What makes a good website?

Megan Bradbury

Megan Bradbury

When it comes to creating a ‘good’ website it can be difficult to give a definitive answer. As is often the case when it comes to web development, the truth is that it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Every website has a different purpose, which has a huge influence on what you need your website to do, and who you need your website to target. However, there are still some fundamental factors that you want your website to achieve in terms of technicality, functionality, visuals and the overall user experience.

These all work holistically to create a website that will serve the user, rank well in search engines and retain traffic.

Here’s what we at Browndog believe to be the key criteria for creating a good website in 6 bitesize pieces.

1. Your website is aimed at your audience

Arguably the most important aspect of a website is that it does what it’s supposed to and provides what it needs to, to who needs it. Whether it be providing information or selling a product, the primary purpose of having a website is to deliver to your consumers effectively, efficiently and reliably.

The best way to ensure that your website is right for your audience is by conducting research into your particular market. You can look at what your competitors are providing, as well as what they’re missing, to build a website that not only answers the current queries of your audience, but preempts their future requirements.

Think carefully about the entire process from beginning to end, and cover every base that may need to be covered. Once you know what content or functionality you need to provide you can then begin to think strategically about how it will be accessed and in what order.

You can check out our guide on how to create a content strategy, or speak to us directly if you need support with finding the relevant information.

2. Your website is fast loading

This may seem like a given, but it has become even more important to make sure that your website is fast loading and easy to access. Pages should load quickly, from anywhere around the globe.

Google is constantly trying to improve user experience by ranking websites according to their functionality and trustworthiness, amongst other things. When your website loads slowly, it encourages users to exit the page, which in turn increases your bounce rate. A high bounce rate suggests to search engines that your website is offering a poor user experience, and may negatively impact your traffic generating potential.

Choosing a reliable hosting company will help your website to function as it should so that you don’t lose traffic due to technical errors or poor load times. You’ll also want to ensure you’re using code minification and image compression where possible across your site. Depending on your choice of CMS (content management system), you may also want to consider a site speed plugin. At Browndog we use WP-Rocket to help your website load as fast as possible.

3. Your website is mobile friendly

Now that everybody has the web at their fingertips or in their back pocket, the majority of online traffic comes from mobile phones. If your website is not mobile friendly you are putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage; users will have a bad experience when browsing your site and search engines will prioritise your mobile friendly competitors.

You should be building and developing your websites with a mobile-first approach, meaning they are designed from the outset with mobile users in mind. Sites that are not developed with this ethos are not optimised for how most users will access their content.

Always keep in mind how your users are accessing information and make sure that it is accessible to them. You can speak to our team if you have any concerns on how to create your websites with the user in mind to increase traffic and profitability.

4. Your website is safe, secure and resilient

Websites need to be trustworthy and secure to ensure users and their data are safe when visiting your website.

You can take many steps to enhance the security of your site. First, you can make sure your website is using HTTPS rather than HTTP to ensure all data is protected by SSL encryption. You also don’t want to leave yourself open to a cyber attack, so using an additional security service like Cloudflare can make sure your site is secure as well as reliable and fast.

It would be a shame for you to create a beautiful website that is working perfectly and pulling in loads of traffic, for it to crumble and crash. Research your hosting provider thoroughly to ensure their servers can handle large spikes and high volumes of traffic.

Ensuring your website’s security is also critical when it comes to Google rankings. If you want to be featured in search engine rankings, you need to make sure your users’ information is protected.

5. Your website is user friendly and accessible

Every website needs to prioritise users when it comes to their functionality. Experience has a huge impact on the actions of your users, it can determine whether or not they wish to stay on your website, and whether or not they buy your product or your service, or fulfil whatever it is that you need from them.

Your website should be simple to use and intuitive so that users can easily find the information they need. You have to consider the user journey from start to finish; navigation is easiest when everything can be accessed just a few clicks from your homepage. Make sure that any product filters are well thought out and logical if you’re running an eCommerce site.

You’ll want to make sure that links and pages all work correctly. Links that lead to dead pages (404 error pages) can provoke frustration which has a negative effect on users’ interaction that will ultimately impact the popularity of your website with users and search engines.

Another important thing to consider is accessibility. This means giving careful consideration to colour palettes, image alt tags, wording, clarity, etc. It is important that anybody can have access to the information that you’re providing, and no one feels discriminated against.

At Browndog we understand the importance of inclusivity and have an extensive knowledge base of user experience; so we can make sure that your theme, branding, colour scheme, content, etc., works with accessibility and user experience in mind to make sure you reach your target audience and offer them what they need.

6. Your website looks the part

We all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but sadly we can’t always help ourselves. Personal preference differs from one user to the next, but there are certain things that indicate to us whether or not we trust a source of information.

Websites with a nice, clean, modern design demonstrate a business’ understanding of the consumer. It shows that you are willing to dedicate time and resources to learning about your audience, and using that information to enhance their experiences. Websites that are up-to-date instil a feeling of trust within the user.

It is important to check that your content is well-written and free from grammatical errors. An easy way to increase your ranking is to check that your content is correct, in regard to both relevance and technicality.

We have a dedicated team, with a combined experience of over 100 years, who can help you with your website design and content. Speak to our team with any concerns and see how we can help you to produce a well-designed, well-written website that targets your desired audience.

So what makes a good website?

There are many things you need to consider in order to create a good website. If you think about each of these elements you will be giving your website a holistic approach, which happens to be the best approach.

These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself when you create your website. You can use them to create a tick list so that you don’t miss any of the elements.

Content; is your content tailored to your audience? Does it offer them the relevant information? Does it answer their questions?

Technical; are you using a safe host for your website? Is your software up to date? Is your information encrypted?

Functional; is your website easy to navigate? Does it work for mobile users? Do your pages load quickly?

Visual; does your website look professional? Is your information grammatically correct? Is your brand clear?

User experience; is your website accessible? Do your links work correctly? Can you find the relevant information easily?

Using WordPress to create your website

We love using WordPress to build our clients’ websites at Browndog Agency. WordPress is an effective tool as it ensures fast, reliable websites that work for SEO. Its plugin architecture and template system called ‘Themes’ makes it easy to create well-designed websites with the user experience in mind, and the plethora of available plugins means that whatever you desire for your website, WordPress can work effectively for you.

At Browndog, we have dedicated experts who are happy to help you build and manage your websites. 

Contact us on 01484 453131 or at [email protected] and have a chat about how we can help you to fulfil your business goals.

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Security and Hosting

It’s important to consider where your website is hosted and if other websites are hosted on the same server. When you use our hosting service, your website is hosted on a dedicated server with 24/7 support, should anything go wrong. We know that understanding server security and website hosting can be complex, so our experts are here to talk you through it all and find the best plan that works for you.

To read a recent review of the WP Engine platform by Digital.com please click here.

We’re pleased to say that the majority of our clients choose to host their websites with us.


How much does a good website cost to build?

  • A brochure site (a place to share information about your products or services) will cost between £6,000-£12,000 depending on the volume of pages, functional elements and any bespoke design requests you may have.
  • An ecommerce website (a place where you can sell your products or services and visitors can complete their transaction online) will cost from £10,000.
  • If you’re looking for completely bespoke design or just a website refresh, we’ll be happy to chat with you and provide a quote for your requirements.

We’ve developed over 200 websites. You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project.

When you work with us, you’ll get that perfect combination of great design and technical development from our whole team, not just one person.

How long does it take to build a website?

Before we start any work, we’ll share a project plan which will include deadlines for providing content, and we’ll keep you updated if the expected times change.

Writing keyword-rich copy will keep visitors on your website and encourage them to work with you. If writing isn’t for you or you just don’t have time, we can produce a content plan on your behalf.

Why you need a website

Most customers will expect you to have a website and may question your legitimacy as a business if they can’t find you online. When a potential customer does find you, what should their first impression be? You want them to be confident when buying from you and to have a good feeling about your brand.

If growing your business is a goal, then having a website is a great place to gain leads. Using the right mix of keywords and a thorough digital marketing plan, you can become good friends with Google! Google will play a significant role in helping your customers find you online and giving you a positive return on investment for the cost of your website and online strategy.

Even the most basic of websites should serve as an informative tool to answer frequently asked customer questions and offer your first port of call for customer service. Your opening times, address and latest news or offers should be easy to find. Ultimately, the better your website is, the easier it will be to find, and a great website will help you to reach more customers.

Being online helps you to reach a much bigger pool of customers than a bricks and mortar store. Your website can be the key to extended success, with no limits on the scope of your customer geography other than your product/service capabilities.

Working with an agency like Browndog will give you a technically sound, fresh and functional website which is responsively designed, and provides consistent brand messaging for your customers. We’ll also take the guess work out of your online strategy and make sure your website is targeting the right customer segments to increase sales opportunities and raise brand awareness.

How much does it cost?

  • A marketing campaign animation or company/product introduction between 90-120 seconds in length will cost between £2,500 and £3,000. This will depend on the length of the video, the content, and any additional options such as a voice over or music. Don’t worry, we can guide you through best practice and find a plan that fits for you.
  • If you’d like us to produce a logo ident or gif animations for you to use on social media and in smaller campaigns, you can expect to pay between £250-£300. This will be a much smaller brief and will take less time than a campaign animation.
  • We’re more than happy to put together a bespoke package for you to include multiple campaign videos, logo idents, voice overs and photography or videography as needed. We do it all!

You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project. 

How long does it take to produce an animation?

But here’s the kind of time you can expect your animation to take:

  • Marketing campaign animations – this will usually take us about three weeks to prepare. We like to allow a week for content and styling, followed by storyboarding and revisions. Finally, we’ll take another week to animate your work. These things are a work of art, you can’t rush them (and we won’t).
  • Logo idents, gifs and short animations – we estimate that this will take up to two weeks.

Are you ready to get started? Send us your brief today or give us a call to talk through your ideas. We’re a friendly bunch!*

*If you visit us, our office dogs may take part in your meeting.

What kind of animations can we help with?

Ideally, your marketing strategy will include a range of media content to achieve the greatest engagement and response from your audience.

We can help with animations and videos that include company and product introductions, as well as content for specific marketing campaigns. These types of animations can showcase who you are, and what you have to offer. Plus, they are an exciting way to launch a new product or service and get your customers on board.

When you work with us on your branding, why not include a logo ident to add that extra bit of personality to your business and content, setting you apart from your competitors.

Another growing area for animated content is social media and your website. We produce gifs, short video clips and motion graphics for use on web pages and in social posts. This is a great way to captivate the viewers’ attention, share your brand values and advertise your latest campaign or event.

Finally, when you work with us on your website, we highly recommend adding a range of graphics, animations and videos to keep visitors on your site and share your messaging in captivating ways. We’ve provided many website banners and short looping animations for our clients.

We will guide you through each of your animation journey, from assessing the content that will work best for you, to how long your animated content should be and where it should be placed.

Why is animation an important element of your content strategy?

Not only is it effective but using animation can be a cost-saving way to grab the attention of your audience and keep them looking at your content for longer. It’s considerably cheaper than producing recorded video footage because it can be easily edited and updated when needed.

Animation is the fastest growing type of content created by marketers for use on websites and social media, so if you’re not doing it yet, now is the time to start…

We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to explain complex ideas, products or services in text form or with images. That’s why many of our clients work with us to produce animations that take the information off the page and jump out at the audience.

Most importantly, animation has been proven to boost conversion rates on your website. Users are significantly more engaged and more likely to spend longer on your site or complete an action, such as filling in a contact form.

How will animation help my marketing strategy?

Animation is a powerful marketing tool and a great way to show some personality in your brand, making you more memorable (think: the Aldi carrot or the Netflix Tudum).

One of the great benefits of animation is that it can help you to share a lot of information in just a few seconds, because sometimes that’s all the time you have to attract a user’s attention.