Features Any Top Website Must Have

“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, click here” – anonymous observation found in a computer training manual. Nevertheless, technology, especially Information Technology that has provided us with websites and its amazing benefits is truly breathtaking.

But unfortunately, not all websites are so fulfilling or are outstandingly informative as such. However, the reasons for such frailty are not difficult to guess. Lack of promising content, poorly designed user interface, SEO fault and many other issues are responsible for such inadequately functioning websites.

However, here is a check list for creating top class websites that would attract visitors like powerful rare-earth magnets, come September or cold December dawns.

Good Visual Design makes all the difference 

Websites are not art galleries to showcase your artistic talent but to provide all the necessary information about your services or products. The design should, therefore, be basically simple yet eye-catching so as to attract the visitor and keep the person glued to it. In fact, it should have some creative touch to highlight the content and not vice versa. A well-designed website, to be practical, should reflect the technologically advanced characteristics of its owner.

Innovative User Interface design is equally important

Taking the clue from the increasing levels of internet-sophistication as expressed by the new age visitors, more and more numbers of websites are developing newer types of user interface designs that allow them to view and manipulate larger amount of data. Some of these include:

  • Fisheye Menus
  • Slider-based
  • Treemaps
  • Drag-and-drop

However, the most important issue in this regard involves taking an analytical view of what the target audience looks for. Once this has been identified, designing appropriate user interface for a website becomes much easier.

Primary navigation ‘Above the Fold’

For those who are new to this term, Above the Fold indicates the top half of a newspaper or a website and hence considered as most readable. Essentials that should be included here consist of the logo (which should link back to the home page) plus links to the main section of the site. Links to the sub-pages may also appear here but in that case, it would look pretty messy and therefore avoided.

Navigation repeated in the Footer

If images (or Flash) are used for the key navigation, a duplicate set of navigation links should appear in the Footer. Even if text links are used ‘above the fold’, the repetition still becomes helpful. Sometimes, the Footer links to supplementary information (not vital) such as Terms of Service, etc.

Momentous Content

No matter how decorative a website is, if the content is feeble and frail, it will flop. On the other hand, if the content is great, even Google will not fail to congratulate it by way of giving it better ranking. In other words, websites worth their salt must have convincing content, written in simple language describing what all it is about.

About Page and its importance

Curiosity might have killed the proverbial cat; but people’s curiosity about the website is most welcome and understandable. As a matter of fact, it is quite natural for a visitor to become curious about the persons behind show – how authentic or dependable they are. The Page should have a clear background of the website owner, preferably a photograph and other details. The whole idea is to establish the fact that there are actual people in flesh and blood behind the institution and not machines that are unable to tackle practical humanitarian issues.

Contact Information

What do you expect a visitor to do when he/she becomes fully convinced about the offerings of a website but finds it difficult to establish contact with it? Move on to the competitor; what else? The contact address should therefore be considered as a priority when designing a website. Apart from the usual email address, a permanent phone number appearing on a website makes the visitor more confident about the reliability of the site. If PO Box or other forms of addresses are given, the dependability increases effectively.


A search field is indeed helpful in cases where the website or the blog is mile long affair. Wading through countless pages to find precise content without a search feature can be most frustrating.


True; the site has been developed using XHTML and CSS, but does it have the valid code? The best thing would be to get the source code checked by the following tools that are offered by WWW Consortium (W3C)

  • W3C Markup Validation Service
  • W3C CSS Validation Service


Sitemaps are no doubt essential for any website. In fact, there are two different kinds of sitemaps – one for the people and another for search engines. Of these, the former, i.e. the html (or php) sitemap created for visitors prove very useful tool for locating whatever they are searching for.

Cross browser compatibility

Just because you have been born and brought up by FIREFOX, it does not mean that everybody else will follow suit. There are people who prefer using Internet Explorer 6 or any other browser. It is, therefore, essential that websites should display well in as many of the mainstream web browsers as possible.

Statistics, Tracking, Analytics (Dashboard)

Even though this feature is not directly linked to the performance of a website, it is crucial in determining its usability in more than several ways, such as:

  • How many hits does the website receive
  • What percentage of these are from unique visitors
  • How visitors are finding the usability of the website
  • What other websites link to it
  • What are the most admired pages on the website
  • Who form the average visitor to the website (platform/ browser/screen resolution)

The good news is that Google Analytics can provide the right answer to all these for free.


 There may be a few more criteria or features that relate to Features any top website must have, but space limitation in the present blog post does not allow more words to be incorporated into it.