Web design is the perfect blend of art and science. They are two sides to the same brilliant coin. While creativity fuels the art side of things, programming and smart use of software make up the science side of things. In this interview, we speak with Thiago Santos, founder of Impreza.host, which is our winner for the month of September. Through our conversation, thiago imparts some valuable advice to web designers while explaining how web-design can affect a brand’s online presence. Read on!
Tell us about Impreza. How did the business come to be?
Back in 2013, my partner, Luciano, and I started creating small websites for companies and individuals in Brazil. Over time, I got a reseller hosting, so we could offer the hosting services coupled with our website development services.
With our business working well, Luciano and I created the websites, and we sold the hosting services only to customers who got their websites developed from us. However, we started offering web-hosting as a separate service in 2015 and business took off. So much so that we had to stop investing our time in building websites and focus only on the hosting.
In 2017, we started offering domain registrations and revamped our website to be showcased in English and Spanish. This has brought us many customers from all over the world, and we are very happy with the results. Also, we have changed our URL from impreza.com.br to impreza.host.
How does web design affect a business’s online presence?
An unattractive website or one that does not catch the visitor’s eye the very first time will not do well. When we were a website creation agency, we were driven to design websites that our clients would deeply appreciate and would become design references for their competitors.
I firmly believe that a website must be simple and straightforward. The customer wants to see what you are offering and it pays to display this information systematically and clearly. Show prices and suggestions without confusing the user with too many clicks. Include a call to action button such as ‘buy now’ or ‘call now’ so the customer can conveniently reach you.
Which web design platforms and tools are the best for beginners?
For beginners that do not have programming knowledge, I would suggest opting for Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Concrete5, and Magento.
Creating a beautiful and functional website demands a lot of time, study and money. My tip to beginners would be to choose a CMS (Content Management System). Study about how to install it and how to customize it; and over time you will not only know how to create websites in it but you can work towards making them better.
Broadly, what are the elements that make for a great website design?
A great website must be designed keeping in mind what you are offering. If it’s a product, highlight it. Make your product the king of the site. Show why your product is the best and make it clear to your customer that it will meet all his expectations.
Avoid using fancy effects that will slow your website down. A simple, well-designed website that is fast to load is the best. You should always consider the smartphone element and ensure that the website is responsive. This means you must keep all the main information on the first screen that the user accesses. This way, your user will not have to click on several pages to find whatever he is looking for. Remember, function comes before beauty.
What would be your advice to the web designers of today?
Never stop learning. Programming codes and trends are constantly changing, and staying updated is the only way you can remain relevant. Also, if you are a web designer who has extensive knowledge in a particular area, then share your knowledge with the community and build your personal brand. This will bring you more recognition and pave the way for new business opportunities.
Design wise, what are some of the best websites that you have come across?
It’s funny but I’m in love with the websites of most of my competitors. Apart from that, hoost.com.br is a very beautiful website that I recently came across; it is clean, fast, and the mascot is very well-crafted. feedmusic.com is another incredible website, as is meta-liquid.com. Both were created by the same agency.
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