This post is written by CJPW member Jamie Bass, whose company, Aligned Spaces, specializes in feng shui and spatial consulting. Their mission is to help you create spaces, whether physical or virtual, that reflect who you are. To read more feng shui- and space-related articles, check out their blog here.
There’s no doubt about it: we’re all spending more of our time staring at screens, absorbed in virtual spaces, often moving through many more virtual spaces in a day than physical ones. One of the biggest virtual spaces that small business owners worry about is their website.
Websites are a reflection of us. We envision them, we plan for them, and we create them. Sometimes, though, they’re not planned or executed very well, and our users cannot easily find what they’re looking for, are redirected to outdated information, or feel turned off because the website design is dull and doesn’t excite them to take action (except to quickly leave the site!).
Just as we want our physical spaces to be a positive reflection of who we are, we want to be proud of the impressions our website makes. And one of the ways that we create that positive reflection in our physical spaces is through the use of feng shui principles.
So why shouldn’t feng shui principles be applied to websites too?
(In case it’s not abundantly clear, we absolutely think they should!)
Whether you have website woes about your current site, are looking to create a new one, or are simply a lover of all things feng shui, when it comes to feng shui for websites, strategies for success tend to fall under 3 categories: how the website feels, how the website functions, and how the website is designed.
The FEEL of the Website
Your website has a feeling to it. Websites, just like physical spaces, have an energy to them, and you can feel that energy the second you log on to a site. If your website makes you feel ashamed or anxious (or if you get less-than-stellar feedback from visitors), then there’s probably something out of alignment.
Your website should reflect YOU. Websites should reflect who you are and your personality. You would never decorate your home based on someone else’s tastes, so why do that with your website? It’s important that the website be authentic to who you actually are and not be what you think a website should look like. Doing this will align the energy of the site with your true intentions and make it work for you, and not against you. If your website isn’t an extension of you, it will never feel right and it probably won’t attract the right audience for you – you may not have many visitors or you’ll struggle to gain traction in your field. Align your website with how you want to show up in the world and make sure that what you’re putting out there is true to you. Otherwise, it just won’t work.
The FUNCTION of the Website
Make your intentions known. Websites should be very clear in terms of why people might want to visit your site and what actions you want them to take while they’re there. What’s the purpose of your website? People should know exactly what it is that you do or what services you offer. Does each page have a specific message? Just as you define what each room of your house is for, be very obvious about what your site is offering. This is helpful not only to your potential visitors, but also for you to get clear on where you want to focus your energy.
Make your site easy to use. Is your site easy to navigate? Layout and ease of use is so important for a website, but it’s often overlooked in favor of design. You want to make sure that your visitors have a clear path that they are meant to follow when they get on to your site and that they can easily navigate around to all the pages. Imagine that you are a new visitor to your site: what’s the first thing that you see? What if you want to find out more about you or your services? Are these elements easy to find and access? Don’t make it so complicated that visitors forget why they’re there. And make sure that your website shows up easily and clearly on a mobile platform for those visitors who are on the go.
Your site should flow. It’s important that your site has a natural, easy flow to it. Yes, it should be easy to navigate, but it should also make sense in how it’s laid out. The order in which the pages and sections follow each other must match with what you’re offering and what you want to highlight. You canactually further convey who you are and what your focus is through how you choose to organize your site. If you’re organized and thoughtful, fun and creative, or a trendsetter, your layout will reflect that to your visitors (this also goes back to the feeling of your website!) Remember that in feng shui it’s about what you see and experience around you: on your website, it’s as much about the flow as the words you use.
Make sure everything is alive and current. Just as it’s bad feng shui to not have things in good working order in your house, you want to make sure that your website is always up-to-date, all the links and buttons work as they’re supposed to, and all the pages are labeled appropriately. This contributes vitality and positivity to your site and avoids frustrating your visitors.
The DESIGN of the Website
Simple is best. You don’t need to cram your website full of information. Try to make it concise and clean-feeling with plenty of open space. We often feel more nervous and anxious on a crowded website than on one that feels open and less busy. It’s much easier for the eye to register what’s on a page if that page is balanced with some blank space. And if visitors are bombarded with too much information, they may feel overwhelmed and choose to leave your site instead of trying to read and explore every inch.
Choose your colors wisely. When complementary colors are placed next to each other, the eye jumps back and forth easily, and it is relaxing on the eyes. Contrasting colors placed side by side, however, make the eyes stop and start, so they draw more attention and notice. And different shades of a color produce different emotions and reactions. Select your colors and saturations based on what you are trying to either motivate (notice and buy my product!) or suppress (don’t leave my site!).
Keep it consistent. Make sure your website’s design is coordinated across the entire site and every page. You want your site to feel like a cohesive unit, which imparts professionalism. This is also important for helping to maintain a consistent reflection of who you are throughout the website.