When you want a pizza delivered, where do you look first to find the phone number? Not the phone book, but the internet, and more so a website. Websites are a necessity for any business. Nowadays, people look to these sites for everything from contact info, dates, and special promotions to name a few. I often find my conversation with perspective clients who tells me, “I just want a simple website.” Over the years, I found myself educating people of several considerations of a website to ensure that the user has a great online experience.
1. A website is meant to make information easier to find. In order for a website to be successful, the site must be well-organized. Think of about a time when you’ve have been frustrated with not being able to find what you’re looking for easily and quickly. Whether you are looking to read the news during lunch or book a dentist appointment, you want to be able to view the information efficiently. This is why it is important for a website not be cluttered. I recently read an article by Samantha Daly where she stresses the importance of “having a site that is clean, organized, and easy to navigate.” Websites should also avoid lengthy text and unnecessary images. Taking these steps to make a well-organized website will help to retain visitors on your website. Also, to keep people on your website, it is imperative to be responsive to their needs. The Virtual Visions article states that “having a website means having a site that resizes to every screen and device.” When people research similar products, they go back to the ones that leave the best impression.
2. Along with organization, it is important for a website to have a clear call to action. A company should understand what they want their clients to gain from their website. This will help customers follow the next steps they should be taking according to Samantha Daly and in keeping the attention of users.
3. Website load time is also an important factor in keeping the attention span of users. It should only take around 5-10 seconds to load a website; otherwise, users will not hesitate to leave the site. Experienced website designers know that large pictures take longer to load and must be scaled down to make load time quicker. This also goes for images with smaller pixel dimensions in that they need to be scaled up.
4. Websites also tell a lot about a company’s brand. A website can reflect well or poorly on a business. A business that takes the time to update and organize their site shows that they care about accommodating their customers. IH Concepts has recently launched our new website. We took the time making sure that the site was well designed because after all we are a graphic design company who specialize in making online websites. Therefore it was important for us to represent the type of website we can provide for our clients. We made sure to keep the site personal, heavily emphasizing our blog and references. We also focused on making the site easy to navigate. It is important for businesses to stay away from templates. Templates often feel outdated and less personalized. It’s more inviting when a website is custom made with CSS 3 and HTML 5. For businesses trying to stand out from their competition, being unique is key. It is important for a company to consider this principle for their web presence.
5. When using templates, it is also important to be aware if you have the rights to your domain name and the website. Templates can cause domain holdups. According to the Article 21 reasons why you shouldn’t use Wix or any other site builder a Wix user wanted to move away from the templates for some time and was shocked to find that many parts of her site were not driving traffic. However, she couldn’t drop the Wix site because her domain registration was still tied up with Wix. With a professionally made website, the rights to the site are completely your own. Allowing you the flexibility to use any web design professional you choose.
Websites are a user’s first impression of a business which is why it’s imperative to have a well organized, fast, and consistent website. Any experienced business owner would agree that spending the time to perfect a website is major investment in the long run. Taking the time to ensure that your target audience will have a great online experience on your website will ensure that you’re successful in the long run.
We talk about mobile websites in two weeks. Stay tuned!