With so many websites online, whenever you start a new one, it's essential that you make it as great as possible. Whether you're looking to start a blog, create a site for your business, or run an eCommerce store, your website needs to stand out from all the competition. There are a million different small things you can do to change your site, but at the end of the day, there are just 6 essential things that any great website has to have.
To start, you need a solid team working on your website. If you don’t have any experience, it’s hard to build a great website on your own. A great site has different aspects to it, and each one requires its own skillset. For example, the person who designs your website will probably not be the same person who writes all of the content.
Take some time to think about your skills and what areas you might need help with. Once you know the types of people you need to hire, it’s just a matter of finding the best people for your team. This is easier than ever before, as you can hire plenty of people online to work on your site. For example, you can use a site like Upwork to find freelance web designers or content writers. Find a web designer in London. Or, if you need a web developer, you could use a site like Codementor.
Your website will only be as great as the team that assembles it. Don’t attempt to do this on your own if this isn’t your area of expertise and instead rely on people who have the skills and experience you’re looking for.
With your team assembled, the next thing you’ll want to think about is your domain name. The domain name is what people will type into their internet browser to reach your site. If your domain name is complicated or unrelated to your business, it will not only be hard to remember, but it may even impact your rankings in search results.
To pick a domain name, you should first see if an exact match for your business’s or blog’s name is available. If you don’t have this name picked out yet, you can use online tools like this blog name generator to help you out.
If the exact match is already taken or too long, you’ll want to try simple variations. For example, if your business’s name is “Johnson and Smith Construction,” you could try to register “jsconstruction.com.” You may have to try out different variations of the name or domain extension until you find something you like. For more tips, you can check out this guide on how to choose a great domain name.
Now we come to perhaps the most significant piece - the design of your website. No matter how great every other element of your website is, if the design doesn’t work, your site won’t perform as well as you’d hoped. When designing your website, there are three principles you’ll want to focus on.
Simplicity - Look to keep your website as simple as possible. If you have too much going on, it will distract your visitors from doing what you want them to. Have a single goal for each page of your website, then make sure every design element is there in service of that goal.
Eye-catching - Boring websites don’t keep their visitors around too long. You don’t need to have virtual fireworks going off on your page, but it should look interesting enough to hold a user’s attention.
Mobile-ready - About half of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. It’s not enough to design your website to look great on desktop computers. Your website needs to look great across any device, so factor this in when you’re designing your website.
If your website has a lot of pages, then you’ll need to think carefully about how you structure it. It should be easy for visitors to find the exact page they are looking for, no matter how many pages you have. The best way to do this is by creating a hierarchy.
A great example of this is Amazon. Amazon has millions of products, all broken down into categories and subcategories. To find what they are looking for, users can go from a top-level category down to a much more narrow subcategory. You can set up your website in a similar way, but grouping like-pages under an umbrella category.
You should also consider adding a search feature to your website. This will make it even easier for users to type in exactly what they are looking for and find the right page quickly.
No website is complete without great content. You could have the best-designed website in the world, but if the content on it isn’t useful, users won’t stick around or come back. Every great website focuses on producing great content that their audience is interested in.
High-quality content can take several forms. One thing you could do is produce in-depth blog articles on a topic related to your niche. Another idea is to create how-to videos, providing valuable instructions to your audience. Producing quality content will not only make your visitors happier, but it will help you gain more attention through social media and search engines.
For more information on how to create quality content for your website, you can check out this guide.
Finally, your website needs to load quickly. Studies have shown that most people won’t wait more than a few seconds for a website to load. If yours takes longer than this, you’ll likely lose a lot of visitors as they choose to visit another website instead.
Web design plays a significant role in determining how fast a page loads. You should talk to your web designers about keeping file sizes small and reducing the number of large images or videos that need to load. Another way you can increase your site speed is by switching to a faster server. Talk to your hosting provider about your server options and see if upgrading to a faster server makes sense.
It’s important that you keep an eye on website speed going forward. To test the speed of your website, you can use this tool from Google.
Having just one or two of the elements listed above will help your website, but it won’t be as great as it could be. To have the best possible website, you need to have all 6 elements working together. Start laying the foundation by finding the right team and working on the design, then continue to build by looking at things like your content and page speed. If you can eventually combine all 6 of these elements, you’ll have a great website that users love.
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