We’ve been in website production for some time now and we’ve come across the great… and the not so great. When putting together your new website, here are 11 things you should probably avoid.
1. Homepage Auto-loads With LOUD Media
Some websites like to load with an intro (which CAN be a cool feature if used appropriately) but if you’re going to load the page with music and/or video it’s best to be certain you know how to control the volume. If a user’s speakers were already turned up they may get an unpleasant surprise when your website music blasts their ears upon loading. To avoid losing visitors your best bet is to give the visitor the option to hit play.
2. Website without Intuitive Navigation
Your website doesn’t have to typical with a boring header menu but it should have a clearly defined layout so your site visitors know where to get information. Be creative as there are many ways to display a menu so don’t be shy to check out how other have done it. If you think of your top 5 favorite websites, have a look at their navigation and let that inspire you.
3. Your Web Pages Have Broken Links
Having incorrect or broken links is like inviting people to a party, but giving them the wrong address. Take the time to test your website links to ensure your site traffic is lead to your party!
4. Missing Contact Information
Does your website have your business contact address including, phone, email and physical address? All 3 of those points of contact are necessary in order to appeal to all prospects. Some people prefer to email you, while others will want to call to get a personal touch by phone. The physical address provides a sense of community, showing that your business is part of a neighborhood. That’s actually really important for your image. At the end of the day you want your business to appear approachable.
5. Don’t Mobile-Optimize Your Website
Is your website optimized for viewing on mobile devices? It’s actually a really important question to ask because not all sites have a mobile option. If you look at your site analytics you’ll see that a significant number of your visitors use a mobile device to visit your site. If they can’t view it properly well what will happen to your mobile browsing traffic?
6. Use Only Generic Stock Pictures
Generic stock photos are simply boring. Sometimes they can be used appropriately but we recommend using generic stock images sparingly. Overuse of them tells a message “hey look at me, I have no creativity” and is that really the message you want to be telling your clients? We feel it’s best to take some time and put some energy into your website’s images. Don’t be shy to reach out to those talented in design to get some valuable input.
7. Add Disorienting Images
Why not just toss any loud bright in-your-face images on your site? Perhaps some huge image files which delay loading too? Okay, jokes aside, this does happen sometimes. To allow your site visitors a quick loading, attention grabbing, experience, we recommend using tasteful and appropriate pictures images which help relay your message. Try to avoid using too many images because white space serves the purpose of balance and spacing.
8. Put Lots of Required Questions on Your Form
We’ve all seen forms that simply ask TOO many questions and quite frankly it’s a bit annoying. A visitor may not want to divulge all that info at that time, or may simply be bothered by a lengthy form. Consider keeping your form basic and just ask for their name, email and a provide a message box. This way any interested prospect can complete the form with less hesitation.
9. Use Lots of Flash
Flash is well… flashy! Yes, if executed well it can captivate your audience but there are a few downsides. Most mobiles and some tablets cannot view Flash so if your Flash media is important for your site, some of your visitors may not be able to experience it. Good news, there are alternatives! With today’s technology in HTML5 and JQuery (and more) you have Flash alternative options which can still display “flashy” engaging media.
10. Deceive Your Prospects about What’s Behind Your Call To Action
Don’t kill trust by posting deceptive Call To Action (CTA). If your message is to deliver a free offer (say the download of a guide) it’s best to deliver on the message. The last thing you want to do is lure visitors with an offer and then offer them something less (or something else). Make sure your CTA and your content matches what your landing page promised.
11. Keeping Outdated Call to Action
If you have any outdated or expired CTAs, it’s a good idea to remove them. Like mentioned in the previous point, don’t put something for offer unless you can deliver on it. Sometimes an old offer may simply left up by accident so in that case try to devote some time to website maintenance and give your site an audit to keep everything current. While doing the audit, why not check for broken links (point #3)?
Want to know more about website design? We’d love to hear from you!