When you start the process of building a new website, take a moment to stand back and answer this very simple question - who is your website really for?
You may think that given you're the one investing time and money into building a site that it is "your" site, and be built the way you want it. While this is partially true, don't forget about your visitors to your site.
Visitors. Visitors turn into customers. Customers create business.
This is who your website is really for. Without web visitors turning into customers, your website will not succeed at creating new business.
"I want a [insert feature name]..."
So you've seen a really cool feature on another site, and believe it will be absolutely awesome on your site - but ask yourself: what is the benefit of including this feature?
Adding unnecessary features can help clutter and crowd your layout, which in turn has the potential to confuse and disorientate your visitors. If they feel lost or overwhelmed, there's a chance they'll leave your site and continue their search elsewhere.
"But it looks good on my computer..."
Visitors to your site will come from a huge range of devices - desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and even gaming consoles. And yes, it may look great on your computer - but what about John Smith down the road who comes on his tablet to check out your site? Or a Mac? Or an older Windows XP computer?
If you make your site too wide, too high, too big, too small, reliant on specific technologies or untested on a wide range of browsers you run the serious risk of alienating visitors if they can't read and interact with your site.
"I want a splash page..."
Splash pages were all the rage back in the 90s when the Internet started to find its way into homes, and were used to give your site a visual, often animated, introduction.
But, did you know that a splash page requires your visitors to spend (waste?) their time watching your introduction, or make an extra click to skip the introduction, and have the potential to prevent search engines from indexing your site?
Instead of a mandatory splash page and introduction, what about having a "video tour" or introductory video on your home page - this way you're able to give visitors the choice to either view the video at their leisure, or start browsing the rest of your site. This is also a great way to help mobile users save on wasting unnecessary bandwidth.
While web developers are here to build you a site to meet your requirements, developers are also here to help you make educated choices that will better the experience received by your visitors - remembering that visitors can easily be converted into customers. And after all, your business wouldn't need a website without your customers - don't forget about them in the online space.