Over the years we have seen small businesses and nonprofits make mistakes with their websites. We’ve made our own mistakes also! Avoiding making these mistakes will save time, money, and frustration.
Here is our top 10 mistakes to avoid with your website.
Website has no clear purpose
A website has to have a clear purpose. What do you want your customer to do on your website? Sometimes there’s more than one purpose.
Every visitor to your website should be directed towards an action, whether it’s viewing your portfolio, or filling out a contact form, or finding out some information, or even if it’s to get your phone number to call.
Hiring the wrong company
What is the “wrong” company? There are several characteristics to look for when hiring a web design company.
- Good reviews
- Does good work (you would be amazed at how many people hire a web designer without looking at their work)
Because your web designer has the control over your website, they can potentially hold it hostage. Make sure they are local so that you can sit down with them and look them in the eye.
Make sure they are dedicated. Freelancers are more risky, but can sometimes work out. Be wary though if you need ongoing support – every freelancer we have ever worked with has at some point moved on to something else and were no longer available. It’s wise to hire a company if you are looking for a long term relationship.
Check out their reviews online, check out their portfolio, and talk to some of their clients. A good company that is local, has been around for a few years, and has a lot of good, recently created websites is usually a safe bet.
Not updating your website
Not updating a website is a huge mistake. Maybe the biggest one a small organization can make. An outdated website is worse than not having one. It shows you are not active, not on top of things, and not professional.
We all forget sometimes to remove things from our website on time, but grossly outdated material, content that never changes, or the same pictures for years on end should can easily be avoided.
Website reflects owners preferences rather than what is best for users
Sometimes people forget about our users and focus on what they like. We’ve had clients who like the website they way THEY like it rather than what their users will like.
Don’t lose sight of the purpose of the website. It is built for your users to have the best experience possible, not for you. If you really like a particular color or font choice but your web designer has recommended against it, consider getting another opinion from a friend or family member that you know will be honest with you.
Not enough content for SEO
Content is very important for SEO, as anyone who has read our blog will already know. If your website does not have very much content, you will not get the maximum benefit out of it.
In order to help add more content, every website should have a blog. No matter what the industry is, a website needs a blog. A blog is a great way to get new, unique, industry specific content to Google on a regular basis. You can write once a day or once a month or once a year but you have to write SOMETHING. And the more the better.
If you need help writing content for your website, whether it’s for your blog or just the regular part of your website like the Home page, About Us page, etc, please let us know. We offer content writing services at $25/page and it is fast and will save you the headache of having to do it yourself.
Using Cheap Hosting
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
– Benjamin Franklin
All hosting services are the same, right? Wrong.
Using a cheap hosting service for your website is not a good idea. Why would you spend thousands of dollars and/or lots of hours of hard work on your website, only to put it all at risk so you can save just a couple bucks? People underestimate how important it is to pay for good, secure, fast, reliable hosting.
If you have a starter, homemade website, then cheap hosting is just fine. But once you get serious with your website and invest more time and money, than consider getting better hosting service.
Not Mobile Optimized
Google now requires that all websites are mobile optimized. If a website is not mobile friendly, it will be penalized in the search engine rankings.
Not only will your website suffer in the search engine rankings, but your users will not have a good user experience. A mobile optimized website offers better navigation, easier to read text, and a simpler interface so that your mobile web users can use the website better. A mobile optimized website is an absolute must-have in 2017.
No Contact Information on Every Page
The most common reason that users visit a website is to get a phone number, directions, or email address. For that reason, it is important to put that information in a very accessible location; usually near the top of every page.
We also recommend that the contact info be text, not an image. Google uses local addresses and phone numbers when they scan your website and it will help in Local searches.
Website Not Tested Properly on all Devices and Browsers
A website should be tested on all major devices (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, iPhone/Android) as well as all major browsers (FireFox, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer).
This isn’t as important as it used to be back in the days of IE6, but it’s still needed as there may be some inconsistencies in how your website looks or acts.
It’s not very time consuming, just tedious. Test the website in each one, or send out the website to friendly and family and ask them to all review it for you. Odds are that most of your devices/browsers will be covered by those you send it out to.
Trying to do a Do-It-Yourself Website
There are certainly lots of people out there who are capable of developing their own website. But for most people, it’s not worth it. Even if you’re able to create your own website, it’s not worth the time and headache to figure it out on your own.
Don’t believe the website builder online companies – it is actually very difficult to create a good website even with their do-it-yourself, drag-and-drop software. It’s not hard to create a website, but it is hard to create one that is professional, does what you want it to do, and works correctly.
We promote a hybrid for do-it-yourselfers. We create the website and set everything up for you, and then you manage it moving forward. It’s far easier to update the website than it is to start one from scratch.
Another thing that you can definitely do if you have the time for do-it-yourself website projects is work on the SEO of your website. Simply writing articles for your blog will help your website tremendously.