We’ve all seen them on business websites; bad design elements, poor navigation, broken links. Some of us are probably guilty of similar mistakes on our own sites, and we may not even realize it (but our potential customers certainly do). So in this article, we’re going to take a look at a few common mistakes, so you can check your own site and rule them out as a problem.
It may surprise you, but a lot of people spend more on coffee every week than they do for a month of web hosting. Sure, those bargain rates sound enticing, but having your site lumped together with hundreds of others on one server isn’t exactly a recipe for quick load times and reliability. And if one of those hundreds of sites gets infected with malware, or blacklisted for some other violation, your site could very well be affected too, since it’s often based on the same IP address. Pay a little extra for a dedicated server / hosting plan, your customers will thank you.
You may already be too late for this next one, but if you’re still in the early stages of choosing a domain name, go with something that’s easy to remember, not too lengthy, and try to avoid using dashes or underscores. Do you really want to tell people “the website is http://www.bestgoldendealsonlinetoday-for-you.com”. No one will remember that, or they’ll transpose the words, or leave words out, or just not go to your site altogether. Yes, short names are harder to find, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with something that is memorable, and fits your business.
Does your website side-load content as the user scrolls the page? You know what we mean… As the user starts to read the content, he scrolls a bit, then BOOM, your site loads something else and the page goes back to the top. He scrolls again and BOOM, another load, and another jump back to the top. The third time isn’t a charm, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve just lost a customer. Create websites with responsive design, that don’t constantly side-load content as the user browses.
Speaking of responsive websites… does your business website automatically adapt to the user’s platform? Will the pages load quickly and look presentable (and readable) on any device? Do the images scale and rotate accordingly? If not, take a guess how long a customer is likely to stick around when he has to continually pinch and resize the screen to see your content. Not long.
Finally, is your content well organized, and simple to find? Is it clear from the first look what your business does, and how it does it? Can the user easily navigate your menu system, browse your products or services, get contact information, or take action? If not, you’ve got an even more serious problem on your hands. These days, people have very little patience for badly presented content. Be direct, and to the point. It’s far batter to have a clickable “more…” element than to put your entire mission statement on the home page.
Obviously there are a lot more mistakes you can make, and we may followup with another article in the future. In the mean time, take a good long look at your current business website, with a critical eye. If you find these mistakes, or others, perhaps it’s time for a website redesign. Your customers will appreciate that more than you know.
Thanks for reading!