What Makes A Website ‘Good’?

23 Criteria That Make Some Websites Better Than The Rest

At the moment there are, apparently, close to 25 million website developers in the world. Do they all build GOOD websites?

A quick Google search confirmed my suspicions. It’s a no. Not all website designers/developers/creators deliver GOOD websites. And as frustrating as that may be, there is very little we can do about it at this stage. There is no ‘governing body’ to regulate website designers, and enforce a certain level of excellence and/or skill.

Our aim at Webbie, however, is to deliver sites that DO check the boxes that add up to a high quality, effective, and aesthetically pleasing website – for every single one of our customers.

We’ve compiled the following list of 23 items to help you discern whether or not a website is good. These are the qualities you can measure a website against, and what you should aim to get when choosing your website design service provider:

At the moment there are, apparently, close to 25 million website developers in the world. Do they all build GOOD websites?

A quick Google search confirmed my suspicions. It’s a no. Not all website designers/developers/creators deliver GOOD websites. And as frustrating as that may be, there is very little we can do about it at this stage. There is no ‘governing body’ to regulate website designers, and enforce a certain level of excellence and/or skill.

Our aim at Webbie, however, is to deliver sites that DO check the boxes that add up to a high quality, effective, and aesthetically pleasing website – for every single one of our customers.

We’ve compiled the following list of 23 items to help you discern whether or not a website is good. These are the qualities you can measure a website against, and what you should aim to get when choosing your website design service provider:

  1. An effective home page
    • Provides basic company information in a way that is easy to scan and digest
    • Showcases your value proposition right away – visitors should instantly understand what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and why visitors should contact YOU in stead of a competitor.
    • Remember: Being honest about who your perfect or ideal customer is, is refreshing and gives you a ton of credibility.
  1. Limited menu items
    • Fewer menu items significantly increases the chances of a positive user experience. Too many options to choose from overwhelms and frustrates visitors, and most of them end up leaving before engaging with your brand.
  1. Well written content
    • Your website content should be well written, ideally in a conversational tone. It should get to the point and avoid hype or grandiose statements.
  1. Clear calls to action:
    • Calls to action are especially important on the home page. A well-placed CTA acts as a friendly guide, and gives visitors a clear indication of the ideal action you want them to take. If you really want them to look at your Services page, send them there.
  1. Easy to contact the business
    • Your business contact details should be visible on every page, and your Contact page should be easy to access (ideally from the main menu)
  1. Human verification tool like Captcha
    • Any form on your site should have a built-in verification method to reduce fraud and website attacks from spambots.

    7. Links to social media pages (if pages are being kept up to date) 

    1. Phone number
      • Your business phone number should be visible on every page, or extremely easy to find, and should be clickable from a mobile device.
    1. Contains client testimonials
      • 85% of website users view online recommendations and reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations. A positive, honest testimonial could be just what your website visitor needs to get off the fence.
    1. A personal element
      • It’s easy to get lost in the technical and business aspects of a website. But you are human and so is your website visitor, and most of us want to feel we can trust someone before we decide to put our proverbial eggs in their proverbial baskets. Ways of helping your ideal clients to feel a connection with you and your business are:
        • Place pictures of you/your team at work on the website (smiles have been shown to increase trust)
        • An intro video on your Home or About page
        • A short paragraph telling your story and why you do what you do.
    1. User-friendly
      • Good websites are well organised, easy to navigate, and follow an intuitive structure. Users should be able to find the information or answers they are looking for without struggling, ideally in 3 clicks or less.
    1. Clean and professional design
      • Your website should not be cluttered. White space gives your visitors’ eyes opportunity to breathe, and ensures they don’t feel overwhelmed.
      • The site’s design doesn’t have to follow the latest trends, but should be modern and up to date. Outdated web designs communicate that the business is old, doesn’t adapt, and that management doesn’t really care for customers’ experience when dealing with them. In fact, 38% of people will stop visiting a website if its design is sloppy and unattractive.
    1. Branded
      • Your website is just an online extension of your brand. Your brand personality and values should shine through on your website.
    1. Speaks directly to a target audience and market
      • You cannot be everything to everybody. Know who your ideal client/customer is, and ensure that the content you provide is useful and relevant to them.
    1. Avoids excessive blocks of text
      • No one reads long blocks of text anymore – they want to quickly scan a page, collect the most important information, and decide whether or not this service provider will provide them with the solution or product they need. Your website text should therefore be concise and deliver crucial information up front.

      16. Responsive

      • A responsive website’s design and layout automatically adapts to various devices, for a great user experience regardless of the size or orientation of the user’s screen.
      • Consider this: Google introduced worldwide mobile-first indexing in 2018. This means that from that point on, Google searches would favour websites that are mobile friendly, even if the user was using a desktop or laptop device to do the search. Take into account that 91% of small business haven’t optimized their sites for mobile yet – and you’ll realize that you’ll have an instant advantage over 91% of your competition, if you simply have a responsive site.
      1. Performance and speed
        • Acceptable loading speeds per page is about 2 seconds.
        • Studies show that if the loading time of a website increases form 8 to 2 seconds, the conversion rate will jump up with 74%. That’s massive!
        • Some of this has to do with your design, and some has to do with your hosting company. Check your site’s loading speed using a free online tool (like this one https://tools.pingdom.com/) to see what you’re dealing with.
      1. Reliable
        • is your website up and running 24/7? Your choice of hosting company plays a big part here, so please don’t simply go for the cheapest option you can find.

      19. Secure

      • With automated bots on the rampage in search of weak spots in websites they can hack, this one is non-negotiable. You absolutely need to have some sort of structure in place to ward off attacks from hackers, and be able to handle sensitive information such as payment details, passwords, and personal details.
      • It is imperative that you have a way to continuously identify and block brute force attacks, monitor files, check blacklisting, etc. ,

      20. Updated software

      • A good website is well maintained and up to date. Outdated software versions create loopholes where hackers can easily gain access to your site – and once they’re in, it’s can be a painful process to get them out permanently.
      • If you choose to keep your site updated on your own, it should be easy for you to do so. Alternatively, you should have the option of signing up for a website maintenance package, where these things will be taken care of for you.
      1. Has a website backup of the files and database
        • Sometimes things go wrong. Your site gets hacked and deleted. Or your new intern got creative and completely messed up the site. Whatever the reason, you need to have a recent backup of your website’s files and database.
      1. Search Engine Optimisation
        • This is such a big one, for obvious reasons – “A website without proper SEO design is like a home in the forest with no roads leading towards it.”
        • Your site should make use of keywords in strategic places, without being guilty of obvious ‘keyword stuffing’. Ideally, if possible, keywords should be used in the page title, metadata, major headings (H1), and in page content.
        • You should have linked pages where necessary.
        • The website should have a sitemap.
        • And if you really want to give SEO a good go, you’ll benefit greatly from a blog with regular, new, helpful content for your readers and potential clients.
      1. SSL Certificate
        • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol ensures that secure communication can take place between a website and its visitors, by encrypting the data that passes between them.
        • Google recently updated their web browser, and made SSL certificates critical for any website. Websites that do not have a SSL certificate now display a red ‘Not Secure’ message in the URL. This is enough to give many potential customers a fright, which will have them hitting that back button faster than you can say ‘lost opportunity’.
        • You can obtain a SSL certificate for your website through your web hosting company at a small cost.

      It’s clear to see that a good website doesn’t just happen. Finding a website design company or service provider that has the knowledge and skill to do all of the above is going to take some effort. It goes without saying that your time and effort will be an investment you will never regret, and that you will be reaping the benefit thereof for years to come.