What makes for a good website?

Filling out an eleventh-hour PQQ, one question I was tasked with responding to was:

In your opinion, what makes for a good website?

It was quite an interesting exercise and was deliberating whether to respond with what I felt the client wanted to hear or an impassioned plea for what I expected from a good website. I erred towards the latter:

  1. A good website is a website that knows its users and their needs, guides them through their use of the site and engages them through a combination of an evocative visual landscape, well-crafted copy, rich opportunities for interaction and a clearly thought out and articulated site structure.
  2. A good website should talk to its users in a language they understand.
  3. A good website should reflect its subject matter but be open to its users crafting their own interpretations and reflections.
  4. A good website should feature intuitive navigation and orientate the user, but also not be afraid for them to get lost and never be afraid for them to leave.
  5. A good website should not feel pressured to provide access to its resources within three clicks or to place all its content “above the fold”. A good website should never look the same in every browser.
  6. A good website should not stop at the website. It should tap into the networks and websites that your visitors already use and encourage the sharing of experiences and resources through these.

In short, a good website should be relevant, interesting and engaging.

So what do you think makes a good website? Be interested to hear your thoughts.


I like to assume that the attitude of all non-technical ordinary end-users is “Yes, it’s perfectly functional, absolutely beautiful, and I’m having a great experience on it, and I’ll come back again and again for sure and spend lots of money, but that’s all very well: more importantly…does the HTML validate? And how unobtrusive is the Javascript?”


Valid HTML + progressive enhancement = GRRRREAT website

QED, now let’s move on.