What Makes a Good Website
A good website is one that meets the needs of the individual or organisation that owns it. For a business that would often mean good return on investment (RoI) through bringing more customers to the business and encourage them to spend more money. If the website was very expensive to set up or maintain and is not producing more profits it may not be a good investment but it is not always easy to gage the RoI of your site.
The purpose of the site may be for branding; setting a good image of you company. If this is the case, your site needs to be attractive and a good representation of your business. It is important that your site has good content. Think of the reasons why people will be visiting your site. Often they want information about your products or your business. The sort of information they will be looking for include prices of your goods or services, opening hours, your physical address or just general information about your products.
Good content also produces better search engine results. Your website should be easy to use with clear navigation. The text needs to be easy to read and the site should to be easy to maintain. Visitors may have difficulty finding the information that they are looking for if the front page is too cluttered.
Some people who visit your site may be blind and access the site with a screen reader. Images are not accessible to these readers so it is important that information in an image is also available in text form. Make sure that all your images have alt text. Design your site so it functions in all the popular browsers. For various reasons some people use older browsers so ensure that your site is readable in these browsers.
People access the web on a great range of devices from large computer screens to tiny mobile phones. The number of people using mobile phones to browse the web is growing so it is ensure that your website is responsive can be read on these tiny devices. Make sure that people can change the size of the text in all devices. Your visitors will leave in frustration if they are unable to read the page.
Your site need to be fast to load. You will loose customers if your site is too slow. Optimise your pictures to give good quality but fast download.
If you include forms on you site, they should function correctly. Don’t ask for too much information. Check the links on your site regularly to make sure they are working and take people to the place you want them to go.
Your website should look attractive and modern, not something from last century. Your pages should be uncluttered. Include plenty of white space in your web design.
Choose appropriate colours that represent the mood you wish to create on your site. Bright colours are great for sites aimed at children but can look unprofessional on a serious business site. A good web site is one that looks attractive, has interesting content and loads quickly in a range of devices. Using principles of good web design will produce better search engine rankings and bring more visitors to your site.
Test your site with your users. If you don’t have money to do proper user testing ask your family and friends to have a look at the site. Set tasks for them and watch how they accomplish these tasks. Ask colleagues to look at the site and give some feedback. Review their comments with an open mind and don’t be defensive. Thank them for their feedback and make changes if appropriate. Regularly review your site and make changes to improve it. If you are not sure if a change is going to add value to the site, check out your analytics and note if you are getting more visitors, less visitors or about the same.