A Must Have

By  Renee Elfassy | 

"The biggest failure that people have is that they try to build the website they want, not necessarily the website they need," says designer Josh Frankel. Take a restaurant, for example — Frankel says "everyone wants music and this giant 'about' page," but they neglect the basic things like the menu, contact information and directions. 


Keep text to a minimum when it comes to your mission statement, because you should be writing things so people can skim — we all have short attention spans. One helpful tip for conveying your mission is to compare your business to something else, like how MeUndies.com is marketed as "Warby Parker for undies" to align itself with the eyewear manufacturer's keen curation and by-mail convenience. Don't underestimate brevity — one or two sentences can be really powerful, says Frankel.

Depending on your business, you should have a few things on your website that fall into the realm of "information." We know restaurants need a menu and a list of locations (ideally with directions or a map), but every industry has its necessary items. If you're an etailer, you need product images (and they need to be good pictures). If you work in the service industry and have a business that relies heavily on customer service and referrals, put some testimonials on your site. For example, a wedding planner could have one of her recent brides write about her experience with the business. A web designer should include screenshots or link out to previous work. A hair salon could have client testimonials about a stylist's skills and promptness. Tailor your site so that it offers the information users are likely to be looking for.