Simple Websites Sell

Simple Websites Sell


Going Against the Grain – Why Simple Websites Sell

What do the following websites have in common? And yes this is a trick question.

If you said they are all dot coms, well that is correct, but that isn’t the answer I am looking for.  Take a minute and click the link on each website listed above.  They will each open on separate browser tabs.

If you answered they all get tons of traffic, again I would say that is correct, but that is still not the answer I am looking for.

Look at each website again in the tabs of your browser.  These websites represent HUGE investments of money and represent HUGE companies.

What do they all have in common?


They have very simple, clean websites.  Lots of white space.  Flat white backgrounds. Blue text links.

Think about this for a minute.  These companies have at their beck and call more web designing resources then most online entrepreneurs can even imagine. And yet they have simple white background websites with blue text links.

They can build anything. And yet they build clean and white and simple.

Yes there are some sliders, but not a bunch of crazy flash as is popular with some websites.

The Big Companies Have Very Simple Websites

Google and eBay and Amazon and Craigslist are in the business to sell and to make money.

You know that their websites have been tested and retested, and clean and white and blue text links win.

Simple websites sell.

Every website, every page of a website, should have a purpose. And if the page is cluttered it will be difficult to get what is probably the most difficult thing to acquire on the internet – someone’s attention.

Simple websites sell because they are focused on something simple – grab the website visitor’s attention, and then get them into their sales funnel to buy.

If these companies chose to do their business this way, as online business owners who own and build websites, what should that tell us?

What that tells me is to build simple websites that sell.

I am not a web designer.  But I am a web and internet user.  For example, I don’t like mystery navigation, where hypertext links are red or grey or even black.  Making your website visitor move the mouse and hover over text to see if it is a link or not, is just bad design.

But there is a deeper reason to keep web design and interface clean and simple and white and blue hypertext links. It really has to do with what is stopping you and me from building assets.

Simple Website Assets

Website Assets are passive income

Website Assets

Building online assets equals passive income, which equals accomplishing our dreams.

So what is holding most of us from building online assets?



I would venture to say that the biggest challenge is not time or money. But that as internet marketers we over complicate things. We absorb so much information that the idea of constructing a website for the simple task of selling a simple $7 product or starting a new website in a niche, becomes overwhelming.

Choosing the right WordPress theme is just the beginning. And I don’t know about you, but once I have installed a theme it seems there are endless tweaks and changes to layout, fonts, text color, and hyperlinks can have a static color, hover color, and visited color.  Enough to be overwhelming.

How to Get Our Websites Selling

Sad but true -most internet marketers don’t even have a website.

Or if they do, the last post was sometime last year.

And they definitely do not have a website anywhere with a buy now button.

The solution?

Follow the lead of large companies – keep the website simple.  Find a clean, simple theme with lots of white space.  And add a plugin that can generate simple one-column web pages.

And add a buy now button.  Then add your product.

But keep it simple.

And focus on getting the attention of the website visitor.  And selling to them.

Mike Darling 


8 Responses to Simple Websites Sell

  1. Cynthia Charleen December 8, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Mike, such a great observation. In trying to do all the fancy stuff, I suppose that is an example of clutter that is a distraction from what the website is about. I find many sites are very confusing and I suppose that is why I often leave a site without exploring what it is about. Too confusing. Thanks for pointing that out. I shall use that in my own business.
    Cynthia Charleen recently posted…Declutter and Organize – Manage Your TimeMy Profile

    • Mike December 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks Cynthia. Love your idea – declutter and organize your website! Interesting in your observation that you also find websites confusing, and leave a site without exploring what it is about. I do that also.

      And the lesson here for me, is to declutter my websites, and be very clear about my message and what I want my website visitor to do. Which ultimately is to buy something from me in order for me to really help them.

  2. Suzanne Ascioti December 9, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    Thanks for this, Mike. Yes, simple is best. Because I really enjoy learning the technical stuff I find that it is very easy to “go down that rabbit role” and get so focused on bells and whistles that there is no time left to focus on what the reader really wants, the content. This is a wonderful reminder.
    Suzanne Ascioti recently posted…The Art of Attentive ListeningMy Profile

    • Mike December 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      I would agree Suzanne. And add that what the reader wants is not just content, but a solution to his/her problem, which is why they are reading our online content in the first place. And the marketer in me then wants to not only deliver great content for free, but then sell them something. People will place higher value on something they paid for as opposed to something they got for free. And be more likely to implement it.

      And if you and I are actually selling something online, and not just giving away all of our content, then we can call ourselves online entrepreneurs, we are truly in business, and when we get paid we get closer to that laptop lifestyle we want so much to have.

  3. Connie Ragen Green December 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    Mike, can you give us an example of one of your websites that follows this design? I’m sure you are not referring to a blog, as blogs are not meant for selling in that way.
    Connie Ragen Green
    Connie Ragen Green recently posted…Grow Your Online Business By Hosting Live EventsMy Profile

    • Mike January 11, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

      Connie, that is true. What I am trying to communicate is that less is often more. I think that we as online entrepreneurs want to use blog platforms to sell things, and we end up loading our websites with stuff and more stuff. When I look at how simple in both design and functionality, websites created and run by huge companies, I realize that I need to simplify and focus on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

      With a blog, I am developing a level of trust with my readers, so they know, like, and trust me. But my ultimate desired action with a blog, with any blog in any niche, is signups – building a list. Getting the reader to trust me with their email address so I can follow up.

      Mike Darling

  4. Debbie O'Grady December 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    Mike – I am liking what you say about not over complicating our web sites. Clean and simple is usually what people are looking for. Your post gives me some good ideas for cleaning up my own site and as an extra bonus – I bet it’s a lot less expensive and quicker to build a site like you describe 🙂
    Debbie O’Grady recently posted…A Book For Entrepreneurs: The Accountability EdgeMy Profile

    • Mike December 22, 2014 at 6:13 am #

      Thanks Debbie. And yes, cleaning up a blog and removing unnecessary bling and clutter, can help you help the reader of your blog focus on the main reason you want them to read your blog and take action. Sometimes, yes sometimes, less is more…

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