Tuesday, October 16, 2012

12 Things to look for in a new web site

Here are twelve things to look for when you are creating or purchasing a new web site design.  These are some serious questions that you need to ask before investing in a new web site.

1. Does it use an industry standard platform such as Joomla or Wordpress or does it use some sort of “custom code”?  If it is not based on an industry standard platform, then how many bugs are hidden away in the “custom code” and how is the custom code going to be kept up to date?

2. Does it rely on Java and or on flash in order to work?  If so there are a lot of people that have those disabled or they do not work properly on their computers.  An animated jiff can usually do the same thing as flash without any of the risk.

3. Does it have a simple HTML/CSS based menu system that can be easily followed by and indexed by the search engines?  If the menu is hidden in flash it might as well not exist.

4. Does the web site submit a site map weekly to Google and to the other search engines?  That is the quickest way to get your web site indexed by the search engines.

5. Does it have titles on all of the pages, all of the links and on all of the pictures?  Titles are an easy and safe way to stuff keywords that are highly ranked by the search engines.

6. Does the home page have a clear purpose?  What do you do?  What makes your company better than the competitors?  If they have to search to see why your web site exists then it might as well not exist. 

7. Does the home page have a place to sign up?  It needs some sort of “Call to Action”? There has to be an easy way to sign up for web only specials, deals, monthly newsletters, etc.

8. Does the home page have social media links?  Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and whatever other social sites that your company uses?  Can they “like” your company?

9. Is there a “about us” or “Contact us” with you physical address and phone number?  I almost always want to know where a company is physically located before I order anything from them.

10. Does it have an easy to find search function that returns relevant results?  I hate it when I have to use Google to search inside a web site for something that I know is hidden in there somewhere.

11. Does it support mobile browsers?  This usually requires that it detect a mobile device and then reformats the entire site to fit on the mobile device.

12. Does it use colors that make the text unreadable?  There needs to be lots of contrast between the background and the text.  For example green text on a blue background can be unreadable. 

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