When it comes to website design and development, everyone is doing it. There are drag and drop page builders that allow you to create free websites, online blogging networks with free accounts and so many designers offering their services. What do you choose when you need a website?

With so many website design options to choose from, it is important to compare all the features and know what you are getting.

Here are five features of a website I believe many people neglect.

A simple one first up, favicons and site icons. With your website now being viewed across so many different devices, it is important to remember to cater for all of them. In terms of icons, we need to ensure web browser icons, shortcut icons and device icons are in your root directory. There are a few different sizes and resolutions you need to include, check out this post to get an idea of sizes and where to put the files.

Htaccess, robot and humans file, and sitemaps. The basic files that should be present in your root directory. The Htaccess file can include a lot of your site security options, whilst the sitemap and robots file is essential for search engine optimisation purposes. My ebook on WordPress security covers some of this, check it out here.

Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer. Your site needs to have these or at least a privacy policy. This includes all the details about the information you collect on the site, use of cookies and personal details, your business liabilities and how your site operates. If you plan on using online advertising such as Facebook or AdWords, they require you to have a privacy policy that includes information about information collection on the site for advertising purposes.  Check out this support article from Google.

Meta tags and anchor text. In terms of search engine optimisation and making your site easily readable by Google and Bing search bots, correctly tagging elements such as your images, and ensuring you use correct meta titles and descriptions on all your pages is essential. Don’t forget about your anchor text to when it comes to links, and also whether you set external links as nofollow or follow.

Responsiveness and device love. With so many devices now accessing the internet, it is important to make sure your new website caters for them all. There are mobile phones and tablets, PC Windows, Linux and Mac computers with a variety of browser options and even large screen displays and gaming devices. Two ways you can go about this, firstly you could create a mobile only version of your website alongside your main site, alternatively you could use a responsive layout for your website which will alter it’s dimensions and container fields to cater for the specific screen size. I would recommend designing your to best cater to mobile users as this makes us about 80% of online users. On a sidenote, whatever you do choose, make sure it does the job fast and effectively as speed or lack of it will kill your SEO and user interaction.

I hope this helps give you a bit more of a checklist when looking to build a new website. Keep it mobile and search engine friendly, as well as easy to use for visitors and making sure it displays correctly no matter the device it is on.

Is there anything you would add to this list?

 

Dave out.


 

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