What *is* a good website?

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25Oct2010

What *is* a good website?

  • By Andrew Garrett
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In this recent post, I talked about older, slightly stale websites being “not-so-good”.

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One thing I didn’t cover, was the subject of what makes a website “good”. And I got called on it.

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Your business website should be a business asset – yet it probably appears on the company books as an expense.

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In accounting terms (which are, admittedly, somewhat simplistic for the purposes of this discussion) an asset is something (tangible or not) which your company owns. Your website probably doesn’t appear as an asset on the company accounts – there are just expenses associated with it. It’s just something you pay for, something you need, because “everyone needs a website”.

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But is your website a positive asset to your business? Does it positively contribute to the business bottom line in some way?

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If not, why do you bother? If your website represents a net loss to your business, I say get rid of it.

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Either that, or fix it. Change it so it helps your business, rather than just hurting your bottom line.

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If you could spend a little bit more on it (let’s say, another $1000 a year), but that extra effort drove another $30,000 worth of business through your doors, and on that business you realise an extra $5,000 in gross profit – would that be a good use of money?

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That would be a good website.

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Most business websites these days cost relatively little to maintain, but provide little positive value to the business. They’re there to dispense basic information – address, opening hours, maybe some nice pictures and friendly words about what the business does. If it costs less than about $50 a month, it’s probably worthwhile, in that it saves maybe an hour or so of staff time when people don’t have to ring up to find a few little things out.

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But it could be so much better. It could do so much more. It could make your existing customers want to come back to you, or come back to you more often. It could introduce new customers to your business, start making their experience of dealing with your positive before they start walking through your door.

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Ultimately, a good website is one that helps your business return positive value to shareholders.

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How could your site do that better?

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