It is a common question we get from our clients who are getting a new website. It is our job to educate our clients and be able to incorporate those same policies in the design and layout of the websites we design and develop.
There are several things that make a website effective and in this article I will outline these elements for you to understand what to look for when you get your new website.
1. Get to the point quickly!
With so many thousands of things to do on the Internet coupled with busy schedules and other factors, no one will stop on a website and try to “figure” things out. The message should jump out to the visitor without requiring him/her to stop and think. When someone lands on your front page they should be able to see loud and clear “WHO YOU ARE”, “WHAT YOU DO” and “HOW TO BENEFIT/ACCESS”. These messages should be delivered in a pleasant fashion with the use of text, spaces, effective writing, symbols, colors and images. The combination of these elements should deliver the messages in an easy to grasp fashion – quickly.
2. User friendly interface.
Your website should have an interface that is easy to navigate and allow the users to find what you want them to see in a very simple way. The website should be organized with a consistency and a design layout that confirms “easy access”. All content should be searchable from a common area, (example a search bar at the top of all the pages). See examples of not-so-friendly user interfaces (http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/worst-websites-of-2010-navigation.html).
3. Device Friendly.
Users are no longer using desktop computers as the primary way to browse the Internet. See this interesting article at Mashable “New Study Shows Mobile Web Will Rule by 2015“. We are now building all new websites (as of December 2012) that will render on multiple devices, desktop computer, tablets (IPad, Galaxy Tab, etc.) and on smart phones. The layout for our website http://www.gxmediagy.com demonstrates this concept (try it on all devices and you will understand the concept of device friendly).
4. Always UP and quick to load.
Your website must be always up and running. Users do not like to go to websites and find an error page or that the service is down. Your website must also be able to load quickly. We ensure that we use the best technology to build and test all the functionality of your website. We also select the best hosting platforms for you, platforms that guarantee the highest up-time in the industry. It is our policy to never make a profit (or add a markup) for hosting and this allows us to provide you (our clients) with the best choices available.
5. Be ready to make changes and keep your content fresh.
Let your website grow (change) with your business. Add new content or make changes to the content you already have. Your efforts to keep your website fresh will go a long way to keep visitors interested in what you have to offer. A blog on your website is a great way to easily achieve a high traffic on your website.
6. Social Media Integration.
Your website must be integrated with the common social media networks in order to allow users to share your content (products and or services) on other common networks like Facebook.
7. Search engine friendly.
Everybody uses Google to find what they are looking for and chances are that the majority of visitors coming to your website will do so through search engines. In order to rank correctly in search engines, a number of techniques should be integrated to the development of your website.
Girendra Persaud (January 2013)
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