Web Design

What does your website really need?


This may sound incredibly dull. Every single feature on your website needs to have a proven function and purpose. Sometimes that’s not so easy to identify. Generally, if it doesn’t help you achieve your goal then it is best to get rid of it. Here is why:

  • Most bells and whistles distract from your overall goal and purpose. For example, if you want a visitor to make a purchase then a flash graphic is generally nothing more than a distraction.
  • Most bells and whistles slow your website down. A fancy graphic or internal program slows down the upload time. If it takes too long for your site to upload then you are going to lose potential visitors. That is certainly not good. If your website doesn’t upload in a matter of seconds, ten or less, it is time to shrink files and eliminate heavy graphics.

An add-on feature or function is good when it adds value to your visitors’ experience. For example, a social networking feed can be superfluous on some websites. However, if it helps build your following and create a community it can be a good feature. Some bells and whistles make sense.

Decision Time

So how do you decide if a website feature is relevant? How do you know if you should keep it or eliminate it? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it enhance your visitors’ experience?
  • Does it help you achieve a business goal?
  • Does it slow down your website upload time?
  • Does it distract?

If you are unsure, consider testing and tracking the data. Install the feature and then review the data. Take a look at how long people remain on your landing page. If they spend less time on your page, then the new feature may be the reason.

If possible, test the feature itself. Are people interacting with it? What do they do once they’ve interacted with it? If people are staying on your website longer with the new feature, what action are they taking? Are they buying more? Are they signing up for your opt-in list? Are they reading more content?

Some bells and whistles offer value. They support business growth. Know your audience, your goals and the purpose of each add-on feature. Pay attention to the data.

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