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Top 10 website mistakes to avoid

Posted 22/September/2014 by vicky

If you are looking to take your ideas and launch them online here is a checklist of things to avoid

1. Don't run to the finish line. If you are hiring a web development company to craft a custom project give yourself time and give the web designers and developers time to build the site to the highest of quality. If you have come up with a great idea, allow yourself not only a financial budget but just as importantly a time budget. Allow time for planning, project management but also allow your time for revisions. Remember, your web designer will send you initial concepts of design and depending on how close that design is to what you had in mind there may be several rounds of revisions. Each revision you need to allocate time for the designer to do the design work and time for you to review etc

2. Don't pick templates. We all know that your website is the thing that potential new clients will judge you on – and all within a few seconds!  If you are trying to showcase that you are a leader in your industry, sell a high profile product or service and you present yourself online with a site that is clearly a free or cheap template this just gives the impression that you are not vested in your business and can worry a consumer that you may not be a long standing business. A website is your opportunity to sell your businesses uniqueness, let your web designer showcase this through a good custom designed website.

3.  Don't design for yourself.  The end game of developing your website is to sell your business to existing and/or potential new customers. Do the research on your target market/ demographic you are trying to connect with. If you are trying to connect with business executives in high income brackets you need to design accordingly, most importantly trust your web designer. They after all have the experience and skills to guide your design in the right direction. Quite often although you may not see what they can see at first, by taking their guidance you will probably find that when you see their vision developed it all comes together better than you had imagined.

4. Don't shortcut content. This is something we see often, particularly with smaller business websites.  When we ask the client for their content we receive a paragraph or 2. Content is so important for your website, especially if you are in an industry where imagery isn’t the selling point. It is sometime hard to step out of the business to write about the business. Rather than shortcut on the content you are better off to hire a copywriter, they will work with you to write effective and accurate copy that sells your product and/or service and provides the user with the information they came to your site to find!

5. Don't be noisy. One of the biggest no’s with a website is assuming it’s ok to automatically play video or worse music on your website. It’s annoying and inconvenient for the user and you should always give the user the choice to play/listen to the video/audio themselves.

6. Don't be heavy. Content heavy that is. Whilst content is extremely important as discussed above you must also ensure your website copy is not so content heavy that it turns users away. Again using the services of a professional copywriter will help you to get this right.

7. Don't avoid responsive. It's definitely no secret that the amount of users viewing websites and also making transactions from their mobiles is on the rise, don't make the mistake of thinking you don't need to have a site that is responsive (adapts to the size of the screen the user is using, phone, tablet etc.)

8. Don't assume your user is tech savvy. I am sure you have seen this in a million articles before but the reason we mention this is it is still a problem we see on so many websites - making the CTA (call to action) a secret or taking the user through different pages to know how to contact you. Remember your user may not be that great with the internet or using websites- not everyone is so make it easy for them to call you, place a call to action in the header and footer of each page so no matter which page the user is on they can call you / contact you.

9. Don't forget research - Now we don't mean research the viability of your business idea - although that obviously needs doing! What we are talking about here is understanding what your business means to the end user? What's the point of the site for your users? How are you going to help them? Its important for the web designer to be able to understand the background on you and why you have started this business but also importantly they need to understand the customers journey on your site so make sure you have researched this and can effectively relay this information to your web development team.

10. Don't think its over once its built. Think about your website like your business - ever evolving. When you start your business you have certain policies and procedures in place and as you receive customer feedback and requests or realise some of the day to day tasks you carry out need streamlining you make changes to your business. This is the same with your website. You will start with a website that is absolutely what you had hoped for; a great design, the functionality you requested and everything seems to work seemlessly. Of course though, as time goes on and your business grows and develops so too will your website need to.  Making sure  you get your web developer to build your site on a customisable and scalable framework like Drupal will allow you to grow your website but it's important to realise going into the web design of your project that a professional custom site will always be a work in progress.

If you would like to have a chat about the best direction for your online business, give us a call today on 02 8007 0218 or complete a project brief..we would love to hear your ideas!