If you have a new business venture or have decided to upgrade your old website, you may be wondering which items are considered critical to have.
In the old days, a website was nothing more than a brochure on a screen, with basic information about a business. Later, photos were added, then Flash made it possible to add dynamic features, such as music and simple animation.
Now, however, websites are streamlined, multi-faceted destinations that can be used to convey a great amount of information, while being easy to navigate.
So, what elements are essential to a modern website?
It may depend on if you are selling a product or a service, but in either case, there are design elements that you will want and need. Read on for a quick review.
An easy-to-spot and easy-to-use menu is essential for any good website. Typically, it is placed on the left sidebar or just under the header on every page. Whichever your preference, make sure it uses standard labels, and never try to be cryptic or cute. Menu tabs might include:
- About Us
- Our Products
2. Contact Information
Websites that hide the company’s contact information, or make it difficult for a consumer to connect with a real person, are very frustrating for a user. By creating a “Contact” tab in the menu, your visitors will be able to find your information easily, which can lead to increased sales.
3. Quick Loading
Many internet users have slow connections, so do them a favor and create a website that loads quickly. Videos that start running automatically, pages of huge photos, and dancing animations can make your site so slow that users will give up on it before it finishes loading. When that happens, you may have just lost a customer forever.
4. Mobile Ready
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are being used as much or more than laptops and desktops today. When you are creating your website, be sure to make it functional for mobile devices. Your pages will need to size themselves automatically to fit on every user’s screen, and look just as beautiful as they do on a full-size monitor.
5. Social Media
While you want your web page to have the content it needs to stand alone, you also need to let users jump easily from there to your social media pages and back again. Be sure to include links, in the form of highly-recognizable icons, to each of your company’s social media pages. Doing so will please your customers, and will boost your search engine optimization results.
6. Safety Concerns
If your website is set up to take orders or receive sensitive personal information online, you need to secure it using a Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL. This layer of encryption protects consumers from identity theft and fraud when they submit their information for order processing. Be sure to use a website builder that can help you with this important function.
Building a website is a lot of fun, and can help make your business a success. Make it easier for your customers find what they need, and convert more prospects to sales, by creating a site that is safe and simple to use.