Designing and developing websites in all shapes and sizes is what we do and we love it! What we don't love are poorly put together websites, when it's difficult to find information or when you're hindered by slow loading speeds or bad navigation. Being digital experts makes us pretty picky, so here's a list of our top 10 website must-haves. Things we believe that every website should have or be thinking about.

Some of them might seem obvious but too often websites are put together quickly and the basics overlooked. Take a look down the list, how does your website fair?

1. Intuitive navigation Make it easy for people to get around your website and find the information they want. Clear navigation with obvious page or section headers are what your visitors want to see.

2. Content is king! Good, clear, well written content is essential. What does your business do? What information do your visitors need to know? Messages should be clear, concise and relevant - not to mention SEO friendly with your chosen keywords. If in doubt seek help from a professional copywriter.

3. Call to action What do you want your visitors to do - contact you by phone or through the website, download your brochure, purchase from your website? Whatever the action you want them to complete, make it obvious with clear and repeated calls to action. Your contact details should also be easy to find, phone number, email, address; don't make it difficult for people to get in touch.

4. Accessible The overall look and feel of your website is how people will judge your brand/products online, to make a great first impression you need a great design. Website design covers everything from colour choices, font, text size to images and how much copy you have on each page. You don't need a big budget to achieve a good design but you do need to make it accessible for people with different needs or who are viewing in different browsers.

5. Social integration Encourage social sharing by including sharing icons on your website, allow your visitors and customers to share your site with their friends and family. If you're on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn add follow icons. If you're customers are on social media let them know you are too!

6. Device friendly Smartphones and tablets accounted for more than 50% of internet connectivity in 2012 and these figures continue to rise, make sure your website is friendly for people using tablets and smartphones. A responsive website responds to the screen size of the device being used,  the content and branding fluidly adapts which creates a slicker user experience and removes the need for a mobile version of the site.

7. Security  This is a must for any ecommerce website. Make sure you have all the necessary security in place, trust plays a big part in ecommerce and you need your visitors to trust in your website that their payment details will be kept safe and secure.

8. Optimised for SEO Ascensor websites are built with search in mind from the start, what good is having a website if nobody can find it? Make sure your website is search and SEO friendly so as many people can find it as possible.

9. Analytics Analytics allows you to track the activity on your website, traffic levels and web content performance. This information is vital, it will help you measure if your marketing activity and campaigns are working and where you should make any improvements.

10. Hosting A good host will give you peace of mind, it might seem like an added expense but your website needs to be hosted on a secure server. Poor hosting makes your website suffer; slow loading speeds or down time where your website isn't even accessible will turn your customers off. The best server packages should come with 24/7 support and a  regular back up system just in case anything does go wrong.

We hope you find this helpful, what are your website bugbears? Share them with us in the comments.

If your website needs an update or refresh contact us!


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