The working parts for an impressionable website
Having a website that simply displays your content is not going to deliver a valuable web presence like it did many years ago. Today (circa January 2015) there are many parts and services that are vital to delivering an impressionable website and maintaining your audience.
Content is everything.
Content is photos, articles, blog posts, products, games, forms, PDFs, anything you find on the web. The quality of that content is what will ultimately bring your audience to your website and your audience will have to find your website content. If they are not typing in the domain address directly into their browser, they are most often being linked through a search engine.
Search engines have their own means of measuring the quality of content and rank better content higher. Loading up a page with search term keywords doesn’t always do the trick. There is a balance between content for search engines and readable content for your audience. “That’s the sweet spot” as McConaughey says in those Lincoln commercials.
The internet is everywhere (except in Texas driving from El Paso to San Antonio). You can access it on your phone, desktop, tablet, TV, car dashboard, gaming devices, etc. All of those devices have different sizes displays and different browsers. Your website needs to adapt its layout and content to any display size.
Having your site be responsive now weighs on your search ranking with Google. They recommend your website use responsive design techniques and will favor responsive websites in searches from mobile devices.
SSL and Privacy
There are a lot of reasons why your website should us an SSL certificate to serve all of its content.
First and foremost, it keeps your audience safer from session hijacking and online fraud. Your own administrative passwords will be encrypted when you log in (instead of being sent in clear text).
Having SSL boosts consumer confidence.
SEO can also be improved by having your site serve exclusively HTTPS content. Google announced that websites using SSL (always on) will have a positive ranking signal moving forward.
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
If you want your website to load fast you need a CDN. Load times make your visitors happy and bring up your search rankings. The cost of a using a CDN has reduced dramatically in recent years and some hosting plans include one.
By utilizing a Content Delivery Network in conjunction with other speed optimizations, you will keep users more engaged and in tune with your content, and search engines will have an easier time crawling your content.
It’s a major headache when emails get blocked or get kicked to a spam folder.
This is costly when your website relies on transactional emails delivered to customers. These are emails like order receipts, forgotten password messages, contact form notifications or support messages.
One way to handle the issue is to create a dummy email account and use SMTP to send the messages. However, this means you are limited to a single address, the sending limits of your mail service and the whole thing will break if someone changes the password on that email account.
The best way to handle outgoing messages from your website is to use a email sending service. These are different than bulk marketing email services. They generally are only for outgoing transactional messages from your website. They are also pretty cheap in comparison to those same email marketing services.
Syndicating your content can significantly build your audience. The larger your audience the more your content is worth. For example a blog can build visibility through social networks and feed readers.
An ecommerce site can reach more customer by pushing products to shopping search engines like Google Shopping or TheFind.
Bringing it all together
Bottom line is, all that time you spent mulling over what your website should look like won’t matter if your audience doesn’t show up.
A little foresight and elbow grease will keep your website working for you, like it should.