There are over 30 must have website features your site needs to provide a smooth, enjoyable user experience to your site visitors – and we’ve broken them down for you.

Whether you’re still planning your company website, or you’re in the middle of the process, this guide will help you confirm whether you’re on the right track – or if you need to make a few adjustments.

Ready to learn about the most important features your website needs?

Let’s dive in.


30+ Must Have Website Features Your Site Needs (a Breakdown)

We’ve broken down these must have features into specific parts of your website (front and back end), to make it easier for you to understand.

Let’s dive into the must have website features you should keep in mind when building your website.

Your Header

A few header templates from Thrive Theme Builder


Your website's header is the first thing your website visitors see when they land on your website.

Some of the most important elements your header should have include:

  • Domain Name

Your domain name appears in the navigation bar above your header. This is your site’s address on the Web and it's how people find your website.

Visitors will access your website by typing your domain name directly into the search bar, finding you through a Google search, or after they’ve clicked on a link on your social media page or ad.

To make sure site visitors can find your website without difficulty, make sure your domain name is simple, easy to spell, and memorable. Take a look at our domain name for example:

www.thrivethemes.com

Thrive Themes domain name


It's simple, to the point, and easy for anyone to remember. It's also the name of our business -- helping our visitors know that they've come to the right place.

  • Logo

A good place for your logo is your header, as this is one of the first things a visitor sees when they land on your website.

We recommend having a dark and light version of your logo, so the design is always visible on your page.

If you take a look at the Thrive Themes website, you'll see we have 2 different logos for our header and footer, respectively.

Thrive Themes logo in header

Thrive Themes logo in header

Thrive Themes logo in footer

  • Menu

The primary function of your header is to make site navigation as easy as possible. Your main menu should be in your header, and think of incorporating the following links:

  • Home - A link back to your homepage
  • About - A page where your visitors can learn more about you and your company
  • Blog - If you have a blog, this link helps your visitors access it easily
  • Products/Services -  Provide detailed information on what your business sells and how they benefit your potential customers
  • Store/Shop - If you have an ecommerce store, this should take your visitors to where you sell all your products
  • Portfolio - If you’re a freelancer, creator, or service-based business, then this page should showcase your recent or best-performing work
  • Contact - A dedicated page that provides information on how to contact your business (phone number, address, a contact form, etc.)
  • FAQs - A hub with answers to the most common questions customers ask about your business
  • Testimonials - Showcase the best feedback you’ve received from customers
  • Search Bar


If your website has a large volume of content, you need to add a search bar to your header so your visitors can find what they’re looking for quickly.

  • Call to Action (CTA)

Adding a CTA button to your header is a great way to encourage your visitors to take action the moment they land on your website.

For example, if you want your visitors to contact you, you should add a “Click to Call” or “Click to Email” button in your header, so they can take immediate action.

Other great calls to action are “Shop Now”, “Get Free eBook”, “Contact Us”, “Book Now”, etc.

Homepage Design

Home page from Jaya, a theme for yoga instructors


Ideally, your visitors will land on your homepage, first (unless directed to a sales page or different landing page). You need to make sure you create a great impression from the very start of your homepage.

Key elements of a conversion-focused homepage include:

Hero Section

A hero section is an important part of any personal or business website. It’s one of the first things your visitors will see when they land on your site, ultimately setting the tone for the rest of their experience on your website.

You need to make sure your hero section grabs your audience’s attention and encourages them to keep scrolling to learn more about what you have to offer.

Hero section from Xpert theme

Hero Section from Xpert, our companion theme for online coaches


Key components of a successful hero section include:

  • A clear, high-quality image of yourself, or something relevant to what your business is about
  • An attention grabbing headline that addresses your audience’s needs, or introduces who you are and what you do 
  • A sub-headline or tagline to briefly elaborate on your headline and provide more information to your audience

Relevant Images & Videos

Your homepage (and the rest of your website) should include high quality images to make it easier for your audience to view your content and understand your business.

These visuals can be:

  • Real photos of your physical business, or you and your team at work
  • Illustrated graphics (e.g. infographics) specially designed for your website

  • Relevant stock images
  • Slideshows or image carousels
  • Videos

Images are a great way to break up the blocks of text on your website, making your written content appear less overwhelming and much easier to read.

Testimonials (Social Proof)

Testimonials play a vital role in gaining your audience’s trust and convincing them that your business can solve their problems.

Testimonial block in Thrive Architect

Testimonial block in the Thrive Architect visual builder


You should focus on placing testimonials in a couple of strategic places on your homepage and other pages on your website.

In terms of your website, we recommend placing your testimonials in the following places:

  1. Right after your hero section

  2. After the “Features/Benefits” section

  3. Underneath the “About Us” section

  4. Close to a call-to-action button

Tip: Struggling to find the courage to ask for testimonials? Read this guide to learn 5 effortless ways to add testimonials to your WordPress website and sales pages.

Features & Benefits Section

When your potential customers land on your website, the one thing on their minds is, “What’s in it for me?”

Why should they learn more about your business? Why should they consider your products and services?

A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that listing the features of a product will win their target audience over…but it’s not true. Your audience doesn’t want a long list of what your business has. They want to know how you are going to solve their problem or improve their life.

If you list your features or products like this:

  • Self-paced courses

  • 100+ videos from experts

  • Interactive quizzes available 

That’s not going to help you land any sales. If anything, your audience will read through the list and ask, again, “So what? What’s in it for me?”

You need to focus on building an image in your audience’s mind that shows them how you can make their lives better.

Content Overview Section

Your homepage is a great place to showcase your best-performing blog posts, videos, and/or podcast content.

The best way to show your audience that you’re a thought leader they can trust is by showing them your work.

Calls to Action

Remember, the goal is to get your audience to take action (buy, sign up, download an offer, etc.). 

Call-to-action sections push your site visitors to take action before leaving the page. Be sure to include 2 to 3 clear calls to action on your page: one near the top, one in the middle of your page, and one towards the end.

About Us Section

Adding an “About Us” to the homepage helps your audience get to know you a little better. This is the place to mention who you are.

Include any details on your certifications, work experience, academic achievements, awards, or any other credentials that solidify your credibility as a business owner or professional in your niche.

Don’t forget to add a high-quality photo of yourself to further build trust.

Opt-In Form

Some of your visitors might need more time before they’re ready to buy from your business, but they may be willing to opt into your mailing list.

Offer them a compelling lead magnet that's relevant to a goal they want to achieve, in exchange for their contact information.

Tip: Read this blog post to learn how to use gated content to grow your mailing list.

Footer

Whatever you do, don’t stick to a plain, auto-generated footer. Customize your website footer to include important company information, and conversion-focused elements to encourage visitors to take action when they reach the very end of your website.

Here are a few key elements your footer should have:

Social Media Icons

Adding social media icons to your footer encourages your visitors to click on them and follow you on different platforms. That way, you can keep your business at the front of their minds by regularly posting updates on social media.

Links to Important Pages

Your website footer is also the best place to add internal links to important site pages that might not fit well in the main menu. The best pages to link to, from your footer, are your Privacy Policy page, Terms of Service, FAQs, and even your Site Map.

Company Information

Include important business information like your business name, address, copyright information, and business hours.

Contact Information

You should also add your contact information to your footer. Include key details like your phone number, email address, a map, and a link to a contact form.

Newsletter Opt-In Form

Add a small sign-up form to encourage your site visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter. 

Other useful elements to add to your website footer are a search bar, your company’s logo, and even a call to action. 

Important Inner Pages for Your Website

There are other key webpages your website should have, to support your homepage and further engage with your visitors. These include a/an:

About Us Page


As mentioned earlier, you need a dedicated “About Us” page that details who you are, your company’s history, and your mission & values.

If you have a team, this is also the best page to provide more information on each person’s role in your company. This helps site visitors get to know your business better, building trust.

Products/Services Page

Use this page to dive deep into what your business offers, how your products and services can help your visitors, and how much they cost.

If you have multiple products or product ranges, you’ll want to use this page as a central hub that leads to individual product/service pages.

Product Page -> Product Category -> Individual Product Page

Contact Page

This page informs your visitors on how to contact you. This page should include a phone number, email address, and/or a contact form.

We strongly recommend adding a contact form to your website, as it’s one of the easiest ways for your customers to contact you, regardless of what time it is. 

That way, you won’t have to worry about missing calls, for example, outside of work hours. 

Blog

A blog is a great way to provide business updates and educate your customers on relevant topics in your industry. People love buying from businesses they can learn from – and the best way to teach your customers is through written, video, and audio content.

Let your blog be a space dedicated to sharing valuable content on your industry, your products, and developments in your business.

Key elements to include in your blog are:

  • Structured post list: to show your most recent posts and top-performing content, making it easier for visitors to find their way through your content
  • Search bar: so readers can easily search your blog post using specific keywords or topics
  • Categories and tags: to organize your posts and help readers to find more content on topics they’re interested in
  • Author bios: to provide brief information on the people who create content on your blog, also building credibility
  • Comments section: to encourage engagement among your readers. Each blog post should have a dedicated comments section.
  • Social sharing options: to allow your readers to share your posts on their social media profiles, encouraging people in their network to check out your work
  • Lead-generation form: to encourage your audience to opt-in and join your mailing list in exchange for a high-value lead magnet

FAQ Page

Your potential customers are going to have questions about your business, products, and services that they’ll want to be answered before they decide to commit to a purchase.


Get ahead of this by adding an FAQ page to your website that includes frequently asked questions & answers on your business (business hours, location, etc.), pricing, and any other details that might not be clear to your potential customers.

Other important pages you should add to your website are:

  • Testimonials/Reviews – to showcase your customers’ feedback & share in-depth customer success case studies
  • Portfolio/Work Samples – to show off your skills & further prove why your potential clients should pay for your services
  • Shop – so your potential customers can view your products and buy
  • Terms and Conditions – to outline the T’s and C’s that come with purchasing and using your products

Additional Key Website Features

There are “smaller” parts of your website that’ll play a big part in convincing your visitors to stay on a page and keep reading through your content. These include:

  • Clear, readable fonts – for your headings and written content on your website. Avoid overly fancy fonts and custom fonts, as those are hard to read and might not work on all devices.
  • Responsive Design – ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and works on different device screen sizes (i.e. laptops and mobile devices)
  • Fast Loading – optimize your site to load quickly, to prevent your audience from growing impatient and dropping off without interacting with your website.
  • Consistent color scheme – to appear organized & professional. This also creates a harmonized website design your visitors will enjoy.
  • AntiSpam/Recaptcha function – to prevent spam comments from appearing on your posts and pages

Backend Must Have Website Features

These features might not feature on the front end of your website, but they all play a crucial role in keeping your site up, running, and secure.

These include a(n):

Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system (CMS) helps you add, edit, and manage all of your website’s content. 

While there are a variety of CMS options to choose from, we strongly recommend WordPress.

WordPress powers 43% of all the websites on the Internet — making it the most popular and widely supported content management system (CMS) and website building platform.

You can use this powerful CMS to build:

Whether you’re a beginner who wants to build a simple website to launch your online presence, or an experienced marketer, consultant, or small business looking to build a kickass website to elevate your brand… WordPress can help you achieve your goals.

The best part? You don’t need to be a coder or advanced web designer to make it happen.

Even though there is a popular misconception that you need to know how to code to build a WordPress website – it isn’t true.

There are a variety of reliable, no-code WordPress website building tools you can use to build a conversion focused website that generates leads, subscribers, and customers.

Website Hosting

If you want to build a website, especially with WordPress, you’ll need a hosting service. WordPress recommends a couple of hosting options but there are a variety of providers to choose from (e.g. WPX, SiteGround, Kinsta).

Site Analytics Tool

An analytics tool helps you understand how your site visitors interact with your website. With the right site analytics tool, you can review key insights like the posts and pages your visitors view the most, how long they spend on your website, the source that led them to your site and more.

If you’re building your website with WordPress, we recommend using MonsterInsights to track your analytics. 

MonsterInsights, the best WordPress analytics plugin

MonsterInsights


MonsterInsights makes it easy for you to understand your Google Analytics reports, so you can see what's working and what needs to be improved in your marketing strategies. 

This plugin also has a user-friendly dashboard that helps you track your site data (e.g. pageviews, conversions, sessions) with ease.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tool

On-Page SEO is critical for optimizing your website's content to help search engine crawlers (and algorithms) and actual searchers.

Your content marketing strategy can only be effective when you get it in front of the right traffic. SEO helps make that happen.

A few tips for improving your SEO strategy are:

  • Use SEO tools like WPBeginner Keyword Generator, Google Keyword Planner, or Ahrefs to start your keyword research & find relevant terms for your content.

  • Make sure every piece of content has a unique title tag that includes the main keyword. Keep it under 60 characters.

  • Write an attention-grabbing meta description (130 to 150 characters), for every post and page, that includes the main keyword.

  • Use headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content. Include your main keyword in your H1 header to highlight your page’s main topic.

  • Use short paragraphs and bullet points to make your content easy to read and scan. Avoid using long-winding sentences, as well.

If you’re building a website on WordPress, we recommend All in One SEO (AIOSEO) – one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress — to help improve your chances of ranking high on search engine results pages.

All in one SEO screenshot

Reliable Backup Tool

You can’t afford to overlook backing up your website. Anything can happen at any given moment, and it’s important that you’re prepared.

For WordPress users, we recommend using Duplicator to backup your website.

With this tool, you can easily back up your WordPress website and make sure you're ready for any setback at all times.

Theme + Page Builder

If you’re building a website on WordPress (which we strongly recommend), you’ll need to find a reliable WordPress theme to create the front-end of your website.

A great user experience boils down to this: a website your site visitors can find easily, navigate without any problems, and immediately understand what you’re offering. Your theme is mainly responsible for making this happen.

You also need to make sure that your WordPress theme is secure. Any vulnerabilities in your theme can lead to dire consequences for you and your customers – and you don’t want that.

We also recommend purchasing a solid WordPress page builder to help you design and customize your site’s pages. 

So, you’ll need the right tools to create a clean WordPress website  that loads correctly, has clear site navigation, and highlights your written content in a way that’s easy for anyone to scroll through and read.

With Thrive Theme Builder & Thrive Architect you can create a clean WordPress website that clearly communicates your brand, and publish impressive blog posts that look great and offer amazing value.

Screenshot of Thrive Theme Builder sales page


Thrive Theme Builder comes with several professionally designed companion themes, complete with conversion-focused pages and block templates for every part of your website (including your blog). 

And Thrive Architect, our drag-and-drop page builder, is what you’ll use to customize your site pages – and blog posts. 

Screenshot of Thrive Architect Sales Page


We built our tools with conversions & engagement in mind, so you’ll find all the necessary tools you need to create blog posts that are easy to read and simple enough for search engines to crawl through.

You can purchase Thrive Theme Builder & Thrive Architect together as a bundle, or get them and several conversion-focused plugins when you purchase Thrive Suite, our all-in-one WordPress plugin toolkit designed to help you build a thriving online business.

Next Steps: Build Your WordPress Website

As you read through all the must have features your website should have, you may have felt a bit overwhelmed. If you’re new to building websites and don’t have a lot of experience, you might be worried about finding a way to include most of these features without needing to learn complex code.

But you don’t need to fret - at all.

There are a variety of high-quality no code tools designed to help you build a website without needing to take a crash course in HTML & CSS.

Here are a few resources to help you understand how to build an impressive WordPress website, without needing to code:

You can build a professional-looking website that will impress your potential customers and turn them into paying customers – all by yourself! And if you’re building a website on WordPress, you have thousands of plugins to choose from.

However – you’ll need to make sure you select the right bundle of plugins to ensure your website runs smoothly.

To do that, you have two options:

1. Buy an array of plugins from different stores & developers...and risk them clashing and even crashing your website…

2. Purchase Thrive Suite, the all-in-one plugin toolkit you need to create a stunning, engaging website that generates conversions.

When you purchase Thrive Suite -- at a steal, might we add -- you get access to 9 powerful plugins that turn your site structure into an engaging website your potential customers will love.

Click here to learn more about Thrive Suite.

About the Author Chipo


Chipo is a content marketer, digital consultant, and seasoned freelancer with a keen interest in tech, marketing, and the future of work. She helps both graduates and solopreneurs set up their personal brands so they can thrive online. When she’s not working, she’s reading, dining out, and watching old seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

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