Must-Have Business Website Features Checklist 2021
Mohammed Wasim Akram
First Published on:
October 2, 2019
Last Updated on:
January 1, 2021
If you already know the importance of having a business website then this blog post is the next step to learn about the ultimate checklist of the must-have business website features with image examples to help you finalize and build a customer generating profitable website.
In case if you're not aware of the benefits of a business website then I strongly recommend you first read my other in-depth blog post about the advantages of having a website then come back and start reading it again.
So now I assume that you already have read the post I recommended you in the above paragraph, thus now we will dive deep into this post about the definitive checklist of must-have features for a perfect business website.
I can assure you that by the end of this checklist your curiosity regarding the business website features will be resolved by 99% and then you would be ready for the next level which is to learn about the required essentials to build a website.
So now I'm not going to take any more time talking about this.
Let's get started!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A website header is a must-have feature for all kinds of websites regardless of their type or industry, and here I am going to explain what are the inner components you should consider while building a perfect header for your website.
The Brand Logo
A brand logo is also one of the most important features of any kind of website regardless of its type or industry, it's also an inner component and sub-feature of the header of a website.
Usually, it is standard practice to add a brand logo on the website header just below the browser address bar and on top of the hero section of any website.
Having your brand logo on the website header allows you to make your website complete and it looks more professional as well as trustworthy like any other big brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, etcetera.
If you have a dedicated brand logo for your business website like any other big brand websites, then eventually people would start to recognize your brand whenever they spot your logo somewhere else.
The Brand Tagline or Slogan
Usually, the tagline is considered as part of a logo because it locates just below the logo with smaller font size.
Almost every big brands have their unique tagline or slogan such as Nike has "Just Do It" and Coca-Cola has "Open Happiness" as well as "Taste The Feeling".
The tagline is used to describe the brand or its purpose in just a few words, or you can say that it represents a brand's unique message.
Therefore having a tagline on your website header either with the logo or separately is highly recommended for your business website.
Call To Action (CTA) Button
Call to Action is widely famous in the marketing world as CTA. It usually used in many places on a business website.
It is dedicatedly used on business websites to encourage people to take certain actions such as contact the business for a query or to get some kind of pricing quotation etcetera.
Therefore I would highly recommend you to use a CTA button somewhere in the header section of your website where it stands out.
Business Contact Number
Just like the CTA button, a contact number is also used on top of the header section in most of the business websites.
Not everyone required to add their contact number on their websites, but it's preferable for local businesses to use it on their websites for easy communication with their customers and to generate easy business leads.
Thus if you are building a website for your local business then I would highly recommend you add your business contact number on the header section.
Main Navigation Menu
The main navigation menu is the most important feature of any kind of website as it helps website visitors to find other important sections or pages of the website.
Most of the time you can find the main navigation menu just between the logo and CTA button with a drop-down window functionality if it contains sub-menu items within the main menu.
This is a no question asked functionality for your business website and you should definitely consider adding this to your website header.
Not every website has a breadcrumb, but most of the big brand websites and especially ecommerce websites use it for better user experience as they have a high number of pages on their websites.
Breadcrumb works like a navigation path for the website visitors which helps visitors to find out the exact page location where they are standing on currently.
It usually locates just at the end of the website header section or sometimes just before the web page title, and it looks like Homepage > Category Page > Sample Page.
If you are planning to publish blog posts or a lot of pages, then must consider adding a breadcrumb to your business website header.
Home Page or Front Page
A Home page is the main front page or you can say the landing page of any website, whenever someone types your domain name on any of the internet browsers they will directly land on the homepage of your website.
There is no right or wrong in decorating a website homepage, but here I am going to give you a recommended list of must-have features that you should consider adding to your website homepage.
Although all the features I am going to share with you are not absolutely necessary for every type of website, still having these features on the homepage is standard practice by the brands.
Above The Fold or Hero Section
The hero section also known as above the fold section is a crucial part of any website homepage as well as the other important pages.
You can use this hero section to showcase your current offers or featured offers, services, or products.
Different websites use different approaches to set up this hero section but one thing I would recommend is to use this hero section to grab the attention of your website visitors by telling an engaging story to build trust among them.
Business Information Section
It is highly recommended to add a dedicated section to provide the information about your business in a brief manner just below the hero section.
Although every website has an about page that contains detailed information about the business still it's very useful to share short info about your business on the homepage.
In this section, you should add a link or button that leads them to the about page, so that interested people can directly follow that link to know more about your business and get more familiar with your brand.
Product or Service Section
Just after the business information section, you should add a dedicated section for your products or services to make your visitors aware of your business offerings.
Also, you can add a link or button on this section that leads your visitors to the standalone service or product archive to know more about your offerings.
Customer Testimonials Section
Testimonials by your loyal customers or by other reputed brands in your space are very very helpful for your business to gain more trust and loyalty.
Therefore, having an exclusive testimonials section on the homepage establishes the authority of the business.
Testimonials can be in the form of text or in the video form as well, however, having video testimonials attract and engage more website visitors which has the potential to attract more leads and sales eventually.
Hence I would suggest you add this to your plan to set up a dedicated section just for the testimonials.
Other Important Content Section
Here the Other Important ContentSection term is used for all the other crucial stuff you need exposure for, so you should consider adding them to your website homepage just after all the above-mentioned sections.
If you take my suggestion, then I would suggest you add a blog section (only if you have a blog in the first place) where some of your blog posts will appear for the people to click and start reading it directly from the homepage.
Also, you can dedicate a section to showcase your special offers and deals, and a section to encourage people to follow you on their favorite social media platforms or subscribe to your email newsletter.
Possibilities are endless with the homepage page content but keeping the homepage clean and minimal only with the necessary sections is highly recommended by all the industry experts.
Internal Links for Better SEO
Internal links are crucial if you want to promote some other important pages through the homepage.
The homepage holds the highest authority over any other pages of a website.
Therefore linking other internal pages of your website from the homepage can help those pages to gain some authority and traffic from search engines like Google and Bing as it's one of the best on-site SEO practices.
The website footer is the last and end section of any kind of website, it is generally utilized to add some very important content to the website which you are going to learn just now.
Just like the website header section, the footer section is also visible across the website for all the pages unless you hide it manually for a specific reason on some dedicated pages of your choice.
Contact Information Widget
This is among the best practices to begin the footer with the contact information about your business.
All the local business websites add their business contact number, email address, office address, and also integrate a Google map widget pointed to their business location in the footer section.
Your website visitors would easily able to find and use these contact information from the footer section of your business website.
This is very helpful for your potential customers to contact you or reach out to your office following the embedded Google map if you all run a local business with brick and mortar office.
Thus adding the contact information widget to the footer section of your website is highly recommended.
Social Media Links or Buttons
Using the social media buttons or links on the website footer just below the contact information widget or somewhere else helps your business increase more social media followers without any additional effort.
So that whenever someone visits your website they can just click on any of the desirable social media buttons from the website footer section and they will be redirected to the social media pages associated with your business.
Therefore if you wanna gain more followers to your social media business pages then you can use the social media buttons on your website footer.
Business Hours Widget
If your website is about your local brick and mortar business then having the business hours widget on the footer section is highly recommended as it will be easy for your customers to reach out to you at the predefined time.
So I would suggest you add the business hours widget to the website footer section especially if you are a brick-and-mortar business that operates for a particular time period on the day to day basis.
Footer Navigation Menu
Just like the header navigation menu, you should also add a dedicated navigation menu to the footer section of your website.
In this navigation menu adding the legal pages is an industry-standard practice so that people don't have to dig deeper into your website to find out the legal information and you won't get into any legal trouble in the future.
Therefore I can't emphasize this enough to add a widget with all the legal pages to your website footer section if you are serious about your business.
Subscription / Opt-in Form Widget
The subscription form is also known as the Opt-in form or Newsletter form which you should add on your website footer section to get more email subscribers without any additional effort.
In this way, you can collect more email addresses of the potential customers and engage with them on a personal level to convert them into your actual customers with the help of proper email marketing practices.
Dedicated Chat Widget
Nowadays using a chat widget is becoming more and more popular in the digital marketing arena,
The reason behind its popularity is that the website visitors can easily use this chat widget to interact with you much quicker and the website admins can also reply to those messages faster than the traditional email support.
The Chat widgets also have the ability to set up automated chatbots that are really helpful when you are away and not available to interact with the website users/visitors.
You can set up a chatbot in a way to make it interact with your website visitors and potential customers to answer the FAQs or more complex questions if you know to set up things properly.
Copyright Notice Widget
Copyright notice with your company name and current year is very important information to be added on the extreme bottom of your website footer section
It simply informs all the website visitors that all the content on your website is copyright reserved by your company, and search engines also trust your website if it has a proper copyright notice to the footer section.
Having a blog on a site regardless of whether it's a personal or business website helps bring free traffic with the help of valuable content, and the most important thing is that it's still an underleveraged opportunity.
On the blog archive, there is nothing important to add apart from the published blog posts, but there are so many useful things you can add to the single blog post template, and one of them is a well-organized sidebar.
If you are considering adding a blog to your business website (which you should indeed) then must follow the list of essentials that I am going to explain below, as they will help you to generate more business from your blog.
Usually, the sidebar can be used on any page of your business website, but I personally don't recommend using it on other important pages other than the blog post page.
Now if you ask me why I recommend so then let me tell you that blog post pages are purely content-driven pages to provide value to the website visitors, unlike the other static pages where you can directly promote your business on the entire page.
But in the blog post pages, you have less opportunity to directly promote your business for a better user experience, therefore adding a dedicated sidebar opens up the way to easily promote your products or/and services through the sidebar widgets.
Adding a sidebar to the blog post pages works just like a virtual billboard for your business website, where you can promote anything you want as well as add other important stuff to help your audience and grow your business at the same time.
Search Bar Widget
The search bar widget could be a very helpful tool for your website visitors to search for a particular blog post content within your website using certain key phrases.
Therefore, it is among the good practices to add the search bar widget on top of the sidebar, and I highly recommend you add the search widget especially if you are planning to publish a lot of blog posts in the future.
Subscription AKA Opt-In Form Widget
You can add an opt-in AKA subscription form on the sidebar to encourage the site visitors to get into your email list which could dramatically help you get more subscribers with almost zero additional efforts.
After that using those email addresses of your potential customers you can grow your business by generating more leads and eventually sales with the help of running the proper email marketing campaigns.
Blog Post Category Widget
Adding a blog post category widget to the sidebar section is a very common practice as it can help your blog readers to find out the content they have an interest in reading on your website.
Ad Banner Widget
Promoting your products and/or services is the best ever utilization of a sidebar in my opinion because whenever people read a blog post on a computer screen then the sidebar is always visible to them which attracts their attention and encourages them to take a specific action given by you.
Therefore I would highly encourage you to add a few (maximum 1 or 2) ad banner widgets just to promote your own products and services by giving a well-decorated call to action for your blog readers.
Social Sharing Buttons Widget
Adding a social sharing buttons widget on your blog will help you get your blog posts easily shared on the various social network websites by the readers if they like your content and find it valuable.
Therefore a social sharing buttons widget is a must-have feature for your website's blog as it encourages the blog readers to share your content with very little effort as it takes just a few clicks to share a post on the social web.
Related Posts Section
The related posts section usually locates at the end of a blog post and it's a must-have feature for your blog as it encourages the readers to spend more time and read more content of their interests on your blog.
It is there to showcase a few other related blog posts that are closely related to the post that is currently being read.
In this way, you can convert those readers to become loyal followers that spend more time reading your blog posts, which can improve your website authority and helps you to gain good search engine rankings over time.
Comment Form Section
The comment form section is a very useful feature that provides an opportunity for your readers to directly interact with you and share their thoughts regarding the blog post by commenting on it.
You can add the comment section to your blog at the end of every blog post just after the related post section.
The about page is one of the most important and must-have pages of any kind of website regardless of its type and industry.
It's dedicated to explaining detailed information about a business, its story, its purpose, its mission, and its vision. Also the information about the founders and the team members behind the business.
Whenever people land on your website there is a high chance that they will head over to the about page of your website to know more details about your business to decide if they should do business with you or not.
Therefore a well-crafted, about page can help you establish your authority within the industry you are in.
Apart from that it also helps you to convert your website visitors into buying customers by creating a trust factor between you and the visitors.
And that is the reason I would suggest you set up an about page that has all the elements to make your business more reliable and trustworthy in the eyes of your potential customers.
If you don't know what should you add to your about page, then I have put together a list of all the important sections that you should consider adding to the about page of your website.
Information About Your Business Section
About page is the best place to talk about your business and that is the reason all the brands and businesses from small to huge add all the information about their businesses to the about page.
This is a must-have section of the "about page" which you should properly leverage to attract more people to join your community and become a long-lasting follower of your brand.
Information About You & Your Team Section
If you are the founder of your company then you should also tell something about yourself to engage more people who visit this page.
Also, it is amongst the best practices to introduce the team behind a company with a few sentences about the individual team members along with their professional-looking headshot images to the about page.
It would be really beneficial for your business if you add these sections to the about page of your business website because people love to connect with other people more than any business or brand.
Call To Action Section
After you added the information about your company, your team members and yourself don't just leave people like that, instead, encourage them to take a specific action at the end of your about page.
And the reason behind this is that if you don't ask them to do something they might leave your website and never come back again as they don't know what to do next after going through your about page or any other pages of your website.
Therefore always leave your website visitors with a very clear and specific call to action which could be anything such as asking the visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter or to purchase your products/services.
In this way, you would be able to generate more leads just from the about page of your business website without even putting any extra effort into it.
The contact page is crucial for all kinds of websites unless you don't want to get new business leads and don't want people to contact you.
Having a contact page can help you get more queries related to your business and most of them could potentially convert into business leads if you and your team handle them properly.
Now I am going to share with you the must-have items for the contact page of your business website as without them the contact page would be considered incomplete.
Contact Form Widget
Contact form is a medium that people are going to use to send you messages to your predefined email address through your website, without even leaving it.
Different businesses require different kinds of contact forms but almost every contact form contains some common and basic fields to get filled up by the website visitors and those are Name, Email address, Subject,and last but not least theText Area Field.
Now it totally depends on your business requirements that what other fields you are going to need apart from the above-mentioned necessary fields for the contact form widget of your website contact page.
Contact Details (Address with A Map)
You should also consider adding the further contact information of your business including the contact number, email address, and the office address along with a google map widget especially if you have a brick and mortar office that requires physical visits by your potential customers.
I don't think there is anything else that should be added to the contact page of a business website as keeping this page clean and distraction-free would increase the chances of more form submissions which is a good thing.
Other Must-Have Pages
Apart from the home page, about page, and contact page, there are a few other must-have pages that need to be added to your business website which I am going to share with you now.
On this page, you should add all your legal privacy policies as well as how you are going to use the website visitor's data as per the GDPR guidelines.
Terms & Conditions Page
Generally, this page contains all the terms and conditions that your website users need to follow if they use your website, services, content, and/or tools in any circumstances.
This page is kind of a legal manual book for your business website that tells your website users what to do and what not to do while using the website or anything related to your business.
Having a disclaimer page is good practice though it is not compulsory, on this page you can mention all the disclaimers you want people to know about while using your business website.
For example; you can include a disclaimer section about your affiliate links that are sprinkled throughout the website content to earn commission by suggesting the products and services you believe would help your site users.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page
The FAQ page is also known as the frequently asked questions page that contains all the answers to the common questions that your website users and customers ask all the time related to your business.
This page alone can save a lot of your time by answering the most common questions so you don't have to answer those questions over and over again, instead, you can just share the link of your FAQ page to the people in need.
For that reason, I would highly recommend you to set up a FAQ page for your business website to help your customers and users as well as save your precious time.
Crucial Design Features of A Business Website
A clean design is a must-have feature for any website because having a website with a bad design can harm your business reputation, whereas a good eye-catching design can attract more eyeballs to your business.
I am not going to say much regarding the website design in detail on this blog post, but I will definitely share some crucial features related to web design which I think are necessary to share with you.
Mobile & Tab Responsive Website
Back in the day's having a website that works well on desktop screens was more than enough.
Now as the time passed and people started using small devices, those websites started becoming a big headache as they don't load properly on the small devices due to the reason they were made only for the desktop screens.
Therefore that being said as everything has changed and now almost everyone uses the mobile phone as their primary device to surf the internet beside using it as the calling device.
Hence if you don't have a website that is well optimized for small devices like mobiles and tabs then you can actually lose almost 50% of your potential customer as above 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices.
So keeping that in mind I would say that if you are thinking of building a website for your business then must consider making the design fully responsive for all kinds of small-screen devices for a better UX.
Clean Readable Font
Who doesn't like those fancy fonts?
But wait! If you are going to use those fancy great looking fonts for your website, then be aware! As your website might get ignored by your potential customers most of the time as those fonts are really hard to read.
In today's digital world information is overloaded everywhere and people don't have enough time and especially patience to read something that takes longer than the usual time.
Therefore using a very clean and simple font that is easily readable for normal people is highly recommended for your business website.
Industry-Specific Color Scheme
If you don't belong to the graphics design arena, then it could be daunting for you to choose the perfect colors for your business website as choosing the color scheme involves a complicated process.
But if you're really serious about your business identity then must select the color scheme wisely as using the proper colors on your website based on your industry will help your business in the long run in many aspects.
If you want to learn an easy process of properly choosing the colors for your business website, then consider reading my other blog post on step by step process of choosing the perfect website colors.
Crucial Technical Features of A Business Website
I am not going to mess with the complicated technical stuff here in this post, but I will definitely share some crucial features that you must consider if you are seriously concerned about the performance of your website.
Cross Browser Compatibility
If you have a business website that is not properly working on the different web browsers then it will leave a negative impact on your business.
And the actual reason behind this is that in the different parts of the world people use different browsers to surf the internet.
Therefore keep in mind that your website should properly work on all the major web browsers like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Firefox, and Edge, etc.
Fast Loading Speed Performance
If you have a business site that takes a longer time to load then no one is going to wait for your site to load as people have zero patience nowadays so they will bounce from your website and go to your competitor's site.
In this way, you could lose a lot of website visitors who could be your potential customers in the future.
Therefore, try to keep your website as minimal as possible because having a bunch of unnecessary features that you don't even need can slow down your website loading speed which will hurt your business in the long run.
Reliable & Fast Web Hosting Server
Choosing a fast and reliable web hosting server is the very first and crucial step before even setting up your website.
Web hosting is an online server or space where your website and all of its files are stored, therefore, having a good web hosting should be the top priority if you don't want any trouble in the future.
A few crucial things that you should consider while choosing a hosting server which I will share with you now.
There are a number of web hosting companies available in the market and many of them are providing a monthly hosting plan even for less than a dollar.
But most of them are not that reliable in terms of the established server so they could become your nightmare if you don't choose wisely and do your due diligence.
Therefore, whenever you choose a web hosting plan for your website must do some research and find if the hosting company you are choosing is reliable or not, also if they are in the market for long enough or not.
Always go for a web hosting service that has a fast server and reliable to trust as once the website is built that will be there on that web hosting server for a long time as moving from one host to another is not an easy and simple process.
If you ask for my recommendations on choosing the best web hosting server, then my personal favorite is Bluehost for normal websites and SiteGround for e-commerce websites that you can consider as well.
Good Content Management System
The content management system is also famous as CMS and there are a number of CMS available to use for your website like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etcetera.
I always prefer WordPress over any other CMS because it has limitless possibilities to build almost any kind of websites, apart from that it also has a huge community as compared to any other CMS out there.
There are many big brands like BBC America, Sony Music, Microsoft News, TechCrunch, The Walt Disney Company, Facebook Newsroom that are currently using WordPress for their websites.
I have listed a few but must-have features of a CMS to look for while creating a website on it.
Back-End Dashboard of CMS
Having an intuitive dashboard where all the business website back-end stuff can be organized within one single place is crucial for any CMS, and the best part about WordPress is that it has a great powerful dashboard.
Easy to Operate of CMS
Only having a bundle of features is not enough as the ease of use matters the most for being a good CMS platform.
If you choose a CMS that is not easy to use then you would always need to hire an expert to perform even a simple task on your business website which could eventually cost you a lot of money and time as well.
Ease of Adding New Features to the CMS
This is the most crucial feature among all when you are choosing a CMS to set up your website on it, I am telling this because not all the CMS platforms have this option for the end-users.
Therefore, in that case, if you wanna add even a simple feature or function to your business website then you might need to hire a web developer to build that module from scratch for you with hardcore coding.
Also even if you get it done, still after that you might often need to spend money to keep that custom module properly working and compatible with all the other things on your website which is another headache.
Therefore, I suggest you select the WordPress for your business website as there are so many skilled developers are involved in building almost all kinds of possible modules for the WordPress ecosystem to add new features and functions that you are probably going to need at some point.
So in this case, if you use WordPress to build your website then you will get access to thousands of powerful WordPress plugins (modules) available to choose from that are updated and maintained by the respective developers.
Hence you just need to find the perfect plugins for your website based on your business requirements and use them on your website to add new features without any hassle or headache.
SEO Friendly Website Structure
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
Although SEO is a broad topic and impossible to discuss in detail in this blog post, still I will discuss the basic yet powerful features related to SEO that are absolutely crucial for any website.
If you are more interested in learning about SEO in detail then I have written a few blog posts on this topic that you may find helpful.
All websites should have a clean permalink aka URL structure as it's recommended by the SEO experts as well as by search engines like Google itself.
Now you might be thinking that how a clean URL structure would look like?
It's very simple! Every website has its own domain name for example yoursite.com, and whenever you add a new page then some extra characters appear just after the domain name for that particular page which is known as the slug.
That slug should not contain random characters such as yoursite.com/khsdagdkjdmgdm or date, year, or numbers etc, it should contain some clean and logical word phrases like yoursite.com/keyword.
Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page's content; the meta tags don't appear on the page itself, but only in the page's code. We all know tags from blog culture, and meta tags are more or less the same thing, little content descriptors that help to tell the search engines what a web page is about.
Therefore having the meta tags adding features like the title and description tags are the must-have for your business website as it helps search engines to understand what your content is all about and where they should show your web pages on the search result pages (SERPs).
If you have been still reading this blogpost by now, then you should have gained a good amount of knowledge about the must-have features required for your business website.
There are various types of websites that exist on the internet such as business, blogging, and ecommerce, membership, affiliate etcetera.
All those different kinds of websites might have many different features, but whatever I have shared in this post are the must-have foundational features for almost all kinds of websites.
We have built multiple websites for our clients around the globe through our services and found ourselves adding most of these features in all of the websites over and over again.
So we decided to publish a helpful definitive checklist to share everything we know with the people like you so that you can get some good idea and knowledge about the must-have business website features.
I hope you found this blogpost super valuable, and if that's true then please consider sharing it with your community, also if you would like to add something else to this checklist then please use the comment box below to share your thought.
Now it's time for my CTA (Call to Action) :p
If you are looking for a web expert to build a strategic website for your business, then you could consider our services for building a high-quality and professional business website at an affordable cost.
Thanks a lot for spending your precious time reading this post, stay tuned for this kind of helpful content to synchronize your business with online success.
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However, there are very few selected products that we trust, use, and recommend to our readers and community, and we always mention that on our website which you could also find on our Recommendation Page.
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