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Website Features Checklist: The Ultimate Must-Haves for Your Site

50 Website Features Checklist

Wow. I love it when someone designs a checklist on an infographic that’s both simple and informative. designed this one to develop a list of features they believe should be included in every small business website. I’m honestly not so sure it’s limited to small business… I believe medium businesses, large businesses and ecommerce sites should take a look as well. And I’ve added a few more items after their 50 that you may wish to include!

What goals do you want your website to accomplish? Most likely, you would like to get more customers through the door. You would like your customers to immediately see how you are different from competition. You would like more orders, more sales, more tables filled, more inquires, and more referrals. If a visitor does not buy, you’d probably like to capture their contact information, so that you could market to them again.

50 Features Every Small Business Website Design Must Have according to

  1. Domain name – short, sweet and self-explanatory! Please avoid using hosting on someone else’s domain and invest in your own. Read: How to Choose a Domain Name
  2. Logo – Represent yourself and be sure to add a favicon to your site so your page is distinguished in browser tabs or a bookmark. Read: How to Design a Logo
  3. Tagline – Include a slogan or tagline that captures people’s attention and wants them to read more. Read: What’s a Slogan?
  4. Call to action button – If you want readers to do something after visiting any page on your site, you best have an effective CTA. Read: What is a Call to Action?
  5. Phone number – Listing your phone number(s) is important, but linking them is even better so mobile visitors can click-to-call. Read: Hyperlink Phone Numbers
  6. Top Navigation – Visitors will often land on a page deep in your site, then look for navigation to find what they need. Be sure yours is organized.
  7. Bread crumb navigation – If you’ve got a significant hierarchy to your site, show visitors where they are and how to navigate up the hierarchy. And be sure to utilize rich snippet standards so search engines can follow them, too!
  8. Slider or Image – Sliders aren’t that effective but we like them to separate messages to specific motivations why visitors are on your site.
  9. Crucial business information – I was on a business’ site the other day and there was no physical address on the site. I went to a competitor instead.
  10. Testimonials and reviews – Providing third party information on who you’re working with and how happy they are with you is a great sign of trust. Read the Inbound Marketing Checklist
  11. Main Features – Highlight the core products or services that your company provides. Read: 12 Critical Home Page Elements
  12. Quality Content – What are the critical pages and articles that you need within your industry to attract prospects to your site instead of your competitors? Read: Stop Producing Endless Content and Begin Building a Library
  13. Internal Links – Sometimes people want to take a deeper dive into topics… notice all the links I’m including on this list?
  14. Contact Information – When and how are the best ways to contact you? When will you respond? Set expectations via a contact page.
  15. Business Hours – If you’re going to keep your address online, let people know when you’re typically at the office in case they stop by.
  16. Navigation – Outside of key pages like About, Contact, Products and Services, and Landing Pages, do you need additional pages for specific topics? We like fat footers for just this reason – including navigation to the latest news or blog posts.
  17. Social Media Follow Buttons – Many people will see or hear about your company and want to follow you on social to get to know you better. Participate and share on social across every channel you can. Many social sites have proprietary buttons you can include – Read: Add a LinkedIn Company Button to your Site
  18. Newsletter Sign Up Integration – Visitors aren’t all ready to buy, but they do want to stay in touch. Have you subscribed to our newsletter?
  19. Online Chat Feature – If you aren’t prepared to respond, your competitors might be! Read: Live Chat Increases Both Conversions and Customer Satisfaction
  20. Contact Form – Many people don’t feel comfortable calling and don’t want to send an email, but they will fill out a contact form. Capture as much information as possible, but not too much that they abandon your site. Read: 10 Things Your Agency Missed That Continue to Hurt Your Business
  21. Captcha or anti-spam feature – Contact forms lead to bots flooding your inbox, so be sure to use some kind of anti-spam protection on your site to avoid the onslaught. Read: Contact Forms, Bots, and Shameless Spam
  22. Personalized About Us page – People like to do business with people, not pages or sites. Spotlight your team and their expertise so that visitors understand who they would be working with.
  23. Inner content in F pattern – In the West, people tend to read from the top down and left to right in a triangle. Are you utilizing that space effectively in your page layouts?
  24. Privacy Policy page – If you collect any data, even through a contact form, be sure to have a Privacy Policy to set expectations on how the data is kept secure and how it will be used. Read: Website Privacy Standards
  25. FAQ Page – There are a lot of people on the web that don’t want to ask questions, they just want the resources to find the information themselves.  Providing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page is a great way of doing this. Read: Self-Service and Search Engines
  26. Blog Page – Educate your clients, share your company news, write about how you’re helping your customers… where else are your prospects going to find this information? Read: Corporate Blogging: Top Ten Questions from Companies
  27. Search Function – Making information easy to find is essential for visitors. A search function is a must! Read: Over 20% of our Home Page Clicks Come from One Feature
  28. Social Media Share Buttons – Birds of a feather stick together… socially. Read: 10 Ways to Increase Pageviews with Your Content Strategy
  29. Comment Feature – When there’s lively conversation on a blog post, it’s changing and focusing the content on that page. Not only are you able to have a public dialogue with prospects and customers, the search engines like comments, too!
  30. Sidebar – Adjacent to your copy is the opportunity to provide relevant content, testimonials, additional links, and calls-to-action. Read: My 10 Tips to Optimize Your Blog
  31. Links that are easy to recognize and are not broken – We have a ton of links to external resources on our site, but sometimes those sites update their page structure or go away altogether. Be sure to keep track of them! Read: LinkTiger: Find Broken Outbound Links in Your Site
  32. Clear font. Easily readable – Screen sizes are changing, are you keeping up? Did you know the average font size for a page 1 result is 15.8px? And don’t forget some whitespace! Read: 20 Ways to Get Your Content Ranking Better than Your Competitor
  33. Responsive Design – It’s not just mobile, it’s tablet as well! Read: What is Responsive Design
  34. Hamburger menu on mobile site – The three horizontal bar navigation icon is becoming mainstream on sites so that mobile users know where the navigation menu can be found. Check out our marketing agency site as an example.
  35. Automatic sitemap – An XML sitemap rolls out the red carpet for search engines to easily find the content on your site to index. Read: How To Select a CMS that is Optimized for Search
  36. Ability to easily update page titles, meta description – Titles and descriptions for your pages on search can totally be controlled by you! Read: The Most Under-Utilized SEO Tactic
  37. Easy to update url structure – The simplicity and clarity of your URL structure matters! Read: What is a Permalink? Trackback? Post slug? Ping?
  38. Good reliable fast hosting – For site hosts to make money, they have to pack on sites like cattle. When they go to far, though, your site slows down. Read: We’ve Moved Hosts… You May Want To As Well
  39. Security – With hackers getting into more sites, spreading malware and hostage-ware, it’s time to protect yourself. Read: WordPress Safety and Security
  40. Auto website backup feature – Failed backups and no means of restoring a site are absolutely deadly… we’ve seen it too many times. Read: How to Plan Your New Web Site
  41. Use a content management system – I’m not sure why anyone would still be working with static HTML after all these years of CMS technologies evolving. Read: Why Hasn’t Your Company Implemented a CMS?
  42. Cross browser compatible – Some people use out-of-date or obscure browsers, as well as mobile browsers and viewports that aren’t standard. Read: Cross-Browser Testing Made Easy
  43. Google Analytics Integration – By far, it’s the most widespread analytics platform… but it ain’t easy. Read: Decoding Google Analytics
  44. Google Webmaster Tools integration – Analytics only shows you the visitors to your site, what about your performance in Google? Read: Check your Content Strategy with Google Webmasters
  45. Speed. Fast loading. Optimized code – Caching, CDN, lazy loading and image compression are a must have. Read: 13 Factors Impacting Your Website Load Speed
  46. Use browser cache to increase speed – It takes some know-how, but every element of your sites from code to images, can leverage your visitors browser caching to speed up the experience.
  47. – It’s not just Google Rich Snippets you should worry about, Facebook Opengraph snippets matter, too! Read: What Have You Done About Rich Snippets?!
  48. Don’t use flash elements – Is that still happening? Read: The Internet Runs Better without Flash
  49. Avoid background music – But DON’T avoid audio… podcasting is on the rise! Read: 2016: The Year that Podcasting Explodes in Popularity
  50. Do not upload videos on the website server – Yikes… that’s a no-no. Modern video hosting platforms are able to optimize both resolution and bandwidth of your videos based on the connection speed and device used. Read: Reasons Why You Should Not Host Your Own Video

Here are mine that I’d like to see added:

  1. Robots.txt – Let the search engines know what they can and can’t index, and where to find your sitemap. Read: What is Search Engine Optimization?
  2. Landing Pages – Landing pages are a must have. Destination pages for each motivated visitor who has clicked a call-to-action is critical to your conversion success. Read: 9 Landing Page Mistakes to Avoid
  3. Videos – Even small businesses can afford basic videos… all you need is your smartphone and you’re good to go! Read: Why Product Video is a Priority and 5 Types of Videos You Should Produce
  4. Map – Are you registered with Google My Business? You should be for map searches for your business. And I’d encourage you to include a map on your site as well.
  5. Logo Bar – If you’re a B2B company, having a logo bar is critical so prospects can see who else you’re working with. We built an image rotator widget for this very reason.
  6. Premium Resources – If you’re not producing premium content like infographics, white papers, and case studies, you’re missing out on a lot of ways to attract visitors to connect with you through your landing pages! Read: The Top Marketing Tactics for Lead Generation
  7. Mobile Standards – Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages are new, integrated content standards that you should be publishing. Read: We’re now on Apple News

Ultimate Website Features Checklist


© 2015 DK New Media.

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