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What is essential for your website?

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What is essential for your website?

Any website created for a business must reflect said business in a positive way, it needs to be able to communicate to the user exactly what that business offers and how to get what it offers. So these are my 15 must haves on any website;

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  1. CTA’s: Also known as Calls to Action, when a user lands on a website, they need to know what to do, CTA’s will guide them on that.
  2. Clear Navigation: A navigation must be simple and easy to use, it also should link to the most important parts of your website, all pages do not need to be included, you can utilise other areas of the website for them. Using a mega menu can also be useful however, if you do not have many pages, it is not necessary.
  3. Search Facility: This needs to be an internal search facility, not attached to a search engine like Google or Bing. This means that pages and images must be meta tagged throughout.
  4. Strong Database: The website should be linked to a strong database that can handle contain visits, as well as new uploads, content changes and integrated feeds.
  5. A Good CMS: I highly recommend using WordPress over CMS’s such as Joomla, Drupal or Magento. This is because it is much more user friendly, you can install high levels of security and fully lock down the back end. I would only use Magento for extremely large e-commerce website building.
  6. SEO: This is imperative for any and all websites, what is the point of have a beautiful, high functioning website if nobody can find it?!? This means meta tagging all pages, products, images, posts, testimonials, as well as meta titles and meta descriptions. The website should be fully integrated with Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Webmaster Tools, have full sitemap and a hierarchy of pages.
  7. Good Imagery: This means that you source your own imagery, stock images are obvious and they can cheapen the site. I recommend using a professional photographer and graphic designer for this.
  8. Clear Layout: Your website needs to not be complicated, this means that it needs a clear layout that is easy to navigate and it leads directly to your CTA’s.
  9. Social Media Integration: Your social media needs to tie in directly with your website, this helps search engines to tie everything in together and all of your businesses online presence can be found at once, coding this into the header.php is essential.
  10. Testimonials: This gives an added confidence to the website, it shows that you do what you do and you do it well. never put “Mr B or Mrs C” put full names of willing testimonial givers on your website, otherwise it can look false.
  11. Confident About Section: This must contain a full mission statement, where you came from and where you plan to go in the future. A meet the team section can really help to boost confidence because it makes it more personal and trustworthy.
  12. Engagement: You must create a level of engagement throughout the site, ask questions, give something back, like a useful blog or portfolio. There is nothing worse than boredom when trying to sell something.
  13. UX Design: You need to create a good experience for users on your website, if they are confused, bored or cannot find what they want with ease, they will go elsewhere. Use a well structured navigation with clear CTA’s and a good balance of UI design.
  14. UI Design: Balance is important, do not place colours that cause the users eyes to repel, like red on blue or yellow on green, do not use a font that is either too large or too small. Remove elements from the site that are defunct on mobile too.
  15. Strong Branding: Continuity is key, keep your branding throughout the site and do not deviate. The user needs to know that they are still on your website and what page they are currently on.