A while back we asked our social media followers what they thought made or broke a website. Their insight coupled with our experience, professional instruction, and keen aesthetic eye have compiled this list of the Essential Elements of a Successful Website.
*Please note, not all websites need this detailed of a footer. If you are selling a physical or electronic product this is a must. If you are a blogger or service provider this format might not be as important.
2. Social Media Links
Connecting your social media pages to your website is a must. This will enable your customers reach out to you and become engaged in your brand. (because let's face it- we check our Facebook and Twitter feeds more often than our email). Calliope - PIM encourages every brand to have at least 3 social media mediums that they regularly update. Top social media sites that we advocate for are - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
3. Embedded, streamlined, and secure E-Commerce
Should you have a physical or electronic product that you are selling, it is imperative to have a clean, simple, and embedded checkout system with your E-Commerce. Sending customers to paypal, amazon, etsy.com etc will devalue your brand. That is not to say that you can not offer alternative forms of payment (i.e. Paypal and Etsy) but it is to say that you should have a primary way to accept payment on your website. There are TONS of embedded and fully integrated shopping cart providers, widgets/add ons from any web-hosting-site. Our favorites are Shopify and Stripe. For an in person service that a customer is in front of you physically (babysitting, dog walking, massage therapy, personal training etc.) a credit card reader like Square is a great tool. They even offer a simple way to send payments through an email that you can draft from your phone.
4. Custom or commissioned images
Having your own images to communicate your brand is super important. We have lots of clients who are worried about copyright troubles and rightfully so. With so much personal and artistic property online from innumerable sources, it is hard to know if you can use something or not.
Here is our rule of thumb:
If you took the picture or if you edited the stock image it is yours
If you have written permission to use the image from the photographer, artist, or image site... you may use it.
If NOT... beware
In most cases, your phone or digital camera images are perfectly fine for website images. If you are able to have a professional photographer take images of your products, work space, studio, or staff; do it! There is nothing like being able to control your brand with a photoshoot just for you. The same goes for custom graphics. There are infinite possibilities in the medium of graphic arts and working with Calliope - PIM to create a custom graphic like the one above is a wonderful way to communicate a message.
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