The Best Websites of 2013

Cloud ComputingThere are millions of brilliant websites. It is fair to say that every website means something special to its followers. Websites can promotes causes, human interest stories, products, services and more. Some website owners are happy to generate 1,000 hits a month while others would be disappointed with 1 million hits a month.

In trying to identify the most successful websites in the world for 2013, Alexa applied certain standards to their testing:

  • Number of global users
  • Tendencies of usage
  • Sharing of content
  • Type Internet activities caused by the website compared to Internet activities inspired by other websites.


Based on these criteria, Alexa had fixed standards to evaluate websites and arrived at what the company deems the “Ten Best Websites 2013.” However, it should be clear, that not all these standards are standards certain website owners pursue.

The Alexa Top 10

Google – Easily distinguished as the world’s best website. Since 1998, its revolutionary search engine has been unchallenged for supremacy.
Facebook – Love it or hate it, there is no denying the effectiveness of Facebook and its impact on society and our ability to communicate in an open or closed environment with our friends and neighbors.
YouTube – Another Google model (3 in top ten). You Tube has exploded onto the scene and indicates our infatuation with imaging and visual recording. A good You Tube can garner millions of hits in an hour.
Yahoo! – Yahoo continues its longstanding popularity due to its Mail, Search, movies, music, news, finance, job, market, fun and sports content and capabilities.
Blogger – Blogger has been at it since 2000 and is a tremendously influential site. A free blogging platform owned by the industry monster Google.
Windows Live – Microsoft’s Windows Live stormed the marketplace in 2006 and has climbed the ranks. The search engine, mail, applications, web services, messenger service, photo and movie capabilities and everything else keep customers imbedded in this far reaching venue.
Wikipedia – Wikipedia has transformed itself into a multi- billion dollar enterprise and much trusted website. This was not always the case. Wiki stands for knowledge and the content on Wikipedia was once viewed guardedly but is now deemed reliable. Information posted by Wikipedia is watched closely by some of the world’s largest corporations, all of who are listed on the site.
Baidu – Baidu is the most popular Chinese language search engine and features multi-media content. Baidu is also a very successful application service provider.
Twitter – Insight travels fast on Twitter. Used around the globe, Twitter has made its mark by offering concise tidbits of information that spark the curiosity and describe live events. Twitter is the 2nd most popular social media outlet  after Facebook.

These are recognisable names in the website industry. So, what do they have in common and what are the ingredients in a successful website?

Design firm Yola says there are six core ingredients every website must have in order to reach its maximum potential:

Template

The template should be chosen that is compatible with the work and content that will be posted on the site. Yola recommends that free templates not be used because if the site is successful, they will not have the features or capacity to handle the flow.

Content

Content rules the site and will determine the success of the project. A site with poor content will not reach its full potential and will lose repeat visitors. A site with strong content will generate buzz and be much discussed and highly regarded. Be authoritative. Every page must deliver the message.

Meta Title

Every page must have a title and be supported by a meta description. The title influences the site and the page ranking. If you want to rise on Google, Yahoo and MSN, the titles and descriptions carry weight.

Internal Navigation

The website must be properly interwoven, a problem with free templates. Internal pages should be within three clicks from the index page.

Broken Links

Broken links turn viewers off. Nothing makes a site look unattended more than broken links. Broken links are a surefire way to diminish your ranking.

Always Offer a Search Box

Rather than force readers to scour the site for a specific topic, offer a search box that leads to articles in a certain topic. Information that is easily accessed can be read many times over without a hassle.

These are six easy best practices that every website owner should follow. If your goal is to get ranked and post truly reliable content that can influence people, follow these steps to realise your full potential.

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