What Makes a Great Website?

This is a ridiculously difficult question to answer. A website that may not be great for one person may not necessarily be brilliant for another. We also like to think of developing a website as an ‘ongoing’ process. The internet is constantly evolving. Websites should be too. A site that was brilliant in the early 2000s will now seem like it is a short hop from being listed at a digital antique dealer.

The truth is that every single website out there is on a constant quest to become great. Some will achieve it, most will not. It is all about getting the right balance of the right ingredients. This is easier said than done too. That balance will vary drastically depending on the industry you are in.

In this post, we will talk about the elements that we feel make a website great. This is not a ‘complete guide to making a great website’, because that would be impossible to write. Instead, we want to showcase some of the elements that a successful website needs to have. You will then need to tinker with these elements to ensure that your website fits your business model.

Your website meets its purpose

When you work with a company that provides web design Essex, one of the first things they will ask you will be what the purpose of your website is. You need to know this. You literally can’t build a website if you do not know what the aim of the website is. It could be anything, including:

  • To sell products online
  • To advertise services in a local area
  • To collect leads
  • To provide a web presence for a local business
  • To share information

Once you know what you are doing with the website, every other element will start to fall into place. The truly great websites are ones that meet their goals. Let’s consider this example:

A well-known Ironmonger in Chelmsford wants to branch off into online sales.

Right away, we know that this company wants to start selling products online. The whole website will be geared towards getting people to make purchases through a shopping cart system. This means that right away we need to convey the right information about products, we need to have customer support in place, it needs to be easy to find certain products, etc. We also don’t want to confuse people too much by trying to get people to visit the actual business in Chelmsford, because that isn’t the point of this website.

The site is well-branded

A great website is one that has a focused brand. In fact, branding is going to be central to everything a business does. It is the branding that will allow a site to reach its goals. It is the branding that has an impact on how much worth somebody puts on a website. Let’s take these two examples:

  • A law firm in Braintree catering to commercial customers
  • A nursery school in Colchester looking for new parents to bring their kids there

In this example, a law firm will probably have their website packed to the brim with sophisticated content with more of a professional edge to it. Something that really conveys that if you work with that law firm, you are going to be working with a company that knows what they are doing. The colours will be more neutral colours, and the logo will be nice and sophisticated

The nursery school would opt for different branding. The colours may be brighter. The site will still need to have content on it, but the content is going to be a bit simpler so it can be read by the masses. The nursery school’s branding is trying to convey the image that it is a fun and educational place to be. Somewhere that a child will be able to thrive.

If you gave that nursery school branding to the law firm, it would become an objectively terrible website. It doesn’t give the right impression at all So, as we said at the start; a lot of what makes a website great is what you are trying to accomplish with the website in the first place.

The website is easy to navigate

People are objectively lazy when browsing websites. They don’t want to be carrying out dozens of clicks to find the simplest of information. A great website makes it easy to find whatever you need with no more than a couple of clicks. If information is hidden, one of two things can happen:

  • People won’t find what they need. This means they will go to one of your competitors.
  • People will feel that you are deliberately hiding information, which doesn’t exactly create the best impression.

Filled with content

Websites need to have information. It is what makes the internet great. The best websites will have content that can be read through. This content will be tailored to the purpose of this website. The content needs to be so great that a visitor won’t go to another competitor. Let’s go back to our Ironmonger in Chelmsford as an example here:

The Ironmonger wants to sell a hinge on their website.

Sounds simple enough, right? You list the hinge and wait for the money to roll in? Well, no. It isn’t that simple. You need to give a person the right information to encourage them to buy that hinge. Tell them what size the hinge is. Tell them what it is made of. Tell them about the delivery. Tell them about installation. Make that content useful. If it isn’t useful, then your website isn’t that great as the visitor will head to your competitor who does have the information that you need.

The same could happen with the nursery school example earlier. The school needs to show that they care about children and are trained in dealing with children. This means there could be articles on childcare. There could be articles on education at a nursery school. Just information that shows the company knows what they are talking about.

There needs to be a steady stream of content rolling in too. A website that is stagnant won’t thrive online. It will never be great.

Works on mobile devices

More people than ever are now browsing for websites on their mobile devices. If your site looks terrible on a mobile device, then it could never be a great website. You are cutting out around 50% of your potential audience.

Your website can be found online

There is no sense in going to the lengths of building a website if nobody is ever going to see it. As we have said several times already; your site can only be great if it fulfills its purpose. If a site has no visitors, we can’t imagine it is going to come anywhere close to fulfilling the reason for it existing. SEO Essex will focus on getting your website ranked in the search engines. It will focus on ensuring that there are enough visitors flowing in to ensure your website can make money. it also ensures that there are enough visitors flowing in that you can constantly tinker your website to maximise income.

Remember; finding a good company that provides web design Essex is just half of the battle. Running a great website takes time and dedication. It requires clear goals. If you have those clear goals, you will be surprised at how easily everything else will fall into place.

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