According to Statista, the number of internet users increased from 4.6 billion in 2020 to 4.9 billion in 2021. That makes investing in online businesses and other online projects worthwhile. But despite the huge market offered by the internet, there are a couple of mistakes you can make at the website design stages that can hurt the performance of your website.
In this post, you will learn about 16 mistakes you are likely to make when building your website. The down side is that these mistakes can hurt the performance of your website. Keep on reading to learn about these website mistakes you need to avoid.
Web Design Mistakes to Avoid
Everyone is prone to making mistakes. But having a guide on what you should avoid can be very helpful in rolling out a project without significant or major mistakes that can have a strong impact on performance. Here are 16 web design mistakes we identified that can negatively impact your website performance and you should void making them:
1. The Absence of a Plan
From the time you conceive the idea of building your website, you ought to have a plan. You need to figure out who your customers are, where they are and how to reach them. You also need to decide on how you will reach your target customers, how much you will need to spend on advertising, how you will drive traffic to your website.
It is important to study the behaviour of your target market and how much your offerings can fill their needs. Your USP (unique selling proposition) should significantly match the expectations of your target market and should give you an outstanding advantage over your competitors. A USP is a clear product advantage your offering has over competing brands. It can be a technical advantage, a delivery advantage or service advantage but it should provide a competitive edge over competing brands. If your offerings do not provide any clear advantage over what your existing competitors offer, standing out and staying ahead of competition could be a very difficult task.
Before you finally launch, it will be a good practice to decide on how you are going to promote your website for growth. Every stage and component of your web development needs to implement the plan you have carefully put together. We recommend proper research to guide the actions you take in the cause of your website development.
2. Inconsistent Domain Name
The choice of domain name can provide a super advantage to our business. Your domain name needs to be consistent with your business. It needs to be relevant to your business and we recommend that the service you offer can be part of your domain name. You should ensure that your domain name is easy for your audience to remember. The domain names that are most memorable, are typically the most successful.
Most people would simply use their business name as their domain name. If the business name is not related to the service offering, promoting the brand can really be a difficult task. At the same time, do remember that an exact match domain name can cause a Google penalty.
3. Cluttered Homepage
Sometimes you are pushed to provide as much information as possible on the homepage and that leaves you with a cluttered homepage. Because there is too much information on the internet today, users are inundated with the huge content online and have little to no patience.
So if your homepage is cluttered, it can cause distractions and affect user experience and visitors to your website may leave even before they get value. Remember that a cluttered homepage is one thing Google has warned against because Google seriously values user experience and does not encourage website users to get unnecessary distractions.
We recommend that you keep your designs as simple as possible.
4. Slow Servers
Slow servers can negatively affect website speed and search engine performance. This is an issue you should take very seriously because it is a Google ranking factor and high load time can negatively affect user experience and bounce rates.
Websites with poor loading times tend to have very high bounce rates relative to fast loading websites. If your server is slow and you run on a shared network, there isn’t much you can do to improve server speed. However, here is a quick guide on how to speed up your website.
Optimize images. Here is a quick guide on image optimization.
- Minimize HTTP requests. This means you make your website as simple as possible. The more features on a page, the more HTTP requests you will have to deal with.
- Check your DNS to be sure it is fast and not contributing to slow speed.
- Consider hosting videos on an external site. Videos are very heavy and if you host them on your server space, it can really slow down server response time.
- Optimize images to reduce their sizes. We have a guide on the tools that can help you optimize your images.
- Enable browser caching.
- Consider using a Content Delivery Network so that users are served from multiple locations and from the servers that are closest to them. That way, page speed can increase tremendously.
Fortunately, the optimization features come with most web design tools out of the box and you will only need to activate them for performance.
5. Neglecting Mobile Friendliness
This is a very important component of web design today. Over 60% of all online searches are now done through mobile and 80% of social media interactions happen on mobile devices. Running a mobile website is not just about running a mobile friendly template but also requires that mobile users are taken through the same seamless journey and experience of desktop users.
We recommend that you always check to see how your website content translates on mobile devices.
6. Wrongful Use Of Widgets
Widgets (also called plugins) are great and are used to achieve various functionalities in web development. It is important that you do not go crazy about plugins, attempting to load as many as possible to have numerous functionalities because they could be counter productive.
Use only the essential plugins that add value to your project and convey better experience for your users.. Remember that plugins will become outdated as the internet itself updates and advances and outdated plugins can be a source of security vulnerabilities..
We recommend that you be very mindful in the use of plugins, consider its update history and how it can affect your website security and functionality in the future.
7. Ignoring a Contact Us Page
A contact us page tells your users that they are dealing with a real person. Unfortunately, the contact us page is often ignored by web designers. Users may want to contact you or verify that you are real, the contact us page helps you gain that confidence which increases the chances of getting a lead and closing the deal.
We recommend that your contact us page should be in the menu bar and be easy to access.
8. Failing to Focus on User Needs
We all want the most attractive websites with great aesthetic content but sometimes, we make the mistake of thinking that being like the big competitor or even having a website that is much more beautiful than competing brands is enough to be successful.
Focus on the needs and wants of your users. Needs are generic and wants are specific. So, you can be tasty but want water not wine. You need to do some research while building your website to input those functions that attend to user needs and improve their experience while they visit your page.
9. Broken Links
Broken links create bad user experience. Be careful before you delete a link. When you do, please create a great 404 error page that can guide your users on the next steps they can take.
We won’t recommend that you redirect all broken links because that can create a redirect loop which hurts SEO. There are a couple of great tools that can help you identify broken links on your page. Google Search Console is one and another great tool is this free Broken Link Checker.
10. Poor Quality Visuals Content
Images can be very useful in making a website attractive. But you have the skill and creativity to create them. We recommend that if you are not able to create one, then get someone who can do it better for you.
11. No Search Box
This is one big error on websites that can seriously hurt user experience. Not having a search box or having a dysfunctional search box can turn off people instantly.
Many people use the search box to find content, especially when conducting research. Always check to ensure that your internal search box is functional.
12. Forgetting About SEO
Except you have a huge budget to spend on advertising and you have other ways to drive traffic and marketing success for your website, building a website without SEO considerations is like emptying your huge investment in the trash can.
SEO will drive traffic naturally and that will come with sales. So, take SEO very seriously.
But SEO is not so easy and requires some trials and experimenting. But we should mention that you should pay attention to user experience, page title, error pages, and regular updates. They will all play a role in the growth of your website.
14. Missing Video
The use of videos is increasingly becoming very popular for marketing. 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide acknowledge that videos have the best ROI. Create videos with some text added to them using video editing tools like iMovie Maker, or Windows Movie Maker.
15. Not Using Call-To-Actions
Call to action are bullet points which elicits some desired action from website users. Use them to increase interaction and to win some desired response from visitors.
Call to action is also important because they can improve the user experience on a website and that can improve Google’s perception on how useful the website content is to its users.
16. No Analytics to Measure Performance
One big mistake you can make in website design is to ignore the power of analytics. Not using analytics simply means important data and insights about your website performance and user data are being ignored. That can make fixing user experience issues really difficult and in some cases, uite impossible.
User performance data is very important to build and grow your website and fix issues including errors. Attempting to do it without using analytic data is like trying to swim in the open ocean.
And why would you want to ignore these useful insights that can help the growth of your website when there are free tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics which you can rely on for the basic and very useful information to guide your next steps.
Ignoring website design mistakes can make your online efforts fruitless. Identifying them and dealing with them can boost your rankings and performance. So, here are our quick takeaways:
- Use a strong and active call to action that drives users down a path and compels favourable action.
- Monitor website analytics by having Google Analytics installed. That is uite easy to achieve.
- Create a blog on your website and publish blog content regularly, focus on long-tail keywords and share it on social media.
- Make it easy for people to contact you by putting an active phone number on your page, especially having it around the header section and on your contact page. Remember that a contact us page is equally important to ease the stress of users who want to reach you.
- Speed up your page load times to keep visitors engaged. Follow our guide on A Practical Guide to Page Speed Improvement for a step-by-step guide on how to speed up your website.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly experience and loads seamlessly on all devices.
Hope you found this useful. Do let us now how useful it has been in the comments box.