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What makes a great website? Is it the ability to be original and create something eye-catching or is it the ability to provide the user with all the information they need clearly and concisely.
If you are thinking about how to create a website for your business or another purpose then be sure to follow this simple advice on creating good website features.
Here’s what you need to know about website functionality.
Websites today must be accessible for a large degree of people including those who are hard-of-hearing, are partially sighted, and are physically disabled in other ways that prevent them from fully accessing websites.
Can The Website Be Operated by a Stylus?
Those that are disabled and cannot use a mouse or a keyboard often rely on mouth stylus’ to operate websites so your website must be optimized for this.
It’s vitally important that your website can be operated in several different ways whether that be a mouse, keyboard and stylus-compatible touch screen or through voice commands.
This is the ability to be able to have the text on the website read out by a narrator and to control various functions on the website through speech.
If you are using a Microsoft machine then you can do this by ensuring your coding is compatible with the voice-over functionality and adapting it, if not.
Voice over can be a lifeline for users who are blind as it means they can hear what is one the page rather than having to rely on someone else to read out the text for them.
Subtitles for Videos
Do you have videos on your website? If so, then you’ll want to make sure they are optimized so that those who are hard of hearing — or those who are in a crowded place with headphones — can listen to them.
Be sure to include subtitles for your videos in a range of languages if you can, not just English. This will increase your audience to global levels so that customers from around the world can see your website.
You want to make sure your website is cell-phone-optimized so that potential customers can see it on their cell phones.
This doesn’t just mean that your full website is available on a cell phone but that a special version of your website has been created that is suitable for smaller screens. This can involve reducing the number of pictures and text that is on the site so that cell phone or tablet users don’t get overwhelmed.
You can also clear some of the menus away so that only the most important information displays on the main menu bar with links to other essential information tucked away in the bottom corners.
3. Not Too Much Text
It’s easy to fill your website with paragraph after paragraph of text but the reality is that it can make your user feel overwhelmed and want to switch off.
Also, remember you don’t have to display all of your information on the homepage, you can have loads of menus and even sub-menus to break down the information.
4. Great Load Times
Even if your customers have bought a brand new computer with amazing specs, they are not going to be able to access your website if you have slow loading times.
The internet is built around people having a very short attention span. If pages don’t load within seconds then users tend to move on to other pages and forget about your site.
If you are selling a service this could be the difference between someone buying your product or moving onto a competitor whose website does load faster. To make sure your website loads fast consider the following steps:
- Cache your site so returning users get faster load times
- Avoid large image files
- Don’t embed video files onto the site, re-direct users to You-Tube
- Upgrade your server hosting package
5. Browser Compatibility
We live in a multi-browser universe. Long gone are the days where Internet Explorer was the main go-to. Internet Explorer has been discontinued and is now just a memory from a by-gone age.
Instead, create a web page that is optimized for the variety of browsers that we use today such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
There Are Many Great Website Features
If you want to make sure that your website is great for everyone then be sure to make sure to optimize it for the most amount of users.
Ensure that your website can be accessed by all the major website browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome.
Also, be careful to make sure that your website has a host of accessibility features for disabled users.
If you include videos then make sure to embed these via You-Tube rather than fully integrated into your site to avoid slowing download time. It’s a good idea to also include subtitles in more than one language.
Voice over is also one of the best website features you can consider including so that users who are blind can still access your website.
If you are interested in reading more about what makes a good website and website features then be sure to check out the rest of our site.