What are some good German websites

What makes a good website?

05/30/2018 - Good to know

The checklist for your website

Anyone running a website wants to reach and convince as many people as possible with their content. But not every website can score straight away and induce users to deal intensively with the information, offers or products presented.

Often the visitors only stay briefly and disappear forever - a high bounce rate, a short dwell time and only a few returning visitors are signs that your site may need optimization. But what makes a website a good, user-friendly Internet offering that is valued by visitors and used frequently? In addition to the right domain, the web design, editorial aspects and the programming of the website play a role here.

Define goals and target groups

In order to achieve a website that is as user-friendly as possible, it is worth investing some time in advance and answering the following questions: What are the goals of my website and who do I want to reach? Whether I want to disseminate information, sell products or build customer contacts, it has a significant impact on the structure, design and content of my website. However, there are some general criteria that can be used to create a convincing website.

Choose a short and concise domain as the address

The domain name is the basis for the success of your website. The shorter, easier to grasp and more memorable it is, the easier it is for users to access your website. A good web address should not be longer than 20 characters, contain no abbreviations or complicated words or foreign words, numbers, umlauts or special characters and, if possible, no hyphens. Keywords that describe your offer or your name or company name and the appropriate domain ending should lead to the correct domain name for your website, taking into account the rules mentioned.

Offer interesting content - tailored to the target group

If you want to convince with your website, you have to offer your visitors appealing content. Regardless of whether text, image, audio or video - content should be up-to-date and match the website's theme. As expected, the website of a wedding photographer would contain a lot of pictures and information on the photographer's services, prices and equipment, while a food blog could convince with comprehensible recipes, appealing photos and helpful videos.

Answer W-questions and stay varied

Regardless of what content you want to present on your website, it helps to plan and structure it in advance and to question the added value of the user. Each text should answer the reader's W-questions (Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? What for?) As clearly and comprehensively as possible.

Alternating formats increase the attractiveness and give your users the opportunity to grasp the content quickly. Use different formats and media, including:

  • Body text
  • Listings
  • Tables
  • photos
  • Graphics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

Structure, layout and write texts without errors

All content on a website should be as long as necessary and as short as possible. Sometimes long texts cannot be avoided when presenting complex topics. Then it is particularly important to pay attention to short, not nested sentences and to include a paragraph or a subheading after five to seven lines. Bold highlighting helps to grasp the most important statements more quickly. Correct spelling, language and punctuation underline the credibility and seriousness of the content presented and are a must-have, especially for company websites.

Offer opportunities for interaction

The visitors to your website not only want to be supplied with information, communication with one another is also important. It should be easy to contact us, e.g. via a contact form that is easily accessible from every page or via prominently linked contact options. The comment function or social media functions such as sharing and liking are particularly important for information offers such as blogs. A web chat can be particularly useful for companies for a quick exchange with website visitors and customers. With a search offer, users can quickly find the desired website content, which makes sense for very extensive websites such as blogs and wikis.

The design: timeless and functional

Interesting content is important, but this content must also be presented appropriately in order to reach and retain visitors. The start page and all sub-pages should not present too much content in a crowded manner - the so-called white space ensures a calm, coherent overall impression and helps the user to orientate himself. The current trend is primarily for open web designs without limitations, but it is still advisable not to display the content too broadly, even with open designs, so that it remains legible.

Colors, contrast and white space

The color scheme of a website should provide contrast between the text and the background and use colors that work well together. The colors should be used consistently according to previously established rules. If a logo is presented, it makes sense to align the color scheme of the website with it. It is advisable not to use more than two to three different colors for the layout of a website. Accent colors can be used for links and other highlighting such as subheadings; the links in particular should be easily recognizable as such in order to generate the desired attention.

Tools - To test for adequate color contrast:

Video tip: What is web usability?

Check the font and size for legibility

With a font such as OpenSans, which is widely used on the web and appears familiar to visitors, your website is on the safe side. Public directories such as Google Fonts contain a large number of freely available fonts from which you can choose the right one for your website. Legibility and uniform use of the font are fundamentally important. Good legibility is achieved with a serif-free font that is at least 14 pixels in size.

Use consistent, clear, not too deep navigation

The visitors to your website should be able to find their way around the first time they are called. The position and structure of good navigation remain the same across the entire website in the respective version (desktop vs. mobile). In the mobile version of the website, a sticky navigation (fixed when scrolling) or a fold-out navigation can make sense as an alternative to the desktop version. In any case, the user should be shown exactly where he is on every page. The menu navigation must be clear and not too cluttered: This is possible if the visitor reaches his destination with just a few clicks, i.e. the navigation consists of a maximum of three levels. Meaningful labels for navigation points and links are a must for optimal user guidance.

Free sitemap tools

Keep the charging time as short as possible

The first impression counts: If users call up a website and load it for too long, this bad impression is quickly transferred to the content and the services offered. The goal should be that the user can interact with a page within two to three seconds. If the loading time is longer, this quickly leads to crashes and disappointed visitors do not return. The loading time is particularly important for mobile surfing, because here the bandwidth of the respective mobile network can also extend the loading time.

Example: Influence of the loading time on the conversion rate (CVR)

A / B test of the Mozilla download page: After implementing the changes in an A / B test, the optimized experimental variant reduced the average page load time by 2.2 seconds and increased the download conversion by ~ 15%!

Source: mozilla.org - https://blog.mozilla.org/

Info and tools: Understand and measure loading time

Information:

Tools:

Ensure accessibility

If you want to design your website in a contemporary way, you must ensure that it is displayed correctly on various devices such as PCs, tablets and cell phones. This responsiveness is now one of the standard requirements for a good website. The site should also work in all common browsers and with all common screen resolutions. Criteria for accessibility are also the offer of text alternatives (e.g. for images, videos), the uniform design (e.g. for headings), a good contrast ratio, simple and clear language and the filling in of the meta information of a website. Further requirements for barrier-free surfing can be found in the barrier-free information technology regulation (BITV 2.0).

Keep the website secure and up-to-date

The security of a website increases the trust of the visitors: SSL encryption prevents browsers from displaying a warning when visiting your website. The continuous updating of the web applications, regular backups and security checks as well as the use of secure passwords also ensure quality. By protecting your website against hackers and malware, you protect yourself and your visitors from viruses, Trojans and the like. In addition, compliance with the established W3C quality standards is one of the technical requirements for a website. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community whose employees and member organizations work together with the public to create and continuously develop web standards.

Against the background of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced on May 25, 2018, data protection on the web has become even more important. External scripts should be provided locally if possible, the use of tracking tools and the collection of data via the website as well as their processing must comply with data protection regulations. Current data protection guidelines should be available on the website; data processing agreements may have to be concluded with external providers.

What distinguishes good websites?

Good websites convince, among other things. with the following features:

  • Clear goals and clear target group orientation
  • A content-related, simple, short and easily memorable domain
  • Interesting, varied and current content that is target group-oriented
  • Texts that are structured with subheadings and highlighting and are not too long
  • Simple language with correct spelling and punctuation
  • Clearly visible opportunities for interaction and contact
  • A calm, harmonious, well-contrasting, but not too colorful and dense design that sets accents
  • A legible font that is used consistently
  • A consistently used, clearly labeled, not too branched navigation that takes into account the special features of the desktop and mobile version
  • A short loading time, a responsive design and surfing that is as barrier-free as possible
  • SSL encryption, compliance with security standards and data protection compliance

Conclusion

In general, the appearance, functionality and content of the website should interact, i.e. support one another and not hinder one another. Neither a beautiful design with bad content nor an unappealing website with great functions are convincing in the long term.

Creating and maintaining a good website is a complex challenge. Before starting a web project, it makes sense to ask whether you can or would like to do everything yourself or whether individual tasks should be outsourced. On the way to your own homepage you can, for example, leave the design of your website to a professional web designer or use a website builder or a content management system to simplify programming and design.

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