I like to develop and enable good websites. I do it simply, cost effective, but with a sense of solid quality, using the tools and capabilities that are making the web so exciting, but sensibly so….
I urge you to think about what constitutes a good website and use those thoughts to help you in your purchasing decision or next steps.
What makes a good website?
It is easy to find:
- a good, obvious, memorable domain name, not confused with competitors or unrelated sites
- the content uses the terms and keywords that you would be expecting to search on, and the content is presented in a search engine friendly way so one can find it via searching appropriately. For example: location dependent services should ensure that the location is described in pages with the service descriptions for meaningful appearance in search engines.
It is there!
- it is up! – a reliable host is necessary, and one that assists in providing tools and statistics to understand your visitors behaviour.
It is easy to read
- the website is viewable in the user’s browser. The website must be tested on a range of browser and ideally consider users who may be using aural browser.
- the style is easy on the eye and pleasant to read. It should not distract you from the content.
- the navigation is obvious, what the user expects and it is easy to find your way around.
- there is a site map and/or search facilities for large sites
- it doesn’t have funky annoying ‘features’
One can find what one is looking for, it has meaningful, helpful content:
- provide as much information as possible to your users. This will also reduce time required to respond to phone calls and may also retain a potential client, as they may feel more comfortable about your product or service.
- the content should enhance the appearance of the organisation. It should appear professional and should present a human, approachable front.
It is easy to maintain and update
- It is a simple effective editing system.
A good book to help with this approach is Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter)