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This article will discuss a very high level view of the keys to successful websites. What really makes a website stand out from its competitors? Believe it or not, a beautiful design is only one small part of the equation. Of course there are many nuts and bolts of how to create a successful website, but these five tips should give you a quick good idea of what is really important to a website’s success.

1. Effectiveness

A website needs to be able to accomplish what it was designed to accomplish. It needs to do something. Whether it is making sales, capturing leads, providing information, get some feedback; whatever the initial goal of the website is, it needs to be able to achieve it. If not, what is the point of having a website? I can’t stress more the importance of this. Before improving the websites with fancy designs, plugins, themes etc., make sure your website is able to achieve what it is supposed to achieve.

Always provide a call-to-action button to the visitors of your website. What do they need to do? Some people are clueless of what to do next regardless how high quality the content of your website is. On the other hand, a clear call-to-action button will direct them on the first sight of your website of what to do and where to go next.

2. User Friendliness

successful websitesA website needs not just an attractive design but also needs to provide an intuitive and easy to use interface for its users/visitors/customers. This is where the design factor comes from, and it is just one part of the equation. By nature human loves beautiful design, and the more attractive you website is, the more likely your visitors will stay.

The important thing to remember is, the design needs to be functional. Non-functional good design is useless. Your website design needs to be attractive and functional at the same time. It needs to be user friendly despite the beautiful and elegant design. Your users should be able to find things fast without many confusing stuff to look at. You need to have a perfect balance of the great graphic design for your website and the user interface friendliness at the same time.

3. Maintainability

At the end of the day, your website is your vehicle for your business or personal needs. Whether it is an individual blog or an e-commerce site, your website needs to be updated regularly to stay relevant and being of high quality. Google also loves regularly updated websites which could help with the SEO for your website. You need to be able to update and make changes to your websites easily with no hassles.

This is where CMS comes into play. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS at the moment. It is great because it is free, open-source, and widely supported worldwide. You could virtually create ANY kind of website using WordPress today, and the supports available is top notch. You could find any tools you could think of for your website in WordPress. From Social Media plugins, e-commerce shopping carts, to very high specialised themes and plugins are easily found worldwide.

4. Efficiency

People don’t like to wait. In today’s world, even a few seconds wait are already too much for majority of the people. It is a sad reality, but it is. The options are too many out there, and your website needs to not just stands out from the crowd, but also able to deliver what it does in virtually no time. Give it a few seconds delay and majority of your visitors would not stay in your website. It could give them a feeling of cheap, low-budget, unprofessional website, and it is likely to affect their decision to do what they originally suppose to do on your website. Find a good and reliable hosting provider to host your website.

Different types if websites require different types of hosting, and the volume of your traffic also determines your hosting options. If you just starting out and only have few hundreds visits per day, shared hosting is fine and it is also economical. If you are doing e-commerce and getting thousands of visitors per day, you might want to consider moving to VPS hosting. If you are few of the lucky “big players” with tens to hundreds of thousands visitors everyday, you most likely will need your own dedicated hosting server. Of course with every stage the cost will increase but the rewards will also be very attractive, ie. big fish vs small fish 🙂

5. Brand/Pride

This is probably the easiest but also the hardest thing to do. You need to find a “brand” for your website, which is your domain name. The brand needs to stick in your visitors’ head, but more importantly it needs to bring them pride in using your website. Which website would you rather shop from, ebay.com or cheapest-auction-website.com? Your visitors need to feel secure and safe browsing your website, which in turns will give them a sense of pride to be a user of your website.

You need to gain trust for your website brand. This is the easiest step if you could find a catchy, reputable domain name, but the hardest thing is to turn it into a reputable and trustable website (and maintain it at that level). It is not just about buying bulk links from an SEO agency to try to improve your website brand. High quality and fresh contents are paramount. Do something different from your competitors, or even better, do more from your competitors.

We hope this has been helpful to you. What are your thoughts of these 5 keys to successful websites? Feel free to agree/disagree or give us your comments below. Or contact us if you would like to discuss about how to increase the success rate of your website.

This article is written by our expert web designer at Digiweb Media. Digiweb Media is a leading web design company in Wollongong serving businesses in the Illawarra and Sydney areas.