Welcome to website misconceptions 101, where what you think is really isn’t, and probably vise versa. Did that make sense? Some website misconceptions are fairly cut and dry and have never been an actual method used but some think they are still effective. Many of the “old” techniques and methods that used to be “the only way” things were done are now actually misunderstood and no longer relevant.
Below are the 18 most common website misconceptions in 2018, that all users should be aware of when building a website. From end user design, functionality, formatting and more you need to know!
1. But users don't scroll below the fold anymore..
False! Users scroll more than ever now. In this era of phones and tablets and other mobile devices, people scroll constantly. It’s as simple as moving a finger or thumb over their screens. While this might have been a problem in the past, it is not as important now.
Nowadays, when someone talks about “above the fold”, it is more about the importance that whatever is up there is convincing enough to keep the visitor on the site. Even if it just below the fold you are fine. It’s more about keeping the important information towards the top. You want the user to scroll, click, and spend as much time on your site as possible for SEO purposes.
2. Anyone can make a website using generic "drag and drop" systems....
False! Sure, you can try, and it might work for smaller less technical websites. But it’s more relevant that you will run into issues such as formatting, cross browser compatibility, and more issues that can run to simple to super technical. Some features you may want will not be easily obtained, if you need custom form fields or other custom needs. Therefore, designing your own site would be difficult but not impossible when you don’t have a lot of tools and features available.
3. I can just go to Google for an image and take anything I find.....
False! You should assume any images on the web, including Google images or any images on a search engine, are protected by copyright law. It is considered illegal to use an image that holds a copyright without the owner’s permission or without purchasing a license that gives permission. What you want to use is royalty free images on sites such as www.istockphoto.com or www.shutterstock.com where you can purhcase images with full or partial rights for your website and print needs. Other images you can utilized are free creative common images such as Pexels or Pixabay. But be aware that many people use those sites and the images can be used all over the place so they will not be unique to your site.
4. My site is only 12 years old and still like new...
False! Website design and development has changed dramatically in the past few years. In fact website development changes every year, so keeping up with the latest is like keeping up with the Kardashians. There have been many advancements including responsive development and mobile design, website elements, structure, and formatting. Not to mention Search Engine Optimization, which constantly changes with Google standards and processes. If you do not update your site, your website will go stagnant and will be lost in the search engines. A website that isn’t updated is similar to a blank piece of paper flying in the wind. So take care of that site with regular maintenance and fresh content every few months.
5. Duplicate text doesn't matter, I'll just copy from my competition....
False! People used to be able to get away with this until Google and duplicate content standards came along. Now, there are a few reasons you cannot duplicate content or copy content from other sites. You risk your site to be considered spam and have the risk of getting a bad ranking and penalized by the search engines are just a few reasons. Google and other search engines use tools that measure sites for 100 different points, and they base ranking off it. So be original and post unique content for the best outcome possible.
6. The more empty space, the cleaner my site will be....
False!…well, kind of Let’s discuss this, if you have too much empty space, there won’t be enough data and content for users to find what they are looking for. Yet if you have too much data and content, your site can look cramped and you overload your clients with too much information. What you need to do is find the perfect balance of clean and yet still give important information so that the users want to stay. You can obtain this by adding new pages with specific content, organize your information for easy to find content and only post the useful information.
7. The bigger the better?
This can go both ways. The question is where do you want customers to be directed to on the site? An over-sized logo can take the focus away from your content. On your site, you need to have a clear focus of what you want your site to be about, and where you want your customers to go. For example, if you have an over-sized logo, the proportion will be all out of balance. Try to make things big enough so your users can see what they are looking at, but keep the proportions even and balanced.
8. All browsers are the same, does it matter what one I use....
False! Make sure that your site can be viewed on all browsers. Browser compatibility is the flexibility of a website to function on different web browsers. The benefit of creating a website with browser compatibility is that it improves the traffic flow on a website and cuts down on loss of performance. So how do you make your site compatible? Keeping it simple, validating your code, testing in many browsers as possible, and more.
Need help? Call Spectrum Net Designs today!
9. I don't need any optimization; the website is on the internet and it will do it's "thing" and we will get millions of visitors. Here comes the traffic!
False! Without proper search engine optimization, the website will be just loose paper in the wind. It needs structure and architecture. Having SEO on a website will help Google, Bing, and other search engines find your site and rank it. Using Google services like Google maps, webmaster, and analytics will also help you be found and increase your traffic. Also, adding fresh content on a regular basis will also help. But doing nothing and letting the internet just “do its thing” will get you nowhere.
10. Once I buy my domain, it's mine forever....
False! When you purchase your domain, you have a yearly options to choose from including 2 year, 5 year and a ten year period option. An important note is to write down all your expiration’s for hosting, domains, certificates, etc. File them somewhere safe. If you would like, you can auto renew many items so you don’t lose them. If you are looking for a new domain you can visit Godaddy, Network Solutions or Register.com to name a few.
11. Designers don't know best - the customer is always right!
While the customer knows their business, the web designer knows websites and what works best. All the client has to do is trust us, and they will be very impressed with the result. Still, while the web designer gives direction to the project and website, we still listen to the client to see what they want and need. Every website and customer is different, and that’s what makes the development of websites so challenging yet interesting.
12. I only launched a month ago, all of my changes should be free..
False! Once launched, the site is now completed from the original quoted project and cost. After the launch of your new website, all changes to the site will be billed hourly or will need to be quoted, unless prior arrangements were made or maintenance was included in your original quote. We have to pay our developers and designers, and you have to pay for the changes.
13. My website should be all about me and my company, not my clients....
False! Your website is for your clients! It needs to be about your clients and their needs. What do you clients want to see when they open your website? That should be your main focus of your site. Yes, some of the site is dedicated to your company, such as the “About Us” page.
Many websites have staff pages with bios and company pages with newsletters. But remember, the website is for your client to learn more about you and use your services.
14. The site is completed, and I'll never need maintenance...
False! Too many people think website maintenance is out of date. It is the complete opposite. Without website maintenance, your site will fall into the abyss. Many things on your site need to stay updated: pages, content, blogs, pictures, etc. for Google to keep ranking your website.
Do you need help maintaining your website? Give us a call! We’d be happy to help!
15. I have 20+ pages of content so the more content the merrier....
True & False! This is kind of depends on the industry, but in general this is not true. The content needs to be organized and categorized by page and sub-pages. There is such a thing as too much information. You want to give your customers enough information to understand but not too much that they won’t call you. Keep some information for PDFs, printable’s, emails, and phone conversations. It is good to keep the client inquiring on what you’re selling. If you give them too much information right away, they will skip it and move on.
16. I don't need this fancy layout - web design is cut and dry text....
False! Humans are visual beings.You don’t need a super fancy layout but you do need visuals on your website. As long as the layout is organized, has layout consistency, professional appearance, balance, simplicity, and more, the web design has a good structure to build off of in the future. Some might call this fancy, but depending on your industry this appeals to the values and motivations of your targets. By appealing to your targets, you can create a final design product that is appealing to a broader audience, beyond what you yourself find engaging.
17. All of the whitespace on my site needs to be filled, otherwise it will look empty and no one will visit my site.....
False! The most profitable and overall successful web design decisions are those made with justifiable evidence of your target audience’s interests, tastes, and end-goals. Don’t make assumptions as to what your target audience wants to see; rather, try creating target profiles, or fictional personas, to frame your website designs around. Sometimes less is more and the white-space will work in your favor. Again, balance between content and images are key.
18. It's my site so I should get final say!
True! But we have seen the results of this event, and we do not recommend it. Flashy animation, crazy color pallets, loud music in the background, trust us, we have seen it all. While you know your industry, we know ours. We know what works and what doesn’t.