Only a couple of years ago, a website was considered nothing more than a novelty rather than a prized online property. In a general sense, many websites were simply substitutes to the already available digital brochures. Therefore they barely added any more value to the users over and above what was already available out there. That, of course, has changed and there are a number of key features every website should have.
Since websites are now pretty much the core of your business’s entire presence, they are vastly different from what they were just 10 years ago. It does not matter if you are simply trying to share your thoughts with the world or promoting your products and services online.
Here are four core features every website should have:
1. Search box
Even if you have laid out all the information into categories and an easy to use design, users still want to get everything at the touch of a button. A perfectly placed search box will do the trick. This is the digital age, and you have to provide the information to your visitors even before they need it.
If this seems too far out to achieve, then an easy to use search box featured in a prominent location will come in handy. Thankfully, almost every modern CMS comes with this functionality built in. You could also add a Google custom search box, which is super simple to set up.
2. Method of contact
Whether your website is just a hobby or a business, visitors need be able to trust you. It is absolutely critical that your website shows a clear method for your visitors to get in touch. You do not need to put up your physical address of phone number. Something as simple as an email contact form can suffice.
However, businesses that will handle transactions with customers need to put up a little more information. If it is possible, a live chat that offers online support may come in handy and cut costs in the long run as compared to a toll-free phone number.
SSL is an online encryption system that encrypts information and prevents interception during transmission. Privacy is now a huge deal in the online space. You will be required to take full responsibility for any information that visitors provide on your website.
Luckily, many web hosts provide it as a free service. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can set up SSL and help secure personal information that your visitors provide.
4. Social commenting
If you are trying to reach people, it is only logical that they would be able to reach you back. Therefore, it is incredibly important that you would have in place a system that would allow them to leave their comments. This is an excellent way to get a dialogue moving and increase the level of engagement.
Popular CMS systems like Joomla and WordPress provide commenting features. However, social media platforms like Facebook offer even better features that allow you to integrate their commenting features into their website. Therefore, if someone shares your article on Facebook, other readers may comment leave their comments on your article. These comments will also be available to your readers and you will also be able to take part in the dialogue.
What are other features every website should have? Share with us in the comments section.