A website is often an extension of your offline life: it’s your digital space to show the world what you’re passionate about, find others who share your interests, and (if you’re so inclined) make some money along the way.
At The Considerate Cat, Canadian designer Madeleine created a welcoming hub for people who love their feline friends. It’s also an online store — powered by WooCommerce’s Storefront theme — where she sells her beautiful cat-themed tarot decks and other related items. Whether you’d like to sell on your site, showcase your creative work, or build a community, here are three lessons we can all learn from Madeleine’s beautiful website.
If you have a good story, don’t hide it.
When you create a website, it’s easy to lose yourself in a series of small decisions while losing sight of the bigger picture: the thing (a story, a mission, a passion, a goal) that made you want to come online to begin with. At The Considerate Cat, we know from the get-go what the site is about and why we should care, because Madeleine tells us.
The site’s homepage features a short, impossible-to-miss section describing what The Considerate Cat is all about. Madeleines expands on that story — and throws in a few more cat photos, for good measure — on her About page, but doesn’t wait for people to visit it to recount her project’s compelling mission and to showcase both her tarot cards and a highly photogenic cat.
Learn about other ways to avoid common website mistakes.
If your goal is to sell, don’t make it hard for customers to find your products.
As we’ve all become savvier online shoppers, creators and business owners have learned that people love investing in products that excite them and that align with their values, and that going for the hard sell is often not the best strategy. That doesn’t mean you should hide your products, though.
What makes the design of The Considerate Cat so effective is how it brings Madeleine’s creations to the forefront in a way that feels natural, never pushy. Case in point is the “Best Sellers” section of the homepage, where visitors see a small selection of products at different price points that they can add to their shopping cart.
Something similar happens in the site’s main navigation bar:
As the only item on the site’s main menu that contains links to multiple pages, the Shop tab stands out enough to draw a visitor’s attention, but it does so subtly, without distracting from the soothing vibe of the site’s design. Even if a potential shopper doesn’t click on a specific product category, they immediately learn about the range of items they might find on The Considerate Cat and can make quick decisions about which products they want to learn more about.
If you’ve developed a visual brand, don’t forget to show it off.
Creating a logo, choosing a font, landing on a pleasing color palette: the steps that lead to a successful visual brand take time and effort. Once you have them in place, you might as well use them to their full potential. One of the reasons that Madeleine’s site feels so welcoming, pleasing, and seamless is the visual coherence of all the elements on the page.
From logo to background patterns to featured images, the site is full of floral prints, muted grays and browns (with well-placed pops of color), and of course — cats and more cats, in all their regal glory.
If you loved Madeleine’s site and want to give your site’s design some polish but aren’t sure where to start, check out these five easy tweaks to help you solidify your visual brand.
Madeleine’s WordPress.com Business site features a custom domain, extra storage space for media, and access to hundreds of WordPress themes and plugins. Ready to take your site to the next level?