It’s 2020, and website design has come leaps and bounds since the year 2000. Long gone are static pages with lengthy sidebars and long above-the-fold banner ads. These days, we see designs that use parallax scrolling effects, streamlined top-down design, and top bar menus.
There are several reasons for this, with the switch to mobile browsing being chief among them. But design fads come in and out of style (remember the 80s?) and some are here to stay.
In this article, we’re not necessarily just going to talk about design, but about important elements that all websites should have regardless of their era. So what are the most important elements of a good website?
Essential Elements of a Good Website
User friendly design (especially on mobile!)
In the future, web browsing devices may be completely different. Nobody predicted the importance of mobile web browsing in 2010, especially since everyone was clamoring to build apps in order to replace the Web!
But no matter what era you’re in, you want to design your website for the most common Web browsing devices. In 2020, most Web traffic comes from mobile phones (often referred from apps like Google, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram).
As a result, you absolutely NEED to have a website that runs exceptionally on mobile. In fact, if it runs better on mobile than on desktop, then that’s perfectly fine!
Your website needs to function well on mobile. What does this mean?
Optimized navigation.A navigation menu on mobile usually consists of a clickable element (marked by three horizontal lines) that opens into a sidebar that slides in from the side. This navigation menu needs to not only work smoothly, but it needs to make it obvious where people need to go to find certain information.
Easy to read text.If your text is too small or too big on mobile, people are going to bounce. Use media queries in your CSS to specify font sizes for various elements on mobile.
Compressed images.You don’t want too many images on a mobile site anyway, but the images that you do have need to be compressed so they load seamlessly on the site. CompressJPG is an excellent tool for making images smaller.
A logical website flow.
This is a somewhat complicated topic, but when someone visits your website, they need to know what to do and where to go. They also need to know why they should do anything on your site.
There are several elements of a logical website flow.
A stated objective.What does your business do, and what do people who land on your homepage want from you? An advertising agency should not use their home page to just talk about them; instead, they should use it to give an overview about what they can do for a client plus any information that supports it. People landed on your website for a reason: give them a reason to take action!
Easy navigation.We’ve touched on navigation in the previous section, but this applies to all devices. You want people to easily find any information they might want. Contact info, hours (if applicable), product or service portfolio, pricing structures, blog articles… all of these need to be easy to find for anyone who lands on your website.
Clear calls to action.First, your call to action needs to be specific. If you’re linking to your call scheduling page, “Learn More” is much less specific than “Schedule A Call Now”. Call to action buttons should be large and prominent. Making them more prominent is as simple as using complimentary colors to make them stand out.
● Make your website user-friendly on all devices, especially mobile phones.
● Your website needs to be easy to navigate.
● Let people know what actions they can take on your site and what it will do for them.
● Give people a reason to take action on your website.