What Makes a Good Website or Blog?

Digital ChaosLast week I wasn’t able to post. I’ve had a busy client schedule and have had little time to think about our Web Presence series. I’m glad I finally have the time to get back to it.

Many of our web presence posts have focused on content because it’s very important. Having good content, whether it’s text or pictures (as in the case of a photographer) makes or breaks a website. You can have an aesthetically pleasing website but if the content sucks, no one is going to stick around to read it. Okay maybe your mother or a few friends will read it, but that doesn’t really help grow your business.

There are 3 main factors that you need to pay attention to when creating your website/blog:

  • clear and effective communication
  • usability
  • web standards

Clearly communicate your message. Your content needs to be more than good—it needs to effectively communicate your message. The site design (layout and aesthetics) should support your message. Smashing Magazine recently posted an excellent article entitled “Clear And Effective Communication In Web Design.” It’s a great summary of what is involved in conveying your message.

Usability. Effectively communicating your message isn’t enough if your website/blog doesn’t provide your users with a enjoyable experience. Steve Krug said it well with his 2000 book title Don’t Make Me Think. If a user of your website/blog has to think too much to get around and find what they’re looking for, they’re not going to stick around. They’ll find what they want from another site.

Web standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has created a set of web standards for all things Web. More folks are choosing browsers other than Internet Explorer® so its important that your website/blog works on other browsers such as Firefox®. Using web standards to create your site will ensure that it works with more browsers and thus more people will see it.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a good website or blog. Paying attention the big 3: communication, usability, and standards will move you a long way towards having the web presence you or your business deserves.