The short history of websites.
Since the invention of the internet (which was essentially established to make things easier for people), more and more sites have come into existence. There are nearly two billion websites that exist at this very moment, and new ones are created daily (How Many Websites Are There? 2021).
With the explosion of accessibility on the internet, there were, and still are, those who decided to use it to their advantage, and other peoples’ disadvantages. Fake websites began popping up and the scamming ‘business’, if you will, has continued to grow. Now, legitimate websites are taking more precautions and going the extra mile to ensure that their website appears trustworthy and that their customers’ data remains safe within their website. If a company is unaware of this topic in general, or simply has no idea how to secure their website and its data, hiring a professional is the best thing to do.
While some people still don’t know how to properly decipher whether or not a site is real on their own, sometimes they just have to trust their gut and feel whether or not they’re getting themselves into a pickle.
How do you decide whether a website is trustworthy?
Take a quick look at a website you always purchase from, determine what factors you consider when deciding that the website can be trusted. Has the thought that a site may be completely fake ever crossed your mind?
Is it the little lock icon next to the URL in the search bar that helps you decide if a site is real or fake?
Is it the absence or existence of real customer reviews available on the site?
Do you take notice of whether or not their website looks just like every other e-commerce site, or does it look unique unto itself? Do you recognize the model in the website’s images? Red flag! 🚩
These could be things that may have never crossed your mind, but because the world is becoming much more digitized and everything, and we mean everything, is moving online, how can you know which sites to trust, and which ones are scams?
Check their social media! If a company is legitimate, they will know how important it is to exist on multiple platforms in order to gain as much reach as possible.
Do they constantly update their blog or news section?
Chances are if something seems a little too good to be true, it probably is.
If it reminds you of another website that you’ve previously visited, double check that you’re on the real site and not a copy.
A problem people often face is copy-cat websites. It can have a similar (or nearly identical) URL as the real site, but it’s a complete copy designed by professionals. For example, the Apple website has countless copies on the internet that look identical to the original site, and it fools people into ordering products that will never arrive. The money spent will never return, either.
So as a tip from us to you, the first thing we recommend looking for when you’re visiting an unfamiliar site is the ‘https’ in the URL. The ‘s’ in this case stands for secure and indicates that the site is keeping your data, and its own, safe from wandering keyboards (2020) .
A fairly surprising case is the one concerning Ferrari and BBC. The BBC is a global news outlet viewed by countless people around the world every second. Yet, they don’t have a secure website. Ferrari, on the other hand, is mostly viewed by people who are interested in the luxury car industry, and they manage to maintain a safe and secure website for their visitors.
If there’s one thing that we know for sure, it’s that if you ever find yourself at a stopping point because you cannot seem to perfect your website, enlist the help of professionals. There are tons of agencies, freelancers, and web designers that feel a genuine pain when they see a website that has potential, but isn’t living up to it. Let them (us 😉 ) help!
So, what can we do to make our site look ~legit~?
The goal is to make the user experience as seamless and problem-free as possible. So, when designing a site, keep the following in mind:
- Testimonials, videos of real human beings
- Use high-quality photos to showcase products, showcase videos both professionally acquired and via real customers.
- A clear, concise atmosphere throughout the site: consistency in design is key. Using the same fonts all over the site & the same colors.
- Ensure every button, link, image, and video are all working.
- Keep it organized and never let the site get too busy. Allow the eye to focus on only a few things at a time.
- Make sure spelling and grammar are all correct.
- Never forget to include contact information. How can your customers believe that there is a human behind the computer screen if there is no one to contact?
- Keep contact with your customers. After they make a purchase, send follow-ups.
- Alternatively, as soon as they open your site’s landing page, invite them to sign up for your newsletter.
Your computer, or whatever device you may be using (sometimes even your internet browser) should already come with software detecting whether the website is attempting to steal your information. However, if this is not the case for you, we recommend identifying the url and looking up reviews about the site before actually visiting it. (You know, just to be safe.) We constructed a list of the best free resources that we’ve personally used while designing amazing websites. Enjoy :)
As a team, we at BRACT believe that more than great marketing, web design and advertising, designing for humans is the most integral aspect to keep in mind when creating anything.
Editorial, W. S. (2021, March 24). How Many Websites Are There? (Updated for 2021). WebsiteSetup. https://websitesetup.org/news/how-many-websites-are-there/.
National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Home page | NHDSC. (n.d.). https://www.hot-dog.org/.
Two things to look for in a secure website. UW–Madison Information Technology. (2020, November 4). https://it.wisc.edu/news/two-things-to-look-for-in-a-secure-website/.