10 Critical Features of a Good Website
What features makes a website good can be a really subjective thing. What works for one might be complete poison for another.
Regardless, there are certain general traits that the vast majority of websites require in order to be efficient, hassle free and good at what they do. These features can be aspects of the site that make the administrator/owner’s life easy, or they can be functional design features that make life easy for users.
Either way, if you haven’t got great features… get them!
Regardless of what your site does, it should make it abundantly clear what a visitor can expect, and meet those expectations precisely. This can be harder to achieve than you think – generally because you understand what your website is about so it seems obvious to you.
Not so for a complete stranger.
One of the best ways to construct an intuitive site is to think about who your users are and what they want. Knowing who is visiting your site (and their intent) means you are able to build elegant sales funnels that help them convert easily and maximize your own profits.
Remember that not every visitor will have precisely the same intent when they land on a given page so your design needs to cater for a range of needs. People who know what they want and are ready to convert (i.e. buy a product, sign up to your service, subscribe, etc) should be able to do so, whereas people who want to learn a bit more before taking action should also be able to find information that helps them take another step towards converting.
Consider Using Chatbots to Assist Users
Every time a user is faced with options, or needs to make a decision, there is a risk of losing them. The faster you can help them achieve their objectives, the more likely you are to increase conversions. Chatbots are a cost-effective way to overcome decision bottlenecks.
2. Optimized for Search
There are plenty of different ways to drive traffic to your website – like social media marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, and so on. However, organic search traffic remains arguably the single most important source of high-value traffic.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a really broad topic that encompasses things like Web design and server performance all the way through to blogging, content, keywords and competitor analysis.
If you haven’t yet created a site, I strongly recommend using a leading website builder to ensure great SEO features come baked into your website. If you already have a website you can learn everything you need to know about what keywords and phrases your site is ranking for and how it competes with similar sites in Google for free right now using SEMRush (although you will need to pay a bit in order to get the most value from the service).
Use search analytics data to help guide your content creation, capture more valuable keywords and, ultimately, make more money.
3. Easy to Use
The Internet has brought a far more stringent meaning to the phrase fool proof. With so many people of differing abilities, comprehension and willingness to learn you have to make sure that your offering is as simple as possible.
For example, if there’s a five step process to achieve something on your site, work hard to see if you can cut this number down.
This is especially important for eCommerce sites as cart abandonment is a serious issue and is often the result of complicated checkout procedures.
Consider Using Chatbots to Improve User Experience
For any type of website that is client facing – in other words, must interact smoothly with clients and potential customers alike – it is a good idea to explore a chatbot. Chatbots allow you to set up smooth interactions that help solve visitors’ queries by directing them where they need to go (using AI powered chat).
In a world where email support and response is slow and clunky, a chatbot can drastically improve conversions and customer retention by making your site, and important resources, quick and easy to access and understand. This is saves on labor costs and improves efficiency in your business as a whole.
A website is perpetually a work in progress. It must adapt to changing demands and perceptions and leverage new technologies in order to remain secure and competitive.
In order to keep up it should be easy for you, the webmaster/owner, to implement changes as you see fit. This could be anything from adding new features to modifying or removing existing ones. This means your Web platform need to have a vibrant and active development community behind it so that updates and development happen constantly.
I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to plaster your entire site with Twitter, Facebook, buzz, RSS, LinkedIn, blah blah all tightly woven into the fabric of your site. But I do think a website should be designed in such a way that when you choose to put in an RSS feed, or send postings to Twitter, it can be accomplished quickly and easily.
There are more and more integrations that offer streamlined, elegant solutions to common website requirements.
If your website is a blog, you should be able to add posts in a snap – most likely using a WYSIWYG editor with good image handling support. If you are running a social network of some sort, your site should make managing users a cinch with both broad based and fine grained control over them.
Don’t waste time with a generic fit if you need a website geared for a specific role. Choose a platform that is geared to both users and to you, the webmaster. This is harder than it sounds because most platforms try to offer a wide range of features to appeal to a larger audience.
7. Media Support
Images, audio & video and who knows what other types of media are becoming more and more important. Not that long ago a blog was straight forward text; now, it’s not uncommon to have blog posts accompanied by videos or slideshow presentations.
Your website needs to keep with the times effortlessly. For example, YouTube videos aren’t responsive – meaning they will break the layout on any responsive website (that resizes to match the dimensions of the device it is being viewed on) – so it’s important to wrap them in a bit of HTML and use CSS to make them responsive.
Get your video content out faster, with better quality, to a larger audience and benefit from significantly faster growth.
8. High Performance
You should be able to exert fairly tight control over the performance of your website. You should have a good cache regime in place, information and files should be compressed and aggregated in order to be as efficient as possible and save your server from unnecessary bandwidth and load.
Remember, the faster you can serve pages the better. Oh, and Google uses load times in their PageRank algorithm.
Starting a website is one thing. Usually, it’s pretty easy. There are plenty of Web hosting services that offer enough server resources (i.e. disk space, bandwidth, email, databases, etc) to get up and running relatively quickly.
The last thing you actually need is to start succeeding and find out your entire Web platform can’t handle the growing demands of ever higher traffic volumes and more and more customers. Failing at the point where your business is about to launch into profitability is the last thing anyone needs, after the stress of building a startup from scratch.
A good website must be scalable. It must be able to grow to meet any demand. That means a quality server platform. Free or cheap, shared hosting is simply not going to cut it.
Consider Using Managed Hosting
Managed hosting for WordPress (and other CMS systems) provided a range of server-side features that work behind-the-scenes to ensure your site is always up and running and ready to handle anything that’s thrown at it.
Look for hosting services that offer protection against DDOS attacks (don’t think it won’t happen to you), quality support (one of those things you wonder why you need… until you really need it), threat detection and blocking, disaster recovery, data redundancym and a whole load of features you may not even know existed.
10. Quality Content
This is the hardest part to pull off – without doubt. But, if you have the previous nine points in the bag, at least you can focus on this little nugget safe in the knowledge that if, as and when your content generates traffic your site will perform.
If your website is properly designed you’ll be able to spend most, if not all, your time growing traffic volumes – as opposed to struggling with technical website issues. Growing traffic comes down to a combination of creating great content and building a strong network of relationships with valuable influencers.
Digital Solutions – For further enquiries on any of our expertise or services, whether it is for website design & development, mobile application development, or digital media marketing, please feel free to contact or WhatsApp +6012-2428878, email [email protected] or visit digitalsolutions.com.my. Thank you.