This article was originally published in April 2008’s edition of Computers in Business. Since I wrote it and retain the copyright I am republishing it here:
People are always publishing articles on how to make the most out of your website or how to turn your website into “the solution” for your business.
I can’t see the point in even trying if you can’t get the basics right.
What are the basics?
The obvious things.
What does your company sell or provide?
Communicate this to me clearly in language I can understand. If I need a dictionary to read your website then you’re being too obtuse. Spell it out
for me so I can see.
How can I contact you?
Put your contact details where they can be seen without forcing me to search for them or squint.
Instil a sense of trust.
Mobile phone numbers, throwaway email addresses and PO Box numbers may suit you, but they do not give potential clients a sense of security.
Where are you based?
There is nothing more annoying than a website promoting a really cool and useful service WITHOUT telling me if it’s available in my area. (Sorry for yelling, but it’s really frustrating!!) If your service is only available in Co. Cork that’s fine, but don’t tell me it’s a “national service” on one page and restricted to Cork only on another.
Another basic thing to do is check if your website displays correctly in the most commonly used browsers. Of course if your site is “standards compliant” and can pass the W3C’s validator test then you won’t have to worry too much, so maybe investing a little bit more now will pay dividends later?

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