Ok, first off, I need to say; “there is no such thing as a perfect website”. No matter how hard you try and no matter ho skilled your website developer is, you can not build the perfect website.
You may get close. Sort of. But not for long.
You see, the web is constantly changing. The technology is evolving even as we sleep and while we’re not ooking something new is happening; Google could be rolling out a new algorithm that will change how your page ranked for words and phrases you’ve slaved over, browser caching technology may (and likely will) change making your website pages suddenly take an extra quarter of a second to load, the goal posts are moved (something that happens constantly) requiring better content compression and faster laod times.
I’ve been involved in Internet content in one way or another for over 20 years (I bought my first Internet domain in November 1997) and I can assure you, there is always something changing or about to change and, no matter how awesome your webste is, it will never be perfect and it will always need apdating in one way or another.
Designing (and optimising) the perfect website is impossible because (almost) everything is constantly changing
Here’s what needs to be tested for (as near as possible) perfection:
- Content. You need great content and a steady flow of it.
- Usability. Your website has to be easy to use else people will bail out and Google will record those bail outs as negatives against your website.
- Styling. It must be easy on the eye without distractions and there needs to be a good balance of text and images.
- Images need to be compressed perfectly for optimisation but retain quality to still look good.
- Your hosting needs to be secure so that your data is secure (website content and databases).
- Your website must be optimised for search engines (SEO) else it will not rank well at all. You may get lucky for a while but, long term, without SEO a website rarely stays at or near the top of Google.
- Load speed is a goalpost that is changing rapidly and now Google suggests websites should load in under 2 seconds on all devices. That is one heck of a target but it is achievable.
- Updates are important too. Have out of date server software or platform versions and the user’s browser will detect it and, if there’s been security updates, may even block your website from a visitor’s computer or device.
- Content Management System (CMS) updates, along with the theme files and plugins. Thesea re being hacked all the time so new security updates must be installed on a regular basis.
- SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), which is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a website’s server and a browser, is now a must for all websites. Every browser shows the user whether a website is hosted security or not and many browsers popup a warning to the user if a website is not secure (is not loaded using https – look for the padlock icon in the address bar).
Building a great website is part of the whole Internet Marketing mix and it’s never actually done and dusted. Like all things with business from maintaining your offices, your factory equipment, training staff, buying or repairing tools, putting toner in the photocopier or sweeping up the parking area, there’s always something needs doing.
The online version of the above paragraph includes creating new website content, checking your search engine positioning, sharing new posts on your social media channels, replying to comments and messages, analysing your competition, boosting your search engine rankings, running backups and updates and much much more. It really never ends.