What Makes a Good Website: Everything You Need to Make Your Website the Best

Your website is both your digital billboard and your digital storefront. It has to make a great first impression and has to do a lot of things exactly right. But does it? How many times have you come across a website and thought one (or more) of the following . . .

  • “Hey, this site looks really cool . . . but what is it really about?”
  • “This site has some interesting stuff . . .  but I don’t know how to get around in it.”
  • “I’d really like to buy one of these cool widgets, but this site just makes it too hard.”
  • “I really wanted to read that blog post, but the background and font hurt my eyes.”
  • “I’m not gonna wait any longer for this site to load.” Click

And so on . . .

As you are well aware, a lot of sites have plenty of nifty bells and whistles, some have great content, and few have products you’re just all aquiver to buy. But in the end, neither you nor the site owner gets the desired results – and for any number of reasons.

Many sites just don’t have what makes a good website. So let’s see just what that is.

What Makes a Good Website Design?


At the most fundamental level, there are just four design principles that answer the question “What makes a good website design?” And those principles – or, better yet, pillars that support good website design – are:

  1. A clear and immediately recognizable purpose – When striving for good design, you must always begin with its purpose and hold it steadily in your mind. You have to ask yourself what you want every page to accomplish.
  2. Pleasing aesthetics in line with current standards – A good website design looks good – that is, it is appealing, up to date, and has pulling power.
  3. Well presented content that is both original and relevant – Good design also includes useful, original content that is aimed at the needs of a specific target market and so is relevant. And that content should be offered up in the most effective way possible.
  4. Clear, easy, and intuitive navigation – Ease of navigation matters immensely. The rule of thumb is that any page on a site should be within a maximum of three clicks from any other page on the site.

We could also talk about load speed, mobile friendliness, and any number of related matters. But, really, that is all subsumed under the four foundational principles above.

What Makes a Good Website Experience?


Now, if you go at it from the user end only and ask “What makes a good website experience?” the answer isn’t quite as easy because there is a subjective element. Still, there are some identifiable objective parts to the answer. And because user experience (UX) is so vitally important, it pays to know what it involves and how to design accordingly.

If good UX design has been deployed, users will find a site:

  • Useful
  • Easily useable
  • Desirable
  • Findable
  • Accessible
  • Credible

And here’s how you can achieve those user experience qualities:

  • Design should focus throughout on UX. Everything on and in a site – layout, graphics, text, content, interactive elements – should work together synergistically to provide users a pleasant, quality experience.
  • Users do not read, but scan site pages, so the pages should be constructed so as to be easily scannable.
  • Users want and appreciate simplicity and clarity. Basically, then, you should make it apparent what you want users to do, make it easy to find action buttons, and make things consistent throughout.
  • Design elements should not be weirdly creative, but should be consonant with what users are used to seeing. There is great comfort in meeting the familiar in a new place.
  • You need to know everything you can about your target audience to that you can tailor your website design and make it a good fit for those specific users.
  • Use a visual hierarchy so that the most important elements of the interface are highlighted and user focus is trained there. This can be accomplished, for example, by manipulating size or focal point.

What Makes a Good Ecommerce Website?


This one’s easy to answer: whatever attracts potential customers and converts them into customers. Of course, that isn’t really very helpful, so . . .

According to Neil Patel, here’s what users want in an ecommerce website:

  • A design/layout that is organized and easy to search
  • A fast site, one with pages that take no more than two seconds to load. Studies have shown that increasing a site’s speed increases conversion rates by 78%.
  • A fairly wide, but judiciously chosen, product line. Too wide a range of products and too many products can cause customers to have decision paralysis.
  • Well categorized product pages with brief, compelling, top-level, above-the-fold product descriptions.
  • A comfortable shopping cart with an easy transaction and with no surprises like high shipping fees or limited payment methods.
  • A good post-transaction process, especially with respect to issuance of receipts.

What Makes a Good Product Listing on a Website?

product listing

Product descriptions are of utmost importance here. They have to be concise, tight, compelling, and image conjuring, executed with top-notch copywriting skill. But what makes a good product listing on a website is certainly not limited to the product description(s). It must also include:

  • Category title headers that are both informative and helpful
  • Careful selection of gridview or listview, determined in large part by the kind of products and the desired user experience
  • Careful determination of the number of products per page and per row, based on size of images, number of products, and the amount of information needed for the particular kind of product
  • Quality product thumbnails that work together harmoniously
  • Easy, intuitive navigation for a quality user experience
  • Inclusion of only the necessary product information, but all the necessary information
  • The best sorting option for the kind of products and the target audience
  • Sound on-page SEO

What Makes a Good Website Checklist?

A good website checklist will include at least the following questions and answers:

What Makes a Good Business Website?

Above all, a good business website has a clearly delineated target audience and a clearly defined and recognizable purpose, with everything built around those two things. A good business website also has to do a few critical jobs: 1) inform visitors with relevant, easily assimilable information, 2) keep them on the site long enough to take action by using simple navigation and responsiveness, and 3) convert visitors into leads and then into customers by deploying effective forms and CTAs.

What Makes a Good Website Layout?

A good website layout includes these elements and attributes: appealing and professional appearance, quality and relevant content, quick and correct functionality, usability (which means simplicity, speed, layout consistency, minimal scrolling, easy navigation, and compatibility with different browsers and platforms), and SEO.

What Makes a Good Website Background?

What makes a good website background is simply that which conveys the feel and personality of the business and complements the purpose of the site. Some of the more recent and more effective trends in backgrounds are various shades of gray, geometric patterns superimposed on photos, layers of bright color, abstract art, and asymmetry.

What Makes a Good Website Landing Page?

A landing page is a site page that a visitor lands on after clicking, say, an ad. And, simply put, a good website landing page is one that converts. Still, individual landing pages have to be tailored to work well with different offers. What makes a good website landing page – one that converts – are these qualities:

  • Essential information provided in a concise and uncluttered way
  • High-quality, rich, useful content that inspires confidence and trust
  • Limited exit points (hyperlinks) and a funneling of visitors toward the desired destination/action
  • Ease of conversion through obvious and limited steps
  • A crisp, flawless design
  • Eye-catching, compelling headlines and subheads
  • Flawless, engaging, compelling copy
  • A visitor-centric orientation
  • Easy scannability and use of videos when and where appropriate
  • An awesome, irresistible offer

What Makes a Good Website Header?

Your website header occupies one of the most valuable spots on your site. But with all the conflicting advice and extravagant suggestions out there, it’s hard to know exactly how to utilize the space.

For business-branding purposes, though, it’s pretty simple because the header isn’t quite as critical as in other design cases. In fact, it may be more effective to minimize the header to give content a more prominent position higher up on the page. So the best practice for a business is to keep everything simple, including only a logo and a tagline and thus keeping the header area smaller. But if you want an image in the header, keep it to one main hero image, one that is relevant and that clearly conveys what the site is about.

What Makes Good Content on a Website?

There are so many variable across so many sites that only a general answer is possible here. In general, then, good website content is original, top-quality, relevant, and useful – always providing a solution to readers’ problems.

What Makes a Good Mobile Website?


What makes a good mobile website is much the same as what makes a good website in general, but with some key differences, including:

  • Pages should be broken into smaller sections.
  • Image scaling is critical.
  • The design must be simplified.
  • A viewport meta tag is needed.
  • Buttons and other elements must be bigger.
  • There should be no pop-ups or refreshes.
  • Text entry for navigation should be minimized.

What Makes a Good Startup Website?

What makes a good startup website consists chiefly in the messaging. And that means that messaging should be clear, to the point, and intriguing. The job of a startup website is to get people’s attention and to stand out from the forest of similar sites.

What Makes a Website Good for Lead Generation?

lead gen

To find out what makes a website good for lead generation, we advert to Neil Patel again. He avers that “leads are only as good as the website that produces them.” That may be overstating the case, but it’s something to keep in mind. Anyhow, here are some tips for creating a good lead-generation site:

  • Be sure to include a contact number.
  • Place sign-up forms on every page.
  • Enhance credibility with testimonials and photos.
  • Speak directly to users in videos.
  • Use legitimate trust seals.
  • Use powerful, impactful, concrete language to describe your offer, not flaccid, insipid abstract words.
  • Stay away from cookie-cutter website templates.
  • Begin with the end goal in mind and keep it constantly front and center.

Be sure to test and then test again and then test some more.

What Makes a Good Website Call to Action?


First of all, realize that visitors don’t just go from landing on your site to clicking on your call to action (whatever that action is). They have to be led, guided, funneled toward – and sometimes cajoled into – taking that action and often over a period of time and after several visits.

Creating a compelling call to action, one that encourages (and results in a good percentage of the time) conversion, involves several critical considerations. The four main areas of concern for a call to action are:

  • The quality – especially with respect to being compelling and serving to build trust –  of the supporting copy
  • The timing and placement of the call to action
  • The design and appearance of the call to action
  • The effectiveness of the post-call to action experience

What Makes a Good Website 2018, and How Do You Get It?

contact us
So . . . after all this has been said, what makes a good website design? If you distill it down to its essence, you’ll find one main element in that potent solution that remains. And that is user experience.

But getting user experience right for a particular kind of website takes scads of experience and tons of research into target market, the best tools, and current design trends. Of course, you have a business to run and don’t have the time or maybe even the inclination to do all these things. Never fear: Fingerprint Marketing is here.

The web design team at Fingerprint knows that your website has to be nice looking and that it has to help your business grow and make money. That’s why the team is obsessed with making you look good online with a web presence that warms your leads, entices users to visit sooner and more often, and makes it easy for customers and clients to do business with you again and again.

To learn how to get your own well designed website, contact Fingerprint today  . . . and impress your fingerprint on the world.

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