A successful website meets clearly identified goals and provides compelling content that draws your audience to your site again and again. In addition it is easy to navigate and last to be attractively designed to complement the content.

A Good Website is Compelling: It Provides Value to Your Audience that draws them to your site again and again.

This is most important. Think about the sites that are most popular like amazon.com or yahoo or excite. They provide you with a reason to return. They have compelling content. When you go to Amazon, you can easily find what you are looking for, look at reviews from both critics and customers, or even review a book yourself. In addition, they recommend other books in the same areas of interest.

How does this apply to building a home page? Even if you are just building a personal home page, you want to give your audience a reason to stay, and return to your site. Put yourself in the place of your audience. If you were them, what could you do to make your site interesting enough for them to return over and over again?

For example, let’s say you had an interest in nature photography and wanted to attract people to your site with the same interest. You could create a different gallery of photos every month you people to look at. You could give advice on how to take nature photos or provide links to other photography sites. You could even write reviews on camera equipment that is well suited for nature photography.

A Good Website Meets Clearly Identified Goals

You need to identify what you want to achieve with your website. Maybe you want to provide a way to tell others what your family is doing. Maybe you want to meet up with some others who have the same interest as you. Identifying what you want to achieve will help you create a focused cohesive website. We will discuss this further in the next section, How to Plan Your Site.

A Good Website is Easy to Navigate

Have you ever been to a beautiful looking website from a large corporation or organization only to leave in frustration because you could not find what you are looking for?

Your website should be easy to navigate. You should assume that your audience may not enter the site from the home page. This means that there should be no dead ends. Every page should have consistent easy to understand links back to other pages.

The easiest way to create an easy to navigate site is to take the time to plan the structure of your site before you start building it. This simply means you decide roughly what pages your site will have and how they will link together. Once you do this you can easily create a set of links between your various pages which make everything easy to find. Visual attractiveness is an important element, compelling content, clearly defined goals and easy navigation is equally important.