15 Key Elements For Top Websites
There are many elements that must be adhered to when designing and developing a website although not all can be met at once. This means you must dwell on the most important elements used across all websites.
The development exercise involves good and critical planning in order to cover all which is required in the development stage. Here are the top 15 elements that you should consider to make your site a top site.
1. Appealing Visual Design
First impression tells your potential clients a lot about you hence; a visual design will determine whether your visitors will be willing to spend more of their time on your website or not.
This does not mean that every top website must have an incredible visual design but it portrays your personality.
A clean and simple design will be good because overcrowding your design may be fatal as well. Make sure you have an appealing design that will hold the attention of your visitors enough go through your website.
2. User interface
Besides a good design, you require a well thought about user interface because it is the foundation of a properly working website.
Before contemplating designing a User interface, a clear understanding of your potential customers should be achieved in order to provide what they require.
Depending on the computer literacy of the targeted people, design your primary navigation and links in their favor in that they do no need to seek help when using your website.
Think on how to achieve a good user interface which users will find it easy using.
3. Keep primary navigation above the fold
The main reason is to have an easy to navigate website. Having you primary navigation above the fold means having your links to key areas within the range of 500-600 pixels in regard to the designing of your website. In this space, let your logo with appropriate links back to the home page be displayed.
Furthermore, you can have links to other areas of interest here but; be careful to avoid over-clustering your design.
Sub-links can be located on your sidebar but important links like Home, Services, FAQ, About and Contact must be located in an easy to notice location. While doing all this, ensure to that consistency is achieved in every page.
4. Have Navigation in the Footer
Repeating of navigation in the footer is recommended if you have your main navigation in Flash or images. In spite of using text links, contemplate duplicating the navigation in the footer to make it easier for people to get the content they may be interested in.
Make use of the footer also to provide other information like the Term of Service.
5. Relevant and Quality Content
It will all account to a loss if you have a perfectly designed website with an incredible user interface without meaningful content.
In writing a copy to your website, you must ensure that you visitors benefit from the information provided, concerning your products and the company at large.
If you are into blogging, providing relevant articles in your niche will be helpful. People are interested in what you can provide in order to help them.
They need solution and not a lot of irrelevant information about you and your company. This means that you should think on how to help people instead of possessing an overselling mind.
6. A Concrete About Page
You must be wise on how to feed people’s curiosity concerning the designer or writer of your website of blog respectively.
Have a good photo on your bio page and let the curious people learn that you are behind what they are benefiting from. Including your background and expertise information is essential.
The About page should be used in creating a closer tie with your clients because they feel connected to you besides using your services hence you can be of help in other many ways when the bond is created.
Clients feel comfortable with websites and blogs where people behind them are a bit personal than faceless.
7. Contact Information
It is automatic that potential clients are meant to be turned away if they contemplate having your service and they can not reach you.
In order to solve this, providing a more than one means of being contacted is a better idea.
In most cases, people use emails but you can have a phone number and if possible mailing addresses.
Though freelancing, you may have a separate phone line dedicated to business. These services indicates a sign of professionalism and stability because they are tax deductible.
This gives you an upper hand than any other freelance writer with just an email address.
People come to your site to access particular pieces of information so making them wade through all the pages in order to get the information is likely to scare them away.
To make this exercise easy, include a search feature like Google Search. If you are working on WordPress or any other CMS, this will be easily achieved.
In a nutshell, you must have a convenient Search box to make it easy to find out some specific information.
9. Sign Up to Subscribe
You must make it easy and simple for people to sign up for updates if your website provides consistent content. You will not need to worry if you own a WordPress blog because you easily add this through the Feed address given.
Using FeedBurner will be a great idea because you get a free account.
If you want to have control of your FeedBurner account by tracking all subscribers and redirecting their feeds, you need to use FeedBurner FeedSmith Plugin.
On the other hand, if you do not have a blog but desire to offer subscription, you will need to rely on companies which are responsible for allowing you sign up and manage the email list.
You are given a code for your site and your visitors can use their emails to sign up for updates.
Unlike RSS Feeds, this technique enables you to get emails addresses for prospective customers.
There are two categories of Sitemaps; one meant for search engine and the other for humans. The one meant for visitors to your site is incredible in determining what they are in need of.
If adding a search feature to your website becomes a difficult task, you can contemplate creating a Sitemap.
Remember to include a link to a sitemap in the footer. A good sitemap will arrange all the pages in a hierarchical manner and effectively displaying the relationship existing between the primary pages and other pages.
11. Separate Design from Content
Embrace the current technique of separating design and content through the use of XHTML and CSS. Make good use of <div> tags in creating various containers for different texts and images.
This means that even without the corresponding CSS file, the text will be read by the Search engine. Separating of the content from design leaves the HTML page with just relevant text.
The CSS file contains specifies a lot concerning the designing of your site. It has the colors, background and images among other design features.
The advantage with this separation is that with one change in the CSS file, all the associated parts of the website will be affected.
Besides this, the content loads quickly besides making it easy for Search engines to find specific pieces of information.
12. Validity of XHTM/CSS
Despite using XHTML and CSS in your website, you need to use accurate source code.
World Wide Web Consortium has offered two invaluable tools to help you in determining whether you have used accurate source codes. They include W3C Markup Validation Service and W3C CSS Validation Service.
Good codes will make sure that your site looks great across different web browsers besides being helpful in search engines.
A site built adhering to the current web standard will give a search engine an easier task in wading through its contents.
Accurate coding show your competence and level of expertise that makes you easily trusted with clients aware of this.
13 . Wider Brower Compatibility
People are using various mainstream web browsers hence you should make sure that your website are compatible across many web browsers.
Making them compatible across platforms is an important aspect of developing an all featured website.
You must as well find out if your clients would be using Mac in order to take appropriate measures.
14. Web Optimized images
It is ideal saving your all images in compressed format when dealing with web development. Those to be used for screening are saved at 72dpl which are easily downloadable.
Adobe Photoshop is one of the programs that will help in compressing your image to the standard size suitable for web use. Make sure that your images are saved with a png, gif or jpg extension.
15. Statistic and Analytic tracking
This is used in collecting information regarding the visitors to your website. As a website owner, this is a very important tool that should be at your disposal.
Depending on the analytics program used, you are meant to gather a lot of information regarding the visitors and other websites to your visitors.
You will receive information regarding the number of hits received by your website, number of people from unique website, manner in which people are finding your website, search words they are finding you under, other websites linking to you, the most popular pages on your site and who are your average visitors.
You may want to use Google Analytics which is free and its tracking is robust.
Obtain a good stat package and succeed in monitoring the performance of your website to figure out on how you can improve.
These are but just 15 top ways to ensure that your website is among the top websites, Diligently follow this ways and you will not be disappointed.