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Build the perfect small business website with these advanced design techniques made easy

By Will Stevens - November 24, 2015

How much would you expect to shell out to get a new website that makes use of all the latest web design techniques? Hundreds of pounds? Perhaps even thousands of pounds? Although it’s true that the best web designers charge a premium for their services (and they’re worth every penny), it’s now possible for small businesses to keep up with the latest trends in web design without breaking the bank. In fact, thanks to ever-improving website builder tools, small business owners can actually implement these techniques themselves using a simple point and click editor. You don’t need to learn a word of code to build a good-looking website these days. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some advanced design techniques that you can implement yourself with the 123-reg Website Builder.

Responsive design

Responsive design is a must-have for every website. People are increasingly using mobile devices to navigate the web. If your site doesn’t look good when viewed on a mobile device, you run the risk of losing out on sales. You can read more about why responsive design is so important here, but take our word for it – if you don’t have a responsive site then you’re running the risk of getting left behind.

Until fairly recently, getting a responsive website was a complex and potentially expensive endeavour. But the good news is that leading website builders now offer the chance to build responsive websites without having to get to grips with the technical side of things. Below you can see an example of a responsive site built using the 123-reg Website Builder. Note how the same content is displayed differently across each platform. That’s the essence of responsive design.


Parallax scrolling

Of course, not all design techniques are as of as much practical use as responsive design. Some of them just make your site look nice. Parallax scrolling falls into the latter category. So what is parallax scrolling? Well, you’ve probably seen it on a site you’ve used. Basically, it’s a background image on a site scrolls more slowly than the foreground image. Here’s an example created in the 123-reg Website Builder (it’s a low-quality gif, but it lets you see the technique in action.)


Your website doesn’t need parallax scrolling. No website does. But then design is about more than just functionality. By embracing different design techniques, you can move your site beyond the static one-page websites associated with so many small businesses. If your website stands out from the crowd, then your business will stand out from the crowd too.

A simple colour scheme

Sometimes, advanced design techniques can be deceptively simple. The colour scheme of a website falls into this category. For non-professional web designers it can be easy to fall into the trap of using too many colours on a site, or of not using colours that complement each other. Fortunately, tools like Paletton allow you to quickly and easily develop a simple colour scheme of four colours that are perfectly matched. Once you’ve decided on a colour scheme that’s right for your business, a good website builder will let you quickly and easily create a website based on your new colour scheme.

Using negative space

The purpose of a website isn’t to tell everyone everything there is to know about your business. It’s about communicating the right information to the right people at the right time. So avoid packing your webpages with too much information. If you do try to tell visitors everything about your business at once, you’ll end up with a site that looks something like this.


Avoid that kind of mess by understanding that in design less is usually better. Negative space – the space a webpage where there isn’t any content – is a vital part of a well-designed website. Negative space helps ensure you can direct visitors’ attention to the most important element of a particular webpage. Doing that means people will be more likely to take whatever action it is you want them to take; whether that’s completing a purchase, filling in a form or contacting you for a quote. One of the easiest ways for a small business to make use of negative space is by opting for a website builder with high-quality templates, as these templates will have been designed with negative space in mind.

Next steps

You can start experimenting with the 123-reg Website Builder for free, so why not try it out to see how your existing site can be improved? You can even use your existing website as the basis for a new site, meaning you don’t have to start from scratch.

Any questions? Leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you.