When creating a website, there are a few characteristics that elevate a site from good to great. For one, it should have visual appeal, but it also needs to function effectively. Here are the five key elements of a great website.

1. Simple Navigation

A website should not only be aesthetically pleasing but it also needs to be easy to navigate. While this may seem obvious, it is a feature that is commonly overlooked. Have you ever visited a beautiful website but couldn’t find your way off the homepage? Simple navigation is the first step in creating a well- functioning website and helps users move easily through different pages while engaging with the content.

For example, a common and effective trend in website design is the use of a “hamburger menu.”

2. Strong Visuals

Eye tracking studies prove that internet users spend more time looking at images than they do reading text on the page. So, a site’s image quality has a huge impact on the user experience.

The above image is a screen shot from the Mohr Capital website, which is a great example of a site that employs visuals to engage its users. The images are big, attractive and engaging for the user – all qualities needed when creating effective website imagery.

2. Fast and Responsive

No matter how beautiful or informative your site, it’s not an effective marketing tool unless it loads quickly. The average time someone will wait for a site to load is just under 3 seconds. If your site takes longer than that, most users will quickly leave your page.

Recently explored in our mobile-friendly blog post, the majority of people interact with websites from their phone which means your website has to be responsive. People are viewing sites on a number of different devices, and not all of these devices have the same size screen. The design and layout must automatically adjust based on the device or screen where it’s viewed.

3. Brand-Appropriate Typography

Typography is more than just the text on your website; it draws people in and immediately gives users a sense of the overall feel of the site. Script fonts can demonstrate elegance while big and bold fonts help develop a sense of trust and confidence. Typography accounts for the majority of the design and should never be overlooked when creating a website.

4. Engaging Content

The content on your website needs to engage users. If you run a goofy or quirky company, your content and writing should reflect those traits, but if you’re more conservative, like a law firm or hedge fund, then the writing style should match. Your website’s content should speak to your potential audience.

Following these five key elements will ensure that you have a great website – and therefore more interested site visitors.

Cooksey Staff