Your website needs to be "sticky"?
You need a competitive edge. You don't want your website to look "just like everyone else's", and you don't want it to look so outlandish that no one knows what to think or do about it.
You need to think "outside-the-box" but not too far away from the box.
Cookie-cutter websites are a dime a dozen and people become accustomed to "the same ol' websites with the same ol' things" but what you want is to earn their time, and their attention. You want them to stay and look around a while to see what they can find in addition to why they came to your website in the first place.
"Sticky" is when people hang around for a while, or come back later because they found a good website, good content, something they want, or something they are interested in.
Some things that can hinder your website being sticky are if the web page:
- 1. takes too long to load; or
- 2. is cluttered and hard to read; or
- 3. doesn't have enough worthwhile content.
Content brings in the topic of copyright and trademark enfringement. There are legal issues, and security/liability issues to consider when making a website. If you don't own it, didn't create it, or the content belongs to someone else, it is a good idea to not put it on your website.
Be careful to not include too many graphics. Pages that are heavy in graphics (pictures) may load slow and negatively affect how a web visitor or search engine experience a website. Gratuitous technology, gaudy sparkling fonts, spinners, popups, auto-loading videos, and ads that distract from or obscure your content can cause users to abandon the site prematurely.
You want a professional looking website.
Free websites are reportedly "easy to make" but they are often difficult if not impossible to find on search engines. And another negative about a "free" website is, the host company makes their money by posting ads on your web pages. Hopefully those ads are not for your competition, or to a website with values that conflict with your own. Do you really want a free website?
In addition to "free" websites may not be very professional, some hosts can actually be less than reputable. Remember, these companies are making money off the fact you are hosting with them, so they may be reluctant to let your website go, if you decide to go somewhere else. I have known more than one time when a host would not let go of the content or the web name. Generally, they can own the content and the domain name. Wherever you host, make certain you own both.
Building a website takes time, and generally cost money. It takes time to learn and use even the simplest programs for making a website. Even the simplest planning takes time. For more complicated websites a team of people with specialized skills may be required. And the larger or more complex a website is the higher the cost. Time and cost all depend on what you want, what you expect and how much can you afford.
After a website is complete the website also takes time to manage and maintain. Few things on the Internet can be more frustrating than looking for information about an event, to find the information on the event website is for last year, and nothing about the upcoming even.
If I go to a company website and there is a banner ad that is three months out-of-date, that website looses credability to me.
A "sticky" website is one that gets people to stick around long enough to respond the way you want, and they want to respond.
In the next article I will discuss how to know if your website is accomplishing your purpose.