Whether you are a website designer or you are having someone design a website for you these five items are annoyingly absent on many websites and you need to have them in yours. The items are for both functional purposes as well as for branding. While some of the items may seem negligible, they more often than not shape how users perceive your website. In turn, this affects how users perceive your business or design work.

1. Favicons

Image showing favicons on a browser

Favi-what now? Favicons are small images or logos that appear on the address bar of one’s browser when browsing a particular website. For instance, if you are reading this blog post on contentmerch.com there should be such a favicon on the address bar of this tab. At the very top. Now, while you may have never acknowledged the existence of favicons it has probably registered in your subconscious mind that professionally designed websites usually contain this little image at the top of the browser tab the website is opened in. The favicon may seem like a non-descript feature but it is a powerful branding image.

It is like driving a top of the range car, say, for example, a Mercedes Benz and noticing the three-pronged star subtly engraved on the seats. A feature that is not necessary. After all, the whole world knows you are driving a Mercedes. However, that little touch shows you just how much attention to detail the good people at Mercedes Benz have. Favicons do the same for websites.


Image showing secure https

Open any of your favorite websites especially social media sites or banking websites. You will notice the websites’ addresses always start with https://. The alternative is http://. In case you missed it, the difference between the two is that one has an ‘s’ at the end and the other does not. We will not delve too deep into the meaning of all of this but take the ‘s’ to mean ‘secure’. Usually, https:// is preceded a padlock to emphasize that the site has some level of security. It is, therefore, safe to share personal and sensitive information on such a site. One should be wary of offering up such information on sites that lack this layer of security. Information such as debit/credit card number, contact information, and one’s address should only be shared on a need-to-know basis and via secure channels.

In fact, web browsers such as Google’s Chrome go a step further. Chrome displays the phrase ‘Not Secure’ before a web address that does not have the https:// prefix. For website owners, if you are asking for sensitive information on your website or want to have financial transactions taking place on your website then such a level of security is mandatory. The good news is most hosting companies offer this layer of security free of charge. There are also free SSL Certificates available online. Alternatively, one can also pay for such security via their web hosting company. What is not optional is not having the https:// prefix on your site.

3. Third-Party Branding


Most website designers use content management systems (CMS) such as and Joomla to design websites. Usually, such CMS’s come with their own branding such as the famous or infamous “This Website is ”. Such a phrase has nothing to do with your brand or your client’s brand. Therefore, it has no business being on your websites. It takes away from the website’s own branding. As such, any and all efforts should be made to ensure that such third-party branding does not appear on the websites. In fact, the website’s own branding statement should take the place of such third-party branding phrases, e.g., Copyright © 2019 Content Merch. All Rights Reserved. It is a small detail but then again the devil, as the expression goes, is in the details.

4. Back To Top

Back to top icons

A back to top button on a website is simply a must-have. One of the most annoying things is scrolling down a seemingly endless website page only to realize one has to scroll all the way back to the top to access the menu. Having a floating back to top button or one at the bottom of the page is extremely helpful and functional. The alternative is having a sticky menu bar that floats at the top even when one scrolls down a web page. Such features make the website easily navigable and improve user experience. It also shows a website visitor that the business behind the website cares about the user enough to make their interaction with the websites as seamless as possible.

5. Open Link in New Tab

Image showing open link in new tab

Last but not least is having all links leading out of your website open in a new tab. Why? More often than not links leading out of your website are meant for a website visitor to quickly check something out and then return to your website to continue interacting with the content there. Opening such links in a new tab allows the user to see where the link leads and once that is done easily pick off from where they were on your website. However, opening such links on the same tab closes the web page the user is viewing on your website and opens another page belonging to another website. It, therefore, becomes very inconvenient to navigate back to your website. More so if the web page opened the link leads to other pages being opened the user.

Opening a link in the same tab is only advisable when the link leads to another page on your website. Maybe this was the intention all along. To lead the user to this page where they can view a product and perhaps buy it. All in all, you want to keep the user on your website for as long as possible interacting with us much of your content as possible.

Well, there you go. These five features are a must-have for the above-stated reasons. Which one completely surprised you?

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