Critical features for your website: design and development

Iren Korkishko
Oct 11 · 9 min read

Everyone who starts developing a website tries to make it as effective as possible. There are a number of criteria that indicate the quality of the website and every digital product. This article will walk you through the critical features for your website and suggest some key features important to consider in redesign and re-development processes.

This article was written in cooperation with my colleague Tonya Smirnova and originally published on Syndicode blog.


Everyone who starts developing a website (whether it’s a static website or landing page or even a web application) tries to make it as effective as possible. There are a number of criteria that indicate the quality of the website and every digital product. This article will walk you through the whole process, so you can understand it better. If you are aware that some of the criteria don’t work for you, you should consider website redesign, re-development, improvement as well as enhancement or migration. So, let’s dive into these critical features that will help to create a high-quality product in the result.

I work in s custom software development company from Ukraine that has been accumulating expertise in building custom software products and solutions since 2014. We have large experience in creating websites for logistics, healthcare, e-commerce, fintech, and entertainment. We develop fully responsive static and dynamic websites with different types of content — from landing pages and blogs to e-commerce and video streaming. When designing a new product we pay a lot of attention to the effectiveness of the web service. In this material, I’m revealing some of our approaches.

1. How to know if your web service is out of date and ineffective?

First of all, your stats (any tracking service you have on your website) will show you how good you are and what your users do.

It’s important to track and optimize website metrics. To improve your website’s marketing performance, you can apply Google Analytics and utilize its metrics or choose some of the following:

  1. Check your visitor traffic numbers. These data show when there is a growth or decline of a website’s activity. This metric gives you a good overview of your website’s overall traffic performance.
  2. Focus on the website bounce rate. One of the key website metrics that provide the amount of single-page web sessions. That’s where you can check if you need to improve the content experience for your customers.
  3. Note different traffic sources. These are direct, organic search, referral, and social visitors who check your website. Understanding which source is performing better leads to the improvements of your content, SEO, optimization, and other factors.
  4. Bouncing the exit rate. This rate usually depends on sessions that occur within a specific page, the number of page views that were the last in a visitor’s session.
  5. Analyzing the top pages. This helps to understand which pages need to be improved in the first place, and which content needs some changes. This may be beneficial for improving other metrics as well (like bouncing the exit rate).
  6. Calculating a customer lifetime value. These metrics will lead to potential customer revenue and budgeting strategy. These are the data you get to calculate your future profit.
  7. Analyzing a conversion rate. Keeping an eye on your conversion rates gets higher profits. Conversion rate metrics include form clicks, total page visits, product transactions, and others.

If there are no stats at all — you’re definitely a dinosaur and you have to update to survive. The other signs that you’re not effective are:

  • Technology stack — you have to be modern with the technologies you use. That is why you have to monitor what is popular with developers and what repositories to catch up.
  • Innovations you don’t have. If you run the business, you should know that you should constantly move and be aware of the new technologies to gain more customers and profits. There are some trends and innovations for you that you should pay more attention while implementing in your business.
  • Trends you’re not following. Trends are a tricky thing and you need to be attentive. To keep up, you need to be aware of the last web development trends and technologies.
  • SEO optimization you don’t do. This is important because SEO helps your potential user to find you with the help of search engines and keywords you use to describe your service.

2. Critical features for your website

In the initial stage, it’s useful to consider the critical features of your website. It may take some time and resources to select the marketing channels that can bring you more customers and you need to understand how to make the website redesign accordingly. There are some of the potential improvements you could make:

  • Reviews. If you run an online marketplace, usually, buyers read online reviews about the product before they are going to purchase it. You need to ensure your clients have access to the best reviews for the products and make them available through Google search or on your webpage. If you have a regular website with information about your business, these reviews we recommend to have should be related to your business and be given by your clients and partners.
  • Site search. The clients tend to start the search for the product or service and the statistic shows they usually use the internal search engine to navigate a web page and the search feature.
  • Smart forms. Before launching a website, install a service that collects information to make a smart form. That will lead to a better improvement of the user experience.
  • Favorites. Again, if we talk about something like an online marketplace, to help users to select their favorites and save some time for searching keep the marking of the products your customers are interested in. Include the wishlist function to increase your client’s amount.
  • FAQ and ‘About’ page. People like to be aware of who you are and of the potential risks and services and they want to find this information as fast as possible. It will be very convenient to include the FAQ section with all possible information about your business, services, and products, as it increases trust and credibility.
  • Similar/Related items or ‘you might also like’. Another helpful function is to include the section of the items, products, articles your customers may like. This will keep then interested in your website.
  • Social media. Don’t forget about the importance of the stories. You can share them on all possible social media channels. Support them with high-quality pictures and content. Customers like to hear interesting stories about the history of the brand.
  • Checkout process. Try to make a checkout process very simple, as the long and tired checkout procedure can make your customers wish to leave the website.
  • Loyalty and rewards program. Invent a rewarding loyalty program using the discount system, gifts, and anything that can attract more customers and their desire to buy more products or services, or spend more time on your resource.

When you add the critical features to your website, you will see what great impact it will have on your marketing strategies and the whole customer process.

3. What should be considered when doing website re-development?

While developing a website there is important to keep it structured and follow a logic of website architecture.

IT infrastructure architecture defines the hardware configuration, software, network resources, services, and protocols, and is responsible for the secureness, scalability, and availability of your website and all the data it retaining. In other words, the right IT infrastructure architecture will cost you a fortune (if you decide to build it yourself) but bring you the top-level quality. However, consider hiring a company that will provide you with proper infrastructure. That is a smart and cost-effective decision.

Then there is a process of web architecture, the conceptual structure of the World Wide Web. The WWW enables communication between different users and the technical interaction between different systems. The basis for this is the different components and data formats that form the infrastructure of the Internet.

In simple words, web architecture is the planning and design of the technical, functional and visual components of a website (before it is designed, developed and deployed). And this architecture should provide you with a website that works in all browsers correctly.

The core web architecture components you need to include are DNS (Domain Name Server), Load Balancer, Web Application Servers, Database Servers, Caching Service, Job Queue & Servers, Full-text Search Service, Services, Data, Cloud storage and CDN (Content Delivery Network).

When you want to re-develop your website, you may want to also update the content so that it could work with the new design. This will also influence the website’s rankings.

After you have chosen all the marketing efforts to change your re-developing plan, it is important to start deciding how you plan to distribute the information and keep the customers engaged.

4. Website redesign key points

Let’s check what should we consider while redesigning. The key points:

  • User needs. The UX design requirements should be met on different levels. For this, we can use the UX pyramid that categorizes UX efforts and tracks the progress. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, on the bottom of the UX Pyramid we can find the fundamentals, and on the top — the needs of the higher-order.
  • Accessibility. The main principles here are color accessibility, the contrasts ratio of your color combinations, focus states that help people to navigate your site and many other factors.
  • User stories. A user story is a tool used in Agile (and not only) software development and is an informal description of one or more features of a software system. Writing correct User Stories is a powerful technique that defines the future success of your product.
  • Menus. The hamburger menu, or the hamburger icon, is the button on websites and apps that typically opens up into a side menu or navigation drawer. It was created by interaction designer Norm Cox for the Xerox Star personal workstation in 1981 as an easy way to communicate to users that the button contained a list of items. However, depending on the key pages you want to include in your menu, you can choose the other type of it.
  • Search. It is a powerful tool, and as one of the most common elements that we interact with on a daily basis, search input usability is an important consideration. Inputs should be accessible. Ensure users have the ability to return results using their keyboard as well as clicking a button.
  • UI. The interface should be ‘invisible’, offering users portals through which they can interact directly with the tasks they want to complete. The less they notice using controls, the more effective their interaction with the design will be. UI is letting users find their way about the interface intuitively.
  • UX. The essence of UX design could be seen as the evolution of a hypertext system that is now transformed into a sophisticated software interface. And all the key parts of the user experience could be also described from the original point of view information-oriented structure. UX defines if the website of web service is convenient and easy-to-use.
  • Typography. Selecting appropriate typography (element spacing, fonts, sizes, etc.) by eye and with a view to any potential future application in your project is fraught with difficulty. Typography should correlate with accessibility.
  • Latest trends. It is hard to search for the best ones among tons of available style guides, especially if you are looking for something that will work for your project. Try to be updated on the best design guides from the most famous design companies and communities.

5. Checklist to follow

When doing a redesign, you have to prioritize the steps to complete all the updates in time and effectively. Or a product/project manager can do it for you. This specialist has to be an expert in tech and management, psychology and business. And moreover, the product manager will be always responsible for all the issues and all the wins no matter the conditions.

To create a successful checklist for your website re-development and redesign you should include all the information with all items and people responsible for completing each item. This will make the whole teamwork more efficient.

The checklist may include the following:

  • Page content SEO and priority optimizations;
  • Keywords;
  • Schema markup;
  • URL redirects (SEO);
  • XML sitemaps;
  • Google Analytics, Google Ads conversion data, Facebook pixel, and others;
  • The proper work of the checkout process;
  • Updating of email automation links;
  • The work of the shopping platform on your site (if you have such), Facebook, and other data feeds.

The statistics of the successfully working websites shows that walking through all steps and checking all processes positively influence the final results after the website redesign.

6. Where to hire a team that does not afraid to provide your website redesign and migration?

It really doesn’t matter if you need to develop a new product from scratch or hire a few developers to complete the redesign process that has already started. Just check the potential agency’s processes and make sure you heard about outsourcing or outstaffing in Ukraine! If you are considering the possibility of software outsourcing, Ukraine can be a great choice in terms of software quality and the costs involved.

The statistics and data collected from different resources as well as our experience, show that Ukrainian software developers are highly in demand internationally, they have excellent development skills, they learn new programming languages very fast, they are incredibly motivated.


Thanks for reading!

Iren Korkishko

Written by

Infoholic, researcher, tech writer, marketing manager at Syndicode

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