Building a website is an essential task for any business that wishes to have an online presence and thus reach as many potential customers as possible. Whether you instruct a design company to create your perfect site, or you do it yourself using a website builder, you will have a range of functionalities built into the web creation software that will enable you to set up all your essential pages, plus catalogues, online forms, galleries and e-commerce functions. You can create a fully functioning site this way, and indeed many websites are considered by their owners to be complete at this stage. However, if you want to add even more value to your site, have a look at the range of specialist software programs that you can integrate to your site for extra functionality.

Add for function and added value

Website builders now come with increasing functionality built in, so check what is available on your existing web hosting platform before looking for functionality you may already have available to you. You might feel that the e-commerce pages aren’t right for your products and wish to use a specialist e-commerce software package to give you more scope for adding all the information you wish in a design that you find more satisfactory. Or you might want to add a blog to an existing site, which can be done quite easily with the right software.

Add some flash

Having moving images can be a very eye-catching addition to your site, and you can add software to create animated banners, adverts for events and new products, animated introductions or to bring an element of your page to life. You can also add rolling news sections, so that instead of a fixed headline alerting users to content, there is a continuous scrolling list that catches the eye and enables more headlines to be displayed. You could also jazz up your gallery with slideshow software to add value to your photographs. Select the form of animation carefully to avoid making your site look cheap, and don’t use it for the sake of it, only when it will genuinely enhance the user experience. Also avoid too much flash, which will give the impression that your site lacks authority and professionalism.

Specialist applications

In some cases, added software is a predictable element of your website, for example, if you operate a college information service, you will want to have the library catalogue available through your site. What you might find is that you want to add extra functionality such as an application form for job vacancies, or a live chat service to encourage visitors to engage with the site. Other add-ons that are becoming commonplace are social media buttons that link to Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant accounts, although this is often now included in basic web design packages, and if not can often be achieved with the addition of a line of code to the site.

If you’re adding anything yourself, always be sure that the software you use is safe and from a reputable source, otherwise you could risk infecting your systems. There’s really not much to limit what you do with your site, so if you have any ideas for how it could be improved or ways to add value then see what software you can find that will achieve your desired outcome.