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10+ Must Have Website Design Features

Google.com claims that information is gathered from hundreds of billions of websites across the globe by Google’s web crawlers. Several websites are static and just have a few pages, while others have hundreds of pages and are more complex.

Today, websites serve as the portal to the internet, allowing users from all over the world to research businesses, goods, and services, as well as make purchases.

Additionally, websites have changed from being a nice-to-have to one of the most important business tools. Businesses who had a strong online presence survived the pandemic and are still doing well today.

You may quickly and easily establish a website with a few clicks thanks to the several website builders. Additionally, the websites have become much smarter thanks to several automation and integration options that can significantly cut down on manual labor.

This article will highlight 10+ aspects that are essential for every website. These functions are a wonderful place to start if you do not already have a website.

Web Design

The web design features are some of the essential elements that every website should have, regardless of how many pages it has. These characteristics define, grow, and set the tone for the future. It is simpler to add extra pages once a standard has been established.


A Sitemap is a diagram or file that shows the hierarchical structure of the web content pages, images, videos, etc. The sitemap structure shows the following:

  • High-level web pages 
  • Sub pages 
  • Relationships between the pages and sub pages

The sitemap diagram is a visual representation of the website. This helps site visitors to understand the layout and navigate through the website. In the past, many websites used to display the sitemap diagram in the website for visitors. We do not see this anymore as the search engines got better at tracking the websites.

A SEO friendly sitemap file (XML) is a markup file that shows the structure of the website, especially for the search engines, Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Search engines use the sitemap file to properly find, track and index your web pages. A good sitemap file can improve your SEO drastically. 

If you’re starting a new website project, sitemap is a good place to start. We find it as a very useful process, as it makes you think through the different aspects of web design. It also makes better organized content for both site visitors and search engines. If your website is more complex with tens of hundreds of pages, then you can split into multiple sitemaps. 

You can create a sitemap diagram using PowerPoint or one of the design tools such as Miro, Canva or Figma. You can create SEO sitemaps using notepad or using SEO generators. Once you have the sitemap file ready, you can upload the file into your main website folder and the search engine can crawl and index the pages.

If you currently have a website but are unsure if a sitemap is there, you may quickly check using the url your website domain>/sitemap.xml. You can make one and upload it if there is not a sitemap.


Website branding focuses on how you want your customers to perceive or interact with your brand. A Website is one of the first tools your prospective customers may see, and hence, branding becomes important for a website. 

Branding is a big topic and involves strategy, planning and execution. Branding evolves over time, so you don’t have to figure everything out upfront. Having a branding toolkit, which includes Logos, colors, typography, images, and messages is a good starting point.

Themes & Layout

Once you have the branding, it is time to think through the theme and layout. Theme focuses on the general look and feel of the website. This includes pages, sections, colors, fonts, images, and graphics. 

Layout focuses on navigation  (how visitors navigate and interact with your website.) This includes headings, captions,  menus, bars, buttons, links, etc. 

Depending upon the industry or business type, there are several standard themes and layout available in the market. For example, if yours is a retail business, then choose a suitable retail theme that customers are already familiar with. For design ideas, visit Theme Forest or 99designs. 

Graphics Design

Once you have the website outline complete, you can focus on the graphics design, visual aspects of the web pages. This includes page layout, photos, images, videos, etc. The branding toolkit should drive the graphics design forward. Like everything else, graphics design is evolving fast with many options such as 2D, 3D, MetaVerse, etc. Choose the right type of design based on your brand guidelines. 

You can make your own custom designs or purchase graphics from third-party vendors like UnSplash, ShutterStock, 99designs, etc.

Responsive Design

Users access websites from different devices – desktop, phone, tablet, etc. Each device comes with different sizes, resolutions, etc. Responsive websites, adjust the website content based on the visitor’s device.

It is not only having good content, but ensuring the content is usable from different devices is key to success. There are several responsive web design testing available to use. As it is not realistic to test all combinations of devices and resolutions. As a first step, you can test key devices based on the target customer demographics. For example, your target audience is the younger generation, which more often use mobile devices, then you can test for mobile responsiveness first. 

SEO Friendly

Many businesses big and small successfully used search engines to generate traffic, leads and revenue. Optimizing web design for search engines is not only a good design, but improves the bottom line. 

SEO is a big topic, however, there are two things to think about – on-page and off-site SEO. The on-page SEO focuses on the steps you can take within the page to improve search engines. Find traction and tag your website for your target audience. 

At the design stage, you can identify the target keywords, title, descriptions and meta-tags. SEO takes time and requires continuous improvement, and hence, starting early is worthwhile. 

Lighthouse offers a chrome extension that you can use to audit your website and collect valuable SEO insights. 


Cybersecurity is a growing threat, and many enterprises suffer from frequent cyber attacks. Having a secured website increases customer confidence and trust using your website. Modern websites come with several security options from digital certificates, two-factor authentication, spam filters, and more. 

The good news is that many hosting providers such as Google, AWS, and Godaddy provide security filters out of the box. Bare minimum, enabling HTTPS would keep the network traffic encrypted, which would protect from several known vulnerabilities. 


Website involves adhering to laws and regulations. Depending on the geographical location or where you do business. Many local, regional and international regulations may apply. Some of the common compliance includes cookie policy, GDPR, user agreements, ADA, etc. 

You can find many standard templates available in the market. To start with, you can use standard templates and make necessary adjustments based on your business needs. Legal counsel can help with more comprehensive and compliant documentation. 


A responsive design focuses on devices, accessibility focuses on site visitors. For example, people with disabilities can access and use the website efficiently. 

There are several compliance and accessibility standards such as ADA, W3C, WCAG, and  508 available to use. Depending on the target audience, you can use appropriate standards that can provide the best user experience for your customers. 

Please checkout W3.org for several accessibility tools and testing options. 


We’re living in a fast paced world. People’s attention span is gradually decreasing and we got less than 10 seconds to get the message across. The Neilpatel website recommends a page load speed of 0 to 2 seconds. When the page load time increases, the bounce rate also increases. 

Website performance starts from design. Optimizing images for web and devices, right sizing the content, and lazy loading are a few ways to make your website blazing fast. 

As a first step, use one of the speed test tools such as lighthouse to speed test the website.

Often the tools provide insights on the steps to take to improve the page performance. 

Domain & Hosting

Domain is the address (URL) the site visitors use to access the website over the internet. This is key to digital presence. Choosing a domain name that matches your business name is the best, however, it is increasingly difficult to find an exact match as most of the domain names are already taken. If the domain name with .COM extension is unavailable, you can choose the next best alternative (.io, .net, .org, etc.). You can use one of the domain registrars such as Google Domains or Godaddy to register the domain. 

Once you’ve the domain name registered, it is time to find a home for your website. Many hosting providers such as GoDaddy, BlueHost rent their space to host your website for a monthly fee. There are also cloud hosting providers such as Google Cloud, AWS and Azure that provide various hosting services. Pick and choose the right package that is suitable for your business size and traffic you expect.

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