Whoops…Yikes…What…Not Again. Common Mistakes When Building a Website
If you are anything like me I love to figure stuff out and do it myself. But there are some things you should leave to the professionals. No matter how much research you’ve done, you can replace experience. For instance, I can change a flat tire and my oil, but I would never re-build an engine or try and be a mechanic. Those are special trades that someone with hands on experience can provide you.
The same with website design, it is probably something you could figure out and manage, but why would you? Hire a professional who knows every aspect about building websites. It’s not just slap a logo on a html page with a phone number and hope for the best. These days, specifically as of 2017 business owners are almost required by your clients to have more to offer them via web.
We are human, and most of the time the issues are easily corrected. Here are 18 most common mistakes that business owners and do it yourselfers forget!
#18 Sitemap, Robot File, Analytics & Webmaster Tools. These valuable tools are completely essential if you want to rank on any search engine. There are tons of articles on how to start and develop your campaigns.
#17 Legalities. Make sure if you are using fonts, images, plugin, or other items that needs third party licensing you have a policy page in place for your protection. Sometimes required by law, privacy policies and disclaimers are a necessity.
#16. Proofread. Nothing says “unprofessional” more than grammar and spelling errors. Better to be safe than having a customer point out mistakes. If you can proofread your own site, what does that say about your work? I love using PaperRater to double check my writing. Also checkout 5 Free Online Proofreading Tools for Error Free Writing
#15 Forms & Auto Responders. Test your forms and other features if you are going to put them on your site. The biggest error I see is that they are errored out or not setup properly and that is not how you want your customers to remember you. Keep them short and simple, don’t have 20 questions about every aspect, they will move on. Time is precious.
#14 404 Errors Page. Launching a new site means links will change. Are you ready? Setting up a 301 redirect will help customers to get to the correct page. Sometimes you can get away with a general 301 to your homepage, but the best route is to redirect to a similar page or item. You can use Google Tools or use the dead link checker too.
#13 Test Third Party Tools. When utilizing tools that you haven’t built can be good and bad. Double check all third party tools to ensure they are properly working, and doing what they are meant to do.
#12 Incorrect Information. Sorry we’ve moved! If anything, else make sure you NAP (name, address, phone number) are correct on your website or prepare for bad reviews and the start of your reputation management process.
#11 Broken Images & Links. These are a nuisance yes, but essential to check. Sometimes when you start with a demo site and go live, you remove the demo site and the files are gone too. Take time to check the entire website.
#10 Unorganized Ciaos. Create a plan of services and product hierarchy so that information is easy to find. Cluttered pages are a nightmare for a prospective clients trying you make heads and tails of your website
#9 Horrible Fonts. Now this might not seem bad now, but it isn’t easy to read or a messy font on a yellow background, your prospective customers won’t be sticking around. Look professional, do research on complimentary font combinations. You can use dafont.com and download some free ones.
#8 Say Goodbye to Heavy Content. 100’s of large images, 100’s of videos and such are a mistake if you don’t have them compressed and imbedded properly for streaming, it can blog your site and if customer have slow internet they will abandon within 30 seconds to a minute. Pingdom has a crazy cool tool to help you out. Check it out.
#7 Missing Search Feature. Implementing a search function is a great way for clients to find information. Rule of thumb is that a client gives approximately 30 seconds and then give up or move on.
#6 Navigation. This goes with the unorganized ciaos, be careful and don’t implement to many dropdowns, bad mix of colors, roll overs option, too many option will make the site undesirable and hard to navigate.
#5 Backend Structure. The structure has a lot to do with seo and search engine purposes. Having a solid back end can help with compression of your files and http requests that can slow down your website. Check your site with Website Grader to see where you stand.
#4 Website Size. Size of your website depends on the trends for the year. All of them seems to be moving to bigger is better, so you will want to scrap your 600×600 resolution page that looks like an oil spot and get ready to go big.
#3 SEO Optimized. These days it is all about optimization. I could go on for pages about what you need to do, but mainly don’t forget about the little items such as your image optimization, your url permalinks that you can customize and your basic meta data. Most importantly setup your Title, Meta Description and permalinks, the rest can come with time and patience. Check out one of our articles here to start on your way.
#2 Browser Compatibility. Cross checking browsers ensures that your design and code can be viewed across the web. Compatibility problems are always there, and are different though the difference browser versions, ect. You can use BrowserShots if you need help. By visiting each of the major search engines you can see if they are working.
#1 Mobile Responsive/Mobile Friendly! So you want a website. Do you know where to start? Or where to end for that matter. The reality is having a website is an ongoing event. The ever-changing web always has something new up its sleeve. Having a website means that you will be flexible and follow the trends. Your customers are on the move and you need to be as well. Having a mobile responsive website is very important in today’s digital world.
Check your site to see what Google has to say here.
There are thousands of tools out there, and if you have the time then that’s great. You may also want to consider hiring a developer. If you want it done right and utilize your time and focus on your business, call the professionals. bro