In recent years, we’ve seen widespread introduction of DIY site builder companies and code-free web design tools. All of which have helped to make creating your website, that much easier. In turn, this has led to the mind-set that, a nice site layout is all you need.
But the unfortunately reality is that there are still many things for you to consider, when it comes to site design. Ask anyone that knows a thing or two about creating websites, and while setting your first site up, can be a relatively user-friendly event, there are still tons of websites being put together, poorly. Some of these mistakes are glaring, while others require a certain level of expertise for you to notice.
Such mistakes are capable of impacting virtually every aspect of the site. They can damage the sites SEO, destroy site conversion rates, increase bounce rates, and give your competition an edge over you. Below are 6 common mistakes that site owners and creators make.
1. No Data Analytics
When you have analytics in place, for your site, it makes it incredibly easy to track your sites success.
You can easily evaluate which parts of the site are doing better than the other.
You can also find out which pages aren’t doing so well.
With such information, you can better figure out, which parts of your site require improvement, and which parts of your site should be replicated.
There are so many analytics sites and services available to today. Simply sign up, and install the tracking code they give to you, on your website, and within a matter of hours, analytics data should start to come through for your site.
2. Improper Use of Headers, Sidebars, and Footers
Website design has evolved quite considerable over the past decade. The days when an end user would create a site with one centre block of content, with a sidebar, header and footer are now over. The grid system itself, isn’t totally over, as it can still be helpful to implement. When implemented correctly, it can direct visitor attention to certain aspects of a site.
However, the sidebars for these old style sites, can be very misleading and in some cases distracting. When creating your navigation system, effective testing is very important, but ultimately, you want to go with something simple. Simple is always best nowadays.
3. Using Old Web Standards
Web designers and developers are able to improve and maintain the quality of their sites through frameworks, new languages and scripts, helping to keep things as fast and as efficient as possible. And if you neglect your site, by not adding much needed enhancements, then you can bet your site will lag behind.
Web standards are constantly evolving and improving, to reflect the time. A professional should be aware of these changes, so as to not fall victim to them. As an alternative, web creators can use more expensive frameworks, like Genesis, which have the updates built into it, much like Windows 10.
The vast majority of site viewers become agitated by popups, especially when they appear right after clicking on a page or once they start to engage with the pages content.
Popups, especially when done incorrectly, can make your site cluttered and unusable, in more extreme cases.
To avoid this happening on your site, you need to be more strategic in where and how you add popups to your page(s).
You also don’t want to distract your viewers by bombarding them with popups, right after they’ve arrived on your page. In ideal situations, you want the popup offers to appear, after the end user has finished reading the content on a page.
5. No Site Periodic Updates
Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to break into your website, so they can cause havoc. Content management systems, like WordPress, along with plugin developers, are constantly pushing out new updates to help plug up these areas of vulnerabilities on your site. It’s very important that you implement these updates as soon as they are made available to you. Ideally, you’d want to automate the process, so as to ensure you do not forget.
You should also consider a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your website. And use strong passwords for access to the site and other services attached to the site.
6. Icons with No Context
Icons can be great, and in many situations they are. But as a general rule, it’s very important that the icons on your site, don’t stand alone.
The use of icons, where very popular, a couple years back. There were literally thousands of websites that would have some kind of custom icon set implemented onto their site. The sheer significance of it was huge, back then.
When icons are used, similar to images, they help to provide site visitors with information that they can easily skim through. That said, you don’t want to overuse icons. Thus, they shouldn’t be on every info box, headline and menu item, for your site.
You want to provide the best user experience possible, so avoid clutter as much as you can.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk