5 Boring but Essential Things Your Website Must Have
Here at Web Solutions, we build countless websites. All of them have different designs and functionality, but most have five behind-the-scenes elements that we recommend including on every site. They're not flashy, but they're important. Here’s what they are and why we include them.
- How the information is collected
- How it is used
- Whether the collected information is shared, sold, or rented to any third party
- What security measures are in place to keep the information secure
- The choices available to users regarding the use of personal data, including whether and how they can opt out of sharing information
- Whether your site is using any third-party service to collect, process or store personal information
- How users can change, correct, or delete any personal information that has been collected
A site map is a list of all the pages on your website, structured hierarchically. A site map not only helps site visitors easily locate a page, it can help make sure Google and other search engines are able to crawl and index all the content on your site. According to Google, a site map is especially helpful for sites that are unusually large, have been launched recently, have internal pages that are not linked to each other, or use rich media content.
For websites built in our proprietary Web Solutions CMS (content management system), a site map is generated automatically. For the sites we build in WordPress, we create a site map manually.
Any original content on your website is automatically protected under copyright law. While it’s not mandatory, it’s a good idea to include a copyright notice on your website. A copyright can support your legal rights and help you win greater damages should someone steal your online content, and may deter infringements from happening.
A copyright notice should include:
- The copyright symbol ©, or the words "Copyright" or "Copr."
- The year(s) the work was published, either as a list (©2017, 2016, 2015) or a range (©1996 – ©2017)
- The name of the copyright owner
An accessibility statement or policy tells your website users that you are committed to making the information on your website accessible to all visitors, including people with disabilities. For the latest accessibility best practices and guidelines, see W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The accessibility statement should include:
- A statement of commitment to providing an accessible website.
- An outline of accessibility guidelines and standards the website follows.
- Instructions for how to adjust things like text size, fonts and background colors for better legibility.
- A list of known exceptions to the accessibility of the website.
- Contact information for or any users who have suggestions on accessibility improvements or need help with your website.