Here’s one to cut out and keep for when you next get a website updated or relaunched. Or you could just run through these items and investigate any which you haven’t got on your current sites. Here then are six design features which every business website needs…
1. Responsive Design
The site should be as easy to use on a mobile device as it is on the largest desktop PC screen. As you drop down screen sizes from a 27-inch screen to a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone, the design should reconfigure itself to look great on each – and not just get less and less legible.
Pages should render in full, snappily. Don’t let the graphic designer and the website host blame each other. There are many tools to measure page loading speed, but in the end, it’s all about the user. Are the pages appearing quickly enough in your opinion as a user?
3. Free Google Services
All websites should come with a setup featuring Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google Tag Manager should be delivering the Google Analytics code and (if there’s an AdWords campaign) Remarketing code, at the very least. Google Analytics should be recording views of PDF documents as well as web pages.
4. Search Engine Optimisation
Every page should have its title and its description meta tag configurable manually, with an automatically-generated fallback for any pages where these haven’t been set. Pages should have hreflang and canonical tags, and any internationalisation strategies should be clearly documented.
5. Landing Page Generation and Web Forms
It should be straightforward to create new pages to non-standard templates for use as landing pages in advertising campaigns. It should be simple to define and include web forms for inclusion on these pages.
6. URL Redirection
Any removed pages – including those from a previous site, as well as those which get deleted – should be properly ‘301’ redirected to active equivalents. Non-existent URLs on the domain should be sent to a helpful ‘not found’ page.