Design is important, but a high-quality website is much more than how it looks. Here are the things we think are important for every website to have.
Built On WordPress
21 times more popular than Squarespace, 29 times more populare than Wix, WordPress is BY FAR the most popular website building platform available today. It has a 61.3% market share. The next most popular CMS, Joomla, is far behind with a 4.9% market share. Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly are used by a mere 2.8%, 2.1%, and 0.7%.
WordPress simple dominates. 35% of the entire internet runs on WordPress. 30% of the internet’s top 1 million sites run on WordPress. WordPress is the fastest growing CMS, with roughly 500+ new sites being built daily.
Spotify, TIME.com, TechCrunch, TED, Fortune.com, New York Post, USA Today, CNN, NBC, and more all use WordPress.
The reason behind this success is unparalleled versatility that allows WordPress to be deployed everywhere from small personal blogs, small business websites to powering Fortune 500 websites.
If you’re not sure which site builder is right for you, there’s a good chance WordPress is the one.
Source of data: https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management
Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
WordPress is designed to be SEO friendly out of the box, but we like to give it a little extra boost by installing Yoast SEO and defining an SEO keyword for each site page. In addition, we create a sitemap and submit it to Google to encourage site indexing. We install an SSL certificate (Google: HTTPS as a ranking signal), optimize the site for mobile browsing (Google: Mobile-first Indexing), optimize the site to load fast (Google: Using site speed in web search ranking), all of which Google has publicly announced to be search ranking factors.
Optimized for Social Sharing
Introduced in 2010, “Open Graph” provides a degree of control over how information travels from a website to a social media platform. In other words, when a link to your site is shared on Facebook or LinkedIn, Open Graph tells the social network what to display. Failing to define these tags can result in blurry images, incorrect images, incorrect titles, and incorrect descriptions, all of which adds up to making your business look unprofessional.
Optimized For Speed
Probably one of the least debated facts in the web development sphere is that speed is important. Research has shown that it influences everything from bounce rate, user satisfaction, conversions, revenue, and more. If your site is slow, visitors will not stick around. And because visitors care about speed, search engines factor load speed into search ranking results. In other words, if your site loads slowly, it shows up lower in Google search results.
Hardened Against Hacking
Hackers target small websites because they are easier to break into, and can be used for nefarious activities such as sending spam emails, or hosting illegal files. With a little effort, such as changing the default database prefixes, using intelligent IP blocking, and limiting login attempts we can encourage most hackers attempting to break into your site to move on to an easier target. In addition we protect the sites we host with the Sucuri Security platform. If a site we host does get hacked, we will clean it up for free.
A favicon is the little icon that appears in the “tab” of a browser window. It’s often a miniaturized version of the company’s logo. Favicons are one of those details that, if included no one notices, but if left out, it makes the site look unprofessional. Favicons are often overlooked by web development agencies.
Responsive / Mobile Friendly
The sites we develop are designed to be “responsive” to any screen size. Meaning they aren’t just desktop and mobile friendly, they scale to fit any of the various screen sizes in use today, including smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Just prior to launching the site, we review each page of the site to ensure content displays properly.
Google Analytics & Search Console
Sites we build are set up with Google Analytics and Search Console. Google Analytics provides data such as: What people do when on your website, how they arrived on your site, what page they leave your site from, and how much time they spend on your site, etc. Search Console shows you what keywords your site appears for in Google Searches, and how often your site is clicked on. Search console is also the best way to submit an XML sitemap to Google, and an essential step to getting
Site Launch Checklist
When the site is ready to launch, we will complete a 16-point quality check, and then point the DNS “A” record to the live IP Address. Like a train switching on the tracks, clients will begin to flow to the new site without experiencing any downtime or disruption.
A Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URL is a well-crafted URL that provides both humans and search engines an easy-to-understand indication of what the destination page will be about. Consider the following URLs:
Friendly URL: http://wikipedia.org/Aviation/lear-jet
Unfriendly URL: like http://www.example.com/index.php?id_sezione=360&sid=3a5ebc944f41daa6f849f730f1
Using friendly URLs allows us to include a page keyword in the URL when performing search engine optimization. Additionally, when a link to your site is posted on forums, blogs, social media networks, or other online venues, the URL itself explains what the linked page is about even if the person posting doesn’t use proper anchor text.
Site Title & Tagline
This is another one of those things that sticks out like a sore thumb when it’s done wrong. Your website should have your company name and tagline instead of a “work in progress” title and the default “Just another WordPress site” tagline.
All websites today experience a degree of contact form spam. We provide our clients with AKISMET. This premium spam blocking plugin is the best available.
Secured Via SSL Encryption
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security protocol for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remains private. Google, WordPress, and Firefox all collectively push for websites to be encrypted. If your site is not encrypted, it will rank lower in search results, and be flagged by Google with a “not secure” warning.