Whether you are just starting your blog, or you want to get back to blog basics this is a handy list of the essential features every website or blog must have.
When you are creating your own website or blog there are a few essential requirements that you need to ensure are covered. This simple list of website ‘must haves’ also applies to blogs, websites and online shops that are linked directly to each other, or to other social media platforms such as Facebook or Spotify. It applies to all of them.
A Clear & Simple Homepage
There are thousands of different themes available to choose from when creating your blog, but basically there are two options, a static homepage, or a non-static homepage which automatically puts your most recently published post at the top and will reflect your chosen number of posts to preview before automatically archiving them.
For either option it is still important for your site to have this Homepage where your visitors can then easily navigate around your site.
It is essential that your home page has clear links to the following pages and widgets:
- Social Media Links
- About Page
- Contact Me Page
- Blog Roll (for the Static Home Page sites).
Social Media Links
Another essential feature of any worthy blog or website is that you have to have your Social Media Profile links on your homepage. It would be surprising if there was a blog or website out there where the business did not have other social media profiles associated with it, so I’m going to assume that they all have at least one other associated social media profile.
It is essential for blog visitors to clearly see the links to your social media profiles i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, etc.
It should go without saying that if you don’t have a particular profile (i.e.Twitter Account), then please don’t put the link symbol on your page. What happens then is that your visitor who clicks on your social media icon is redirected to their own social media profile. This happens to me at least twice a day and personally it frustrates me to the point that I am more likely to just find a different website completely.
So please, make sure you put your links on your Home Page, and make sure the links work correctly. It’s also an idea to put them right at the top of your page. If it’s hard for your visitors to find these links they will get bored and move on.
Your About Page is another essential page for a blog or website because this is where you get to tell your readers more about you, your blog or the purpose of your site or business. It doesn’t need to be too detailed, but it is a way of telling your audience who you are, what your site is about and what they can expect from your site and products as a whole, if applicable.
Contact Me Page
A Contact Me page is fairly obvious but it’s surprising how many blogs don’t have this essential website page. You need to have your contact details clearly accessible from your home page.
Even if you have a form for your customers to fill in, it is still a good idea to also include your email address on your Contact Page. Social Media is all about communicating so make it easy for your audience to communicate with you.
Other than the usual phone number, address and email address, you can also add your social media profile links to this page because your visitors should be able to contact you on all your different social media profiles – this is in addition to having the same links direct from your Home Page. Just make life easy for your readers.
This doesn’t have to be a full page, it can simply be widget on the bottom or on the side of your home page where your visitors can navigate their way through your past posts. Again, it’s essential that your visitors are easily able to find their way to your older posts.
The Search Widget – this is a very small and relatively simple thing to add to your home page, but it’s essential for helping your blog or website visitors to easily find what they are looking for without having to trawl through your archives. It doesn’t have to be at the top but it should be on your Homepage somewhere, even in the footer is fine. Just add it.
There you have it, the 6 essential features every website must have. Depending on the nature of your site there are many more pages and features that need to be added, but these 6 features are the basics that even the most simple of blogs should have.
I’m attaching an easy to pin infographic which you can pin for ease of reference.