Building a new website can seem like an overwhelming task. In order for your site to be successful, it will have to attract traffic and hold their attention long enough to get them to perform whatever actions you desire. In order to achieve these objectives, certain elements must be in place. Below are 5 must-haves for your new site:

Simple Layout

If your website looks difficult to navigate, your visitors are not likely to stick around. While it is important to stand out, this must be accomplished without sacrificing simplicity. Clean, simple layouts are easier on the eyes and make it easier for visitors to access the information they’re looking for. The menu should be intuitive, with elements neatly organized on a grid, rather than scattered across the page. As important as text and images are, white space is also necessary to avoid a cluttered appearance. Complimentary colors offer pleasant contrasts that allow more important elements to stand apart from the rest.

High-Quality Content

Static pages require high-quality content that will hold the viewer’s attention. Headlines should be brief and informative, so the reader will have a good idea what lies ahead. Blog posts should contain eye-catching titles that provoke the visitor’s curiosity. Practical tips and “how-to” articles are some of the most successful types of content you can provide. Avoid using jargon that may not be understood by the average reader, opting instead for clarity with a conversational tone.

Responsive Website Design

You can build the sharpest-looking website ever created, but if your average visitor arrives via social media links, you will need a mobile-compatible version of your site. In fact, 40 percent of Internet browsing today is conducted on smartphones. Responsive website design ensures that your site is visible on desktops, tablets and phones. Essentially, the content on each page is adapted to fit on all these devices, giving you the power to reach virtually anyone with an Internet connection.


As important as the other elements are, a lack of security on your site can jeopardize both you and your visitors. This is especially critical with regard to financial transactions and the exchange of personal information. SSL encryption can help you keep credit card numbers and other information out of the hands of cyber criminals.

Social Media Integration

Sharing of content is essential to building up a stream of web traffic. Not only is it important to have your own social media pages to attract new followers, but also to have share buttons for them to use. When incorporating social media buttons on your website, have the buttons nearby and uniform. A great example of uniform, engaging, and strategically placed social media buttons is the website of American Equipment Inc.  Incorporating social media allows visitors to share your content with their own friends and followers, who can become your followers later. In turn, they will do the same, building up your base.

Although it may take some time to build your website up, these tips will help you get it off to a good start. Remember that regardless of your site’s level of sophistication, success is often the product of a firm foundation. Getting the basics right will help make your website more attractive and useful to any potential visitors.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on technology and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2