What are the basic website requirements that need to be considered when it comes to designing and developing your website?
Your website is used as a form of advertising and it allows your potential clients to learn more about your company and the available products you have to offer however, there are certain things that your website needs, to ensure that your your website produces results.
Designing and developing a website should be a fun experience. Not only do you have the opportunity to put your company’s name on the very large internet map, but you also have the opportunity to put your best foot forward to potential visitors.
Basic Website Requirements to Note, Before You Develop A Website
Tech Requirements & Getting Setup The “Right Way”
A domain name will be the very first thing you will need when starting a company website. It is your digital address that people will use to get connected to your website.
For example, the domain name for this website is www.yourwebsite.com.
Web hosting is the host/server where your website content lives online. The type of hosting you choose depends on how many visitors you have coming to your website and the amount of space you will require.
The 2 most common types of hosting you will come across are:
- Shared Hosting: You are sharing a server with other websites. Imagine you are renting a small dorm room back in college. You get your own room, but you are sharing the common areas like the kitchen, living room and etc.
- Dedicated Hosting: You have a server all to yourself and don’t need to share. Now you are renting an entire building. This is often used by very large, enterprise level websites. For the rest of us, you will most likely never need dedicated hosting.
There are many website builders available that will help you setup a website however, we strongly recommend using self-hosted WordPress as your website platform.
WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world and powers 30% of all websites on the internet.
WordPress is free and comes with thousands of website designs, templates & plugins. WordPress is extremely flexible and works with almost every third-party tool and service available to website owners.
It is important that your website loads quickly. This is one of the most important requirements when it comes to designing and developing a website. To ensure that your website downloads within 15 seconds, it is advised that you avoid excessive use of images, animations, videos, flash designs and audio.
Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — will give you a minor ranking boost. Google says this gives websites a small ranking benefit, only counting as a “very lightweight signal” within the overall ranking algorithm. In fact, Google said this carries “less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” Based on their tests, Google says it has an impact on “fewer than 1% of global queries” but said they “may decide to strengthen” the signal because they want to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
An important aspect of SEO is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. Although search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, they still can’t see and understand a web page the same way a human can. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users.
Tracking and Analytics:
This is the analytics tracking tool you need to understand how your visitors are interacting with your website. Knowing how your website performs and how your visitors use your website will give you a much better idea on where to make improvements.
Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can find out how many people are on your website, which page they visit the most, how long they stay on each page, which page do they visit next, which page do most visitors exit, etc.
A great website must be able to be viewed in all types of modern website browsers such as, Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla & Safari.
Social Media Integration:
With social being such a huge part of everyday life now it’s important to have social media sharing buttons to make it easy for your visitors to share your content.
What Is The Goal of Your Website?
When it comes to building a new website, the very first question you need to ask yourself is “what’s the main goal of my website”
It’s crucial to establish a goal for your website as your goal will impact the design of your site.
There are a number of different goals your website could be optimised for. Your sites main purpose could be to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Capture emails or social followers
- Generate more sales and revenue
- Get more phone calls to your business
- Sell products and services
If you want to increase more brand awareness, you will focus on building your brand and helping people become familiar with it.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to generate more leads, you will focus on incorporating elements that encourage people to sign up to your mailing list and ultimately make a purchase and become a customer.
If you’re working with a professional website design company this will be one of the first questions they will ask you, so be sure to have this in mind.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Your target audience is the very next thing you need to determine in order to build an appealing, high converting website. Your audience’s behavior & interests will impact how you structure your website as well as the design elements you should include on your website.
Knowing exactly who your target market is will not only impact your website design, but it will also impact virtually every aspect of your marketing and sales process including…
- Content Marketing: What blog posts, videos, podcasts, Lead Magnets, etc. should you create to attract and convert your audience?
- Paid Traffic: Which ad platforms should you buy traffic from and what targeting options should you use?
- Product Creation: What solutions is your avatar searching for?
- Copywriting: How should you describe offers in your email marketing, ads and sales letters in a way that compels your avatar to buy?
- Email Marketing: Which avatar should receive a specific email marketing campaign?
… and that’s just scratching the surface.
Your website should always be relevant and informative to your specific audience to keep your their attention and get them interested in your business.
Any part of the marketing and sales process that “touches” the customer (which is pretty much EVERYTHING) will improve when you get clear on your target audience.
SO with the above in mind it is absolutely crucial to fully understand who your target audience is.
After all, it’s a person that buys our products and services. It pays to get clear on the characteristics of that person, so you can find and present them with a message that moves them to action.
Achieving An Eye Catching & Functional Design
When you’re designing a website, make sure all visitors are able to access all the information quickly and easily.
Here are some principles you can use to establish an attractive clean design:
- Mobile Friendly: It is important that you ensure that your webpages are responsive & can be read on a variety of different browsers and screen sizes as well as on mobile and tablet devices.
- Navigation: is crucial when it comes to website design. Without it your potential clients would not be able to find out about you and your company. The navigation should be easy to use and clearly visible. Some examples include visible links to home pages, “About Us” and “Back” buttons.
- White Space: is crucial when designing your webpage. This will make it less cluttered, easier to read and navigate around the website.
- Branding: Your name and company logo needs to be included on every page so that the visitors know exactly where they are and what to expect.
- Typography, Layout & Colours: Your design, font, style, content and other aspects need to be consistent throughout the entire website. Remember that keeping it simple and consistent is one of the most important basic website requirements.
Using a website templates and a “drag & drop” page builder, is a fast easy way to achieve a professional-looking website without the need of hiring a website designer. (The Beaver Builder Plugin & Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder in particular provides professionally designed templates & complete sites to make designing easy and save you time. Simply choose a template or pre-built site, replace the images and text with yours, then hit publish.)
Basic “Must Have” Pages For Your Website
Content is the most important part of the webpage. No matter how flashy and aesthetically pleasing the website looks, without the content the website would be useless and of little value to the readers or visitors.
Below are the 4 most important pages that your website should have, based on years of web design and development experience, and brand psychology.
1. About Us: It is astounding, the number of companies that do not have an about us page on their website. This is one of the most important pages and for a company this is one of the best pages to reach out to your clients and tell them who and what you are about.
An About Us page should usually comprise of the following:
- Who we are and how long we have been in business
- What we provide summarizing the products and services
- Why we are the company to deal with
- When we can assist you and information about project time lines etc.
- How to contact us and start doing business with us
- Mention some clients that have utilized your product or service, hyperlinking to their website. Essentially this is the page where you toot your horn and get visitors interested. Remember to make sure that the About Us page is written according to your company’s image for example, corporate, or relaxed etc.
2. Contact Us: There is no point in spending money on a brilliant website, if you don’t make sure of 2 things in relation to your contact us page:
- That your contact us page (link to it) is clearly and obviously visible on your home page
- That your contact us page actually works
- These 2 factors may seem quite logical but I have seen hundreds of companies whose contact us page simply doesn’t work. You take the time to find it (again note the visibility issue) and then you fill it in, press submit and you get an error notification. This is the quickest way to tell people that you are unprofessional, slack and very careless. This is also the fastest way that a visitor will decide not to use you.
3. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions): This page is so often overlooked by website designers and developers as well as website owners alike. Yet it is probably one of the best sales tools you have on your website.
Here you can go on and on about how wonderful your product is, how brilliant it is with helping people, and how you are the best people to use for the supply thereof.
You can also assist people with understanding your product, learning about your company and above all else supplying them with information so that by the time they call you, they are already rather inclined to use your product or service as they know all about you.
4. Products / Services: Many people take for granted the fact that their visitors know about their product or service before they enter their site. This is completely wrong!
Whilst visitors may have a general idea of what your product or service is they do not know the particulars about it in any way shape or form. So it is imperative to have a page called products (or services) and therein you provide an index page of your various products or services that you supply as well as a general short write up of each of your products.
This is a brilliant SEO tool as it assists your website with keyword density and it also gives people a quick overview of exactly what you supply and how you can serve them.
Follow These Basic Website Requirements & Get Inspired for Your Own Website
When designing and developing your basic website, go to Google and search keywords relating to your product or service and look at the top 5 results that come up.
Click on those links and look at those websites.
There is a reason that they are ranked on the top 5 positions in the search results. You will also see a trend in terms of what items appear on those websites. Follow those trends.
As much as the internet is about unique, original content, when it comes to basic website requirements, there is a distinct list of requirements.