While most of us can’t claim to be webmasters – or even web ‘apprentices,’ if that’s even a thing – we know a good website when we see it. Because much like an extraordinary three-star Michelin meal or bottle of Domaine Leroy Richebourg Grand Cru 1949 (yes, we absolutely had to look that up), where our vocabularies fall short, our palates rise to the occasion to tell our brains they’re just good.
And the same is true for the qualities of a good website. When a visitor comes to your site, you don’t want them to actually be aware of the site at all. In fact, it should just be a conduit for gently and subtly leading your visitors where you want them to go – a contact page, a blog or a product page.
Because we’ve all been there: pages that crash, error messages, redirects, illegible fonts or color contrasts, mobile incompatibility, clunky and demanding Flash requirements. That doesn’t make a for a happy visitor.
If you want to make your prospective customers happy (and maybe even convert them to actual customers), consider the following qualities of a good – arguably great – website.
5 Qualities of a Good Website
- Domain. As you probably learned from your first email address – Hello, SK8TRBOI4LIFE@aol.com – your domain is your first impression. So use good sense, business savvy, and customer-centric logic when choosing a domain. If .com is taken, resist the urge to compromise with additional punctuation or .net. Be selective and take the time to find the perfect .com.
- Responsive Web Design. Much like those other impressive acronyms we taught you, RWD creates a website that ‘ … has been designed to respond, or adapt, based on the technology and type of computing device used by the visitor to display the site.’ It not only ensures that your website design will look good at any size on any device but also renders web pages in an efficient, optimized and easy-to-read format.
- Prominent Contact Information. Bottom line: Don’t make your visitors hunt you down. Most people have short attention spans, so if you expect them to enjoy a game of contact info hide-and-go-seek, you’ll find yourself hiding for a long time. Keep contact info in several predictable places, such as the upper right corner and the main navigation on – and this is critical – every page.
- Navigation. Similar to contact information, your site’s navigation should be user-friendly and not require a compass, inoculations and a passport to explore. Ask someone unfamiliar with your site to take it for a spin. If they stumble or have to stop to ‘ask for directions,’ you need better navigation. And definitely make your site accessible to everyone, including the blind, disabled or the elderly using the 508 website accessibility guidelines.
- Content. We’ve preached this sermon several times – both here and here – but it bears repeating: Good content doesn’t only mean interesting; it also means providing users with information that best matches their interests and your expertise. It also helps with SEO, which, in order to determine the relevance and accuracy of a page, search engine algorithms will weigh a number of ranking signals, including relevant content.
Editor’s Note: We realize that we didn’t address aesthetics, optics or design. And that wasn’t an oversight. It’s just that those elements, while incredibly important, are much more subjective – but still deserve thoughtful and strategic selection for fonts, colors, and images.
So there you have it: All the ‘good bones’ of a quality website. Lay a strong, sturdy foundation to your website with those fundamental elements, and then build on it with all the personal touches and details you want to make it come to life. And if that’s just not your thing, you’re in luck – because it’s ours! Contact us today for a website specialist extraordinaire who can weave your website straw into gold!
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