What Makes a Website Great?

Join us as we unravel the secrets to crafting websites that not only look stunning but also resonate deeply with users, driving success in the digital realm.



Feb 7, 2024

Dean Ellis

What Makes a Website Great?

Often, when people ponder the ingredients of what makes a great website, their minds instinctively gravitate towards the visual elements of their website design. This is a sentiment I've encountered countless times in my consultations as a website designer. Undeniably, the visual presentation of a website holds significant weight, and we'll certainly touch on that aspect. However, there's much more to consider in great website design. Whether you're venturing into designing your own website or seeking insights as a designer, the topics we'll explore here promise valuable insights on not only what makes a good website but what makes a great website.

1. Establish Your Website Purpose:

Just like any project, whether it's a professional endeavour or a personal passion, defining a clear purpose for your website is crucial. It's the North Star guiding your journey and increasing the likelihood of success. Similarly, when it comes to designing a website, understanding its purpose is paramount. Consider why people should visit your website. What value does it offer them? Is it a platform to showcase your portfolio, sell products, provide information, or build a community? Defining the purpose sets the foundation for all other elements of your website.

What are your Business goals or personal objectives:

Once you've established the purpose of your website, outline key objectives for your website. These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, if your purpose is to sell products, your objectives might include increasing online sales by a certain percentage within a specified timeframe.

Who is the target audience for your website?

Understanding your audience is essential for creating a website that resonates with them. Take the time to identify who your target audience is, what their needs are, and what solutions you can offer them. Consider demographics such as age, gender, location, and interests. This information will shape the design, content, and functionality of your website to better cater to your audience's preferences.

What does your audience want?

Once you've identified your audience, delve deeper into understanding their wants and needs. What are they searching for? What problems are they trying to solve? Conducting market research, surveys, and analysing trends can provide valuable insights into what your audience is looking for. By aligning your website with their needs and desires, you increase the chances of attracting and retaining visitors.

In essence, a great website design goes beyond just aesthetics. It's about clarity of purpose, defined objectives, and meeting the needs of your target audience. By focusing on these elements, you can create a website that not only looks great but also delivers results.

2: Structuring Your Website

Now that you've outlined the purpose of your website and what you aim to achieve from it, the next crucial step is to consider its structure. The structure of your website plays a pivotal role in ensuring that it aligns with your goals and meets the needs of your audience effectively.

When structuring your website, there are several considerations to keep in mind:

User Experience (UX)

Your website structure should prioritise a seamless and intuitive user experience. This involves organising content in a logical manner, making it easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they need. Considerations such as clear navigation menus, intuitive website page layouts, and consistent branding elements contribute to a positive UX.

Content Organization

Think about how you want to organise your content to best serve your audience's needs. This may involve categorising content into relevant sections or pages, creating clear pathways for users to explore different topics or products, and ensuring that information is easily accessible.

Conversion Paths

If your website aims to drive specific actions or conversions, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form, consider how you can structure your website to facilitate these conversion paths. This may involve strategically placing call-to-action buttons, optimising landing pages, and streamlining the checkout process.


As your website grows and evolves, its structure should be flexible enough to accommodate new website content, features, and functionalities. Plan for scalability by designing a website structure that can easily adapt to future changes without requiring a complete overhaul of your website architecture.

Now, let's delve into the concept of a website site map and how it can help form user journeys

Creating a Sitemap

A site map is a visual representation of the hierarchical structure of your website, outlining its various pages, sections, and links. Think of it as a blueprint that provides an overview of how your website is organised and how different pages are interconnected.

Creating a site map is an essential step in the website design process as it helps you conceptualise the overall structure of your site and plan the user journey. By mapping out the various pathways that users can take through your website, you can ensure that they can easily navigate from one page to another and find the information they're looking for, whether that be directly from your website homepage or from a landing page that has been designed will a sole conversion target in mind.

Site maps also play a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO) by helping search engine crawlers index and understand the structure of your website more effectively. When search engines encounter a well-structured site map, they can crawl and index your site more efficiently, ultimately improving its visibility in search engine results.

In essence, a site map serves as a roadmap for both users and search engines, guiding them through your website and facilitating seamless navigation and indexing. By incorporating a well-designed site map into your website's structure, you can create a more user-friendly experience and enhance its overall effectiveness in achieving your goals.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

A content management system is integral to the process of building and managing your website. They streamline content creation, organisation, and updating, making it easier for website owners to maintain a dynamic online presence. With a CMS, individuals without technical expertise can effortlessly manage website content, ensuring that information remains current and relevant. This ease of content management is particularly advantageous for businesses seeking to engage with their audience through regular updates and additions to their website.

Moreover, CMS platforms facilitate scalability by providing a framework for expanding website content as needed. Whether it's adding new pages, products, or blog posts, a CMS simplifies the process of growing a website while maintaining consistency in design and structure. This scalability is crucial for businesses looking to adapt to changing market trends, expand their offerings, or reach new audiences over time.

In choosing a CMS provider, you must consider a range of factors, including functionality, usability, customization options, scalability, and support. It's essential to select a CMS that aligns with specific business needs and objectives, ensuring that it meets requirements both now and in the future.

At BLNK Canvas, we've found Webflow to be an excellent choice for our clients due to its intuitive interface, flexible design qualities, capabilities, and powerful CMS functionality. Webflow's user-friendly interface simplifies content management tasks, making it accessible to users of all skill levels. Additionally, its flexibility allows for the creation of custom-designed websites tailored to each client's unique vision and requirements.

With Webflow's robust CMS functionality, we can leverage dynamic content features, collection lists, and content scheduling to create engaging websites that evolve alongside our clients' businesses.

In summary, CMS platforms such as Webflow play a vital role in enhancing website structure, scalability, and content management efficiency. By carefully evaluating CMS providers and leveraging advanced features, businesses can create websites that not only meet their immediate needs but also adapt and grow with their evolving goals and audience expectations.

3. Technical Proficiency

A great website not only delivers valuable content to its target audience but also demonstrates technical proficiency by incorporating Technical SEO strategies throughout its pages. Technical SEO focuses on optimising the infrastructure of a website to enhance its visibility and usability for both users and search engines. One key aspect of Technical SEO is ensuring that search engine crawlers can easily navigate and index the website's content.

Enhancing User Experience and SEO in Web Design

By implementing Technical SEO strategies such as optimising page load speed, creating a mobile-responsive design, using structured data markup, and improving website security, a website can provide a seamless user experience while also signalling to search engines that it is a trustworthy and authoritative source of information.

One crucial aspect of Technical SEO is ensuring that search engines can effectively crawl and index the website's pages. When search engine crawlers encounter a technically proficient website, they can efficiently navigate through its content, understand its structure, and index relevant pages in their search results. This helps improve the website's visibility and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs), ultimately driving more organic traffic to your site.

In summary, incorporating Technical SEO strategies into your website design process not only enhances user experience but also improves its chances of being indexed and ranked favourably by search engines. By focusing on technical proficiency, website designers can create a solid foundation for long-term success in the competitive online landscape.

4. Valuable & User focused Website content

One hallmark of great websites is the presence of valuable content that directly addresses the needs and interests of their target audience. In this digital age, users seek websites that offer solutions, insights, and engaging experiences tailored to their specific requirements. Let's delve deeper into how researching audience needs and designing content-rich pages can elevate the user experience.

Understanding User Intent through Research:

To effectively cater to the needs of your target audience, it's essential to conduct thorough content research to understand what they're searching for online. This stage of the web design process involves analyzing keywords, trends, and user behaviour to uncover the topics, questions, and pain points that resonate with your audience. The information you gather is your intel for creating high-quality content for your website that engages your audience and increases the relevance and visibility of your website

Developing Targeted Content Solutions:

Armed with insights from research, businesses can create content that directly addresses the problems, challenges, and interests of their audience. Whether through your services pages, blog posts and articles or guides and tutorials, providing valuable solutions demonstrates expertise, builds trust, and gives people a reason to visit and return to  your website.

Designing Pages for Maximum Value:

In addition to creating valuable content, it's crucial to design website pages that maximise user value and engagement. This includes clear and intuitive site navigation, visually appealing layouts, and strategically placed calls-to-action that guide users towards desired actions or information.

Providing Value at Every Touchpoint:

From the homepage to individual product pages, every aspect of a website should be designed with the user's needs in mind. By anticipating user questions, concerns, and preferences, businesses can create a seamless browsing experience that keeps visitors engaged and encourages exploration.

Continuously Evolving Content Strategy:

It is important to recognise the significance of continuously refining and evolving your website content strategy based on user feedback, analytics, and market trends. By staying agile and responsive to the changing needs of your website visitors, you can maintain relevance and sustain long-term success in the competitive digital landscape.

In essence, the key to creating a great website lies in understanding and addressing the needs of your target audience through valuable, user-focused content. By conducting thorough research, developing targeted solutions, and designing pages for maximum value, businesses can create engaging online experiences that resonate with users and drive meaningful results.

5. The Importance of Visual Design in Creating a Great Website

Up until this point, we've delved into various aspects of website development, emphasising the strategic planning and user-centric approach required to build a truly exceptional website design. While visual design is undoubtedly crucial, it's noteworthy that we've reached this discussion after exploring elements like purpose, structure, content, and user experience. This sequencing highlights the depth of consideration necessary before diving into the visual elements of website design, underscoring its significance in the broader context of website development.

Does Your Website Need to be Beautiful?

The question of whether a website needs to be aesthetically pleasing is subjective, as beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. However, beyond mere aesthetics, the primary goal of website design should be to fulfil the objectives and goals set for the site. This includes ensuring that the message is communicated clearly, the design aligns with the brand identity, and the site is accessible to all users. Accessibility should never be compromised, as a clear and user-friendly design is paramount for effective communication and engagement.

Consideration of User Experience (UX):

In addition to aesthetics, website design must prioritise user experience (UX), which encompasses not only how a website looks but also how it feels to interact with it. A positive UX ensures that users have an enjoyable and seamless experience navigating the site, free from frustrations such as slow page loading times or poor readability due to colour schemes. Integrating UX principles into design decisions leads to enhanced user satisfaction and retention.

Seamless Integration of Brand Identity Assets:

A great website seamlessly integrates brand identity assets, including logos, colours, typography, and imagery, into its design. Consistency in branding not only strengthens brand recognition but also fosters trust and credibility among users. By incorporating brand elements thoughtfully and consistently throughout the website, businesses reinforce their brand identity and create a cohesive online presence that resonates with their audience.

Creative Section Layouts for Increased Engagement:

Creative section layouts play a crucial role in increasing visitor engagement and enhancing user interaction. By incorporating innovative design elements and interactive features, such as collapsible sections or hover effects, websites can captivate users' attention and encourage exploration. Creative layouts provide users with the flexibility to choose when and how they access additional information, empowering them to tailor their browsing experience to their preferences.

Summary: What Makes a Great Website?

In summary, the journey to creating a great website encompasses a multifaceted approach that extends beyond just visual design. While aesthetics play a crucial role, they are but one piece of the puzzle in achieving online success. Instead, greatness is achieved through a combination of strategic planning, user-centric considerations, and seamless integration of brand identity.

First and foremost, a great website begins with a clear understanding of its purpose and objectives. By defining goals and aligning them with audience needs, businesses can lay the groundwork for a website that serves its intended function effectively.

Next, the structural integrity of the website is paramount. A well-organised and intuitive structure ensures that users can navigate seamlessly and find the information they need effortlessly. This requires careful consideration of content organisation, conversion paths, and scalability to accommodate future growth.

Furthermore, the content housed within the website must be valuable and tailored to meet user needs. Through thorough research and targeted content development, businesses can create solutions that resonate with their audience, establishing credibility and trust in the process.

While visual design undoubtedly plays a crucial role, its effectiveness is magnified when coupled with a focus on user experience (UX). A visually stunning website means little if users encounter frustration or difficulty in navigating its pages. Prioritising accessibility, loading speeds, and mobile responsiveness ensures that every visitor enjoys a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience.

Moreover, a great website design seamlessly integrates brand identity assets, such as logos, colours, and typography, reinforcing brand recognition and fostering a sense of trust among users. Consistency across all touchpoints strengthens the brand's image and leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

Finally, creative section layouts and interactive elements further enhance user engagement, allowing visitors to interact with the content in meaningful ways. By providing opportunities for exploration and personalization, businesses can create memorable experiences that leave a positive impact on users.

In essence, a great website is the culmination of thoughtful planning, user-centric design, and strategic execution. By prioritising accessibility, user experience, and creative engagement, businesses can craft websites that not only captivate visually but also deliver genuine value and memorable experiences to their audience, ultimately driving success in the digital landscape.

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User-friendly websites that rank high on Google and drive results

At BLNK CANVAS, our mission is clear: to equip businesses with cutting-edge web design solutions. Our approach is strategic, centred on comprehending your distinct objectives and transforming them into visually striking, user-centric websites.

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