Fast, secure, responsive designs with consistent branding.
The best practices for website design leverage HTML5 responsive layouts for cross-browser compatibility across mobile, tablet & desktop devices.
Responsive web design is the key starting point when approaching a new website. Today's users and search engines demand a seamless, single website that transitions been devices. It must resize smoothly between browser window sizes on devices from smartphones to tablets to laptop and desktops. It is no longer acceptable to have a seperate set of web pages for mobile versus desktop devices, or to use distinguishing mobile domain name. It has to be one set of web pages. And, it has to be fast. Very fast. With 70% of web browsing now on mobile devices, Google's PageSpeed tell us the website needs to load in under 4 seconds. Any longer and you risk losing customers as the bounce back.
The website design approach typically depends upon project budget & stage in business lifecycle from startup to sole proprietorship to mid-sized business.
For initial startups looking for a fast online presense leveraging a prebuilt social network, the best approach may be to create a Facebook Business Page under their personal account and link a custom domain name to it (low cost / easy to update / easy to share). For more customization, an entrepreneur with some marketing savy may want to create their own website using templates available from services like Wix or SquareSpace (more custom / needs skills / slow speed). Growing business with a small budget for outsourcing web services, may prefer a design built using the WordPress framework with third-party website server hosting, especially if they would like to update the content themselves (more costly / easy to update / very slow speed).
When it comes to search engine ranking and visitor experience, a different design approach is required. And it has to be fast. PageSpeed is an increasingly important search engine ranking factor. And rightly so, otherwise visitors will leave before the website even loads. To achieve website speed, the best web design practice is a slim, fast design framework, such as the industry-standard Bootstrap, hosted on a distributed cloud-based server, such as Amazon Web Services.