Every few years, web design trends seem to shift.

First, there were busy homepages with tons of headlines and graphics. Then the tide came in: clean pages that scrolled forever were hot. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, but the most important thing is to recognize what’s best for you and your business.

When you’re building (or redesigning) your site, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What’s more important: pretty or usable?

If your e-commerce site looks more like a blog or a billboard, that’s a problem. Customers should immediately know what they’re getting when they visit your page.

2. Is every page consistent?

We’re talking every page, from product info to order received. Your branding should be universal across them all.

3. Are you making users work for what they want?

If so, change that. Visitors shouldn’t have to navigate treacherous terrain to complete their task. Any hard sells or marketing should be subtle. You've already got them in the door, you don’t want to push them out.