31 Jul, 2015 Five Tips to a Top Class Website 31 July 2015 Oliver Walker Social & Content Marketing In this digital age the first interaction many people will have with a new brand is likely to be their website. Much like that first handshake with a client or the cover of the latest novel, users probably shouldn’t, but most probably will make assumptions based on that first interaction. If your website isn’t up to scratch you could be giving off all the wrong impressions and losing customers. Here at Pixelbuilders, we pride ourselves on delivering first class websites and web systems that work efficiently, engage users, and advertise your brand in the best possible light; ensuring you never have to worry about a bad first impression. To see if you are on the right track, we have put together our Top Five Tips to Top Class Website. Take a look and see how you could make your website stand out from the crowd. 1. Design for the User But Don’t Forget The Client It may sound rather a simple thing to remember, however so many websites out on the web today seem to have forgotten one or the other. For users, the most important metric that they care about is being able to find what they want to find, fast. Right from the start, there have been studies that suggest users will already have a negative view of your site/company if the pages don’t load within a few seconds and even more so if they can’t find what they are looking for within a few more. Because of this it is essential that your website is designed with the user in mind, providing a clear and simple user journey, the user shouldn’t feel like they have to learn anything to use the site, and all while being developed with page speed in mind at all times. Having a lightning fast website that gets users to the right pages easily is all well and good, but we haven’t mentioned the client yet! What about the brand or the products and services we are trying to advertise? Understanding what the client requires from the project is a huge factor in creating a successful website/web system. Without an understanding of the brand direction and what the client actually expects from the project it would be impossible to provide it in the end. A truly powerful web project will empower the user while advertising/selling/providing exactly what the client and the user want. 2. Page Speed Briefly mentioned above, page load speed is another massive factor in a successful web project. Not only does page load time affect how your users perceive your brand and how long they are likely to stay on the site, page load time is a vital in Google page rankings. Google, along with many other search engines today use page load time as one of the main deciding factors in how your website ranks amongst others in search results. It is obvious then that utilising every tool possible to improve the speed of your site is essential. 3. Degrade Gracefully Not all computers are created equal. Not all smartphones are the same size. Not all tablets are held the same way up. So why would you create a website/web system that only worked for one computer, phone, or tablet? While technology advances at an astonishing rate, not everybody has the latest or greatest kit. So to provide everyone with the same experience it’s therefore highly advised that every web project is built reponsive so that it works on not only the latest computers and devices but on as many as possible, of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, especially with smaller or older devices, it’s just not possible to provide all of the same functionality for your users. This is no excuse though, to simply forget them. Mobile users can make up as much as 50% of traffic to your website. Users on any device should not feel that they are being given less than another, degrade functionality slowly, and gracefully to keep your users happy. 4. Sweat the Small Stuff So you’ve got the big hurdles out of the way, the users are getting what they want and the client’s goals are being met, pages are loading swiftly and the website works on a myriad of devices. Now why stop there? Attention to detail is what sets apart the wheat from the chaff in web systems. Getting the big bits right is obviously important, but keeping an eye out for little site quirks, development bugs and even spelling mistakes can be almost as significant. These little things come together to form the overall feel of the website. These are the things that will put a user off from coming back and using the website again, and potentially losing that user to a competitor that has bothered to put the time in getting the ‘small stuff’ right. 5. Don’t settle for second best - ‘Go big or Go home’ So you want to provide a service, advertise your brand, or sell through an E-commerce store? Great, just don’t settle for average. That is the level everyone else is at. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to push the limits and boundaries that others haven’t. We at pixelbuilders are proud of our knowledge of what makes a good website/web system, but only ever satisfied when we go above and beyond to create great websites and systems from discovery all the way through to delivery. Contact a our experts today for some friendly and honest advice about how you can improve your digital presence.