Web Design Industry Blog

Blog Rss Feed

Web Design and Online Advertising an Evolving Relationship

Published on November 4, 2011
Tags: Web Design London, Mobile Application Development

One of the things that web designers often come under fire for is advertising. Many (probably most) sites these days feature advertising in some form: it can be a good source of revenue for businesses – including both the website on which the ad is displayed and the company displaying the ad, if it is done properly. However, web designers are sometimes criticised for the way these ads make the sites look – there’s an argument that ads make a site look messy and so detract from the overall design, no matter how well the website performs in other areas.

There is something in this argument, and any good web designer will tell you that there’s a fine line between advertising on a website being okay and it becoming overwhelming to the point where something needs to be done about it. But is it really the web designers fault at all?

After all, the counter argument would run that when a web design company creates a website, they are simply following the brief given to them by a client. If a client asks them to include space for advertising then this needs to be incorporated into the web design. Of course, the way it looks is still important as ads that look out of place or having too many of them can reduce their power and render them useless when compared with one or two well-placed, relevant ads on a page. But if a site relies heavily on advertising revenue and asks for this to be built into the design, there’s not always a huge amount of room to manoeuvre.

This is one of those debates where both sides have a point: some websites do look bad because they have so many ads on them, but many others are actually good examples of web design that successfully integrate valuable and useful ads into the site. It’s also a debate that is gradually becoming more prominent as the way we view the web changes.

We have discussed before about how smartphones, tablet computers and other devices are slowly starting to creep up on traditional web platforms such as PCs and laptops. This is changing lots of aspects of web design, from how you navigate sites (touchscreens versus mouse pointers, for instance) to the content you include on mobile websites (is it practical to simply copy the ‘regular’ website into mobile form?). Another aspect of web design it has an impact on is advertising.

Displaying ads on mobile sites doesn’t work in the same way as for laptops and desktops. Essentially, the screens are too small and so they can’t take the same amount of style or advertising. However, as more and more people start to use mobile web devices, the need to address this issue is growing as it seems unlikely the desire to generate revenue through online advertising is going to disappear.

Arguably, mobile websites provide interesting web design opportunities both in terms of their overall design and how they incorporate advertising. The specific challenges provided by the range of different operating systems and varying screen sizes means designers and developers have to be more inventive – and it’s possible to argue that this is working. For instance, take a look at some of the most popular apps, or tablet editions of newspapers. They’re changing the way they display information and making it appealing to the people who use these devices.

Developing specific and better mobile websites has the potential to make web designers, advertisers and companies think more carefully about the issue of advertising. It isn’t that hard to see why people find it so frustrating on traditional web platforms such as desktop computers; even now pop-ups have mostly disappeared, there is still a high concentration of ads on many sites.

Smaller screens and improving technology, though, means that mobile sites tend to include fewer ads overall – but the ones they do include are better targeted and, hopefully, of greater value to all concerned. It’s a development borne of necessity but one that’s sure to be welcomed as it continues. One good ad could potentially be worth a lot more than one hundred ill-placed ones. Decreasing need for multiple ads can also help to free up web design, leaving more room for innovation in design and bringing the focus back to content.

Overall, the issue of online advertising is one that’s set to stay. However, it seems that recent developments and the growing awareness of web users means that changes are coming – and with any luck, they’ll be changes for the better.

By Chelsey Evans

Submit Blog & RSS Feeds 


Web Design Milton Keynes

Commented on November 11, 2011

Fascinating & informative, thanks for sharing

Website Designer UK

Commented on November 8, 2011

Im not sure where youre getting your info, but great topic. I need to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

Leave a comment


Name *:

Email Address*:

Comment *:

Security Code:*
Reset Security Code


Follow Us: Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: The content of this article is provided for information only and do not constitute advice. We are not liable for any actions that you might take as a result of reading this information, and always recommend that you speak to a qualified professional if in doubt.

Reproduction: This article is © Copyright Ampheon. All rights are reserved by the copyright owners. Permission is granted to freely reproduce the article provided that a hyperlink with a do follow is included linking back to this article page.