What Makes a Great Website

Posted on: November 23, 2010

Usability and Accessibility

This one is important for many reasons. Check that you have taken adequate steps to enhance the usability and accessibility of your website. Simply put “usability” is how easy a system is to use. “Accessibility” means access to everyone regardless of technical and physical means ranging from people with screen readers to those with mobile phones, PDAs or slow modems to even those that may have color blindness.

There are several tools that can help with validating just how accessible your website is regarding content and color as well as how to correct areas that may be in error.

You should also make sure there is always a way out for the user. No matter how good your website is, there will always be users who may get lost along the way. Having consistent top or sidebar navigation, a link back to the home page (on every page), search functions are perfect examples of what to do.

Another good idea is to have meaningful file names. This isn’t only great for SEO, it aids in the user experience. The address http://www.webconsiderations.com/website-design/ is a lot better than http://www.webconsiderations.com/index.php?pageid=283. Make your URL’s as easy to follow as possible.

Optimization

Optimization, as you know, can be defined within its own document but should certainly be considered when discussing what makes a great website design. A good optimization practice should not only include good search engine optimization but should also include page speed optimization, image optimization, code optimization and style optimization.

By using standard and effective optimization practices, your website can become a more effective tool in generating targeted traffic to your website and will help keep visitors there by providing a more pleasing user experience.