Here are 10 things that make a great website in 2017
Times and trends change, altering the priority of various options and elements, however, there are also some tried and true basics that have rolled over from years passed. Do a quick check through to see how your site measures up!
1.) Start with a dependable hosting company. A reputable hosting company should offer packages that can be billed month to month or yearly and they should have packages for both shared and dedicated servers. They should promise 99.9% uptime and include ample disk space, bandwidth allowances, email accounts, databases and newer versions of php with regular backups. Watch out for overly limited services or outdated frameworks with upgrade fees.
2.) A website framework that is robust enough to offer the kind of access permissions, updating and data control that you need should be established. Some people just prefer a hand coded HTML site while others insist on the user friendly options offered by a content management system like WordPress. It’s important to match your site’s goals with the framework that’s best for you to ensure success.
3.) A cleanly coded site that is responsive to mobile devices is imperative. The HTML and CSS pages should be well organized with sections properly labeled for later clarity. CMS sites should utilize as few plugins as possible, hard coding alterations in to a child-theme with caching for faster loading.
4.) What you want from your visitor should be stated in clear language within the first fold of the front page. There’s no question about the importance of this statement but there are still so many sites who fail on this one. Make sure your viewer immediately knows who you are, why they’re there and how to contact you before presenting other information.
“Content Really Matters…”
5.) Content really matters. For optimal relevance and ranking for your genre, each page should contain at least 300 words. A cool image on your front page with “Enter Here” is not going to lend any relevance to your site for search engine listings and visitors searching to find something fast may not click again except to click away. You’ll need to offer content of value on every page.
6.) Reign in your designer. Make sure that extra scripts are called externally from the footer and keep images highly optimized. Larger images should be sliced to facilitate quick loading on smaller devices. Fancy extras are nice but not if they add confusion or bog down the server with needless weight.
7.) Use Pagination. No one cares to scroll through your single page site that is fifty pages long. Visitors expect more from the web than they do a book. That means breaking up long sections of text with quotes or thumbnail images, listing items with bullets for fast scanning and links to learn more as an option.
8.) Keep it warm. Cold or hot colors are usually too abrasive. Bright yellow, neon green, (neon anything) for example should be avoided. Remember, this will be viewed on a lit up screen. Even black on white text can made easier on the eyes by lightening the black to dark brown and darkening the white to ivory. You should especially avoid stark contrasts on elements containing text that could make things harder to read.
9.) Link your telephone number. Your phone number should be top right and linked with a tel: link so that viewers on a mobile device can just click and call. This is especially useful for business owners marketing to a local audience. You can also supply a link for directions that opens a live map to guide the driver to your door.
10.) Keep blogging. Add a blog to your website and post articles there whenever you can. This is a great basic need for networking and sharing through search engines and social media posts alike. The addition of fresh content keeps adding relevance to your site for your chosen keyword or key phrase as well.