Web design industry has been one of fastest evolving industries. We all know how important a website is for a company today. What is important for a website day has changed significantly from what was important for a website a few years ago. Today in order to be successful, a company not only requires a professionally designed website but a website that offers a number of features that readers find valuable. Whether you require a community website or a company website promoting its products and services, its long term viability is largely determined by the rich mix of content and features it offers its readers. A company website today needs to offer visitors with information that is of value to them, not only information about the company and its products.
The number of websites on the internet is increasingly rapidly. Not a long time ago, a study estimated over 50 million websites on the internet. Today the number is much higher and is increasing every day.
The competition to get noticed on the internet has also increased. In order to compete successfully online, companies are using innovative ways to make their website more attractive for users. Although social media and other community portals are an excellent method to promote your business online, a company’s website remains one of the most important aspects for succeeding online.
A company’s web site is a direct reflection of the business and the team running the business. The visual appearance of your web site is important in determining your website’s value and is one of the first things noticed by potential customers. If your website does not present a professional or visually appealing design, the chances of your business succeeding online is greatly reduced.
There are certain features that prove useful in determining the effectiveness of your website. However it is the individuality and uniqueness of your website that will distinguish it from others and help establish your brand on the internet.
There is large list of website features that can help your website to succeed. However it depends largely on what features are most appropriate for your business to implement within your allocated budget.
Websites vary significantly in scale and complexity. One of the best ways to ascertain what features are most appropriate for your business is to seek advice from a web design company or an internet consultant. This article can help you decide some features that can benefit your website:
Desirable Website features
The following features should be considered when creating your company’s a website:
A Homepage that grabs the attention of users and guides them to the key sections of your website. The nature of your business should become easily evident to your visitors. Similarly, your main products or services should be highlighted on the homepage.
The website must contain an ‘About Us’ or ‘Company Information’ page. The registered company name along with a brief background to the company should be available.
The contact details of the company should be easily evident on the website. This includes email address, telephone / fax numbers and postal address.
Easy to Use Navigation
The navigation should be well structured and easily visible on all pages. As far as possible a ll pages should be one or two clicks away from the home page. The menu should be available in a consistent place across all pages of the website to avoid ambiguity and confusion.
The fonts, colours and other elements should be as consistent as possible across the website. The font face and size should be easily readable by all. Use contrasting fonts and background e.g. white background with dark text or vice versa. This makes the text easily readable and improves the usability manifold.
Terms and Conditions
Spelling and Grammar
It is important to ensure your website is free from any grammatical mistakes or spelling errors. Use simple but effective language and tone in the website copy.
Optimised Graphics and Scripts
Ensure your website is tested across all major browser platforms. In addition to Internet explorer and Firefox, you should test your site for consistency on Opera, Safari and Google Chrome.
Wide range of Information
In addition to providing information about your company or products, provide a wide range of information and content on your website that is either related to your industry or valuable to your readers in some other way.
Update the content on your website frequently (every day if you can). A fresh, frequently updated website will promote visitor loyalty by providing a reason to visit the site again. It will also help search engine ranking of your website.
Use Social Media
Make good use of social media on your website and interlink your networks and content sources. Use popular sites such as Digg and Twitter and syndicate content between your social profiles and your website. Provide short cuts for your readers to add your content to popular social sites such as Face book or My Space. Similarly, make it easy for visitors to bookmark your pages on social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Delicious or Google Bookmarks. The more your content travels the better it is for enforcing your brand on the internet.