Through the many years of my web design and development career I have seen thousands of web sites and taken in tons of different aspects of all of them. Many trends have come and gone and many web sites have risen and fallen. There is one core principle that every good web site has and that is that it is smart.
Smart web sites have answers
Look at any of the sites owned by CNET. Let's take GameSpot for example. You will notice that this web site has a number of smart things going on here. From design to content to value - everything about this is quality. You can pretty much take any aspect of the site and ask yourself a question about it, and the GameSpot web team will have already thought about that question and created a smart answer - this is what makes a good web site.
Why most sites fail
Most sites fail because they don't have answers to common questions. Let's say you have a social networking site. What are some common questions that people will have about your site? Some that I would have would be: Can I subscribe to your site via RSS? Can I upload videos, images and other content? How can I track people with similar interests? Is there a discussion board where I can converse with others? Are there high quality articles that help me learn more? Does the design allow me to easily navigate the site? Questions like these are what separate the good sites from the bad sites. All good sites have thought about and approached these types of questions.
If you go up to most web site owners and ask them a few questions about their site they will probably not have an answer for you. This is because they have not thought about that question, and it directly reflects in their web presence.
A smart web owner is always thinking about different aspects of their site and figuring out ways to employ smart solutions for their audience. You should be able to answer most questions that people ask you about your site because you have already thought them through and implemented them.
Filed under:Internet / Tech, Web