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Common Website Mistakes

Monday, October 18th

Common Website Mistakes

Websites can be a valuable tool in attracting new customers, as well as retaining existing clientele.

Currently, there are the 15.03 billion pages available on the World Wide Web. Programs such as Google Analytics allow individual website owners to track how many people have viewed their pages, clicked on links or responded in some way to what was posted there.

But while websites can be an awesome marketing tool, they also can be damaging to a business if they are not properly designed.

Let's discuss some of the most common mistakes found on websites, and how to avoid making them on your own website.

Confusing navigation is one of the most common mistakes found on websites today. The average website visitor spends only four seconds viewing a website in an attempt to find the information they need. If they are not easily able to locate vital information - such as what product or service is being sold and how to contact the business to place an order - they are likely to leave the website and take their business elsewhere. In order to keep it simple, include no more than nine navigation options from your main page of the website, and label them with names that are clear and concise, such as "About Us" and "About Our Company".

Overuse of banners and graphics also is a huge mistake many website designers make. If the banner at the top or sides of any of your pages is over four inches wide, then it is too large and should be reduced. While it may seem visually appealing to make banners and graphics as large as possible, the only thing the website designer is accomplishing with such large banners and graphics is to take away valuable space that could be used in other ways.

Providing too much information - or not enough information - also is a big no-no when creating a website. If visitors are bogged down with thousands of words on a page, with little or no organization of the topics included, they are likely to immediately leave your site and go elsewhere for their needs. People are busy. They do not have time to search through vast amounts of text to find the information they are seeking. Keep it concise and simple in order to keep their attention.

On the flip side, not providing enough information about your product or service can also be detrimental to landing new clients. One of the biggest mistakes most websites make is either not providing information about how to contact them, or making it so hard to find, that visitors give up looking for it and go elsewhere. Be sure to include this information on not only your main landing page for the website, but on every additional page as well.

While this may sound a bit strange, making the website too much about yourself can also be a huge turn-off for visitors. Yes, you need to explain the product or service you are offering. Yes, including your qualifications is a great idea, because it lends to your credibility. But designing every page as a shrine to your awesomeness is one of the quickest ways to turn off potential clients. In addition to offering information about your business and yourself, you may wish to include a blog or newsletter that will provide your clients with valuable information on topics relating to your business. So if, for example, you run a company which sells clothing, you could include a blog which talks about current fashion trends, how to shop on a budget and other clothing-related issues. This will keep visitors returning to your website, even if they are not currently in need of your products or services.

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Website Builder FAQ

Yes, but free website builders should generally be avoided because they fall short of many features that paid website builders include. There are exceptions, such as WordPress, which is free (if you download and self-host your own copy) and is a very powerful and flexible website builder.
It all depends on how comfortable you are with the features of a particular website builder. Some are easier to use than others. For example, some will build your website for you after you fill in a form with your business details, resulting in a new website in just a few minutes. Others will require you to have a basic understanding of the common parts and pages of a typical website, which can take up hours of work on your part.
It depends on the website builder you choose. There are several that offer a full package, including the ability to register your domain, build your site, and host it on your domain right within the same service. Others split up domain registration and hosting into separate concerns.
Anyone who is approaching the task of creating a website for the very first time, especially with little knowledge of how to make successful websites, should consider hiring someone who has that expertise. In spite of the ease of use promised by many website builder companies, websites can be quite complicated when it comes to things like user experience, proper calls to action, image rights, color coordination, search engine optimization, and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Generally, professionals prefer to have creative input prior to any work being done on your website. If you've already done some design or content placement, you'll find it more difficult to find someone who is willing to finish what you've started. If you want a professional to do it, but still want to use a website builder for easy content maintenance, engage their services before you sign up for a website builder plan. Your professional may have some ideas of which one to use and how to make it easier to use your website builder.
Using a website builder can definitely harm your search ranking if you are not careful. Be sure to follow all the guidance the builder may give you on search engine optimization. If the builder doesn't provide that information, or the capabilities necessary for better SEO, you should not choose that builder. Do your research into which builders provide better SEO than others.
The number one reason to use WordPress is content portability. Many website builders want to lock you into their services, so while they may make it easy to import your content from another builder, they sometimes make it difficult or impossible to export your content for importing to another service. If you start with WordPress, you'll have the most content portability.
WordPress is very popular. It currently runs 35% of the websites across the entire Internet. Even though it's very easy to get a new website up and running with a default theme, free theme, or paid theme, it can sometimes become more complicated and frustrating as your content grows or your needs become more advanced.
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