Have you ever dreamt to launch your own website? Of course, you have. But most websites end up short of reaching their potential. So to avoid it I bring you most common mistakes with tips on how to avoid them.
Building websites can be both a hard and an easy job. “How can this be?” – you will ask. Well, you see, it’s like this.
The hard task is when you want to get a custom website, that’s designed and developed from scratch, it’s hard, it’s costly, it’s tiresome. You need to interact with a remote team, you need to be sure that your demands will be considered, and finally, you need to be sure that your website will not contain stolen digital assets like photos, or various design items. Building a website from scratch mostly suits big companies with big budgets and who have human resources to control and oversee the website development process.
An easy task is when you get a website template, make some minor customizations by adjusting this template to your website’s needs. Get images from a proven source like Unsplash, get website copy from writers who can write well and you are set.
Now let’s see what most frequent mistakes crop up when you decide to build a website.
Mistake #1. Buying an outdated template, that’s built for some previous version of a CMS.
Mistake #2. Buying a template that does not have the functionalities you need.
Mistake #3. Not setting milestones and deadlines.
Mistake #4. Trying to complete everything on your own.
Mistake #5. Being 100% sure that you don’t need a launch and marketing budget once the website is done.
Generally, there can be listed as 5 awful sins and 2 disgusting sins. Yup, you heard it right disgusting, no other word will describe these mistakes, here they come. Let us start with the disgusting mistakes and then go to the awful ones.
Disgusting Sin #1: Low Site Speed
For the last few years, Google has been warning everyone that site speed is extremely important for your website’s rankings yet there are lots of website owners who consciously neglect this rule.
But, if you don’t know how to make a site faster, here’re 8 tips that will help you improve your website’s speed.
Tip #1. Improve your hosting plan.
Low prices hosting accounts, as a rule, are shared hosting accounts that have a whole “host” of problems. So let us say you are following the golden rule of Treating your website like a baby and feeding it with quality content to grow. The older it gets the bigger it becomes. If you think that your website can stay forever on a shared hosting, you’re wrong. Let’s consider an example, when most people register a new hosting account they opt for something like a shared plan. You need to be smarter than that and opt for managed hosting, it will deliver you more bandwidth, more RAM and CPU power, and more importantly you will not have to share server’s resources with 100s of other websites.
Remember: When it comes to your hosting account resources sharing is not caring.
Tip #2. Count your HTTP requests
What’s a PHP request? Basically, it’s a dialogue between user’s browser and a server where your website is located. It goes something like this:
Browser asks: Where’s the logo?
Server responds: Here it’s /images/logo.png
Browser asks: Where’re the images from the slider?
Server responds: Here they are /images/slide-1.jpg, /images/slide-2.jpg, /images/slide-3.jpg, /images/slide-4.jpg
The longer this dialogue takes the more php requests there are on your website. Pingdom.com is a great tool will help you find out the number of requests on your website.
Tip #3. Put your images on a diet.
Being overweight is not just bad for humans but for websites too. Imagine you’ve been sitting on an 8000 calories diet for about a year, how do you think will you be able to run a 100 meters without getting a stroke? The same is true with your website, if upload original quality images to posts and pages, it will take a whole eternity to load your website. When saving your images for web – choose quality 55-65, they will still look good, but their weight will be much smaller than compared to the originals.
Tip #4. Treat your WordPress plugins wisely.
If you have (or you’re going to build) a WordPress website don’t forget that plugins are the weak spot of every WordPress site and there’s a number of reasons for that.
- They can and will reduce your website’s performance. The more plugins you install, the more likely it is you will kill your website eventually.
- Plugin developers update their products from time to time. Don’t forget to update the plugins in your admin.
- Remove plugins that can be replaced with more usable analogs.
- Stick to the time-tested plugins, those who have hundreds of thousands of installations.
Tip #5. Turn on caching for god’s sake.
There’s not much to said except that you need to have either a great caching plugin installed on your website to help you improve the performance of your website giving you total control over your site’s cache or to get managed wordpress hosting that comes with CDN and caching as part of the framework.
Disgusting Sin #2: Wordy Pages
Today consumers are have come to expect and demand great design – for products, websites, marketing and everything else. If you are hoping to use your website as your primary marketing tool to generate leads and revenue then having an old and dated design or an unprofessional one is simply not going to cut it. Set aside enough budget to get a professionally designed website.
Ok. Now we get to the awful mistakes.
Awful Sin #1: Being Non-responsive
Unfortunately, there are still some website owners who think that being responsive is not really necessary when there are more than 4 billion mobile users in the world…
There’s a funny thing I’ve discovered recently, I’ve been using Google Calendar for the last 6 years, and I couldn’t even imagine that it is non-responsive! Google! Calendar! Non-responsive!
Even though there are some apps fully-integrated with Google Calendar like the S Planner or Calendar on your Android phone, still the fact that Google has a service which is not responsive at all made me wonder.
Cutting to the chase, when you build a website make sure that it’s responsive, the template you will buy should clearly say that’s it’s responsive and don’t forget to check its demo on your smartphone.
Awful Sin #2: Images that Make Everyone Squint
Do you remember that point where I told you about saving images for web quality. I think I need to highlight this point once more.
If you take a shortcut and install a plugin like WP Smush, it may make your images look like those videos on YouTube where they film alien ships on the worst cameras in the world.
Please, don’t make this mistake. Find a balance between image size and image quality.
Awful Sin #3: A Logo That Was Designed by someone who has no clue
Now, I know this sounds harsh but unfortunately, there are myriads of websites that have a logo that looks like it was designed by a child that knows how to open and use photoshop for basic stuff.
Invest in getting the right kind of brand identity and the return on investment will be a 1000 fold!
Awful Sin #4: Lobster + Comic Sans + Indie Flower
Be Careful the kind of typography and fonts you use on your website. These days you can find awesome commercial fonts at really affordable prices. In fact there are design marketplaces where you can buy font bundles at really ridiculous prices.
Awful Sin #5: Creating Your Website with a Free Builder
Do you know how many free website builders are out there? I stopped counting after 35. Here I’m not referring to the page builders like Visual Composer or Elementor builder, I’m talking about the SAAS you’ll get access to when you buy a hosting plan or register on a platform with the free website builder.
The brightest example would 1and1’s website builder. I’ve met people who got stuck there, they bought a hosting account started building a website, they felt quite comfortable there because such website builders are optimized for non-techies. But when their website grows moving it may be impossible. Or the design dates quite quickly and the website ends up looking crappy.
Here are top reasons why you should not use free website builders.
Reason #1. Free website builders may place ads on your website.
Reason #2. They will put you in a box, if you register a free website on a hosting platform you may be restricted from making the customizations that are about to make your website look awesome.
Reason #3. You may not be able to export your website.
Reason #4. You may have to forget about things like SEO-optimization and clean code, the developers of free website builders may not bother with any of these.
Bonus: 5 Common Website Mistakes You Must Avoid
We all have heard that having a website is essential in modern times, but having a poorly designed website can be worse than having none at all. Many small business webdesign owners inadvertently shoot themselves in the foot and compromise their business’s chances of success by committing one of the following five errors.
Going It Alone.
We all understand that a small business owner has to be a jack of all trades, but it is definitely possible to take any principle too far. After all, you wouldn’t set your own broken ankle or install your own electrical wiring. The same goes for web design; not only does it require a large skill base, it can take months to achieve even minimal proficiency. Unless you want to invest months of work for a savings of just a few hundreds of dollars—and still get a less than professional result—you should hire a professional web designer. Not only will they save you time and thus money, they’ll be able to create a better website that will be easier to maintain.
Not Getting Feedback.
Once you have a website, your next step should be to see what other people think of it. Not just other people, but people who are in your target audience! Let others browse your site and ask them where their eye goes first when the page loads and what they think could be improved. There is a good chance they will pick up on a few things that you and your programmer both missed.
Letting Designers Work From The Ground Up.
While it’s important to work with a professional web designer, don’t assume that they know more about your business than you do. While you may be unable to turn your dreams into an html reality, there is a good chance you have a very specific idea of how your site should look and how it will flow. Write these ideas down and present them to your web designer. This will help your designer complete a better website in less time and give them a sense of your style.
Offer Good Service.
Self service seems to be an internet trend, so much so that many entrepreneurs turn to it without even thinking. However, you would be hard pressed to find a real life customer who prefers it over live help. If you can’t afford live help or don’t have the website traffic to justify it, at least give customers a way of contacting you, such as email. And always respond; it will likely make the difference between a sale and a disgruntled non-customer.
Structure Your Site For Search Engine Success.
You don’t need an SEO writer to accomplish this. Make sure your web page tags and addresses include text that describes the page. Use terms that are relevant to your business on a regular basis both in text and in headers. If you do this in an organic way, it will bump your website way up in search engine results. Talk to your web designer for more information on how to optimize for search engine success and make sure interested customers have access to your hard-won website.
Over to You
These were the nastiest website design mistakes one could make. Bookmark this article and share it across all of your social media accounts we need to work together fighting these website design mistakes.