When website good looks don’t equal good value

Technology Blog

Judging a site by its looks alone means you overlook other very important factors. If you don’t understand what these are, you may fail to get full value from your investment in the web. In this article, I’ll explain three simple rules that’ll help you avoid this trap.

1. Stand out

A good-looking web site is certainly an asset, but on its own it isn’t enough. Your site may look very nice, but if it is not distinctive, reflecting the individual nature of what you do, visitors won’t appreciate your special qualities.

It’s easy for web designers to make sites that all look the same, but any design that’s run-of-the-mill, especially an off-the-shelf template, says you are merely one of the herd. Demand something better.

Beware though, cool graphics may conceal fatal flaws that turn away potential visitors. That’s the reason for the next rule:

2. Be accessible

You want people to be able to find your site. You want your pages to load quickly, even when accessed over a slow connection. If you are selling a product, you want to make it available to everyone, regardless of what computer or browser they use. But if your web designer makes the wrong technical choices, your site will fail to deliver and you probably won’t even realize it.

Did you know that, according to the Danish Centre for Accessibility, around 1 in 4 people have some sort of problem using the web? If your site is not built with such users in mind, that’s a quarter of your potential market thrown away. To avoid losing out, make sure your site is accessible to all.

Even after you follow these first two rules, your site might still be failing to get enough traffic if it’s too static. Think about the sites you yourself visit often: don’t most of them offer something new almost daily? That’s why you should:

3. Make your site active

Is your site hard to update? Do you need to call an expert every time you want to change anything? That’s frustrating in itself, but worse, if your site is not dynamic you are missing a great opportunity to attract visitors. Regularly changing content is one of the key reasons that people keep going back to a site.

So how can you keep giving your visitors something different to look at? The simplest answer is to keep adding new content, perhaps in the form of a ‘blog’ (an on-line journal). This might be opinion, pictures, information, jokes, puzzles – whatever suits your site. Be imaginative: even a site with unchanging content such as an on-line dictionary can offer a “word of the day” to make regular visits more interesting.

Remember, you don’t have to write it all yourself: if you have a forum, your visitors or customers will give you fresh content, for free. Or consider adding a relevant news feed: for example, the home page for a sports shop might display the latest match results – or if it specializes in surf gear – the conditions at local beaches.

Great design is great value

So, if you want to get full value from your website, it should be

  • distinctive
  • accessible to all
  • dynamic

We can help you get value from your website by applying these rules. Call us on 07783 386951 or use our simple form.

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