On you basic website or core you want to say
What do you do
What service, product event are you offering or supporting.
How to Contact You
Best ways to contact you, postal, email, telephone, twitter, facebook, smoke signals etc.
Include Legal Guff, Compliance
Then there is legal compliance, usually in the UK: company / charity name, number, registered office. Usually this is the same as your contact details. You can link to a page on companies house.
If your selling stuff on line then an essential would include
- listing of products
- ability to add items to a basket
- something to add delivery details and pay.
That is the essentials really from then on your really providing more about you, mostly that is proof of what you say you do. Testimonials from customers, case studies or examples to show reality matches up with what you said about yourself.
Mostly for visitors the website is offering the answers to Who, What, When, Where and How.
Your website doesn’t have to be complicated and perhaps simple is better, at least people won’t have to crawl through pages of marketing blah, blah trying to interpret what it is you actually do. If its so complicated that you can’t explain it succinctly then you probably don’t understand what you do either. If you want to add more proof, answers to questions that you keep getting asked or pictures of your cat you can always do it later.
If your regulated by someone like the FSA or The Charity Commission you will want to add your registration there just for public reassurance if nothing else. The legally minded like to add terms and conditions, then disclaimers about copyright and third party links.
I like it when sites list details about cookies set because it at least shows they are aware of them and gives you an idea of what that request to xyz-network.thailand is doing when the page loads.
You probably want some sort of stats so you can get an idea of who is visiting your site, lots of those exist from basic to advanced, if your on shared hosting, which you probably should be for a simple site, then you probably have some like Webalizer, AWstats, Piwik, Analog that you can tick a box to install. Others like Google Analytics give you some code to paste into your webpages.