Common website mistakes

Are you looking to create a website? Do you already have one? Beware of these 5 common website mistakes!

1. Not Having a Professionally Designed Website

These days there are so many solutions for creating a website. A common solution are “website builders”, allowing customers to build their own website with just a few clicks. Many of these can produce great looking websites. However, an effective website is more than just pretty. It needs to have a convincing call to action, appealing style, and be engaging.

Unless you have an eye for aesthetics and aptitude for marketing, spending the money on a professional web design is well worth it. If your website does not look professional, visitors will not stay long. A professional will also have a better understanding of what features users expect and use these days. Remember, websites are like clothes; the cheapest option often sacrifices quality!

2. Missing or Poorly Placed Call To Action

A “call to action” is the action you want your visitors to take. For example, it may be to purchase a product or register as a user. This should always be:

  • Clear and concise
  • Visible above the fold (meaning it’s visible without scrolling down the page)
  • On your homepage and landing pages

The call to action is often best delivered with appealing graphics and photos. Large text with a bold background color could also be used. These will catch the user’s attention.

3. Failing to Update Your Website

A common website mistake is to kick back after your site is designed. But keeping your website updated is essential. If you are a business, you should always have your latest services and products on your site, with accurate descriptions. If you are an organization or community site, having new content will encourage users to return.

If you do not plan on updating your website regularly, then don’t include features that will make your site appear dead. For example, few things look worse than a blog with one entry or a forum with no posts in the last year.

4. Using Watermarked & Low Quality Images

Few things shout “unprofessional” more than free images with watermarks on them that were snagged off of a Google Images search. If you can’t afford a few dollars to buy the image then how can you be reliable? Other common mistakes are icons or photos that are pixelated from being scaled up, and amateur-looking photos. Quality images are one of the primary things that make a website look professional.

Example of a watermarked imageMISTAKE: A watermarked image
Example of a blurry imageMISTAKE: A blurry image

5. Expecting Traffic Without Any SEO or Marketing

Just like opening a brick-and-mortar store does not automatically guarantee traffic, simply uploading a website does not either. So spend the time and money to get your website search engine optimized (SEO). Marketing your site, whether through paid advertising,  social media, or simply back-links from other sites, is also important.

What other common website mistakes can you think of?

About Steven Higgins

Steven Higgins is the owner and lead designer of Inception Web Designs. Steven and his wife have spent considerable time doing volunteer and mission work both in USA and recently Uganda. Inception Web Designs has supported them in their efforts.