Building a new website for your organization is a huge undertaking. Redesigning or reimaginging your current one is no small feat either. When I build a site for my clients, the process often takes 4 – 8 highly focused weeks of time and effort. There are a million things to consider and account for.
If you currently have a website that you’re reevaluating, or if you’re undertaking a new build, here are a few key standards and practices that I think every website should be sure to incorporate.
Well Organized Information and Navigation
Bad organization will torpedo your website before it gets off the ground. Your visitors need to be able to find what they need quickly and easily. Great websites guide users through an easy-to-follow journey.
Map out your website on a piece of paper, “nesting” pages under appropriate headings. Be as concise as possible. Ask yourself who your primary users are and think about which information they need to access.
Now use these notes to build your website navigation, the backbone of your entire website. Some websites break the navigation into two sections: primary and secondary. Some make great use of nesting pages under headers, such as “Services” or “About Us”. Some add attention-grabbing buttons for important pages, like “Book Today”.
Second, organize your individual pages in an attractive way. Make use of headings to break up long sections of text or to easily categorize the information for your readers.
Investing time and energy up front in organizing your website will pay major dividends down the road. Your users will thank you!
SSL browsing (which stands for “secure socket layer”) has become an industry standard. Your users expect it, and may easily lose trust if it’s missing. Google also docks websites that don’t have SSL browsing.
So what is it? Enabling SSL browsing encrypts the information going between your browser and the server hosting a website. This provides a strong layer of security for the user. There are more advanced SSL options which verify the domain owner and more, but at the very least your website needs to provide secure browsing to your visitors.
If your site does not have SSL enabled, the browser will often display a note indicating that the site is “not secure”. Talk about a bad message to send your customers, clients and other site visitors!
Enabling basic SSL is often a fairly simple process. If you need help activating it, contact me today.
Responsive Across Devices
Finally, another pillar of modern websites is the ability to adapt between all size and shape of screens. Visitors will be accessing your website from small smartphones, tablets, small laptops and large screens too. Mobile traffic currently accounts for roughly 50% of all website traffic, leading some websites to even design “mobile first”.
If your website doesn’t respond to smaller screens, contact me for a free website audit and we can talk.