Figuring out important features to have on your website

By Rachel Remington
 
 
A website can be a powerful tool for promoting your business, but knowing what your website needs is important. Whether you’re having a brand new website built, or looking to improve your current website, you need to be able to identify what characteristics are important. These characteristics could include the appearance of your website, the message you’re trying to convey, and the features that make your site more functional. For example, if you own a hair salon, your website might include an online appointment booking system for convenience to your customers.
 

Style and Presentation

When trying to decide on your website’s style and appearance, first ask yourself what image you want to convey. Do you want your business to appear as fun, sophisticated, corporate, or personable? It may help to look at the websites of your competitors for insights. You can identify which traits of their websites successfully convey positive attributes of their businesses, and how their websites could be improved to do so even better. There may be website trends for businesses in your industry that work well universally, but you should also consider how you can add your personal taste to the website.
If you’re still unsure of the style that you would like your website to have, browse the web for websites that spark your interest. Take note of the elements of websites that you like, and you can convey this information to your web designer to give them a better idea of your personal taste.
 

Features and Functionality

featuresofwebsiteIf you are going to have a business website, make sure that it includes some important basic features. First of all, it should be easy for visitors to the website to be able to get in contact with you. Your website could have a contact page with all of your contact information on it, or you could just add your contact information to a sidebar on the site. Regardless, it should be easy for visitors to figure out how to get in contact with you. You may also want to include an about page on your website. This page gives you a chance to introduce yourself and your business to visitors, and to provide some background information on your business. A products and/or services page is also important to include, so customers can easily find information about the products/services that your company offers. Other pages to consider are a portfolio page, a blog page, and a shopping page (if relevant). Of course, make sure that your home page is well organized, and immediately conveys information that you want visitors to see.
Other than the pages on your website, there are some other things that you might want to consider including on the site. Based on the business industry you’re in, you should try to figure out what features your site could have that would make the visiting experience more memorable or beneficial to visitors. If your business provides services that require appointments, you may want to include an appointment booking system on your website to make the process more convenient for customers. If your company regularly hosts or attends events, an event calendar may be beneficial. If you regularly send out E-newsletters on behalf of the company, you’ll want to include a newsletter sign-up form on the site. Overall, you should try to decide on features for your website that will be useful for visitors. Below is a list of more features that you could consider using on your website.
 

  • Social media feeds
  • Social media icons
  • Search bar
  • Photo gallery
  • Promotional videos
  • Downloadable forms
  • Contact form
  • Downloadable coupons
  • Interactive maps
  • Order forms
  • Downloadable audio files
  • Testimonials page
  • Company directory
  • Discussion forum

Conclusion

A well designed website can be a great marketing tool for your business, but adding your personal style to it will make it stand out even more. Before hiring a web designer to build or redesign your website, you might want to take time to brainstorm ways that your website can exceed visitor’s expectations. If you need a website built or redesigned for your business, or need help coming up with great ideas for your website, feel free to contact us for help.