What Is Fitness Website Design?
Your gym needs a website — it’s as simple as that. Not just any website will do, though. By definition, web design is the process of planning, conceptualizing, and arranging content on the internet to be seen by online readers. You’ll want to pay special attention to visual elements like written content, layout, font, colors, shapes, spacing, and images. Don’t forget about videos!
However, today’s top fitness website design goes well beyond aesthetics. If you really want to surpass your competition, it’s crucial that you include the website’s overall functionality in the design process. Functional elements like your navigation are a big piece of the puzzle. This means also including things like web apps, mobile apps, and user interface design. If that seems overwhelming, don't worry — on this page, you'll find actionable advice to help guide you through every aspect of fitness website design.
Why Is a Fitness Website Important?
Before we go any further, it’s important to point out why you should care so much. You may be thinking, “I have a gym to run! I’m too busy for this. Plus, if my gym members need to get a hold of me, they know where to find me.” However, your website isn’t only for current members; it’s also how you’ll attract new customers to your gym.
A business’s online presence, even in a non-tech industry like yours, can have a massive impact on your short- and long-term success. How do those interested in finding a new place to work out know what their local options are? In many cases, they pull out their smartphone and search online. When they’re looking for you, you want to be found. Consider the following:
Having a strong online presence can make or break your ability to generate more revenue. Remember, it isn’t solely about having a website — but having one of the best gym websites! Did you know that well-done web design can have a huge impact on your performance in search engines like Google? It’s true, and it’s something we will take a deeper dive into next.
What Is the Purpose of a Gym Website?
Websites have become essential to businesses today, regardless of industry. Some mistakenly believe that websites are only needed for ecommerce stores or for brands in the tech space. Nothing could be further from the truth! Consider the purposes and benefits of a gym website that you could be missing out on without a well-designed and high-performing website:
You Can Generate More Members
First and foremost — your gym is only as successful as the number of members you have on retainer. That is why your number one goal in a gym website design should be to attract new people to the fitness center. How is this done? Well-written gym website content is a big part of it, as this will attract potential members organically as they search online. Once they arrive on your website, you want it to be easy to navigate and find the information they’re looking for.
Your Website Will Rank Well on Search Engines
You can’t understand the benefits of having one of the best gym websites without also understanding search engine optimization (SEO). People out there want to find a new gym. You want them to find your gym. How do you do it? Google, or another search engine, connects the two! You tell the search engine what your website is about through written content, as well as text, tags, and coding on the back-end of the website. Google then understands who you are and what you offer.
Once you're online and have an SEO-optimized website, you have a chance of showing up in the search engine results page (SERP) for any given term. This means that when people are searching for a product or service, there is a chance your website will show up in the results. This could be anything from “Crossfit Gyms in Miami” to “Fitness Center Near Me,” or whatever else you offer your local community. SEO gives you the opportunity to drastically increase your customer base.
You’re Better Able to Fulfill Customer Expectations
That isn’t to say new people are the only ones who matter. Your current members should be able to go to your website for things like sales, updates, hours of operation, contact information, class schedules, and more. If someone needs to call or email you, your website should make this simple to do. This is more than just a nice thing to do; it’s what customers expect.
Websites Fuel Member Engagement and Retention
A good fitness website keeps your current members coming back, again and again. Since your website is on 24/7, it's easy to post updates and announcements to your members. When something is particularly relevant to a website visitor, it increases the chance of you being able to upsell them, at best, and keeping them on as a member, at the very least. This could be anything from promoting an exciting sale on protein bars at the front counter to alerting them of a change in hours for the holiday.
It Enhances Your User Experience
Let’s say someone is interested in joining your gym. They want to know if you have any classes available before they go to work, how much a membership costs, whether you offer childcare, and who your staff is. They could call you and ask these questions, but that’s inconvenient for them. Plus, you may not even answer. You’re busy after all! This leads to a poor customer experience.
Now, let’s consider someone finding your website through Google because they searched a term that is mentioned within your gym website content. Not only did your content attract them to your website in the first place, but it also preemptively answers their question! Your homepage tells them a lot about your fitness center, and the navigation menu at the top easily points them to your class offering, team member’s staff profiles, and more. They didn’t need to call to learn everything they needed to know. They’re ready to sign up, without any effort from you at all!
How Do I Create a Gym Website?
Now that you know a website is so important, it’s time to learn how to make a gym website. You have a few main options. These include:
#1 Creating It Yourself From Scratch
#2 Building One on Your Own With a Template or Tool
Most people won’t fit into the category above. That doesn’t mean you’re totally out of luck. Even if you aren’t very familiar with the technical side of things, you can build a website by using a website builder. If you choose this option, you’ll go through these seven steps:
- Make a plan for your website’s structure
- Write stellar gym website content
- Register a domain name
- Find a website builder
- Select which modules or template you like
- Optimize it for search engines
- Launch your website
If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right! The website development for a CrossFit gym or other kind of fitness center can take weeks, if not longer. Do you have that kind of time? Beyond that, do you have the writing, design, and technical skills needed? There’s no shame in saying no; most people don't possess all three!
#3 Bringing In Professional Help
In order to carry out this process properly, it's best to seek out expert help. The best gym website design is only possible when the website is built by industry experts who have the knowledge, expertise, and tools necessary for the job. By hiring a team, you’ll have access to not just one expert but an expert in each of the important areas. You can rest assured that your website building project is in good hands while you go back to doing what you do best — running your gym!
What Should a Gym Website Include?
Whether you’re managing it on your own or have pulled in expert help, you need to know what your new website should include. If you take a look at a few fitness website examples, you’ll notice a few similarities. A great website should have all of the following:
- Contact Information
- Reviews and Testimonials
- Headline and Subheadings
- Member Success Stories
- Content Resources for Additional Education
- A Mobile-Friendly and Intuitive User Experience
- A Member Management Portal
- Fitness Class Schedules
- The Ability to Book Online
- Live Streaming or On-Demand Classes
- Primary Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
- High-Quality Visuals
- E-commerce Purchasing Options
- Search-Optimized Pages
- Eye-Catching and Professional Web Design
- Good Security, Hosting, and Privacy Features
How To Craft Better Gym Website Content
There’s a saying in the digital marketing world: “Content is king.” This is so often said and held to be true because your content can be the deciding factor in how well your website does and therefore how much benefit you ultimately see from your fitness site design.
Remember, without well-written content, search engines won’t know what service you offer and new visitors will never find you. Additionally, your current members won’t find the information they’re looking for. Both of these spell disaster for your bottom line. For this reason, you’ll want to ensure your content includes the following:
Strong Brand Messaging
Brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition conveyed as well as the actual language used in your website’s content. It's the way you tell your story and what makes readers relate to your brand. The brand messaging for a CrossFit gym, a yoga studio, and a martial arts school are going to be vastly different. Your fitness website description is going to play a big part in this. Ultimately, your message is what makes people want to become and stay members.
You may have seen a CTA briefly mentioned in the list above and wondered what it is. You don’t want your website visitor to just read something. You want them to take the next step, an action. According to HubSpot, CTAs should be visually striking, ideally in a color that contrasts with the color scheme of your homepage, while still fitting in with the overall design. Be sure to keep the copy brief and action-oriented. You want to craft no more than five words that compel visitors to click whatever you're offering. Examples of great CTA copy are "Become a Member," "Make an Appointment," or "Sign Up"
Particularly on a long web page like a homepage, one CTA isn’t going to be enough. Plus, all website visitors aren’t on the same journey. While a current member comes to your homepage to see if there are any sales in the retail portion of your gym, a brand new visitor is looking for a list of class schedules. Make sure everyone can find and go where they desire to go next.
The less work a website visitor has to do in order to find what they are looking for, the better. Yes, this even refers to forcing them to scroll down! The term “above the fold” goes back to the days of reading a newspaper. Editors wanted the most important content to be on the top part of the page, so people could see it without unfolding the entire paper. Today, we use it to mean information easily readable on a webpage before you scroll, move, or click in any way.
Fitness Website Design Best Practices
Now that we’ve covered your website’s content in great detail, it is time to turn our attention to the design elements. It would be impossible to mention every single design element of a well-done website outside of an encyclopedia, but we are able to give you a few best practices to keep in mind. These include:
Best Practice #1: Intuitive Navigation
An intuitive navigation simply means that your gym’s website is ultimately designed in a way such that traffic flows from web page to web page. You want to keep people engaged and on your website. When they come to a dead end, they hop off and you’ve lost them. Doing this requires great content, CTAs, and design.
We recommend the “Two Click to Convert” concept. From any page on your website, a prospect should never be more than two clicks away from booking an appointment. This ensures that you can help guide them towards the doors of your gym.
Best Practice #2: High-Quality Photos Of Your Fitness Center
No one wants to open a web page and see thousands of words staring back at them. Even if a web page is quite long (like this one!), the text should be broken up with visuals and images. We encourage you to show high-quality photos of your gym on your website. This way, people will see what they’re signing up for. You can show pictures of your facility, machines, staff, members exercising, and even you! People love success stories, so why not include images of people “before and after” they started working out with you?
Best Practice #3: Responsive Design
Today’s internet users are coming to your website from a variety of devices. One person may be on their smartphone, another on a tablet, another on a laptop, and yet another on their desktop computer. You don’t want one person’s experience to be severely lacking because the page doesn’t fit right on their screen. Your website must be designed and developed in a way that it adapts to the screen it is being viewed on.
If you keep these top three best practices in mind while brainstorming a CrossFit web design, you’re well on your way to a good-looking and fully functioning website!
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Fitness Website?
What does it all cost? We know you want a hard set of numbers here, but this is just as impossible to answer as “What is the quickest way to lose 10 pounds?” You may answer this question with, “What do you currently weigh? How tall are you? Are you male or female? How old are you? Do you do cardio? What is your current muscle mass?” Just the same, the question of cost leads to a whole host of other questions because no two websites are the same.
Fitness websites come in all shapes and sizes, and the costs associated with building yours will ultimately depend on how sophisticated and complex it is. A consultation call with your website developers is a great time to discuss scope and personal preferences regarding the website. After this initial conversation, you’ll have a better sense of the price you can expect to pay.
A simple website for a small fitness center can cost you around $500 to build. That being said, this cost could increase depending on your goals and how robust you want your final website to be. A good rule of thumb is to add about $100/page for each page over and above what's included in the standard website package.
Don’t forget the cost associated with keeping your website up to date and error free. A website isn’t something you can go live with and forget about. You’ll need a monthly retainer as well.
Fitness Website Designs for Different Verticals
We recognize that even in the fitness industry, there are a number of variables, variations, and verticals. What are different considerations for each vertical? We’re glad you asked!
CrossFit Gym Website Design: CrossFit is all about being strong, and your CrossFit gym website design should reflect this. You want to educate your audience on your gym's value proposition — to help them achieve strength they never thought possible! You will also want to provide clarity on your location and membership requirements. Many people have heard of CrossFit, but aren’t quite sure what it is. Be sure to show exactly what a CrossFit workout entails as well as evidence of success.
Yoga Website Design: The language used for a yoga studio’s website will be flowy, calm, and soothing. You may want to include some Sanskrit and create a resource center that explains what certain yoga terms mean. Be sure to boost your credibility by showing any certification and licensing in order to demonstrate you know what you’re talking about.
Martial Arts Website Design: Many martial arts schools want their website to reflect the principles and cultural foundations of their martial art. The colors, tone of voice, images, and other design elements you choose should reflect this. Often, but not always, these are bold colors like black and red. You may find it helpful to include how-to videos on certain moves.
Boutique Fitness Website Design: Your fitness center is unique and your website should be too! You’re no cookie cutter, and your online presence should be more than templates pasted together. Be sure your content and design encapsulate who you are, what you provide, and why you’re so special.
Fitness Websites Examples
We know that this information is a lot to keep straight. With so many steps and best practices to remember, it can be tough to even get started. With this in mind, we put together a few of our favorite gym website design inspirations to get your creative juices flowing:
One aspect of this fitness website design that makes it so great to imitate is that it shows a clear CTA directing leads to "Schedule My Intro," taking all of the guesswork out of navigating the website.
Odyssey Martial Arts Spring’s killer website clearly outlines what website visitors can expect when they visit the dojo, as well as what sets them apart from the competition– all done in bold colors and attention-grabbing language.
We mentioned above that including high-quality photos as part of your fitness website design is a great way to show off your location and your staff, and this Crossfit gym did an excellent job following this advice!
Fitness Website Challenges
We wish we could say it will all be smooth sailing from here, but the truth is that any project this big is going to have its share of challenges. Don’t worry! By planning and preparing for them ahead of time, you’ll be ready to overcome them should they arise. During your website project, be on the lookout for these challenges:
Challenge #1: Making It Look Good
Designing the layout is incredibly important, yet tough to do. This is only the beginning! What font makes your content stand out? Which images are the best? Is everything spaced out correctly? Do the design elements flow nicely, or do they lead the reader to think the page has stopped?
Challenge #2: Ensuring It Has All the Pieces It Needs
As you saw above, a website requires many pieces to come together to create the final product. A website without CTAs or with poor-quality images isn’t going to cut it. If this is your first website, the chances of you forgetting something are huge!
Challenge #3: Launching Live With an Error-Free Website
This isn’t just a pretty picture. This website has to work! Do all of your links actually go somewhere? Do the buttons work? Do the images load? Making a change to your website’s layout can sometimes break the page, requiring exhausting hours of troubleshooting to find out which button or module has thrown everything off. Fixing broken features is something entirely different than picking out colors for your background.
Fitness Website Design Solutions
Building a website is a daunting process full of potential pitfalls. While there are do-it-yourself website builders, these services don’t actually help you build a site that your potential and current members will like to visit over and over again. The best advice we can give you is not to try and tackle this on your own!
You’ll need to target the right athletes, in the right place, at the right time. A website makes this possible. Our team here at UpLaunch can guide you through the different steps of effective website creation. We will help you build your empire with world-class fitness business solutions. While this may be your first website project, it certainly isn’t ours!
Now that you’ve heard about everything that goes into a website project and learned the skills needed to make yours a success, the next step is to reach out for a demo of our platform and services. From a quick, templated website to a fully custom solution, the UpLaunch Agency websites team will build you a high-converting and beautiful website.
All of our websites include unlimited content revisions and direct integration with UpLaunch’s marketing automation software. Simply contact us, tell us what you need, and we'll take it from there. This is just one way we show you that your goal is our goal too: the ultimate success of both your website and your fitness center!