What Makes a good Website

Have you ever visited a website and gone OMG, do websites like this still exist? does this website actually get any traffic? Does this owner actually make any income of this website?

Yes… I do, thanks to Panda updates, not many of such sites come up in search results, but yes they still exist, and business owners still have such websites. I guess it wouldn’t be as painful to look at, if it was someone’s personal website.

If you are going to have a website, the first thing it needs to do, is do justice to you and your business. A website is your shop window, and many of the times the first image your potential customers would see. As most of the time users generally search for products, services, business online, the days where you would look though a big book of directory have more or less gone. The internet has become easily accessible with the use of mobile phones, tablets, and generally the ease of logging on where ever you are, so naturally one makes a quick search online for what they are looking for.

We all know first impression counts, it is what can make or break the sale. When a visitor comes to your website for the first time, ideally you want them to go “WOW.. this is a good website”, you want them to stay on your site as long as possible, and ideally you want that visitor to convert into a lead or a sale for the product or service that you are offering. This can ONLY happen if some proper thinking and planning goes into building your website, as everything you do with your website online now days has some sort of an impact on your rankings in Search Results (SEO). When one sets up to go online, their dream is to have a perfect website, that ranks well, and gets good amount of traffic, which also converts. That is what everyone’s goal is when setting up a website. Now don’t let anyone break that dream or gaol that you have for your business, whether it be your colleague, your designer, your developer, the marketing guy, family, who ever it may be, it’s your dream, and it’s also your responsibility to ensure that you get what you want, by hiring and contacting the right people, and delighting the tasks to trusted parties.

So what would you say is a good website

There are many factors that one could see on a website and say that this is a good website, such as to a general web user that sees a singing and dancing fully flash website, will think yes this is a good website. On the other hand a nice simple sleek website with not much happening on it, can also be considered as a great website.

Design: I guess this is what the first thing everyone one see when they see your website, your website can be simple, on a white background, with effective text and simple images, and still be counted as a good website, because it does its job.

The look and feel of the website all depends on what you are looking to achieve and how you are looking to portray yourself over the internet. The first thing you need to consider is the nature of your website, the niche your business is in, and what is the purpose of your website. Based on these factors you will be able to put a website together that will be appreciated and enjoyed by your targeted audience.

For example if you’re a singing band, you would expect your website to be more upbeat, more classy, and cool, with use of colours effectively, and even some flash animation or moving images. Compared to if your an accountant, your website would be more formal, more corporate style, again making use of colours effectively, but the use of colours would be to a different style compared to the singing band. As the audience that would come to the accountants website would be looking for a more professional service, where else the visitors that go onto the singing bands website would have a more casual feel. – Now can you imagine an accountants website which is really upbeat, singing and dancing, and really cool. It may work IF the accountant is targeting to do accounts for singers and band groups. Which again goes down to the purpose of your website, and the question of what you are looking to achieve from your website.

So the design of the website can really depend on one individual, as everyone has different tastes, and to please everyone is impossible, but if you keep it simple, user friendly and targeted to your audience, you will have a GOOD website.

Content: One of the main reasons why visitors come to your site, is because of what you have on it, the content, you can have a brilliant looking site, but if the content has flaws in it, there will be no use. Which sometimes does happen, you have a fantastic site, which looks appealing to the eye, and easy to navigate, but when you look a bit closer and start to read what actually is on that site, you come to know that there is a big whole right in the middle of it.

The ensure that your website is counted as a good website, you would need to put content on your site that would be appreciated by others, content that others are looking for and would find useful or relevant, content that others when they read it, they want to share this content, even tho it may not be relevant directly to them, but they would want to share it with their network or family.

The content of the site is what makes or breaks the website, you can get away with bad designs, or a few development errors, but if the content is bad, the whole sites purpose is defeated, and on the other hand if the content is good, regardless how bad the look and feel of the site is, you would still get others referencing your articles, sharing them, and also reading it on a regular biases, as it provides value, and useful information that others like, and can relate to. User ability and Accessibility:

 When you come to a website, you should be to use it, no point coming to a site, and the links, navigation does not work. The website should be user friendly, based on your target audience. For example if your websites audience is going to be mainly users with eyes disabilities, than it would make sense that the colour scheme of the site is suited to them, or there is an option on the site to make the site switch into their mode. On the other hand, is your target audience is mainly users that can’t see small text, than displaying larger text would make sense again. It all depends to whom your website is targeting, and ensuring that those users can actually use the website so it would benefit them.

By getting your user ability and accessibility correct, this counts as a good website.

Brower Compatible Site: Having a website that actually opens up in various web browsers is the key. Now web browsers are always updating and new versions come out all the time, so this can be quite tricky at times, depending on what scripts and coding has been used, but when you  launch your site, ensure that it functions properly across various browsers such as internet explorer, Firefox, chrome…etc. Even so, if a new version of the browser has just been launched, it may be wise to check the site on both the old and the new version, as not everyone would have upgraded to the latest version as of yet.

Search Engine Friendly Site When launching your site, the key is to make it accessible to everyone, and as easy as possible, or there is no point right. So if your site is actually search engine friendly, you have solved half the problem. Now having your site search engine friendly doesn’t guarantee high rankings, as there are many other factors to SEO, but it will surely be a big help if the site was developed in a way that it took into consideration SEO factors.

Download Speed. Don’t we get frustrated when a web page takes forever to load up, for sure i do, and at times, if it takes too long, I would just forget it and move onto the next one. – Not good for the website owners as they have just lost one visitor, i wonder how many more would do that too.

If you want your website to be counted as a good website, look at the download speed, is it loading up in a reasonable speed, or are you waiting around for it to open. You may have developed a fantastic singing and dancing website, but if it takes ages to load up – no good, all that effort has gone to waste. So Yes one the factors for your website to be considered as good, is to ensure you it can open up quick.

Tip: this is also part of making your website Search Engine Friendly, as Google does look at the page load speed when ranking websites.

Article By: Wasim Ismail

Wasim’s a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions along with an online SEO consultant & blogger for business at wasimismail.com, specialising in online business.

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