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3 Tips for Joomla Beginners

Joomla is an incredibly powerful content management system, which can be customised to just about any use case imaginable when you’re building a website. With many themes and extensions to the base Joomla experience, you’re spoilt for choice with just how expansive your Joomla based website can be. With all of this customisation and power, it’s easy to get lost and forget the basics of good design fundamentals. Here are some important design tips for Joomla beginners.

Your Theme is Everything

Great design starts with a great base to work from, and that base is your Joomla theme. It needs to have the correct design elements for your type of website or business and take advantage of all the latest research and design considerations in the world of website design. If your business is travel, you want to make sure your design packs on the motivation to go on that dream holiday.

Theme design choices that leverage on new user trends based on analysis, like using static header images instead of carousels because users only really ever click the first image anyway, are all things that you should consider. There are also studies that track users’ eye movements that is incredibly interesting and can help you make informed decisions about where key elements should be. One of these discoveries is that humans tend to look in the same direction as the people are looking in your images. This is a unique way to direct attention to something.

The Need for Speed

When you’re designing and creating a website, there is a real need to strike a balance between great design and the time it takes for that design to be delivered to your customer via their web browser. Piling too much on to your website, particularly the homepage, is going to mean the site will load slower, and the visitor is less likely to stick around for that load time.

Search engines like Google and Bing also consider your site load time when they rank your page in their search results, so the speed is of the utmost importance when you consider your design. After all, users make up their mind about your site within seconds.

Psychology Plays a Part

There is an enormous amount of psychology at play in great website design. Understanding your users’ behavior and preferences and why they are visiting your website is tantamount to great design. Many studies and research done into the design of websites stress the importance of keeping your website and its design simple to keep your visitors focused and not overwhelmed. This might mean you’ll need to consider carefully the number of menu items you display or social network share buttons you have. If you have forms, keep the number of fields to a minimum.

A good example of this is Hick’s Law, a principle that states that the more choices someone has, the longer they will take to decide. This is the paradox of choice.

Creating an effective website with Joomla doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re using good design principles, and with so much customization and choice available to you on the Joomla CMS platform, you have no reason not to.