Download: What Makes A Great Website
What are the defining characteristics that make a website great? If we could identify one aspect of a great website, what would it be? One of the first things that might come to mind when considering these questions, is how a website looks.
There are, however, many more characteristics we can consider when answering the question of what makes a website great, besides how it looks. There are also other considerations that have to do with its utility.
The look and feel of the website, is concerned with how it appears to the eye, and how it feels to users when interacting with it. It is the aspect that gives the first impression of the website, before visitors start consuming the content, or before they start interacting with it.
The look and feel can be thought of as the “personality” of the website. It sets the mood of how visitors are going to perceive the website and receive it. A website with a poor look and feel, will turn off visitors before they even have a chance to interact with the website.
When designing the look and feel of a website, it is important to keep in mind the commonly acceptable standards of the day. People have certain expectations of what constitutes a great website, and when you design a website contrary to these standards and expectations, you may end up in losing your audience.
The look and feel is definitely an important consideration, for deciding whether a website is great or not. It sets the tone for interaction between the website and its visitors, and should be well considered to make for a great website.
Website content comprises of the textual, visual, as well as audio material on a website. This includes resources such as articles, video, and audio clips, that make up a website. Content is an important consideration for evaluating whether a website is great or not.
To make a website great, the content on it must be great too. Great content is often engaging, and is able to grab and sustain the attention of website visitors. It has to be readable, captivating, and also allow website visitors to engage with it.
Some of the ways to create engagement, is to provide mechanisms for people viewing the content to interact with it, and be able to provide feedback. This can be achieved through mechanisms such as comments at the end of an article, or the use of share buttons, allowing people to share the content with others on social media.
It is said that on the web, content is king. Even if a website has a remarkable look and feel, ultimately it is the content on that website that keeps people coming to the website, and coming back some more after that, in the interest of consuming and engaging with interesting content.
Website functionality has to do with what tasks and activities users can accomplish on the website. For example, an Internet banking website allows clients of the bank, to conduct transactions online, without going to the bank in person and thereby avoiding long queues in the process. This is a good example of great functionality.
Deciding on the functionality of a website will differ depending on the nature of your business. You may choose to take orders online, and not accept payment, or take orders and go on to accept payments online.
Note that, it takes a little bit more expertise to add special functionality to a website, and more responsibility is required to manage the added functionality. The responsibility to manage the added functionality however, is not as demanding as it is to set up the functionality in the first place.
When implemented properly, added functionality offers convenience to your clients, as it usually performs a certain function in an expedient manner than if done offline. It also introduces efficiency for your business in the process. Functionality is therefore also an important factor in deciding whether a website is great.
Websites are not supposed to just sit there and look pretty. They are supposed to serve the business’ purpose and objectives. Every business has a purpose and objectives it is trying to achieve.
A business might have a lot of objectives, some of which cannot be met through a website however. It is the role of the business to identify those objectives that can be met through the website and implement features on the website to achieve them.
The effectiveness with which these objectives can be met is the greater part of deciding whether a website is great or not. The overall analysis of whether a website is great or not, is a combination of the several factors as discussed. Ultimately and foremost, a great website effectively serves the audience it is intended for, and also adequately meets the objectives of the business that owns it.
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