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What Makes a Website Great? – Part 1

The best web sites take into account the visitor’s perspective first. For your web site visitor, the three most important factors are:

  1. Content & functionality
  2. Navigation & usability
  3. Design

I want to point out, these were determined by a thorough scientific study consisting of me thinking about this for at least 18 seconds. The question I thought about is this: when I hear people recommend a web site to their friends, when they say, “Hey, check out this web site, it’s great”, what do they mean? Why do they think the web site is great? We’ll delve into this more shortly.

The web site owner clearly has a stake too, and I would argue that what makes their own web site great to them is generating more conversions (in the SEO sense of the word), which in the case of a commercial business means more sales and a bigger bottom line. A bigger bottom line also means minimizing the cost to build and maintain their web site.

Achieving that success for the web site owner requires the three items above, plus one more:

  1. Structure

Within “Structure” I include coding to web standards, and implementing appropriate accessibility guidelines. Such a structural foundation to the web site maximizes the number of visitors that can use the site: it opens the site to visitors with special needs, and makes the site look and function correctly across the largest number of web browsers and display devices possible. Utilizing web standards also minimizes the cost to develop the site, makes it easier (and therefore lest expensive) to maintain, and makes it possible to implement Search Engine Optimization techniques to maximum effectiveness.

To be continued…