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  • Writer's pictureCubeSquared Digital

The 50 Features Every Website Needs

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

or, more accurately.... The 50 Features WE Think Every Website Needs (and Why)!

We LOVE designing and building websites for our clients. Being able to craft an online presence that fits their brand, their needs and achieves their goals is a very fulfilling job. Starting (often) from a blank page and building towards to a fully-functioning site with clients is really inspiring, especially when we connect, we’re sharing ideas, bouncing off each other and crafting something from nothing together. Building those reciprocal relationships that help each other succeed is an incredible feeling.

As crazy as it seems, we also know that not everyone hires us to build their website. We know, right! ;-) Even if they don’t go with another agency, many people now choose to do it themselves or buy one via the gig economy, which is fair enough, but if you’re coming from a background without much (or any) web design experience, it can be pretty daunting.

There’s so much more that goes into a website than just what you can see in front of you online. You have to think about Search Engine Optimisation, the domain name, navigation, hosting fees, structure, security, privacy, images, copywriting, payments, integrations, responsiveness, legalities…. the list goes on and on and on …. and on…………and on…………………….and on.

Your website, especially if it’s for your business, should reflect your brand and the personality of your company. It needs to promote your product or services or to highlight your expertise or interest in a particular topic. In other words, it needs to stand out from the competition and as such, will prove to be your greatest marketing asset.

In order for it to attract the right attention and work for you, there are some key features we believe every website needs to consider implementing. Some help to make sure your site is found by search engines, whilst some are necessary simply to make your site function correctly.

Many may seem obvious, others may not have occurred to you, but we’ve put together the top 50 features we think every website needs and, more importantly, why! We've grouped them into loose categories, Basics, Design, Header etc, but all exist equally well on their own. Let’s start with.....



The domain name of your website is more than just the uniform resource locator (URL) you type into a search engine to reach your website. Your web address is often the first digital asset you buy and will be what shows up on Google so will be seen by everyone.

It shows professionalism, helps to improve your ranking with search engines and generates that all-important traffic you need. Over time, as your business grows, its value only increases so don’t underestimate its impact.

Choosing the domain name for your website is often pretty straightforward. Assuming the name you want is available, then no problem, but if not, you might need to consider some variations or get a little creative with one you like.

When choosing one, there are a couple of things to bear in mind;

  1. Don’t pick a domain that’s too long; try and keep it as short as you can so it’s easy for people to remember. This doesn’t just apply to seeing it in your browser, but also when it's printed on stationery, vehicle decals, business cards, etc. Also bear in mind, it will be used on email addresses, which when added to someone's name, can make the VERY long indeed.

  2. Keep it relevant; if your ideal name isn’t available and basic variations are taken too, choose one that’s specific to your industry. The website for home improvement chain B&Q, for example, is

  3. Keep it simple; When choosing a name try not to use wordplay, puns or numbers-for-letters. It might look cool or clever when it’s written down, but if you have to spelt it out, explain it or clarify it to people over the phone every time then you’ve probably made a bad choice.

  4. Expand your choice via top level domain; Years ago, we were all limited in our choice of 'top-level domain’. For business, it was either ‘.com’ or ‘’ (in the UK obviously), but now there are so many more options. Look at ours for example ‘’ - we’re a digital agency so it makes sense. There are plenty of other choices depending on your industry so don’t limit your thinking to the basics.


Your logo will be the one calling card you can rely on. It helps you distinguish yourself from your competition and from every other business for that matter. You must harness this recognition on your website.

It needs to be ‘front and centre’ (without overusing it) not least to help visitors know that they’re in the right place.


In addition to adding your logo, also include your tagline or slogan (if you have one!). This is a short phrase that helps identify your brand and, as a slogan, states your company’s overall objective or purpose.

A tagline, on the other hand, are words that help you evoke the image of your brand with customers. If you haven’t got one, don’t just add one for the sake of it. Like a good logo, a great tagline is memorable, finger licking’ good and easily recognised by people. They’re lovin’ it because every little helps. ;-)


Dotted around your site should be some calls to action, or CTAs. These are important parts of any website, especially if you’re wanting to generate engagement from visitors.

These calls to action can be for a multitude of things but are effectively calling out to visitors to do ‘something’. That ‘something’ could be signing up to a newsletter, contacting you, buying a product, enquiring about your service or download an e-book, the list goes on. Whatever it is it needs to be easily recognisable and simple to do.

CTAs help to grow your mailing lists, which help you market your products / services and ultimately sell what you do. In turn this helps build your brand to people who love what you do.


Following on from the main domain, it’s good practice to include the URLs beyond the homepage to be easily readable and meaningingful.

Every new page you add will have its own web specific web address, so it’s useful if those are just as clean and concise as your home page. For example, if you have a blog, call that page ‘blog’ so its address would be rather than (or some other randomly generated name). Nt only will this help the user understand where they are on your site, but if you want to link people to specific pages, then it’s an easy structure to remember.


Landing pages, sometimes called ‘lead capture’ or ‘destination’ pages are an important part of a website, but not typically part of the main site structure.

A landing page is an area that acts as a destination to a specific marketing campaign, advert, or promotion. People click on a specific ‘ad’ and ens up on the landing page, rather than your home page. They offer the chance to trade their personal details for some piece of information; either a report, white paper, ebook, etc. You then use the number of hits to gauge the success of a particular promotion.

These landing pages will generally not be linked to the rest of the site, at least as far as the user can see, but will play a critical part in converting leads to sales.


The home page on most modern websites now span multiple vertical pages. This trend in stacked pages comes as most people now view websites on a mobile device, like a tablet or smartphone, so is more conducive to ‘thumb-scrolling’. This also means that sites are often divided into two areas, just like folded newspapers were, known as ‘above’ and ‘below’ the fold.

Above is anything you can see immediately when loading the page and without the user having to do anything. Below the fold is everything below that. The above-the-fold area is important because that will often dictate whether the user even bothers to look below.

Research shows that around 84% of website views are concentrated above the fold, so it’s vital you ensure it’s enticing.

With this in mind, how your website is designed needs to take this ‘above’ and ‘below’ the fold structure into consideration when planning a website.


With the importance of the ‘above the fold’ area, you need to put the most engaging content in this area. The most immediate way of doing this is with strong images, either one static image or a rotating slider of bold photos that helps you differentiate your business from your completion. Don’t forget to add some strong headlines to capture the eyes of visitors.


When designing a website, a simple way of improve the look and feel of your website is to use contrasting colours. Not only does it make it eye-catching, having a dramatic contrast in colours also helps to distinguish elements of the website.


The font used on your website is one of those things that you only really notice when it’s done badly. It’s also one of the areas where non-designers often fall down.

It can be tempting to throw add a multitude of cool looking fonts at website, but trust us, less is more. Choosing the right font can be tricky, but it’s vital you pick one that’s easy to read, especially if there’s a lot of content for users to go through. Having good content written in a bad font means people won’t spend time reading it, no matter how good the content is or how much time you’ve spent writing it.

If you are using more than one, make sure you choose fonts that compliment each other, rather than choose them just for how cool they look individually. If you have fonts as part of your logo or your branding, then replicate that where possible.


November 2016 was a momentous event for the internet. It was the first point in time when more people used a mobile device to surf the internet than a desktop / laptop computer, and we haven’t looked back since.

Websites have had to adapt to this long before that, but now having a website that responds to the device it’s being used on is a basic requirements, so make sure your website responds correctly to being viewed on a tablet or smartphone.

For example, let’s say you have three columns of text on page. This might look perfectly good on a large desktop screen, but if it didn’t respond, having the same three columns of text on a screen the size of a smartphone will look ridiculous and mean visitors will just click away.


The header isn’t just the top of a page on your website, but is an area of your site that will be in full view to everyone visiting. It' will be there first thing they look at, so it needs to work and look great. It needs to include some basics, like:


The most useful and important aspect of your website will be its menu. How people navigate around your website is critical to its success. If people can’t easily find what they want, they’ll leave.

This menu has to be responsive to the device the visitor is using so needs to work on all screen sizes. Navigation, on a desktop / laptop computer at least, will usually have a horizontal layout with dropdown menus appearing vertically below, but things change if they’re using a tablet or smartphone. A good website will adapt to the size of the screen, but this isn’t a standard measurement.

Whilst a tablet screen is generally larger than a phone, it’s smaller than a typical desktop screen. This means visual real estate needs to work just as well in a smaller space. A navigation menu might work on a larger tablet, but when it comes to a smartphone, there just isn’t the space so design choices need to be thought through.


Engaging with your customers (or potential customers) is key to success. As social media has become an integral part of our lives, so your website must embrace it.

This engagement probably exists on your social media platforms already, so connect them with your website is the next logical step. Here you can add links directly to your profile on each of the platforms you’re active on.


A search function is another feature that often gets overlooked, but it shouldn’t. Having the ability for visitors to search your website for what they need easily and quickly saves them time and gets them where they need to go as quickly as possible. As your website grows, its usefulness will only increase as your content grows.


Now you know what the header is, it should be no great surprise to learn that the footer is the very bottom of your website, but not just the bottom of one page, it’s the bottom of EVERY page.

Information displayed in the footer is static, so appears no matter where on the website the user is browsing (unless it’s been specifically coded out) so it definitely needs to include:


Regardless of whether you’re an online-only operation or a bricks-and-mortar store, people will want to know when you’re open, or at least, open for business. This tells them not only when they can visit, but also when they can expect a response from an enquiry.

Put it in the footer so visitors can access this basic information as quickly as possible. If you’re open 24/7, state that too!


Yours newsletter should, and has the opportunity to be, much more than a sales pitch to customers, it can give any business a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate their authority in a particular field and connect with their audience.

If you have one, put a newsletter sign-up in your footer. It shouldn’t be the ONLY place to add it, but having it in the footer means it's always accessible.


Often easily overlooked by DIY-web developers, a privacy policy is a must-have, especially in the era of GDPR and privacy concerns.

A privacy policy is there to explain your company’s procedures regarding visitor’s details. The policy helps show you’re being upfront, not only about how you collect, store and use data, but also why you keep it and for how long.


In addition to the aforementioned Privacy Policy, there are a number of other legal documents you need to include. It’s important that you include links to them and have them visible on your site. These include terms and condition, data protection and data retention policies, cookie policy and the responsibilities for you and your users.

Depending on the business you're in, there may be more (or less) but you will need to determine this yourself. In the event of a dispute, it’s these documents that will serve as the legal basis for the claim.


In this ‘right-now’ world we live in where no-one wants to wait, having the ability to answer customer questions through a live / online chat feature is a boon for many sites.

These days, you don’t even need a bank of people monitor the messages, it can be done with an app and a bit of code on your website. You could even hire virtual agents to answer the calls.

Depending on the features you want, this feature can be added for a lot less than you think. It’s important that, as a feature, it’s included in your footer so the ability to start a conversation in real-time is never far away and no-one has to wait to find out the information they need.


Another fairly obvious feature, but another one that can easily be overlooked is how visitors get in touch with you.

If your business can be contacted by customers then include your telephone number(s). Whilst not really useful on desktop, always make sure it’s linked so when viewed on mobile, users can just click it and call you automatically.

20. LOGO

We know we’ve already included having a logo, but also including one in your footer is another great feature. You can use this one as a link back to your home page. As it appears on every page, it means visitors have a much quicker way of getting back to the main page.



Bill Gates first coined the the phrase ‘content is king’ as part of an essay he wrote in 1996. It’s as true today as it was back then.

The content on your website is more than just ‘words’, it does more than just let your customers know about your business, they can dramatically affect SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) through their use of connecting keywords and phrases. They can be the difference between a visit and a sale.

Good quality original content should be spread throughout your site starting with the home page. If those all important words are engaging, users won’t hang around and will be gone (or ‘bounce’) before you’ve had a chance to offer them anything. Sites with a high ‘bounce rate’ will reduce your ranking with search engines.


Your website does a number of things for your business, but one of the most important is the ability to give your audience a clear message, so it needs to be effective from the outset about what that is.

Your website needs to let people know what you do, what you sell and / or how you can help those reading. To achieve this is a good balance between good design and well-written, well thought-out engaging content.

From the very first page your visitors land on, your site needs a clear message and one that tells people what you do, who you are or why they need you. Hiding it 3 layers deep in your site will cost you.


OK, not so much a ‘feature’, but definitely essential. Make sure that the content you have is both spell-checked and grammatically correct.

In these days of communicating through ‘text-speak’ and emojis, the art of well-written, error-free text isn’t as popular as once it was! You might not think it’s important, but to customers it says a lot about the business they’re wanting to do business with.

Sloppy mistakes that can easily be rectified are a reflection on your business, so check the site for basic spelling and grammatical errors regularly, particularly when adding new content often.


An ‘About Us’ is one of those pages you absolutely need to have on your site. Having a dedicated page devoted to who you are allows visits to put a face, albeit a virtual one, to your business. It also helps to tell your story with a little background information.

This can include how and why you started the business, your ethos, your objectives and that of your team. If you have a larger team, it also helps visitors to know who to contact about specific issues.

25. A BLOG

We always advocate for any website we build for clients to have a blog included. They work for you on so many levels including communicating with customers, SEO, marketing and driving traffic. It’s often the most dynamic page because of it’s ever-changing content and can become the first stop for visitors to share their thoughts on your shared interests.

It’s one thing to have a blog, but quite another to keep it updated. Don’t add a blog, just for the sake of it. It needs to updated on a regular basis with new, original content to keep it working for you.


With a regularly updated blog installed on your website, another great feature is to include is comments.

The comments feature is an oft-maligned section, but this usually only applies to huge websites attracting millions of people each day. Whilst it would be nice to think your website is in that category, let’s be honest, it isn’t (and neither is ours). This just means the comments section is less likely to become a toxic cesspool and much more useful when it comes to interacting with your community.

Not only does it help increase engagement, it also offers the opportunity to get new information, ideas, tip and hints from people who share your interests. By seeing your audience engage in digital debates, you also get to see how your target audience behaves. Comments are also a clear sign that you’re not afraid of constructive criticism and have nothing to hide, two qualities your audience will appreciate.


As much as we want people to enjoy reading your blog, we REALLY want them to enjoy it so much they feel inspired to share it with family, friends and colleagues. Make this easy for them by including social sharing options so they can share it on their own social media platforms.

Make sure you don’t limit the platforms available to them, you want to spread it as far and wide as you can. These shares also help to drive traffic back to your site, increasing your reach.


Because blogs are so popular, it’s often one of the first pages to go to for visitors. They can get hints, tips and tricks as well as discussions and opinions on your shared interests, but you don’t want them to read just one blog.

Incorporating a ‘side bar’ allows them to gain quick access to the latest or related posts, contact info, calls-to-action, social media links, upcoming events, etc.


One of the most important pages on any website is the ‘About Us’ page. This is often the first page people turn to, especially if they’re visiting for the first time. They want to know who you are and what you’re about as a business, so this is the perfect opportunity to let them know.

It gives you the opportunity to, in your own words, tell them why your business exists, how long it’s been in business, its ethos, the story behind it and what doing business with you means for them as customers. It should reflect your personality and your brand and hopefully they’ll buy into it too.


Another key page on any website is the ‘Contact Us’ page. As the name suggests it should detail all the ways you, as a business, can be contacted. This can include physical address, telephone numbers, email addresses, a map (if relevant) and fax number (if they’re still a thing for your business).

They can also have a specific form that allows visitor to send a message directly to you. Remember it’s not just there for information, it can also be used (and should) be there to generate leads, not to mention adding a degree of legitimacy to your site.


Having a FAQ section on a website is a great idea as it allows you to answer the most commonly asked questions you might get from customers or enquiries, without having to answer them over and over again.

They are a common feature on website so visitors are familiar with the concept and will check them without being prompted. This can save you time by answering those recurring questions customers might have. As more questions get asked, the more can be answered on the page. It’s the quintessential straight answer to a straight question. You can check out ours here!

32. MAP

If you have a physical location, or a number of different offices around the country, then the inclusion of a map, usually on the ‘Contact Us’ page, is a great idea.

With the modern reliance on ‘sat-nav’, making it as easy as possible for people to find your shop, restaurant or office can only benefit you. It’s also a good idea to include routes to you via different transportation options (nearest train station, closest car park, etc.). You could also include the 'what 3 words’ destination (see this website if you’re unclear about that).



Once you have people browsing your website, you want to keep them there as long as possible. They might arrive on a landing page and come to buy one thing, or read one blog, but we want to entice them with all the great content you’ve got. One way to do that is through links.

Links (or hyperlinks to give them their Sunday name) are the main way we use to navigate to and around websites.

Links ease navigation but also help with SEO by determining how much traffic is coming to your site. Use them where you can to encourage them to read more, buy more or just look around. Use them to encourage people to find pages that might otherwise be missed or give them the opportunity to delve deeper into your site.

Links don’t have to be text, they can come in form of buttons, Call-to-Action or included in sidebars. When using links, make sure they are highlighted and easily identifiable so people know they’re there and PLEASE make sure they work!


When viewed on a mobile screen, which is obviously much smaller, website navigation is replaced by what is known as a ‘hamburger’; i.e. three horizontal lines on top of each other.

Because there is limited real estate, websites should replace the normal menu or navigation bar with this, which expands / contracts accordingly to help you navigate the website you're using.


If you have a particularly large website or a e-commerce site with lots of products, then a very useful way to help people navigate around is through the use of ‘breadcrumbs’.

These simple visual indicators allow users to easily see and understand where they are on your website. They will be able to see where they are in the structure of the site, and allow them to quickly jump from section to section. They are also a good friend of the search engines, so use them if necessary.



It sounds blatantly obvious to say, but your website needs to be secure. It might sound obvious, but that doesn’t mean it will be. You’d be amazed how many websites out there aren’t!

Sites that often opt for ‘low cost’ hosting to save money, one of the trade-offs is a lack of security.

Security shouldn’t just be aimed at you as the owner of the site, but also for the people visiting your pages. One way of achieving this is through SSL, or Secure Sockets Layers. Simply put, SSL provides a secure channel between two machines (or devices) operating over the internet or an internal network. One example is when a web browser and a web server communicate, the information passing between them is encrypted and can only be read by the server it has been sent to.

If you’re unsure, go to a website and look at the full URL in the address bar and see what it starts with. If the address begins with http:// (rather than https://), then it might be a red-flag regarding the site’s lack of security protocols. The ‘s’ stands for secure. Go check ours why don’t ya ;-)


Once you (or someone else) has designed your website, to make it live and accessible it needs to be hosted. The hosting company (usually a third-party) will be the place your website ‘lives’, meaning it’s where all the code and the associated files are stored.

There are a multitude of hosting companies out there and, like everything else, the prices range from low to high, based on the services they offer. They are not all the same, but the one you choose needs to offer three features which you absolutely need to have. These are the 3 ‘S’s; storage, speed and security.

Whilst everyone wants the best (i.e. cheapest) price, hosting isn’t the area you want to cut corners, especially when your website is essentially the heart of your business.


Another key factor when choosing your web hosting provider is that it should offer automatic back-ups of your site. Should the worst thing happen, knowing there’s a reliable back-up of the site will mean it can be back up and running soon after.

PLEASE don’t assume this is a standard feature for hosting companies! If you’re unsure ask the question of them.


Speaking of security, you will need some form of anti-spam software on your site. This is the best way to prevent unwanted content from entering your website.

Whatever you choose, you need something to prevent unsolicited messages within your comments section as well as your mailbox.

Most of you will be familiar with the Captcha security test on many retail websites. You know when you’re asked to input a number of letters / numbers or to identify certain parts of an image.

As annoying as they can be, they serve a very important purpose by rooting out ‘bots’ and malicious software. These kind of issues, if not mitigated, can easily crash a website. Using the Captcha, for example, process protects your site from these nefarious attacks by generating a simple test, like the ones mentioned, that only a human can pass.


As good as your website might look, it won’t have any impact if people can’t find it and you can’t glean any information about those that do.

Utilising some form of analytics is a key feature so you can not only see who’s visiting, but also where they are coming from, what they are looking for and on which type of device they’re using.

There a number of great analytic tools out there, some free (like Google Analytics), others … not so much, but whichever one you use, use them to analyse and monitor the traffic on your site.


When surfing the internet, people will use a myriad of different browsers including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. You want you website to look and work the same way regardless of the software they’re using.

There can often be very minor differences caused by how one browser might interpret the code of a site compared to another, but these will be barely noticeable and shouldn’t affect the experience.

Complications can occur with layout incompatibility, a lack of CSS resets or validation of the code itself, so make sure you test your site with different browsers to ensure a consistent experience.


The speed in which your website loads is a key factor for visitors and search engines alike.

Having lean code that loads text and images quicker not only helps your SEO, but means your customers will be less likely to grow impatient and look elsewhere for what they want. People make decisions in split-seconds, so the longer they wait, the more chance they’ll leave disappointed.


Building on from quick loading, if your website is more of a portfolio of images (or videos), or is just image heavy in nature, then this will increase the number of larger files on the site.

Larger files means longer loading times. One way to mitigate this is to optimise the images, i.e. making the file sizes smaller, or you (or your developer) could include a process called progressive image loading. This means that the site will load a lower quality version of the image first, then gradually loads the full image. This stops a blank space appearing.

You want media sections of your website to be properly optimised. This means small file sizes, the correct images loaded at specific resolutions as well as appropriate layouts for different screen sizes. This is where sliders can come in.


Another piece of technology to help your site load is the use of browser caching.

By using browser cache, the content on your website is displayed more quickly to your visitors. If not, then all the information has to be retrieved from your web hosting which takes longer.

It might only be a matter of seconds, but that will be long enough for visitors to grow impatient and go elsewhere.


Sitemaps are more important for SEO than for the users of the site themselves. In simple terms, a sitemap is a list of URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) that describe the pages and sections of your site.

Search engines use this information to understand where it’s located, when it was last updated, how often it’s updated and how important it is in relation to other pages on the site. This information makes it easier for Google et al to find your site and its pages.


One of the key business tools when managing a website is having a CMS; a content management system. These tools help you and your team to create / edit and generally manage the website’s content. This only really works when there’s integration to the website itself.

If you’re using a CMS, having this link will save you so much time (and therefore money) in the long run. If not, then probably don’t ;-)


Schema markup might be a new term to you but it dates back to 2011 when the large search engines of the time, including Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex collaborated on it.

Schema markup is a form of microdata that, once added, creates an enhanced description of a webpage (known as a ‘rich snippet’). This helps the search engines understand the content on your site to make it more indexable, at least compared to sites that don’t have schemas.



Testimonials offer a brilliant way of showcasing your work by using real people to tell their experiences of working with you or using your product. Not only is it good advertising, but it helps to reinforce your reputation with any potential customers that your product or service is worth having.

It can be hard to include them, especially when you’re a new business, but get them up as soon as you can.


One step on from testimonials are case studies. These will go much deeper than a testimonial and are less about capturing an opinion, and more of a full report on how what you do helped another person, or business, to achieve something amazing. These real-world examples help to illustrate what you do on a wider scale. The more examples you can get, the better.

50. SEO

As nice as your website is, as many features it has and as lovely it is too navigate around, if no-one can find it, what’s the point?

As our last point, SEO might be the most important. Search Engine Optimisation ensures that people searching the internet find your site through its content, links and technicalities. It’s not a tick-box you can turn-on, it takes time, effort and planning. If you want to know more, take a look at this post from us.


Phew! What a list! If you take anything away from this blog it should be that your website should be an ever-evolving, ever-changing part of your business and needs to be kept up-to-date with the latest enhancement and technologies of web design and SEO. Just doing the basics like spell-checking and ensuring your links all work will make a difference.

Think of it like a house, the more you invest in it, the more it will increase in value and these 50 things are just the start of that investment. They are the things you need doing on the day you move in and you can then build on them over time until it feels like a home….page. Failing that, just hire us to build it for you ;-)

We hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully found a few ways to improve your own website should it be missing any of these features. If you need any help, please get in touch with us and we’ll be delighted to help where we can.

Have we missed anything? Are there any features that we’ve missed here that you think are ‘must-haves’? Alternatively, have we included anything that you don’t think is needed? Let us know in the comments below.

We’d also really appreciate if you can share it with family, friends or colleagues via social media. You can connect to us using the links below. Thanks for reading. Blog Photo courtesy of Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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