Having a website in today’s modern digital age is not a luxury but a necessity. Whether you keep a personal blog, are a content manager for the best sportsbooks in California, or are a business owner looking to expand your online presence, a well-designed website can be your most valuable asset. You are about to learn about the five key features of every successful website, so grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s set off on a journey to digital success.
Before we dive into the specifics of what makes a great website, we should briefly touch upon why having a website is important. First, a website gives you the potential for global reach. Not only are websites accessible from almost anywhere in the world, but people can visit them 24/7. A website also adds credibility and trust to your brand; being found online lends an air of professionalism to your endeavors.
Websites are also perfect for marketing and branding because you can tailor them to reflect your brand’s personality, especially if you use the highly customizable WordPress platform to create your little corner of the internet. Finally, you can collect many data insights about your customers’ and readers’ behavior. You never know if someone has read a leaflet you posted through a letterbox, but a website can show you how long the person read your content, which links they clicked on, and a whole plethora of data, allowing you to refine your content and improve user experience.
Now we have got that out of the way, it is time to look at five features every website should have and why.
Brilliant User-Friendly Navigation
Imagine entering a store where everything is disorganized, making it challenging to find what you are looking for. It would be frustrating to the point that you may just turn around and walk back out of the door. The same principle applies to websites. Having user-friendly navigation is the backbone of any website worth visiting.
Having clear menus with categories and subcategories is what every website should have as a bare minimum. You should implement a search bar for users to find specific content quickly.
Good navigation increases the likelihood of conversation because users are more likely to take desired actions when they can effortlessly find what they are looking for. Sites with navigation structures also rank better in search engines, which, in turn, can give you more visibility online.
Choose a Responsive Design
More than half of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, making a responsive website design crucial to success. A responsive design alters how your website looks depending on the device used to access it, so someone looking at your site from a desktop computer will have the same great experience as someone on a much smaller smartphone. If you are one of the latter, there is nothing more frustrating than having to pinch and zoom to navigate around a website.
Like navigation, search engines look favorably on websites optimized for mobile users.
Speed and Performance
Internet users expect, in fact, they demand that webpages load quickly. Studies show that 53% of people click away from a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Furthermore, those visitors who leave your website because it is slow and sluggish rarely return. Can you afford to potentially lose half of your traffic? Probably not.
Choosing a fast and reliable web hosting company is your first step to a fast website; cheaper is not always better. However, there are steps you can take with your site’s content that will improve speed. For example, you should compress and resize images to reduce their file size. Regularly update plugins and themes, and consider caching your content so that static elements of your site are served up faster to repeat visitors.
Do Not Overlook Security
Internet users are becoming increasingly conscious of the importance of online security. They do not want to visit websites that are not secure in case their data is compromised. In addition, as a website owner, security is a top concern because you do not want to risk losing your data and content to hackers or other cybercriminals.
Visitors are more likely to trust your website if that site is secure, particularly if there is an option to make purchases. Install an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS, which encrypts data transfer between your site and users. They are not expensive but are worth their weight in gold.
As a webmaster, you should perform regular website backups to ensure you can quickly recover from any security incidents. Install security plugins or a web application firewall (WAF) to protect against threats. Please do not leave anything to chance regarding safety and security.
Create Engaging and Relevant Content
You may be wondering why creating content is so low down on this list when it is the one thing that drives your traffic. While that is true, you could have the best content ever produced, but it would be almost pointless if the other four steps were not in place. You must build solid foundations before you can begin creating your empire.
Your content is ultimately what keeps visitors coming back for more. Make that content relevant to your website by knowing precisely who your target audience is. Focus on quality over quantity because website visitors prefer to consume one or two brilliantly crafted pieces than a dozen half-hearted articles you have churned out.
Try to post regularly to keep your content up-to-date, and consider crafting compelling narratives that connect with readers on a personal level. Spruce up articles with high-definition visuals, and you have a recipe for success.
Here is a list of the best web design firms and creative design agencies to hire for your next website project.
Thanks to easy-to-use website-building platforms, anyone can create a website, but not everyone will build a great website. It is essential that you lay solid foundations for your website by ensuring your website is fast, responsive, and secure. Once you have those elements in place, you should focus on making the user’s journey as simple and stress-free as possible through your navigation structure.
Then, and only then, can you set about creating stellar content for your little piece of the World Wide Web. Tick the boxes of all five features mentioned in this article, and watch your online presence flourish.