Minimalism: What it Takes to Create a Simple Web Design

Maintain modern web pages with simple design.

One of the most understated aspects of minimalistic web design is that it can be good for SEO, provided there’s enough content on web pages. While some developers may associate minimalism with plenty of white space and minimal content, the best way to get noticed by search engines is to provide plenty of text with minimal fancy visual effects. Here are some key points to keep in mind when designing a simple website.

Advantages of Minimalistic Design

One of the top benefits of a simple web design is that pages load much quicker than designs flooded with big files, javascript or other applications. If a web page loads too slowly, especially the home page, then there’s a good chance visitors won’t stay on the page long enough to view any content. Most online surfers have an idea of what they are looking for, which is usually never slow loading websites.  For any given set of keywords there are usually quicker alternatives to pursue.

Another reason to keep a design simple is because it’s easy to maintain. Complex websites need to be checked more often to make sure everything is functioning properly. Sites with hundreds of outbound links are vulnerable to the fact that many sites disappear without telling anyone, creating dead links to nowhere, which is viewed as errors by search engines.

Basic Background

All white or black backgrounds are used frequently by minimalist web designers. Part of the advantage to an all white background is that the text can be any dark color and will be easy to read. All black backgrounds allow light colors to be used as text, but information sites work better with white backgrounds since people researching the site may want to print out the text.

Minimalism is often characterized with the excessive use of negative space, which directs the eye to specific content. Usually the more content is surrounded by negative space, the more the individual will notice the content. Negative space also helps guard against bombarding the viewer with too much going on at once.

Sharp Content

With minimalism, the words on the page are what matter most. Using unique custom typography can help make the words stand out even more. One of the most common types of minimalist designs is the use of headers and images. Sometimes the content is mostly just large images that tell a story. Unfortunately, those type of web pages typically don’t do well with search engines, which cannot see images.

One way to sharpen the desired images or text on web pages is to use the white background as a canvass, while contrasting with the foreground. The variables for contrast are scale, size, shape, color and location. Alignment is also a very important aspect of visual balance, which is divided into four types:

  • horizontal symmetry – opposite sides of the screen seem balanced
  • approximate symmetry – different screen elements but have similar visual weight
  • radial symmetry – a design that captures attention in the center
  • asymmetry – elements that do not have perfect symmetry on purpose

Minimalist SEO Techniques

SEO already ignores complex applications and graphics. It favors content rich sites that include blogs or articles. Here are some powerful ways to merge SEO with  minimalism.

  • include the keyword in the URL, page title and corresponding content
  • do not overuse keywords in the content
  • avoid using excessive bold tags
  • limit one keyword phrase per page
  • eliminate irrelevant links completely
  • unblock search engine robots

Mixing In Flat Design

Flat design is a set of techniques that stay away from colorful visuals other than call to action buttons or other icons that exist for utility reasons. The focus is on text, although visuals can be attractive. The main point of flat design is to put less emphasis on fancy visuals while at the same time provide an eye-pleasing aesthetic. A mix of flat design and minimalist philosophy helps put the attention on content more than style.

Simple HTML

Sticking with the most basic HTML tags is all a website needs to be competitive. The idea that a site has to have complex code to be successful is just a myth. Sites that emphasize text are candidates to get the highest search rankings. The absolute bare minimum code for a web page is:

<HTML><head><title>Place title here</title></head>

<body>Place content here</body></HTML>

More modern web pages use a combination of HTML 5 and cascading style sheet (CSS), which is still fairly simple. The main point is that a site doesn’t need excessive code if it’s mostly delivering text. With the simplest HTML, it’s possible to deliver powerful online messages that don’t use up much resources while web pages to load instantly.

If you’re a business owner searching for a minimalist web design for your business or are looking to get started with an online business, contact the team at Simplemachine to handle your requests and to produce the perfect minimal website for your business that it sure to catch your customer’s attention.


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