When you’re starting a business, one of the first things you need to do is set up a website. This can be a daunting task since it takes roughly five or six months to deploy a professionally built website. There are many different features and functions that you need to consider to make your website successful. In fact, thousands of businesses waste immense amounts of time and money trying to add every bell and whistle to their site even though some may not really add any value.
So, how do you know which ones you’ll need?
In this blog post, we will help you figure out which web design features are essential for your business and how to determine which ones are right for you.
1. Mobile Responsiveness
More and more people are browsing the web on their mobile devices. This means that your website needs to be mobile responsive in order to provide a good user experience. If your website is not mobile responsive, it will look different on different devices, and it will be difficult to navigate.
This can lead to a loss of business and customers. That’s why mobile responsiveness is essential for the website design of a business. It ensures that your website looks good and is easy to use on all devices.
A responsive website will automatically adjust to the size of the screen, making it easy to navigate and view on any device.
There are a few ways to make sure your website is mobile responsive:
The first way is to use a customized responsive theme or template. This is the most common way and it’s easy to do. You can find plenty of free and premium themes that are responsive on WordPress, Squarespace, and other platforms.
Just keep in mind that you’ll want to pay attention to the following when it comes to customized themes:
- Look and feel
- Ease of use
The second way is to use a responsive framework. This is a more advanced method and it’s best suited for developers or those with some coding knowledge.
The third way is to create a separate mobile version of your website. This is the least common method, but it can be effective if done correctly.
Whichever method you choose when designing your own website, making sure that your website is mobile responsive is essential for business success in today’s digital age.
Having a responsive website is also very important for SEO purposes, as Google now ranks websites based on their mobile friendliness.
2. Load Time
Website load time is the amount of time it takes for a website to load completely. This includes all of the images, text, and other files.
A slow website can lead to an increased bounce rate. That’s why website load time is a key component. It’s one of the main factors that users consider when browsing the web.
There are a few things you can do to improve your website’s load time:
- Use a content delivery network (CDN).
- Optimize your images.
- Minimize HTTP requests.
- Clean up your code.
- Use a caching plugin.
These tools will analyze your website and give you a report with recommendations on how to improve your load time.
Make sure to follow the recommendations and test your website again. You should see a significant improvement in your load time.
Remember, a fast website is essential for business success. It’s not just about the design.
3. Content Management Systems
If you’d like to take some of the work out of the design of your business website, you can use a Content Management System or CMS. A CMS is a platform that allows you to easily create and manage your website’s content.
The most popular CMS platforms are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These platforms are used by millions of websites around the world.
When choosing a CMS platform, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Ease of use
WordPress is a good option for those who are looking for an easy-to-use platform. It’s also free to use, and there is almost no coding required.
CMS templates are a good option for those who are looking to design their own website but don’t want to deal with coding. Just remember to choose the right platform and template for your business and consider your needs and budget when making a decision.
4. Social Media Integration
A good business website will incorporate social media integration in its design. This will allow your visitors to easily share your content on their own social media profiles.
Social media integration is important because it helps to increase brand awareness and exposure. It also allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
When adding social media integration to your business website, you’ll want to make sure to add social media buttons for the most popular platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can also add social media feeds to your website. This is a great way to show off your latest posts and tweets.
Make sure to test the social media buttons and feeds on your business website. You’ll want to make sure that they’re working properly and that the links lead to the correct pages.
5. Live Chat Options
If you’re designing a new website for your business, you may want to consider live chat as a web feature. Live chat allows your visitors to chat directly with you or a customer service representative in real-time.
This is a great way to provide support and answer any questions that your visitors may have. It’s also a great way to build rapport and relationships with your customers.
When adding live chat to your business website, you’ll want to make sure that it’s easy to use and that it’s available during business hours. You’ll also want to consider the type of customer service you want to provide.
Do you want your visitors to be able to chat with a customer service representative? Or do you want them to be able to chat with you directly?
6. Marketing and SEO Tools
If you’re looking to improve your business website, you may want to consider adding marketing and SEO tools. These tools will help you to increase traffic to your website and improve your search engine ranking.
When adding marketing and SEO tools to your business website, you’ll want to make sure that they’re properly configured and that you’re using them to their full potential.
Having the right tools integrated into your website will allow you to attract more links and optimize your website’s on-page SEO, metadata, and site speed to gain more traffic.
You can also use certain SEO tools to see what’s trending before investing too much time in content that doesn’t necessarily give you a good return and measure your progress by paying attention to key metrics and analytics.
In doing so, you’ll also improve your user experience and design for your business website.
7. About Us Page
Every business website should have an “About Us” page baked into its navigation. This is one of the 4 most important pages on your website, as it’s where you’ll tell your visitors who you are and what your business is all about.
Your “About Us” page should include a brief introduction, your business history, your mission statement, and your team members. You may also want to include some customer testimonials.
Make sure to keep your “About Us” page updated with the latest information about your business and ensure it’s well-written and engaging.
Don’t forget to include some eye-catching photos and a captivating call-to-action into the design, and you’ll have a prominent page on your website that touts your business for you while you sleep.
8. Email Opt-In or Contact Form
One of the most important web features that should never be overlooked when designing your own website is an email opt-in or contact form.
An email opt-in is a great way to capture leads and build your email list. You can offer your visitors a freebie, such as an eBook or coupon, in exchange for their email address.
A contact form is a great way to give your visitors a way to get in touch with you. You can use a contact form to answer customer questions, provide support, or take bookings and appointments.
This is an imperative step that allows your customers or clients a direct line of communication, builds loyalty and trust, and it ensures that there is a communication method in place for them to take the next step with you.
A lot of business owners leave their visitors hanging in limbo and don’t provide a next step or a means of communication. Don’t let that be you!
9. Ecommerce Functionality
If you’re looking to sell products or services online, then you’ll definitely need an ecommerce functionality for your website. Ecommerce functionality can be added in a number of ways, such as through Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento. These platforms can be integrated into an existing site via a headless development approach. However, if your business doesn’t have an existing site, you can directly build it on them.
These third-party platforms will provide you with everything you need to start selling products or services online, such as a shopping cart, payment gateway, product listings, and more. You may opt to choose a payment processor, such as PayPal or Stripe, and manually integrate them into your site as well. This will enable you to set up shipping and taxes.
Once you have an understanding of the ecommerce customer journey, you’ll be able to start selling products and services to customers all over the world without leaving money on the table.
10. Aesthetically Pleasing Web Design
Not only that, but 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive. Make sure your business website is built by a professional web developer or agency and that it features a clean, modern, and responsive design.
These are all factors that contribute to the overall user experience (UX) of your site. When all is said and done, your website should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and have an aesthetically pleasing design or layout.
This includes fonts, color schemes, and images as well.
11. Easy Navigation
We’ve touched on this already, but having the ability to navigate your website from any page is imperative to the success of your business.
It’s so important that 94% of consumers say an easy-to-navigate website is the most important web feature. If it’s complicated to find what you’re looking for on your website or the links aren’t functioning properly, it can be troublesome for your user experience, which can also affect your search engine rankings.
To be direct: Your business website navigation should be easy to understand, use descriptive labels, and be consistent on every page.
Whether you’re designing your own website or you’re working with the pros, we sincerely hope you enjoyed this blog post and that it provided some clarity on business websites and the web features you need most to be successful. For more tips and strategies, follow the BESTWEB Blog.