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Fundamental Elements for Every Website

There are numerous sites on the internet, with each having distinct content, features, design, functionality and markup. However, despite these differences, every website needs to have some basic elements.

A good navigation menu

Every website needs to be navigable. It does not matter how well designed a site is if visitors cannot navigate it easily. Some sites require Flash or JavaScript to function and are therefore not readily accessible. Make sure your navigation menu is accessible and easy to use.

Good headings

Headings are a very important aspect of any website. They are useful for directing visitors to the different sections of your website, and are also vital for enabling the quick indexing of your site with search engines. Good headings should contain your main keywords. This will help improve your site’s ranking for those keywords.

Jump links

Jump links can make your site much easier to navigate. A jump link enables web users to move down a page, avoid long or redundant sections, find helpful content, and move back up the page as necessary. However, if you decide to use jump links, make sure they are visible to users.

A site map

A site map is simply a page on your website which contains a list of the different pages. It helps your visitors as well as search engines navigate through your site easily. A site map is very easy to maintain. As you add new pages, you simply update your list.

A helpful error page

Besides offering a site map, you should also offer your visitors a helpful ‘404’ error page. Make sure your page offers at least a navigation menu, a link home, contact info or a link leading to the site map. You could even combine all these details in one page. Ask your web host about setting up custom error pages. Most default error pages from servers are not helpful.

A means of contact

It is very important to offer a means of contact on your site. This gives a sense of legitimacy to your site and enables you to stay in touch with your visitors. You could offer an email address, a phone number, or simply a contact form which visitors can use. Make sure the contact form you use is secure to protect yourself from robots and people with ill motives.

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