Advertising
Advertising

Four Features Every Website Should Have

Four Features Every Website Should Have

The websites of 2016 are nothing like what we had in 1996. Historically, our online properties were considered nothing more than a novelty. Generally, these sites were used as simple digital brochures and added very little value to users beyond what was already out there.

According to one web design agency, modern websites are now the hub of your business’s entire presence. Whether you’re trying to promote your business online or simply share your thoughts with the world, make sure your website has these four core features if you want to be able to engage people online.

Advertising

1. Social Commenting

If you’re trying to reach people, you want them to be able to reach back. Having a system in place where they can leave their comments is an excellent way for you to get a dialogue moving. While the comment features that are already built into many CMS systems like WordPress or Joomla are great, the one offered by Facebook is even better.

If people share a page from your website on Facebook, the comments are separate from the ones on your blog. However, it is possible to integrate their commenting system directly onto your website. This way, whenever somebody comments on your content through social media, the comments will be visible to your other readers.

Advertising

Let’s say, for example, you write a blog post outlining your new workout routine. Somebody may share this with their friends on Facebook. If one of his friends happens to be a fitness enthusiast, he may have his own little tweaks to add to your routine. Since you are not friends with this group of people on Facebook, you normally wouldn’t be able to take part in this conversation. But if you use Facebook’s comment plugin, you are now able to take part in this dialog. Your website or blog is no longer a one-way soapbox, it’s now a two-way platform for you to communicate with people from all over the world.

2. Method of Contact

Whether your website is a hobby or a business, people need to be able to trust you. It’s essential that your website clearly displays a way for your readers to get in touch with you. This doesn’t mean that you have to post your address and phone number. This can be something as simple as an email contact form.

Advertising

For businesses that are going to be handling transactions with clients, you might want a little more information. If possible, try to set up an online support system that lets people chat with your agents live. This can save you the money you’d spend operating a 1-800 number, and will still give clients the ability to get real time support.

3. SSL

People are more concerned about privacy than ever. If your website takes any kind of personal information from users, it’s your responsibility to help keep them protected. SSL is an encryption system that prevents information from being intercepted during transmission. Setting up SSL is usually as simple as a few clicks of your mouse, and many web hosts even provide this for free.

Advertising

4. Search Box

In this digital age, everyone is used to being able to find the information they need at the touch of a button. Even if you have perfectly laid out categories and an easy to use web design, occasionally users will want to make a query using their own words. For this reason, it’s essential to have an easy-to-use search box featured in a prominent location on your website.

Almost every modern CMS has this functionality built in. Even if you have an older website or one you developed yourself, adding in a search box is simple thanks to Google custom search. All you need to do is check out Google’s registration form, enter in some basic information, and copy a piece of code into your website. Then, you’ll be up and running!

Featured photo credit: Dulce, Diana and Jamie working by Steven Zwerink via flickr.com

More by this author

Josh MacDonald

Internet Entrepreneur

guy friend 8 Ways to Judge If Your Girlfriend’s Male Friend Is Actually a Friend 5 Reasons Why Random People Follow You On Social Media Google Organic Search 2017 CTR 5 SEO Tips To Help Your Blog Grow In 2017 5 Ways to Get Your Degree for Free 5 Things to Look for in a Potential Roommate or Tenant

Trending in Technology

1 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 4 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity 5 Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

Advertising

     

    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

      Advertising

      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

        Advertising

          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

            Advertising

            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

            Read Next