We have all been on thousands of different websites – most likely within the past 6 months. From purchasing items, to learning more about a business, to researching a topic… a lot of our time is dedicated to using the Internet, and more specifically websites, to meet our needs and complete tasks. There are websites that we return to regularly or some that we use for a specific reason. However, we have all also identified a website (or 10) that we wish to never return to.

Image courtesy of Pixabay and edar

Image courtesy of Pixabay and edar

But, what makes a good website? How can you as a business owner create a website that people will return to regularly, refer friends to, or leave your page saying “That was a great website!”  This leads us to…. The 10 Commandments of Websites:

1) Thou shalt not hide contact information:

The reason you created a website was so that your customers could find out more about you and then contact you. Whether it be a phone number, mailing address, physical location address, or email address… it MUST be visible on your website.

2) Thou shalt include social media icons/links:

With social media becoming an essential part of business communication along with a business specific website, the icons (with links) to your various social media platforms should be included on your website. Your website should act as a one-stop-shop, eliminating the task of your consumer searching out your various websites themselves. Include your icons at the top of your website (in the header) to ensure they are always visible to page visitors.

3) Thou shalt not have more than 8 main menu items:

Even 8 may be a bit much! Make sure your main menu items (the ones you see across the top of your page) are relatively simple: Home, About Us, Products/Services, Contact Us, etc. Website visitors should be able to find all necessary information through your website and you can help them by making menu items simple and easy to navigate! The 8 menu items does not include drop down menu items; it is ok to have more of those!

4) Thou shalt not neglect mobile friendly versions:

We live in a fast paced world and the use of our smartphones has grown exceedingly. Although you may have created a beautiful website, did you consider checking to see how it displays on a mobile device? Consumers are more likely to visit your website via smartphone or tablet than from a computer or laptop.

5) Thou shalt not use animated gifs:

Simple as that. Don’t do it! Your business website should be professional. Gifs are a trend meant to be humorous. Your business website is not the place for them!

6) Thou shalt use accurate content:

We have all been on a website and been confused by its content. From inaccurate pricing, to out of stock, to wrong dates… accurate content is key to creating credibility with your consumers.

7) Thou shall not go overboard with color:

We are no longer in the 80’s! Neon blue backgrounds with bright yellow and lime green font is a HUGE no-no. Use colors that people identify with your company, product, and services. Websites allow you to be creative, but pick a color scheme that is user friendly.

8) Thou shall proofread all content:

Proofread, proofread, proofread. Catching numerous spelling errors on a businesses’ website can destroy its reputation. Take the time to proofread your content before publishing… even consider having a few people proofread it.

9) Thou shall use thy logo:

Your logo helps promote brand awareness. Use your logo in the header of your website. Your color scheme (Commandment 7) should match with your logo.

10) Thou shall not use auto-play for sound:

Have you ever been on a website where you click on one of its’ page s and all of a sudden… MUSIC. You probably jumped, turned off your volume, or exited the page. Refrain from using auto-play when sound is involved. This includes videos!

These 10 Commandments can help you to build a successful business website. Don’t become one of the websites that people willingly stay away from. Take the time to look over your website and make any needed changes.