Content vs Design! Is bigger better?

Last Update: May 26, 2016

Hi everyone!

I have been going through a load of our member's websites as an exercise to see what styles and designs are the most successful for rankings and traffic.

It would appear to me that in most cases, the more straight forward and simple looking websites are the ones that seem to be getting the better results.

This brings up some big questions:

  • How does your theme affect user friendliness and page load speeds?
  • Can this actually affect your rankings, traffic and CTR. If so, by how much?
  • Should we be more concerned about our site design and layout or is content really the most important thing?

I have seen many members asking these questions so I would like to start a discussion here and get some feedback and opinions. My opinion is that simplicity but with relevant content is the key. Others will say that a big and bold design and layout can make all the difference.

What do you think?


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Swangirl Premium
I think it is a combination but to some extent the layout should depend on your niche. For example, my niche is pet health. An endearing picture of my cats looking out the window in the sunroom surrounded by flowers supports that theme. They look healthy, happy and content. This is not a jazzy background but it is attractive and lends an air of peace and confidence I think. I have received many compliments on the look of my site as well as the content.

My theme is also simple but with a little color (green titles and nice font). I don't think one layout is best for all sites. You want to convey confidence in your audience. That might be that you know how to take care of an animal or you know how to lose weight or cook healthy food or you know how to launch a successful business. Your theme also needs to reflect your personality if you want to connect with your audience.

Generally speaking I agree that simple themes are best but I don't like the really bare-bones themes that are only black text on a white background. That might be my own personal preference but they look too stark to me. They don't reflect any individuality and personality, they look like the site of someone that just slapped something down and wants to sell you something as quickly as possible.
GaryStan Premium
Thanks for your input Jessica.
Yes have to agree with you that your theme needs to be relevant to both your niche and personality to make a connection with your audience.
I just worry sometimes that some people might spend too much time worrying about theme design and forget about writing content. This is what happened to me when I first started.
Swangirl Premium
Yes, that is a good point. Content first.
JudeP Premium
For me it would have to be a combination of the two :)
GaryStan Premium
Yes Jude. I totally agree!