Seven things your website needs to get right!

13 Sep

Not everyone knows how to design a website, but if you are going to have a website for your business the  you need to know what to put on it. Here is an article I found outlining 7 things your website NEEDS. As a designer, I think these are good points to consider, and will make your website better.

Taken from thinkbiggrowfast.net

7 things your website needs to get right

“As a journalist I spend a hell of a lot of time looking at corporate websites. I see maybe 40 a week.

I have noticed that a staggering number don’t fulfil their basic functions. Nothing to do with aesthetics. They simply don’t address some obvious business requirements.

So let me frown in silence no longer: I give you my quick checklist for your corporate site. None of these should take your website administrator more than a few minutes to put right.

1. High resolution images

Journalists – and clients – may need to download high resolution images of your products and staff. So host them! Firebox.com is brilliant at this. They store every conceivable image at an easy to find location, no registration required. If you wonder why Firebox gets such amazing coverage in the press – well, now you know.

Protip: Corporate headshots are worthless. Get in a professional and have them shoot something like this.

2. A detailed “About Us” section

Think about it – if a user is clicking on the About Us tab it is because they want to know more about you. So tell them! You need to include biographical information on the founders and senior staff. When I see a great business like Eat Natural cereal bars fail to state any of this I despair. The founders actually have a wonderful story. Why don’t they tell it?

Protip: Include a CV of the founders. The press, and customers, want to know the people behind the business.

3. Maps

Where are you? If I want to find your office then I’d like a proper map. Which means one I can scroll, zoom in and out of, and print. Some, like the Old Crown on New Oxford Street, don’t even include a map in the Find Us section. Why?! Link to Google Maps. You can also include a large photo of your front door – this really helps first time visitors.

Protip: Have the map open in a new browser window. Keeping users trapped in a 200 by 100 pixel embedded box is preposterous.

4. Know how your site looks on a smartphone

A poll of 400 small business owners by software firm Serif reveals that 74 per cent have not designed a mobile version of their website, and 86 per cent have failed to produce an iPad compatible version. Almost half have never considered how their site looks on a smartphone.

Protip: Watch out for “default to homepage”. When a browser navigates to a particular page on your website using a phone they may be whisked over to the mobile version, which inadvertently transports them to the homepage, rather than merely converting the page they wanted to view.

5. Flash, image-texts

It is not 1995. You should not be using flash layouts, wire-frame, Java icons or any other craptacular gimmick.

Protip: Take a look at Web Pages That Suck. Read. And learn.

6. Individual contact details

People who want to get in touch are potential customers. So make it easy for them. List all the people in your firm, complete with email and direct phone numbers. This will include your accounts department, who the press should contact and the bloke who orders the stationery.

Protip: Don’t use a webform. It prevents the sender keeping a copy on their email system. And the sender has no idea who the message will be read by, so will annoy them.

7. Be comprehensive

Your site should tell customers everything you do. In clear language (you are not a “solutions provider” unless you actually sell chemical solvents). Your site should list every product, every service, and be retrospective. If a customer bought a product in 2003 they will want to find the PDF of the manual in three clicks or fewer.”

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