Designing A Website For A Public Company

Designing and developing a website for a public company isn’t much different than designing for any other company that sells a product or offers a service. You should be focussing on company values while also not losing focus on what most viewers are coming for: how the company turns a profit.

Corporate Info Page

Don’t get cute here. The goal of this page is to display qualitative information about the company. Pages like Board of Directors, Corporate Governance, and maybe even a Corporate Directory are all fair game and are encouraged to be included. Visitors want to know who and what is involved in the company. This is a perfect example to strut your stuff.

Stock Information

Where corporate info pages displayed a lot of qualitative information about the company, the stock information – or Investors – page displays more quantitative information. We’re talking stock price, change in price, market cap, average daily volume. Anything which is involved in the trading of company stock.

Stakeholders like to have as much information as possible, so full disclosure here is very important. Most investor pages pull data from a reputable source like. We usually use Yahoo! Finance as it’s reliable and cost-effective so we can pass on the savings to our clients.

One important technical aspect to take note of when pulling data from financial institutions. Stock prices are generally updated every 15 minutes, so it’s not necessary to pull data on each viewer’s page load. In fact, this is actually really bad. If you’re pulling data on each page load, you will have noticeably slow page loads. As well, you’re putting unnecessary strain on the providers servers. We use WordPress for all of our websites, which has a great API for these circumstances. The API is the Transients API. Long-story short, it stores retrieved data, and won’t ask for data until a set time has elapsed. This means instead of pulling fresh data on each page view, we are storing the data for a short amount of time (this is a very abbreviated definition of transients, so if you have questions please use the comments area).

Projects

If you’re in the resources or energy industries specifically, you most likely have many projects Worldwide. Each project should have it’s own page with associated media. With the advent of high-res cameras in mobile phones, it’s very easy to take high-quality images which can be used on a project page. If you or your client is visiting a remote location, get them to snap some pics for foreign viewers.

In line with that, some of your stakeholders may be from different parts of the World and would like to know more about the surrounding areas. This is a perfect opportunity to include a Google Map with a highlighted section. Doing this doesn’t take much time, is a valuable add-on, and provides a lot of context for stakeholders in the company.

Google Maps Example

Press Releases and Social Media Integrations

Every public company is going to have news to diseminate. The whole point of a press release is to get eyes on your news, so make sure you’ve taken a few things into consideration. Make sure to give the readers the ability to share posts. Key social networks to include are Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

WordPress is already going to do a pretty good job of optimizing your press releases for search, so you don’t really have to stress about SEO at this point. Give Tim Howard’s slideshow on optimizing a press release for more information.

Mobile Friendly

Lastly, but definitely not least is considering your viewers different means of viewing your site. Currently, mobile traffic is around 12% of all online traffic. This number is steadily climbing, and will continue to climb especially as older demographics get used to using tablets and phones.

So where do you start? Well, you should know about responsive design by now. If you’re a designer/developer, go read this now. If you’re not, just know that responsive design adapts the website to the screen-size you’re viewing on. Usually on a mobile device you’ll have fewer elements on the page, larger links and buttons, etc.

A couple pitfalls when designing public company websites:

  • Tables – make sure your tables which include stock information display well on smaller screens.
  • Maps – same as with tables, maps will most likely look substantially different than on larger screens. Either adjust for this, or potentially make it easy on yourself and just hide the map.
  • Sliders/Images – high-res images used in sliders can sometimes be quite large. Where they may load quickly on a desktop with a high-speed connection, most phones are still on 3G or slower networks meaning those fancy images don’t load as quickly. Adapt. Load up smaller images if necessary.

Experiment

Some of our best technical portfolio pieces are of public companies. There are a lot of API integrations that you can use that you normally wouldn’t get to use. So experiment. Not only may you learn a thing or two, but these can always be value add-ons.

If you have any questions, please use the comments section, or feel free to tweet at us or email us at get [AT] rollinglab.com.