All businesses need a website. It is the truth in this day and age, considering so many people now are doing their search online. However, you need more than just a website. You want your website to be built on good solid foundations.
Obviously, a successful website is more than just a beautiful design. You need a site that your visitors can navigate around easily, and enjoy being on. Here are 7 critical elements of a successful website you need to start paying attention to:
#1 Content Management System (CMS): There is no need to spend a fortune on a beautiful website anymore. You don’t need to learn code and you certainly don’t need to hire a professional web developer to do everything for you.
You can now build great websites with CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupla. These options are open-source platforms and are 100% free to use.
I’d highly recommend using WordPress because of its user friendliness. It also has a dedicated community of developers who are constantly improving the platform. Anyone can just get straight to publishing content while maintaining a gorgeous-looking website.
Refer to this Tutorial → How to Install WordPress Securely (Open in New Window)
#2 Excellent Performance And Security: You need to begin with quality hosting. What is the point of having a nice looking website if it goes down as soon as people visit it?
Many people will not invest in a website hosting. They are like, “I’m just getting started and I can just use free solutions.” Yet they are killed by their own success because of it.
Do your research for which web hosting service to use. Take a step up and make a small investment. As your traffic grows, you can upgrade your account to a better plan later.
You may have heard lately about all the different companies being hacked, including big names like eBay and PayPal. Not only you need to think about performance, but you must make sure you have a secure solution too. Always remember to backup your site.
Also, don’t ever, ever use a free WordPress theme. Using a free theme and ending up with a hacked website plus hidden or encrypted code will cost you more in the long run.
#3 Premium Themes Or Frameworks: Believe it or not, the theme or framework you choose will affect your website performance, i.e. the size and complexity of the files.
A good theme or framework can do a lot. It contains the code that allows search engines to ‘see’ your content. If the code is not professionally done, it can literally hinder the view. Search engine spiders will see a mess of code and not able to evaluate your content.
If search engines cannot see your content, it cannot do anything with it. You are losing your SEO value then. A good theme or framework offers clean code and more control without having you to actually know how to code. (This site is using Thesis 2 Theme)
#4 Your Logo And Brand: Your website needs to look trusworthy to your visitors. This is essential because if people have a bad impression, they are more likely to click back and never come back again. Therefore, make sure your site gives a good first impression.
There are a few ways to make a great first impression, and one of those is through your logo and tagline. You don’t need something overly fancy, just one that looks professional.
The tagline is a little trickier. It needs to draw people in, without being misleading. Once people see your tagline, they instantly have an idea what is your website all about. If can, include a keyword phrase into your tagline, as the search engines will pick up on this.
Finally, make sure there is a photo of yourself or your team. People want to know there are real humans working behind the computer. It creates a sense of security and trust that makes people believe in your offers. This is so important in the technological world.
#5 Informational And Engaging Content: Think about the reasons why people are visiting your website. They want to know more about you and how your business can benefit them. The only way they can do that is through the content publish on your site.
What is it in for your visitors when they land on your site? You might want to start with giving away free valuable information. That will get people to know, like, and trust you.
#6 Easy Social Sharing Buttons: Success comes from good marketing, but you don’t need to do all that marketing yourself. With the world of social media, people will spread the word for you. If your visitors like a blog post you share or a product you sell, they are going to let others know about it. That means they will bring in more visitors to your site.
You need to make it easy for people to pass it on. The best thing to do is incorporate a few social sharing buttons like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest on your site.
This is how you are able to develop a successful website without spending money on advertising or anything else online. It is solely the content you publish and the audience who spreads the word for you. It is one of the most incredible things to watch happen.
#7 Your Website Speed: We are living in a world where people want things instantly. People are not going to wait a few minutes for your site to load, especially when your competitors’ websites are loading quickly within seconds.
There is proof and testing that says I think for every second it takes for your page to load you lose maybe up to 10% of your visitors just based on impatience and things like that.
There are a few reasons why a website speed is slow, including large graphics and flashy videos. Your web hosting may also be the reason. If you find that it takes minutes to load a page, it is time for you to think about how to speed it up.
That’s basically what I have got for you. Take a critical look at the 7 elements listed, and give your website the best chance it has to succeed online.