Have you ever stumbled upon a website that took forever to load? A website on which you spent a lot of time to find what you came for in the first place… How about a website you could not access at all due to various error screens you most likely did not even know the meaning of? It is things like this that inevitably waste the users’ time and nerves, which make the difference between a good and a bad website.
Although there are a large variety of potential approaches to this subject, we will discuss some crucial elements of a well-functioning website.
Users form first impressions based on the appearance of your website. Good website design can significantly improve your credibility in the eye of a consumer, having a website that looks professionally done will make them think the same about you. It will leave them with with an impression that you are a professional who knows what he/she is doing. Similarly, poor web design will invoke opposite feelings, it will make them question your credibility and dedication, due to the fact that you went for the simplest and visually unappealing solution. Regardless of how good your content is, unappealing web design can often cause visitors to leave before they even make their first click.
The role of a good design is to make them stay on your website, and once you have accomplished that, make sure not to disappoint them with the content. It depends largely on what the purpose of your website is, but you should generally avoid putting too much text on a single page. It has a very discouraging effect on readers, so most of them will not go through all of it. Do not make it too difficult for them to find their way around and check whether all the options are functional. Also, keep in mind that not everyone has fast internet connection, so avoid putting too much multimedia content which may require too much time to load, especially if you are also targeting the audience from underdeveloped countries.
If you think that your parents are the last people on Earth who use Internet Explorer, it may come as a shock to you to learn that the aforementioned browser is the primary choice of a number of large corporations. As funny as it may seem, it actually makes a lot of sense – popular browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, are developing rapidly and releasing new updates all the time, making it hard for workers in large corporations, who rely on their technical support staff, to keep up with that pace. Furthermore, the release of each new version of Firefox marks the end of tech support for the previous one. On the other hand, when I was applying for a job in a certain European Union mission by using their online form, it took me several unsuccessful attempts to realize that the only way to submit it was by using Internet Explorer.
The point of this is that you should make sure that your website is optimized for all internet browsers which hold a significant part of the market. Think about good search engine optimization (SEO) as well! The number of visitors you receive through online search engines will depend on how optimized your website is, thus affecting your traffic. Do not forget that computers are no longer the only way of accessing the internet, with rapid development of tablets and smartphones, mobile devices play a growing role in online activities.
Working out everything we have mentioned so far is of little importance if your website cannot be accessed at all. This is where web hosting comes into play, which is supposed to ensure that your website runs smoothly. Unreliable hosting can have a negative impact on your website in a few different ways. First of all, if your site goes down every now and then, you will lose your traffic. This can further result in the loss of revenue or, even worse, if you host an online shop, it will decrease the number of customers. Another negative impact is that this will decrease your SEO ranking. A reliable web hosting company will backup your data to prevent it from being lost in case of security failures.
If you are doing a good job running your website, you will generate more traffic. Your hosting company should be able to accommodate for this increase without making your website inaccessible at times. No one likes seeing an error screen when trying to access a website which they thought would answer their needs, but perhaps even worse than this are slow-loading ones.