Getting a good website designed and developed is tricky from both the client and the developer's end. The reason is the subjective nature of the stuff that goes on a good website. However, there are many things that can differentiate between a good, bad and ugly website. These parameters depend on the functionalities of the website and the objectives of it.
Let’s look at the parameters.
This is the first thing that comes up when one looks at the website. Usage of images, fonts, colors, and others adds to the website’s aesthetics. In simple words, how good looking your website is to a common user. Some simple checks to make sure that the website has good aesthetics are:
A good aesthetic gets a good response from users.
If you are in doubt whether your website has good aesthetics or not, simply show it to friends and family. Listen and understand to their perspective but use your own brains too.
Remember the story of the man who tried to please everyone?
Layout and structure
The structure of the website should be well thought of and reflect a proper path which the user’s eye has to follow. A typical layout could show various services and products the website has to offer, call to action placed appropriately, testimonials of clients and probably processes that users have to follow.
A good website will have a high page speed. A good developer will keep the amount of codes less as he knows that lot of codes will impact the page speed adversely. He will use only the required libraries and follow due processes to keep the page speed high.
Low page speed impacts the user experience. Google takes this very seriously and its algorithm will keep your rankings done.
Google developer tool shows page speed for both mobile and desktop. It is easier to get page speed on desktop than mobile. Make sure your website has good page speed on mobile too.
A majority of the searches take place through mobile and so your website should look good on mobile too. You can check how your website looks on different sizes by pressing F12 or right-click and go to inspect. There you can check the view of mobile on different sizes.
If your website is not mobile responsive, ask your developer to make it on priority.
A good website will have a schema system built. Some craft from your developer can ensure that you get your schema easily which you can update through Google tag manager. Schema helps in SEO and getting yourself featured in snippets.
Basic features in a website
Some of the basic features that your website should have are:
Contact forms: Ensure users can reach out to you by filling forms. A good website will also send a response mails to the users to assure him that his mail has been received. The contact form data filled should be stored in some database for future reference.
In WordPress websites, Flamingo plugin stores this data in combination with the famous contact form-7 plugin. For other frameworks, it has to be developed by the developer.
Social media Icons: Ensure your social media icons are present on the footer or header in website
Blog system: A good website will have a blog system where the webmaster can publish blogs for SEO purposes and add new text on a website.
Contact Info: Your contact information should be available on the website for users to either send a mail or simply call you up. Your location should also be shown through the use of Google maps.
404 page: If a user types in a URL that does not exist, he should be directed to a 404 Page. You can use this 404 page to be cheekily filled with your creativity.
Thank you page: When a user fills a form, he is generally directed to a thank you page. With this page, you can appreciate the user to fill the form and maybe show your blogs to engage him further.
Meta Tags (Title and Description)
You should be able to update the Meta tags of pages and blogs easily. In WordPress, you can do this easily through the Yoast plugin while in other frameworks; you might have to get it built.
I have seen many developers simply deliver the website without even a thought on this and playing on the knowledge gap.
I always ensure that the website has a mechanism to create and update Meta tags easily.
Alt tags of images
Images should have alternate tags for SEO purposes. Websites developed in WordPress have a media panel where you can easily set the alternate text, title, description of the images. Alt tags are important for SEO purposes and should not be ever left.
Name of Images
Name of the image impacts SEO ranking and so the image that you upload should retain their names. The developer should ensure that the name of the image is retained and that it not changed by time stamping.
Lazy loading of Images
The images should load easily when we scroll down to give a good user experience. Libraries are available which the developer must know of and integrate into the website.
Lazy loading of images allows them to load as per the screen position of the website. With lazy loading, images below the hold (screen position) are loaded later allowing the page to load pretty fast.
A website should have an SSL certificate
SSL certificate needs to be incorporated in the website to ensure that it gets that secured tag. Google keeps this as one of the factors for SEO purposes.
You can easily buy this SSL certificate online from a provider like Godaddy and ask your developer to install in on the website.
This page should show the architecture of your website. You must have seen – “You are here” boards in towns that show the map to a new visitor. A sitemap is the same board for a user landing on your website.
Check www.amitkk.com/sitemap for more clarity.
Checklist for a good website
Ask these basic questions to your developer and make sure he has these features in the website.
These points above differentiate between a decent website and a good website. The points above have been kept from a technical point of view as normally people miss out on these things due to the knowledge gap. Ask your developer the questions in the checklist and you will get a good website.
If you are looking for a great website, feel free to connect with me. I make custom websites in WordPress, ReactJS and Laravel to give you a great website. Feel free to check my website portfolio.
Feel free to use images in our website by simply providing a source link to the page they are taken from.