What makes a great website?

Posted April 2016

Lets face it, the internet is chock full of horrible websites. Many sites still lack a responsive design, have a poor user interface, are confusing to navigate, and/or have poorly built functionality that has not been properly tested. So when you do stumble upon a great website it makes the experience all the sweeter. But how is a great website created? What separates a great website from just an average one?

A great website is created when an expert team of specialized web professionals work closely together to plan, design, and architect an engaging online experience. Below are some of the key factors involved in building a great website:

1. Sleek Modern Design - Design trends are constantly changing, especially with how rapidly new devices and technologies are being released. It is important to create a website design centered around your brand style, colors, and messaging. Try not to get caught up with the latest fads and features, but instead focus on the overall aesthetic of your website design. Create an experience on your website that is unique to your brand and designed with your customers in mind. A timeless design will stand against the test of time, no matter what the current trends are.

2. Intuitive User Experience - The user experience (UX) of your website goes much further than the chosen layout. A website can have a great design and still have a horrible user experience. UX centers around ensuring that your sitemap, layout, and navigation all make it easy and intuitive for your users to find everything, no matter what they are looking for or where on your site they land. This is especially important for responsive websites because the user experience needs to adjust depending upon the screen size and the type of device that a user is on.

3. Polished Responsive Theme - Not all themes are created equal. Often one of the biggest differentiators of a great website is its responsive experience. Many themes are either poorly built, or go for a 'one size fits all' solution for their responsive handling. Additionally, designers tend to focus on the three major device sizes (1280 / 768 / 320), but with all of the variations of screen sizes available today that is just not enough. A great website is able to uphold the sleekness of its design and its intuitive user experience at every screen size.

4. Engaging Interactivity - Great websites aren't boring. They are filled with custom features and interactivity throughout the entire site experience. Creating an engaging website takes more than just a fancy homepage feature, everything from the menu through the site content should offer some level of interactivity to keep users engaged and to keep your site content interactive. The important thing is to make sure that the interactivity builds on top of your website features and does not overtake or complicate the user's experience.

5. Fresh Content - As the saying goes, "content is king"! It is important that your site content stays fresh and relevant. The definitions of 'keeping your website fresh' are going to change depending upon your industry and site functionality. The content marketing plan for a startup is going to vary drastically from that of a biotech company or an e-commerce store. The key is to create a content schedule that works for your company/industry. Focus on creating quality content that your users will find valuable and make sure you are making updates to your site at a minimum of once per month. This will keep your site fresh and engaging for your users and will also assist in your Search Engine Rankings.

The factors listed above are some of the key elements that are needed to create a great website, additionally SEO, SEM, Digital Strategy/Marketing, and Engineering also play a key role but those are more centered around growing and maintaining a great website which will have to be the subject of another article.

At Tragic Media we specialize in creating an engaging, branded online experience for your users. Whether you are building an app or redesigning your corporate site, we take the time to do things right. This entails doing the research and connecting with your teams to understand your brand, its current pain points, and its goals for the project. We then design and build a scalable solution that will elevate your brand and drive conversions. If your company is planning to redesign its website, or if you are a startup that is looking to build something truly great; contact us today for a free consultation.