As Web Design Trends Shift, Design Guru Offers Five Tips for Small Businesses

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Small business owners face an uphill battle trying to stay abreast of online marketing trends, but web design pro Thom Waters offers five small business solutions.

Like any creative field, web design is ever in a state of flux. A recent article in AG Beat declared that, in 2012, circles and rounded designs would be considered fashionable while squares would be considered passé, yet many websites, including small business sites, are based on square designs. This illustrates the trouble that small business owners face with keeping up with changing trends and design fads, but web design pro Thom Waters says there are certain bedrock principles any small business owner should know. Waters, who works almost exclusively for small businesses, notes, “Trying to keep up with every trend can drive a business owner crazy, so it might be better to simply remember those principles that really never change.”

Waters continues by acknowledging that, whether they are consulting with a designer or creating a corporate website themselves, business owners often lack the time to fully invest in a solid website. He offers five tips for remedying this.


Waters says that small business owners may not understand the technical components or more specific design terms associated with web design, but they can still educate themselves about the basics, and ultimately improve their own efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the process.

1. Decide where the website is going to go: Before coming up with any specifics of the site, settle on a host, and know how much the hosting fee is going to run.

2. Create the site, or hire a web designer: Regardless, remember that the website is the company’s first impression, and it is crucial that it look professional.

3. Fill the site with content: Make sure the important components of the company, the things visitors will want to know, are easy to find.

4. Submit the site to search engines: Remember that there are very few search engines that are actually used regularly, so services that submit to 500 different search engines are seldom worth the investment.

5. Promote the site: Make sure to spread the word to clients via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail.

According to Waters, the most significant investment a business owner can make is in a professional website. “An attractive, appealing, professional-level site is the single best way to generate interest in a small business,” he concludes.


Thom Waters is a freelance web design based in Manhattan. He works primarily in designing sites for small businesses.


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Micheal McGarity
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