 60% of creative professionals believe that collaboration between designers and developers is essential to the success of a project.

Another study found that teams prioritizing cooperation and communication between designers and developers are more likely to produce successful projects.

By working together, designers and developers can create a website that looks great, functions smoothly, and meets the needs of both the client and the end user.

The following section will discuss whether you should hire a web designer or web developer for your website project.

Hiring a Website Designer

Hiring a professional website designer can be important for any business or organization looking to establish a solid online presence.

While there are many benefits to hiring a website designer, there are also potential risks and challenges to be aware of.

Benefits of Hiring a Website Designer

One of the key benefits of hiring a website designer is the expertise they bring to the table.

A professional designer will deeply understand website design principles, user experience, and industry best practices.

They will also have the technical skills to build a fast, responsive website optimized for search engines.

In addition, hiring a website designer can save you time and money in the long run.

By outsourcing the design process, you can focus on running your business while the designer creates a custom website that meets your needs.

Risks of Hiring a Website Designer

One of the potential risks of hiring a website designer is that the designer may not fully understand your business or your customers.

This can lead to a website that doesn't communicate your brand or engage your target audience effectively.

Another risk is that the designer doesn't have the technical skills or experience to build a website optimized for search engines or that functions properly on mobile devices.

Steps to Finding a Website Designer

If you have decided to hire a website designer, there are several steps you can take to find the right one for your business:

  1. Define your website goals and requirements: Before looking for a website designer, you must know what you want your website to accomplish and what features and functionality it will need.
  2. Research website designers: Look for website designers in your local area or online, and review their portfolios and client testimonials. You can also ask for recommendations from colleagues or industry associations.
  3. Evaluate their skills and experience: Once you have a list of potential website designers, evaluate their technical skills, experience, and ability to understand your business and customers.
  4. Check their references: Before hiring a website designer, check their references and ask for examples of their work.

These tips should help steer you away from common mistakes to avoid when selecting a web design service.

Hourly Rates for Website Designers

The cost of hiring a website designer can vary widely depending on their experience level, location, and the scope of your project.

According to a survey conducted by PayScale, the average hourly rate for a website designer in the United States is $28.72, with rates ranging from $15 to $67 per hour.

When hiring a website designer, it's essential to consider the hourly rate and the designer's experience, skills, and ability to deliver a high-quality website that meets your business goals.

Website Builders

If hiring a website designer is not an option, website builders are a viable alternative. Website builders are software tools that enable people with no coding skills to build websites.

They offer pre-designed templates, drag-and-drop interfaces, and other user-friendly features, making it easy to create a website without technical expertise.

Benefits of using a website builder include their affordability, ease of use, and ability to update and change your site quickly.

With a website builder, you can create a professional-looking website without spending much money or time.

However, there are also some risks associated with using website builders.

The templates provided by website builders are often limited, and you may need additional help to create a truly unique design for your site.

Additionally, the features and functionality offered by website builders may be more limited than those available through a custom-designed website.

It's crucial to weigh the pros and cons of using a website builder before deciding.

If you choose a website builder, many popular options, such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, are available.

These website builders have varying costs and features, so it's essential to research and choose the one that best fits your needs.

According to recent statistics, the market share of website builders is on the rise, with over 39% of websites built using website builders.

Additionally, the average monthly cost for website builders is around $29, making them an affordable option for small businesses and individuals.

Cost of Setting Up a Website for a Small Business

A website for your small business is essential in today's digital age. However, due to the perceived costs, many small business owners need more time to create a website.

In this section, we will go over the cost factors for setting up a website for a small business, the average costs, and tips on how to reduce the cost.

Overview of the cost factors for setting up a website for a small business:

Several factors affect the cost of setting up a website for a small business, including:

  1. Domain name: The cost of a domain name varies depending on the domain registrar and the domain extension. A domain name typically costs between $10 to $50 per year.
  2. Web hosting: Web hosting is a service that stores your website files on a server and makes them accessible to the internet. The cost of web hosting varies depending on the hosting provider, the type of hosting, and the features you need. A basic shared hosting plan can cost between $2 to $15 per month.
  3. Website design: Website design can vary significantly in cost depending on the complexity of the website, the designer's experience, and the geographic location. The cost of website design can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
  4. Website development: Website development involves coding and programming the website. The cost of website development depends on the complexity of the website and the developer's experience. The cost of website development can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
  5. Content creation: The cost of content creation includes text, images, videos, and other media for your website. The price of content creation can vary greatly depending on the type and amount of content needed.

Statistics on the average costs for setting up a website for a small business:

According to a survey conducted by Manifest in 2021, the average cost of building a website for a small business is $3,000 to $15,000. This cost can vary depending on the complexity of the website and the features needed.

Tips on how to reduce the cost of setting up a website for a small business:

  1. Choose an affordable web hosting plan: Selecting a basic shared hosting plan can help keep the cost low.
  2. Use a website builder: Website builders are often cheaper than hiring a designer and developer.
  3. DIY website design: DIY website design using website builders or templates can be affordable.
  4. Focus on essential features: Prioritizing basic website features can help reduce costs.
  5. Avoid unnecessary website elements: Avoid adding extreme elements to your website to help reduce costs.

By considering these cost factors and implementing cost-saving strategies, small businesses can create an effective website that doesn't break the bank.

How Long Does It Take to Create a Website?

When it comes to website creation, one question that often arises is, "how long does it take to create a website?"

The answer to this question is not straightforward, as it depends on several factors, such as the scope of the project, the complexity of the design and functionality, and the availability of resources.

Factors that Influence the Timeline for Creating a Website

  • The size and complexity of the website
  • The level of customization required
  • The availability of resources, such as design and development teams
  • The client's involvement and feedback

Statistics on the Average Time it Takes to Create a Website

  • According to a survey conducted by GoodFirms, the average time to create a website is around 14 weeks. However, the time can range anywhere from 4 weeks to over seven months, depending on the scope of the project.
  • Another survey by CodeinWP found that the average time to create a WordPress website is around 3-6 weeks.

Tips on How to Expedite the Website Creation Process

  • Be clear about your goals and requirements upfront.
  • Provide clear feedback and respond promptly to requests for information or approval.
  • Consider using pre-built templates or website builders to speed up the design and development process.
  • Hire experienced designers and developers to ensure efficiency and quality.

The timeline for creating a website can vary depending on several factors. However, by setting clear goals and expectations and working with experienced professionals, it's possible to expedite the website creation process without sacrificing quality.

Ready to Take Your Website to the Next Level?

A well-designed and well-developed website is crucial for any business to establish a robust online presence and attract customers.

Whether you are based in Toledo, Ohio, or anywhere else in the world, understanding the fundamental principles of website design and development is essential to building a successful website.

Following the tips and insights in this article, you can create a visually appealing and user-friendly website, helping you achieve your business goals.

Contact Binary Glyph Media Today!

At Binary Glyph Media, we specialize in website design and development, helping businesses in Toledo and beyond to create websites tailored to their unique needs and goals.

With years of experience and a proven track record of success, we have the knowledge and expertise to help your business thrive online.

Contact us today to learn more about our professional website design and development services and how we can help your business succeed.

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