What makes a website great? What makes a website terrible? The quality and effectiveness of a website really comes down to ten main elements. All of these ten elements are pretty simple, but due to the wide variety of options in each category, sometime people make websites overly complicated or confusing, or maybe on the other side of things, they make it boring and dull.
Fear no more. We have broken down these ten elements for you a created a 10 Step Self-Check Test for you to use to rate your website. What do you think your score will be.
- If you have 2 or less elements, your website is an F.
- If you have 2-5 elements, your website is average and is a C.
- If you have 5-8 elements, your website is pretty good and receives a B.
- If you have 9 or 10 elements, your website is fantastic and is an A.
Good luck! Here is our 10 Step Self-Check Test:
- Home Page: Your homepage is your front door, your welcome mat, your first impression, and your first impression is one of the most important. It sets the tone. While this may sound silly, think about the way you feel when you open your home page. Does your homepage leave your audience with the right feeling?
- Design: The way you set up and design your website will make a big impact on the experience your user has. The most important design element about a website is if it is functional. Can your user find everything they need to find easily? Does the layout make sense for the purpose?
- Timeliness: This is simple. Is the website being updated? Look at the last social media post and see if it was in the last week or two. Are you regularly posting new content? At the very least, is all the information correct and up to date.
- Searchability: Most people come to websites with a purpose, not just to look around. The search bar needs to be somewhere easy to find so that people can use it. Your menu also must make sense and clearly direct your audience to information through helpful categories or whatever is best for your purpose.
- Branding: Does your website stay true to your brand? Is your logo thoroughly incorporated through the website? The easiest thing to forget is to maintain your brand on every section of your website. Your logo should be the same across sections and social media platforms. The colors and theme of your website should go not only with what you are trying to convey, but also you brand.
- Credibility: A section of your website need to be devoted to showing that you are a legitimate and serious website. For a company, this would mean including you mission statement, certifications, a portfolio of your work or services, and other additional resources to build credibility. Often people like to showcase their employees and give background on the company’s purpose and founding. All of these benefit the credibility of your site which is an ever increasing problem online.
- Headlines: Your headlines are important. They bring your audience into what you are trying to tell them. Whether it is a blog post, a news blurb, or a helpful tip, creative and engaging headlines make the difference between people clicking to read and just passing over it. Do you have thoughtful engaging headlines?
- Social Media: In the world we live in, most websites will also have corresponding social media accounts, even if it is just a Facebook page or a LinkedIn account. Optimally, a website will add as many social media accounts as makes sense for them. Whether or not they are incorporated into the website well is usually the problem. What is the point of having them is they don’t work together with you website. Plus, the most important thing is that you add as many as you can keep updated.
- Audience: Remember who your target audience is. If you are trying to sell children’s toys, make the website more user friendly for a younger audience. Make it a fun, colorful, exciting experience. If you are a dentist, you may not need as much color and fun, but you will need to appear professional with a clean website that is easy to use.
- Overall: At the end of all of this, it is the combination of these nine other areas that leave an overall impression. When your user leaves the website, they will leave with either a good overall feeling of being satisfied or a bad overall feeling. The big question is which does your website give? Does it leave your audience satisfied and do you believe they can find and enjoy finding what they need to on your website?