There are millions of websites that exist on the world wide web and everyday technology is changing, maturing, and morphing into something more advanced than its previous version. With all the changes occurring it can sometimes be difficult to keep up. How do you know if the website you have is a good website? There are a few elements every website should have. Consider the checklist below.
Every website today should be responsive. A responsive website means that it adapts to any screen size it appears on. Why is that important? Because so many of your customers and potential customers are checking out your website through a variety of different devices like computer monitors, tablets, notebooks, and mobile phones. These device screen sizes average range is from 3 inches to 32 inches. It’s important that your website adapts to any size and displays all your information accurately and correctly while maintaining its unique layout and design.
Your website should look great on a mobile phone. It can either be responsive and simply adapt to the small screen size or you can even design a specific simple and easy mobile version of your website. This means that the version a guest sees on their phone looks different than the version they would see on the computer in the sense that the information, layout, and design is specifically focused to someone who is accessing your site through their mobile phone. Mobile Friendly websites are so important that Google now labels which sites are “mobile-friendly” in Google Search Results. For Google to consider your website mobile friendly and label it as such in search results, it has to comply with 4 main criteria: Avoid flash, readable text that does not require the zoom feature, sizeable content that deters excess scrolling and zooming, and adequate spacing between links for easy selection. Use Google’s new Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to find out if your website is mobile friendly.
CROSS BROWSER COMPATIBLE
Does your website display exactly the same on Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer? Does it also display exactly the same on every version of each of those browsers? It’s important to understand that everyone is using a different version of a different browser. Your website may look great on Google Chrome but has some major display errors on Internet Explorer 8, and a whole different set of display errors on Firefox 10. You can’t control what version and browser every website guest views your website on BUT you can make sure that it’s cross browser compatible so that no matter the browser or version, your website looks awesome!
EASY TO ADD NEW CONTENT
Your website should never become stale or stagnant. Keep your website fresh with new content like products, images, quotes, blog posts, contests, and features. The easiest way to do this it by making sure you have a platform like a content management system (CMS) that is easy for you to use. Updating content shouldn’t be a hard and complicated process but rather something that is easy and fun to do.
Your website should engage your customer. A website it a tool that is meant to be used. This can be done through social media integration, comment and discussion platforms, form submissions like contact forms, tests and quizzes, surveys, contests and giveaways, online chat features, newsletter and member sign up, and e-commerce features. There are so many fun, creative, and useful ways to build your audience, get to know your customers, market your product, and expand your business.
EASY TO FIND
Without directly typing your website into the browser URL bar, can you actually find your website? Search engines should be able to produce your website under specific keyword search results. If you own a local coffee shop then a search engine optimized, key word rich, well indexed site should show up when a visitor types “Coffee shop Great Falls” or “Best local coffee” or some variation. As a website owner you should know how new visitors are stumbling onto your website, and if not then you might need some serious and intentional SEO. The bottom line is your website should be attracting traffic through a variety of different methods besides just using your direct URL.
When is the last time you had your security updated? Is your website even secure? Hackers are finding new and creative ways to steal information, infiltrate websites and email with spam, and completed shut down computers. Security is a HIGH priority. Guard your website, your business information, and especially your customers’ information by keeping security updated.
Every website is uniquely different and serves it’s own purpose but every updated and efficient website should be made up of the same key elements. It’s important to understand what those are so that you can either pat yourself on the back for a job well done or you can have a clear idea of what changes you need to make.